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Upcoming Conferences

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United States 

Armed Forces, State, And Society in Southeast Asia: Identity, Authority, Legitimacy, Legacy

Civil-military relations literature proceeds from a heavily Western-centric premise that claims that military must not be involved with politics. In Southeast Asia today, there exists a range of arrangements along a spectrum. Some countries operate, at least nominally, under a regime of objective control. In others, the military operates explicitly or implicitly as a tool of the ruling political party. Indonesia is a former military dictatorship that has reformed its armed forces; Myanmar operates what might be called a transitional model. Thailand has only recently emerged after five years of military rule and may return. This conference will explore the following key questions: What is the relationship between the military and the identity of the nation, people, or elites? What is the relationship between the military and political authority? How does the military impact structures of legitimacy? What are the key principles, myths, or events that have helped shape the relationship between the military and the country?  Is that expected to change or remain the same in the future?

The conference will be held at New York University, New York City, 6 December 2019.


Harvard East Asia Society Conference 2020

The theme of this year's conference is Life on the Edge: Borders and Boundaries in East Asia. Physical borders and their geographies bear witness to the interactions between nation states; less tangible boundaries govern how groups define themselves in relation to other. In literature, film, and art, authors and directors negotiate dividing lines as much as politicians and peoples do. In research, the spaces where individual sides meet clarify individual areas of study while encouraging researchers to look beyond them.

The conference will be held at Harvard University, Boston, 8-9 February 2020.


The 19th East-West Center International Graduate Student Conference

The theme of this year’s IGSC is Community Voices: Bridging Borders. Recognizing the ethos of the East-West Center’s 60 years of work in the US, Asia, and the Pacific, IGSC-2020 celebrates the voices of communities and their perspectives in the ever-changing local and global spaces.  The conference encourages scholarly work on topics of concern to communities across the region, and it is particularly welcoming of the perspectives of indigenous and marginalized communities. Graduate students (Master’s and PhD level) are strongly encouraged to participate. All disciplines are welcome, including natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, multi-disciplinary approaches, and others.

The registration fee is $70. The conference will be held at Hawaii Imin International Conference Center, Honolulu, 13-15 February 2020.

The flyer can be found here.


AAS 2020 Annual Conference

The Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference is the largest Asian Studies conference held in North America.  Individuals attending the AAS Annual Conference are presented with the latest research within multiple disciplines in Asian Studies as well as unlimited networking opportunities via receptions, business meetings, and one-on-one contact with the editors & publishers located in their Book Exhibition.

The early-bird fee for non-member students is $85 ($75 for members). The conference will be held in Boston, 19-22 March 2020.


School of Pacific and Asian Studies at UH-Mānoa Graduate Student Conference

The theme this year is Stories of Movement in Asia: Boundaries and Exile. Throughout history, Asia has been characterized by movement and mobility – of people, ideas, cultures, arts, education, bodies, and goods. In today’s world, this movement has been intensified by economic and technological integration, as well as by political crises and economic uncertainty as individuals and whole communities seek better lives both within and beyond the Asian region.  The human beings involved in these movements bring with them their own ambitions and their own histories, but they are also the vehicles for the transmission of cultural forms and attitudes. Yet even in adverse conditions, the people who move across the diverse landscapes of Asia and beyond connect with one another in ways that sometimes go unnoticed. The goal of this conference is to bring to light these connections and the influence that they have had on shaping Asia—past and present—and through it, the world.

Abstracts are due by 31 January 2020. The conference will be held at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 7-9 April 2020.


The 24th International Symposium on Malay/Indonesian Linguistics

Papers presented at ISMIL are concerned with the Malay/Indonesian language in any of its varieties.  In addition to the standardized versions of Bahasa Melayu and Bahasa Indonesia, papers are particularly welcome dealing with non-canonical isolects such as regional dialects of Malay and Indonesian, contact varieties, and other closely related Malayic languages.  Papers may be in any of the subfields of linguistics, and may represent variegated approaches and diverse theoretical persuasions. Presentations at ISMIL are delivered in English.

Abstracts are due by 14 February 2020. The conference will be held at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 15-17 April 2020.


The 30th Annual Meeting of the Southeast Asian Linguistics Society (SEALS)

Abstracts dealing with any areas related to Southeast Asian Languages will be considered. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to: phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, genetic and areal relationships, interactional linguistics, historical and comparative studies, sociolinguistic studies, psycholinguistics, language acquisition, neurolinguistics, language and culture/thought, language documentation, language endangerment, and language revitalization/reclamation. The conference will be immediately preceded by ISMIL.

Abstracts are due by 5 January 2020. The conference will be held at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, 18-20 April 2020.


This conference is designed to explore aspects of group and individual identity in the region. Broadly conceived, papers would consider the ways in which people are articulating, embracing, or contesting different forms and reconfigurations of personal or group identity. Such forms might encompass aspects of ethnic, gender, or religious identities, or perhaps overlaps across these and other dimensions of identity. Papers might consider the political implications of how people and groups articulate or embrace identity and possible conflicts pitting groups against the state or each other. The hope is that papers will explore newly emerging forms of identity as well as long-existing ones that are being reconceptualized or reasserted in new circumstances.

Abstracts are due by 20 January 2020. The conference will be held at University of California Los Angeles, 24-25 April 2020.


SEASIA Biennial Conference 2019, Change and Resistance: Future Directions of Southeast Asia

Sub-themes are: Historical Continuities and Changes; Dynamics of International Relations and Regionalism; Debating Inclusive Growth in Rural and Urban Settings; Environmental Justice, Land and Maritimes Sustainability and Climate Change; Arts, Cultures, Photography and Literatures; Innovation, Technology, Media and Cybercultures; Mobility and Migration; Democratization, Populism and Civil Society; Dynamics of Religions and Spiritualties; Ethnicity and Gender; Challenges to Economic Vitality.

The conference will be held at Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, 5-7 December 2019.


Relocating Governance in Asia: state and society in South- and Southeast Asia, c. 1800-2000

The conference welcomes empirical investigations on the fluctuations of colonial and postcolonial governance, policy making and practice in its daily realities. Of interest are for instance: the hybridity and ambiguity of colonial law in theory and practice, the roles of intermediaries, colonial bureaucracies and the connections between old and new forms of statecraft, or ritual and bureaucratic procedure. Comparative studies between South- and/or Southeast Asia and other parts of the world are also welcome.

The conference will be held at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, 22-24 January 2020.


The 1st International Conference on Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism In Malaysia And Southeast Asia

The International Symposium on Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism in Malaysia and Southeast Asia (ICVE) 2019 is a multidisciplinary symposium that aims to bring together scholars, researchers and practitioners from around the world to promote collaboration, present research findings and policy recommendations on P/CVE. Suggested topics include drivers and enablers; pathways; radicalisation, deradicalisation, and rehabilitation; history; politics; narratives; social media; international relations; security and governance; financing; women; extremism. The top 15 absracts will be awarded a $600 travel stipend and considered for journal publication.

The conference will be held at the International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 16-18 March 2020.


Institute of Islamic Studies Graduate Student Symposium

The conference's aim is to provide an opportunity for graduate students based in various parts of the world and approaching the study of Islamicate thought and life across time and space through a multiplicity of disciplinary and methodological approaches to share their work with the Institute’s faculty and students in an atmosphere of constructive and supportive criticism. They are pleased to invite graduate students at all stages of research and dissertation-writing related to Islam and Islamicate communities anywhere in the world (Southeast Asia, South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East) to submit proposals for individual paper presentations.

The conference will be held at McGill University, Montreal, 26-27 March 2020.


Containment and Intimacy: Interdisciplinary Symposium

Colonialism operates through cultural and ideological techniques of categorization, sorting, and containment. This positions some as liberal sovereign subjects and others as objects of knowledge whose modes of existence can be grasped in their entirety from the outside. Colonial forms of knowledge and governance rely on processes of assigning values and labels that enable the organization of the world into discrete and knowable entities. Although these knowledge relations act as forms of containment, they are also experienced in intimate and embodied ways. While intimacy’s most common referents are relations of proximity—familiar, bodily, personal, or perhaps private—feminist, queer and anti-colonial scholars have disrupted such understandings, pointing to intimacy as a key domain of the microphysics of power in modern life. These critical modes of engagement are particularly relevant in the contemporary moment, in which fascist movements, crises of sovereignty, and the climate catastrophe are on the rise. These not only suggest the need for deep transformations of our ways of being in the world, but also demand attention to the disintegration of colonial modes of containment. These transitional times require us to think with and form new modes of containment and relations of intimacy.

The deadline for abstracts 13 January 2020. The symposium will be held at McGill University, Montreal, 16-18 April 2020.


COMIUCAP Manila MMXX - Faith, Reason, and Dialogue: Listening to Asia

It is evident in the history of the Catholic Church how both faith and reason have been instrumental in the conversion of Rome and its eventual triumph in Europe, from which it has spread across the world through both cross and sword. Yet the dawn of the Second Vatican Council (Vat. II) provided the opportunity for ecumenism with Orthodox Churches and Protestantism, but more so it laid down guidelines for possible interfaith and intercultural dialogue with the immense cultural and intellectual heritages of the East particularly the great traditions of Asia. This marked a movement in evangelization from cross and sword to the opportunity of listening to the other culture. 2020 marks the 55th anniversary since the closing of Vat. II and since then numerous publications have focused especially on the theme of dialogue. In view of all these, scholars are invited to reflect on the engagement of faith, reason, and dialogue in today’s world, particularly in the rich opportunity of listening to cultures from the East.

The fee for early-bird grad students is $100. The deadline for abstracts 31 December 2019. The conference will be held at University of Santo Tomas, Manila, 28-30 May 2020.


SEA The World! Southeast Asian Cinemas and Global Film Theory

The theme of this conference will be addressed from a broad range of perspectives in order to encourage critical engagement with current debates in film theory and global studies, inviting papers that theorize the diverse film and media practices across Southeast Asia beyond Area Studies. It seeks to extend and build on recent developments in film theory in relation to "minor cinemas," "small cinemas," and "cinemas at the periphery."

The conference will be held in Cebu, The Philippines, 20-22 July 2020.


Emerging Dimensions of Marriage in Asia

Trends in marriage in Asia are highly diverse, but are influencing in very important ways the demographic viability of some countries, as well as challenging the traditional role of the family in many. East Asia and South Asia are worlds apart, in a number of respects–prevalence of premarital sexual relations, who chooses the marriage partner, age at marriage, prevalence of cohabitation, consanguinity, and divorce. In some East Asian countries, the rising tide of delayed and non-marriage, in a context of continued popular opposition to childbearing outside marriage, is making it almost impossible to reverse fertility declines. In South Asian countries, child marriage remains common, though its incidence is declining. Parental choice of spouse remains the norm, divorce rates continue to be low and for many women an escape route from a violent or disharmonious marriage is very difficult to find. Southeast Asian patterns of marriage are more diverse than those in other regions of Asia. Many questions arise in relation to marriage trends in Asia, and the conference is open to submissions covering a wide range of topics.

Abstracts are due 31 December 2019. The conference will be held at National University of Singapore, Singapore, 29-30 July 2020.


The self-determination of Timor-Leste: Resistance, Diplomacy, Solidarity

The organizers wish to call for contributions to this conference from scholars, actors of the process, activists and other citizens interested in the history of the self-determination of Timor-Leste. The conference will look at three different aspects: the Resistance and its various components; diplomatic efforts of different countries involved in the process; and the solidarity movements that spread all over the world. Perspectives on actors, networks, institutions and strategies are welcome. Working languages are Portuguese and English.

Admission is free, but space becomes limited after 7 September 2020. The conference will be held at Museu do Oriente, Lisbon, 14-18 September 2020.


International Conference on Philippine Studies

The conference's theme is Philippine Studies Across Borders, Across Disciples: Collaborations, Interventions, Linkages. Philippine Studies as an academic field has expanded considerably in the last three decades, with regular conferences of Filipinists convened both in the Philippines and in the United States, Europe, and Australia. The initiative for institutionalizing regular periodic conferences in Philippine Studies has been undertaken by Filipino, American, European, and Australian academics with the aim of bringing together all scholars working on all aspects of Philippine studies in the various disciplines–in the social sciences and the humanities–gathering many foreign Filipinists and Filipino academics to present, share, and discuss with one another studies on Philippine society and culture.

The deadline for abstracts is 15 December 2019. The student fee is $75. The conference will be held at Universidad de Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain, 21-23 September 2020.

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