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Upcoming Conferences

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United States

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.


Stemming the Tides: Indonesia in the Age of Climate Catastrophe - POSTPONED

In recent years, Indonesia saw its cities drowning under the deluge of torrential monsoon rains, its forests blazing in the wake of land clearance for palm oil, its people suffocating under thick blankets of haze, and its capital sinking swiftly beneath the waves. At the turn of a new decade, Indonesia faces a legion of climatic challenges that threaten its population and natural resources. This year's Yale Indonesia Forum (YIF) calls on scholars, activists, policy officials, and other interested parties to present on issues germane to climate in Indonesia, seeking perspectives that traverse methodological and disciplinary boundaries.

Abstracts are due by 22 February 2020. The conference will be held at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, 11 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.


2020 NIU Southeast Asian Studies Student Conference

Northern Illinois University’s 2020 Southeast Asian Studies Student Conference is inviting submissions for its annual symposium. The purpose is to celebrate original research from a broad range of fields that engage with Southeast Asia creatively. Undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to submit papers from a variety of disciplines.

Abstracts are due by 31 January 2020. The conference will be held at Northern Illinois University, 18 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.

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.

The conference will be held at University of California Los Angeles, 24-25 April 2020.


NYCAS 2020: Identifying Asia

The critical concept of “identity” provides a myriad of perspectives and forms with which to explore Asia’s rich and varied cultures. Identity concerns a perceived set of characteristics performed and experienced either via social association, sanctified recognition, or personal assignation. Using identity as a lens allows scholars to explore a range of significant issues (such as contested terrains of belief systems: religion, spirituality, politics, economics, education, imperialism and colonialism, as well sustainability, climate, technology, and individual construction of self and self-worth). Who is identifying Asia? What is Asia identifying? How are national, personal, and social identities established, recognized and performed? Politically? Technologically? Artistically? Globally?

Abstracts are due by 1 May 2020. The conference will be held at SUNY Brockport, Brockport, New York, 11-12 September 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) 2020 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 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 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.


Asia-Pacific EduTeach2020: Education & Technology – Challenges & Issues

Asia-Pacific EduTeach2020 is the premier forum for the presentation of new trends, advances, and research results in the fields of Education and Technology. It will bring together leading educators, software developers, scientists, researchers, school principals, education administrators, student councillors, and students of all levels from around the world. They welcome individual paper presentations, panel sessions, round table discussions, performances, short films and posters.

Abstracts are due 30 April 2020. The conference will be held at National University of Singapore, Singapore, 18-19 June 2020.

The flyer can be found here.


Southeast Asia Emerging Scholars Conference

This conference is an opportunity for postgraduates and early career researchers working on Southeast Asia-related topics to present their research in preparation for upcoming conferences. It’s also a chance for academics, practitioners and the wider community to engage with the next generation of Southeast Asia research excellence.

Abstracts are due by 10 May 2020. The conference will be held at University of Sydney, Australia, 22 June 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.

The conference will be held at National University of Singapore Society, 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 student fee is $75. The conference will be held at Universidad de Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain, 21-23 September 2020.


Textiles in Motion & Transit

History is filled with stories about and references to textiles. Beyond their practical function to provide warmth and protection, textiles play a central role in social, economic, and spiritual interactions. Due to their portability, textiles regularly move to and transit through foreign places. On these journeys, textiles sometimes lost their original values, acquired new significance, or communicated messages that were changed or distorted in their new environments. This conference explores the lives of textiles—their displacements and transformations—within the Asia-Pacific region as well as between the region and the rest of the world, seeking contributions from scholars in various disciplines including art and textile history, museology, archaeology, ethnography, anthropology, and textile conservation.

Abstracts are due by 15 February 2020. The conference will be held at University of Leiden, Leiden, Netherlands, 5-8 October 2020.



Engaging With Vietnam, ASEAN and Brunei: Mobilities and Identities in an Age of Biocultural Transformation

Many of the issues that Vietnam currently faces are shared by its fellow ASEAN partners. At the broadest level, the entire ASEAN region, like much of the rest of the world, is witnessing the ever-increasing mobility of people, goods and ideas at a time when the environment is being ever-more-intensely transformed by humans and climate change. Meanwhile, in the midst of all of these dramatic transformations people are seeking to find ways to ground themselves through their sense of identity and belonging. The concept of the ‘biocultural’ is a way to connect broader environmental questions with the everyday actions and imaginations of citizens in Vietnam and ASEAN.

Abstracts are due by 31 July 2020. The conference will be held at Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, 15-18 October 2020.


ICAS 2020: Asian Vision for Shared Prosperity

How could Asia of the 21st century be a key player in the global landscape? What are the grand dynamics that determine the accumulation and distribution of capital or wealth? How about the long-term evolution of inequality patterns and the concentration of wealth shaping the Asian Century? Will stability and peace prevail in the region to achieve the Asian dream?

The conference will be held at Ambassador Hotel Bangkok, Bangkok, 22-23 October 2020.


Escaping Kakania: Eastern European Travels in Colonial Southeast Asia

Scholarship on European representations of Southeast Asia in the colonial period largely deals with Western European colonial powers and their particular imagination, political relationships, orientalisms, and racisms. It is on this limited perspective, defined by the empires, that generalizations about “Europe,” “the West,” and “Western” views of “the East,” are usually based. Among the project’s aims is to challenge this perspective and complicate this picture by focusing on the experiences and writings of people who travelled to/in/through colonial Southeast Asia from “Eastern Europe.”

Selected participants will be invited to a workshop and provided with 3 nights' accommodation and $1,200 towards airfare. Abstracts are due 5 March 2020. The workshop will be held at National University of Singapore, 16-17 November 2020.

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