• Presentation

Roundtable on Reshaping Southeast Asian Studies

Report of: 


Monday, 3 November 2014 to Tuesday, 4 November 2014


Lyons Institute of East Asian Studies (IAO-CNRS)
15 Parvis René Descartes

IIAS-Mellon Foundation workshop "Communities in Between: Redefining Social Spaces in Southeast Asian Borderlands“

What are the challenges?

  • East and South Asian vectors of globalization seem to enhance the need for understanding the sources of investment, ideas, and people from Japan, China, India
  • But globalization of Southeast Asia seems to reduce need for Southeast Asian studies…
  • … because the assumption is that globalization changes SEAsia rather than that SEAsia changes the world

Area studies and states

  • ”Area studies” are geographically bounded…
  • … just like nation-states
  • Ulrich Beck: replace methodological nationalism (and individualism) with methodological cosmopolitanism in globalizing world
  • We must question naturalization of nations, states, areas/regions by problematizing borders and boundaries…
  • … even as states operate as vehicles and contexts for markets and globalization

Possible lines of discussion

  • Borderlands have usually been depicted as spaces of despair (compulsion); when and how did such spaces become spaces  of hope (opportunity), and how do hope and despair articulate?
  • Is the ”agrarian transition” happening now different in scale or in nature from previous transformations?
  • What are the effects of ”centering the margins” on the (state-market-knowledge) centers themselves?
  • What are the roles of intermediary ethnic and religious categories in bridging borders, classes?