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President's Report 2005


September 14, 2005

Dear Fellows and Members:

There is interesting news to report! Also it is time again to renew your membership in the BRC.

International Board of Editors for BRC Publications

The most significant and exciting development in the BRC this past year was the establishment of an International Board of Editors for BRC publications.

The executive committee of the BRC concluded that the BRC's publications would benefit from having an International Board of Editors whose members would be willing to give advice to the editors of the Bulletin, the Proceedings series, the Monograph series, and the series of Occasional Papers. The Board of Editors could also bring important manuscripts to the attention of the BRC for publication.

We would welcome hearing from anyone willing to participate on this Board.

The board members include: Dr. Sander Adelaar (The University of Melbourne), Dr. George N. Appell (Brandeis University), Dr. Adela S. Baer (Oregon State University), Dr. Peter Bellwood (The Australian National University), Dr. Jay B. Crain (California State University, Sacramento), Dr. Bjorn F. Dahlen (University of North Dakota), Dr. Amity A. Doolittle (Yale University), Dr. Michael R. Dove (Yale University), Dr. Cristina Eghenter (Trento, Italy), Mr. Jayl Langub (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak), Dr. Peter Metcalf (University of Virginia), Fru. Ida Nicolaisen (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies), Dr. Arlo Nimmo (San Francisco, California), Dr. Lesley Potter (The Australian University), Ms. Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak), Dr. Rajindra K. Puri (University of Kent at Canterbury), Dr. Robert Reece (Murdoch University), Dr. Clifford Sather (Portland,Oregon), Dr. Bernard Sellato (CNRS-IRSEA), Dr. F. Andrew Smith (The University of Adelaide), Dr. Vinson Sutlive (College of William and Mary), Dr. Nicholas Tarling (University of Auckland), Dr. Motomitsu Uchibori (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies), Dr. Andrew Vayda (Cook College,Rutgers University), Dr. Reed L. Wadley (University of Missouri) and Dr. Mashitah Mohd. Yusoff (Universiti Malaysia Sabah).
Reviews of Research and Scholarly Literature

The second most exciting development was the establishment of a new series of publications that review the status of research and scholarly publications in various fields. These will be published as Occasional Papers if lengthy or in the BRB for shorter reviews.

We have in hand the following reviews which will be published soon:

“Borneo Historiography” by Nicholas Tarling

“Genes, People and Borneo History” by Adela S. Baer

We have invited the following individuals to prepare reviews:

- Sander Adelaar, a survey of linguistic research in Borneo

- Motomitsu Uchibori, a review of research in Borneo by Japanese scholars

- Mashitah Yusoff, a review of her work on the biology of Borneo

- Menlo Schilthuizen, a review paper on the history of evolutionary biology in Borneo

- Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan, a review of ethnomusiciology in Borneo

- Leslie Potter, historical research on Dutch Borneo and Kalimantan

- Chris Hunt, review of the environmental change over the last 100,000 years

We would like to publish reviews on the status of research in various disciplines. These could include a review of botanical research in Borneo, a review of studies on the uses of plants by various peoples of Borneo, a review of medical research, and reviews of biological research such as on birds, trees, fish, snakes, mammals, etc.

Can you let us know of scholars and scientists who would undertake such work? Or would you volunteer for one of these reviews?

We need to make the publications of the BRC and particularly the Bulletin in a position to appeal to a wider audience. We believe that these reviews will be useful in achieving this.

But there is another issue. The various scholarly fields of Borneo studies have expanded so that it is difficult to keep up with developments in subjects other than one’s own specialties. It is hoped that these reviews will help scholars determine what research from other disciplines might be relevant to one’s own research and also provide the students with the necessary information to help them prepare for their research in Borneo.

We are looking for other scholars to provide reviews of their discipline. And we would welcome volunteers and nominations.

It is also hope that these reviews will stimulate correspondence on the particular reviews, adding information that may be more current, enlarging on or disagreeing with the conclusions of the author so that the scholarly community will benefit.

Monographs, Proceedings, and Occasional Papers

As there have been new publications during the year, we have included a list of publications with an order form.

We are currently preparing for publication:

Acts of Integration, Expressions of Faith: Madness, Death and Ritual in Melanau Ontology, Ann L. Appleton. BRC Monograph No. 9.(With a forward by Dr. R. J. Barrett).

Jay Crain who has reviewed this manuscript writes:

A real contribution to Bornean ethnography...[she] develops a theoretically interesting argument. She uses Stephen Morris” work effectively and develops her thesis through a quite ingenious reading of Turner, Rappaport, and Jungian psychologists. I am sure that Vic would have appreciated how nicely she extends his insights into ritual and experience.

The Borneo Research Bulletin

We were able this year to publish two issues of the BRB. This brings us almost up to date. We will try to get the next issue, the 2005 issue, out before the end of the year so that our publication of the BRB will be current.

Authors of Articles in the Bulletin Who Are Not Members

The financial situation for the BRC would improve if those who submit articles for the Bulletin would become Members or Fellows of the BRC. This would help cover the costs of printing their articles. There has been some discussion on how to handle this. We have considered charging nonmembers a publication fee. But this was not met with great enthusiasm by the executive committee.

The following policy was developed to handle the problem. All authors who are not Members or Fellows will receive a Membership or Fellowship for one year including the following year's Bulletin. It is hoped by this they will be encouraged to continue their membership.

Any other thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

Publication Sales and Discounts

The discount to Fellows for the purchase of publications of the BRC has been raised to 25%. Members shall receive a 10% discount.

We have put aside a number of complete sets of the Proceedings to sell for $45 per set.

We also have for sale sets of all Borneo Research Bulletins for $35.00. Unfortunately, these sets do not include the following numbers: Volumes 1(2), 4(1), 6(2), 7(1), and 23.

New Book for Sale

The Forest, Source of Life: The Kelabit of Sarawak by Monica Janowski, 2003 British Museum Occasional Paper Number 143. [$46.50, no discount]

The Firebird Foundation for Anthropological Research and Its Archive

The Firebird Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)3 organization. It’s activities might be of interest to Borneo scholars.

The Firebird Foundation has the capacity for digitizing photographs and slides from field work and digitizing tape recordings to preserve them on CD disks. It also has the capacity for archiving these materials as well as other field research materials.

One of the goals of the foundation is to be of service to all scholars and researchers. Inquiries are welcome about the facilities for digitizing data and archiving them as well as inquiries about the currently archived photographs and tape recordings:

Firebird Foundation
P.O. Box A
Phillips, ME 04966 U.S.A.
The foundation to date has archived all the field notes, data and photographs of the late Dr. Peter R. Goethals, John Landgraf and George and Laura Appell. It is hoped that the foundation will serve as a major source for archiving field material from Borneo and elsewhere.

The Anthropologists' Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research

The Anthropologists' Fund for Urgent Anthropological Research was launched in 1993 to support basic ethnographic research on threatened or disappearing cultures and languages of indigenous peoples. The Fund is entirely supported by individual contributions. It is expected that the research funded will make a fundamental contribution to anthropological knowledge and will also serve, where appropriate, as an aid to indigenous peoples in their struggles to control their own destinies.

Grants for research are made in association with the Royal Anthropological Institute. Further information may be found at:

BRC Website

The website now includes a list of Members and Fellows, all our publications with table of contents of each, President's Reports, announcements, history of the BRC, application for membership, information on the BRC Medals and Biennial Conferences, list of Officers, etc.


Present Volunteers: The BRC's ability to generate scholarly work is because of the volunteer work of various Fellows and Members of the Council. Vinson Sutlive continues to oversee and advise on the work of the BRC and has been instrumental in maintaining the Biennial Conferences.

Robert Winzeler, as I have mentioned previously, is devoting much of his volunteer time to creating the list of dissertations on Borneo and keeping it up to date.

Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan is now busy preparing the proceedings from the 2002 BRC conference for publication in our proceedings series.

Editor of the Bulletin: Clifford Sather has devoted much of his time to the editorship of the Borneo Research Bulletin. This is a hard, time-consuming job, but which has its rewards in the response of those who read the Bulletin and find this material useful in their own research.

Preparation of the Bulletin for Publication: Phillip Thomas takes the materials that Cliff provides for the Bulletin and prepares them for publication. Again, this is a difficult job, and we are very grateful to both Phil and Cliff for keeping the publication of the Bulletin going and with such intellectual rigor.

Book Review Editor and Current Bibliographer: Dr. A. V. M. Horton has kindly consented to become Book Review Editor and Current Bibliography Compiler for the Borneo Research Bulletin. A Bibliography of recent publications will appear in each issue of the Bulletin. Books for review, reprints or other notices of recent publication would be gratefully received by the editor. Please send these to:

Dr. A.V.M. Horton
180 Hither Green Lane
Worcestershire B98 9AZ

New Volunteers and Additional Volunteers Needed

It has been a wonderful year for volunteering! Jay Crain has offered to read and evaluate manuscripts, as has Rajindra Puri, Nicholas Tarling, and the Earl of Cranbrook. Others have offered help, such as Reed Wadley, Adela Baer and Bjorn Dahlen.

But we could use more volunteers to help in the running of the BRC! In particular there is a need to increase the distribution of our publications. We need a volunteer who is knowledgeable in this area. We also need someone who might man table at various association meetings, as Vinson Sutlive has in the past.


The income and expense statement for the past two years is attached. This does not include the full cost of labor which have been donated. We really need to increase contributions and develop new sources of income.

The Endowment Fund has grown from $4,253.28 in 2003 to $4,873.28 in 2004. The Endowment Fund is invested in the Vanguard Selected Value Fund.

Biennial Conferences

Vinson Sutlive has been working on finding a host for the next biennial conference. He is currently working for a site in Brunei.

New Members and Fellows

The Council has a policy of welcoming new Fellows and Members by letter and sending them the latest issue of the Bulletin to let them know that they are logged in as Fellows or Members.

Contributors to the Endowment Fund

Ms. E. Kim Adams, Dr. Matthew Amster, Antiquarian Booksellers, Mr. Ralph Arbus, Dr. Clare Boulanger, Dr. Amity A. Doolittle, Dr. Michael R. Dove, Professor H. Arlo Nimmo, Dr. & Mrs. Otto Steinmayer, Dr. Carol and Dr. James Warren, Drs. Patricia & Herbert L. Whittier, Dr. W. D. Wilder, Dr. Robert L. Winzeler.

Contributors to the General Fund

Ms. E. Kim Adams, Dr. Matthew Amster, Antiquarian Booksellers, Dr. G. N. Appell, Mr. Ralph Arbus, Dr. Adela Baer, Dr. Martin Baier, Dr. Clare Boulanger, Dr. Jay Crain, Dr. Otto Doering, Dr. Michael R. Dove, Dr. Richard Fidler, Ms. Judith Heimann, Professor Virginia Hooker, Dr. A. V. M. Horton, Dr. & Mrs. Alfred Hudson, Dr. Peter Metcalf, Dr. Peter Minos, Dr. Rodney Needham, Dato Seri John Pike, Prof. Robert Reece, Dr. Clifford Sather, Dr. Graham Saunders, Dr. Anne Schiller, Professor F. Andrew Smith, Dr. & Mrs. Otto Steinmayer, Dr. Jack Stuster, Mr. Nathaniel Tarn, Dr. Reed Wadley, Drs. Patricia & Herbert L. Whittier, Mr. James Wickes, Dr. W. D. Wilder, Mr. William Wilkinson, Dr. Robert L. Winzeler, Dr. Leigh Wright.

Visitors to BRC Office

We encourage and welcome visitors at any time.

The Passages of Life: New Blood Needed

Many of us who have devoted our energies and time to make the Borneo Research Council successful are no longer young. We need new blood now. In the next few years it will be mandatory to keep the BRC vital. We hope various individuals will step forward.

George N. Appell


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