Wickersham to present paper on Norodom Sihanouk

Andrew Wickersham, the winner of the Centre for Non-Western Studies second annual essay prize, will present his research paper at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, in the Zurcher Auditorium of the Merillat Centre for the Arts.

The event is free and open to the public.

Wickersham’s paper is titled, “An enigma to the West: The political ideology of Cambodia’s Norodom Sihanouk (1945-1970).” He is a senior history and political science double major from Huntington, Indiana.

“My paper explores the limitations of using Western political science terminology when analyzing other cultures,” Wickersham said. “Cambodia’s Norodom Sihanouk does not fit nicely on a traditional left-right political spectrum, which posed problems for the American State Department. I seek to understand his political ideology as it relates to the historic context of Cambodian kingship.”

Dr. David Roberts, senior lecturer of political science at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, will offer a response to Wickersham’s paper. Roberts is an expert on international relations and peace building. In the early 1990s, he was part of the United Nations Transitional Authority team in Cambodia that supervised the elections, and he interviewed the top Khmer Rouge leadership. In addition to his role at Loughborough, Roberts is a research fellow at the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies. 

HU’s Centre for Non-Western Studies was formed in 2009 to support inter-disciplinary research and teaching linked by a shared common interest in non-Western politics, culture and society.