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Call for Papers: Sixth International Conference on Lao Studies


When: Thursday, 13 June 2019 to Saturday, 15 June 2019

Where: Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA 

The Southeast Asia Program (SEAP), Cornell University and the Center for Lao Studies (CLS) are pleased to announce that the Sixth International Conference on Lao Studies (ICLS6) will be held on June 13-15, 2019 in Ithaca, New York, USA. The main objective of the conference is to promote Lao studies, broadly defined, by providing an international forum for scholars to present and discuss various aspects of Lao Studies.


The Sixth International Conference on Lao Studies has no specific theme. As in past ICLS conferences, this conference intends to accommodate all academic scholarship in the social sciences and humanities related to Laos, and peoples linked either to identifying as Lao or to the country of Laos more generally, including people from all ethnic groups in Laos, and diaspora communities all over the world.


The conference will bring together Lao Studies scholars and researchers from all disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, and all intellectual and political perspectives, to share paper presentations, panel presentations, exhibits, performances, and cultural activities.

The following are included within the target groups of the conference:

1) All self-identified ethnic groups of Laos (e.g. Lao, Khmu, Hmong, Ieu-Mien, Akha, Phouan, Phou Tai, Nyouan, etc.);

2) Lao/Thai Isan and other ethnic Lao groups in Thailand (e.g. Lao Song, Phouan, Phou Tai, etc.);

3) Ethnic Lao living in Cambodia;

4) Cross-border ethnic groups living in Vietnam, China, Burma, Thailand and Cambodia (e.g. Akha, Hmong, Phouan, Ieu-Mien, Khmu, Tai Lue, Tai Dam, Lahu, Brao, etc.; and

5) Overseas diaspora originally from Laos or descendants of people from Laos (including Lao Americans, Hmong Americans, Khmu Americans, French Lao, Australian Lao, Canadian Lao, etc.)

The following are some, but certainly not all, possible topics of interest to the conference organizers:

* Architectural Transformations

* Art and Music

* Border Trade and Interactions

* Buddhism and Other Religions

* Community

* Cultures of Ethnic Groups in Laos

* Education

* Environment and Health

* Ethnic Groups and Economic and Social Change

* Ethnomusicology

* Extractive Industries

* Families and Children

* Gender Relations

* History

* Identity Politics

* Internet-Based Communications and Networking

* Language, Linguistics and Literature

* Lao American Issues

* Lao Heritage

* Lao People in the Regional/Global Economy

* Lao Relations with People from Other Ethnic Groups

* Large-Scale Economic Land Concessions

* Livelihood Changes

* Nature Conservation (including Wildlife and Protected Area Management)

* Nature-Society Interactions

* Politics

* Research Methodologies in Lao Studies

* Rural Development

* Transnational Networks and Relations

* Urbanization and Development


1) Please submit abstracts in English before December 31, 2018

2) Submit abstracts electronically, sending preferably a Microsoft word file (document) in an e-mail attachment to (see below for specific instructions regarding preparing abstracts)

General Contact information:

Gregory Green

179 Kroch Library

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853 USA

Tel: +1-607-255-8889 

3) The conference abstract committee will review abstracts and send an acceptance letter with scheduling information and other instructions for submitting final abstract statements and full versions of papers.

4) Abstracts of panels, and individual papers and full versions of conference papers will be collected for distribution on-line.


Organized panels, composed of 3-4 scholars presenting formal papers and 1 or 2 discussants that can be scheduled into one-and-a-half-hour time slots are also invited. Panel organizers are requested to supply the following information:

* Title of the panel

* Conference theme(s) related to the panel

* Name, institution, address and email of the panel organizer

* Name, institution, address and email of each paper presenter

* Names, institutions, addresses and email of the panel discussants

* Abstract (250 words or less) describing the panel as a whole

* Title of each paper and abstract (250 words or less) for each paper


Individual papers will be grouped into coherent panels. The papers must include the following:

* Title of the paper

* Name, institution, address and email address of paper presenter

* Abstracts (250 words or less) with identified keywords.

* Related conference topic(s)


All participants are requested to register online. The registration fee includes the conference program, and morning and afternoon snacks and two lunches for the three-day conference. Early registration deadline is January 15, 2019. Please note that there will be no refund for cancellation or absence.

Conference and Conference Banquet Registration:

Early Registration (on or before February 15, 2019): 

  • Regular: US$150
  • Student US$75

Late Registration (after February 15, 2019):

  • Regular: US$175
  • Student: US$100

Note: 90% refunds are possible up to March 1, 2019. After this time refunds are not possible.