Kahin Prize

George McT. Kahin Prize

The George McT. Kahin Prize of the Association for Asian Studies is given biennially to an outstanding scholar of Southeast Asian studies from any discipline or country specialization to recognize distinguished scholarly work on Southeast Asia beyond the author’s first book.

The award was initiated in 2007 at the behest of the Cornell University Center for Southeast Asian Studies, friends and students of George Kahin, and the Southeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies to honor the contributions of George McT. Kahin to the field of Southeast Asian Studies.


$1,000 to the author.

Guidelines for Submission

  • There are no citizenship or residence requirements for nominees.
  • Authors need not be AAS members.
  • Original, scholarly nonfiction works with a copyright date of 2020 or 2021 will be eligible for the 2023 Kahin Prize competition.
  • Reference works, exhibition catalogues, translations, textbooks, collections of previously published essays, poetry, fiction, travel books, memoirs, or autobiographies are not eligible.
  • Publishers must complete the book nomination form. Each press may nominate a maximum of six books for the Kahin Prize
  • Only publishers may nominate books.
  • Upon receipt of a completed nomination form, publishers will be provided with addresses for prize committee members. A copy of each entry, clearly labeled “Kahin Prize,” must be sent to each member of the committee.


Nominations must be received by June 30, 2022 to be eligible for the 2023 awards.

Kahin Prize Committee

Anna Tsing (Chair)
UC Santa Cruz

Noboru Ishikawa
Kyoto University

Doreen Lee
Northeastern University

2021 Award

Winner and Citation

Cover of Geoffrey B. Robinson, The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66

Geoffrey B. Robinson, The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66. Princeton University Press, 2018.

In 2021 the George McT. Kahin Book Prize is awarded to Geoffrey B. Robinson, Professor of History at UCLA, for his monograph, The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 (Princeton University Press 2018). The committee was unanimous in selecting this distinguished work for its clarity of purpose and passionate activist scholarship, exploring the brutal chronology of events that exploded in genocidal ferocity across Indonesia in that tumultuous year. Meticulously researched, the author’s extensive and measured analysis of the aftermath and the longer-term consequences of torture, incarceration and mass killing is a highlight. The study is an important public contribution to the historical record given the long official silence that has surrounded these events and the reluctance on the part of successive Indonesian governments to examine the pivotal role of the military. The analysis provides a platform for a broader examination of the Indonesian experience, with implications for comparative studies of genocide and the primary role of ‘militarism’ as a catalyst for systemic state sanctioned violence. Prof. Robinson reminds us of the continuing need to seek justice and restitution for the suffering of victims, the crimes of perpetrators, and the conflicted experiences and responses of those in between.

Past Awards

George McT. Kahin Prize

2009 Heonik Kwon, Ghosts of War in Vietnam

2011 Alfred W. McCoy, Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines and the Rise of the Surveillance State

2013 Justin McDaniel, The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand

2015 M.C. Ricklefs, Islamisation and Its Opponents in Java: A Political, Social, Cultural, and Religious History, c. 1930 – Present

2017 Tania  Li, Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier

2019 Lisandro Claudio, Liberalism and the Postcolony: Thinking the State in 20th Century Philippines

2021 Geoffrey B. Robinson, The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66