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Fifteenth Annual Southeast Asian Studies Graduate Conference

Cambodia The Cornell Southeast Asia Program invites your attendance to its 15th Annual Southeast Asian Studies Graduate Conference. The conference will be held at the Kahin Center for Advanced Research on Southeast Asia at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, on March 1-3, 2013. Professor Lindy Williams from the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell will deliver our keynote address. There is no specific theme for this conference, as we attract a wide range of submissions. Our intention is to reflect the dynamic research currently undertaken by graduate students. Selected contributors will present their work as part of a panel, and paper abstracts will be included in the conference program. The agenda for the conference is as follows:


March 1 (Friday)


4:30 pm           Registration


5:00 pm           Opening Address    Kaja McGowan

(incoming director, Southeast Asia Program, and associate professor, Department of Art History, Cornell University)


5:15 pm           Keynote Lecture: Whither State Interest in Intimacy?    Lindy Williams

(professor, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University)


6:30 pm           Reception



March 2 (Saturday)


9:00 am           Breakfast


9:30 am           Panel 1: On the Origins and Consequences of Institutions

discussant: Hoa Duong


Commodifying Citizenship: Passports, Migrants, and the National Verification Process in Thailand    Inga Gross (Cornell University)


Practices and Networks of Literacy: Alternative Libraries in Indonesia 

Kathleen Azali (University of Airlangga, Indonesia)


Sizing Up the Competition: Elections and Local Governance in Indonesia 

Ryan Tans (Emory University)


11:15 am         Coffee Break


11:30 am         Panel 2: Colonial Facework: Labors of British, Dutch and French Prestige-Management    discussant: Mirabelle Yang


Organizing Autarky: Decoux’s Transformation of Economic Production in World War Two Indochina    Benjamin Freud (National University of Singapore)


Tolerated Nuisance: Toddy Issues in Colonial Malayan Plantation Society

      Arunima Datta (National University of Singapore)


Celluloid Coolies: Early Propaganda Films of Sumatra’s Deli Plantations

      Sandeep Ray (National University of Singapore)


1:15 pm           Lunch


2:00 pm           Panel 3: Cinemascapes of Modernity

                        discussant: Pamela Corey


Thailand Debates Cinematic Modernity: The 1960s and 70s in Film

      Rebecca Townsend (Cornell University)


Disfiguring Filmic Modernity and Transnationalism in King Sihanouk’s Apsara

      Jessica Austin (University of Hawai‘i, Mānoa)


From Bamboo Tent to Cinema Palace: Cinema Spaces in the Urban Landscape of Colonial Surabaya    Dafna Ruppin (Utrecht University, Netherlands)


3:45 pm           Coffee Break


4:00 pm           Panel 4: National Imaginings: Object and Technique

                        discussant: Courtney Work


History, Myth, and Proverbs: Nation Building with Vietnamese Ancestral Shrines

      Tina Le (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)


“Playable” Nationalism: The Nusantara Online Game and the “Gamification” of Historical Reconstructions    Iskandar Zulkarnain (University of Rochester)


Wiring the New Order: Indonesian Village Electrification, National Identity, and Authoritarian Technopolitics, 1966-1998    Anto Mohsin (Cornell University)


6:00 pm           Dinner (for conference participants only)



March 3 (Sunday)


9:00 am           Breakfast


9:30 am           Panel 5: Engagement with the State through Reform and Resistance

                        discussant: Becky Butler


Malayan Approaches and Reactions to the Self-Respect Movement, 1929-1954

      Darinee Alagirisamy (University of Cambridge)


A History of Resistance in Vietnamese Folk Literature

      John Ryan M. Recabar (University of the Philippines, Diliman)


Ideologies of “Cultural Resistance”: Rights, Ethno-Nationalism, and the State in the Thailand-Burma-China Borderlands    Emily Hong (Cornell University)


11:15 am         Coffee Break


11:30 am         Panel 6: Karma, Charisma, and Conversion in Contemporary Thai Religious Life    discussant: Trais Pearson


Devoted Servants or Exploitative Charlatans?  The Contested Charismatic Authority of Bangkok Professional Spirit Mediums    Erick White (Cornell University)


Muslim Chao Khao: Muslimization and Re-Subjectification of Hmong/Akha Youth amidst the Politics of Conversion in Northern Thailand   

Samak Kosem (Chiang Mai University, Thailand)


The Revenge of Karma: Reading Current Abortion Discourses and Kaekam Practices in Thai Society    Moodjalin Sudcharoen (Cornell University)


1:15 pm           Closing Remarks    Lindy Williams


1:30 pm           Lunch




03/01/2013 - 03/03/2013
Kahin Center for Advanced Research on Southeast Asia, Cornell University