FYI: CFP, Labor in Southeast Asia

The following CFP is not an AAS or PSG project, but it came to my e-mail inbox via H-SEA and I thought it might be of interest to PSG members.  H-SEA is the Southeast Asia list of H-Net, a site that compiles various resources and opportunities for humanities and social science scholars.  –Megan Thomas, PSG Country Chair

by Ulbe Bosma

ILWCH Special Issue on “Labor in Southeast Asia”: call for abstracts

International Labor and Working Class History (ILWCH) has an international reputation for scholarly innovation and quality. It explores diverse topics from globalization and workers’ rights to class and consumption, labor movements, class identities and cultures, unions, and working-class politics. ILWCH publishes original research, review essays, conference reports from around the world, and an acclaimed scholarly controversy section. Comparative and cross-disciplinary, the journal is of interest to scholars in history, sociology, political science, labor studies, global studies, and a wide range of other fields and disciplines.

The aim of the special issue “Labor in Southeast Asia” is to present a comparative and regional perspective on the labor histories of the region. In the nineteenth century, this part of the world became integrated into the global economy as a commodity producing periphery, which shaped many common experiences.

We are specifically looking for papers that deal with (1) plantations, (2) infrastructure or (3) textiles, sectors that have played a singular role in integrating the region into the global economy. They are also sectors that have articulated the role of the state and exposed the contentious position of labor and labor activism. The nineteenth century saw rapidly expanding plantation economies with their supporting infrastructure (railroads, ports and so on). These sectors were of strategic importance to colonial rule. During the decolonization process much was expected from the states in this region to guide their nations towards industrialization. It is with this in mind that we propose the third theme of textile industries.

Papers are invited that explicitly address questions pertaining to labor movements, civil society and colonial and postcolonial authoritarianism. We welcome papers on French Indo-China, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, both by authors from the region as well as from other parts of the world. We are encouraging proposals for papers that are guided by a comparative approach and are based upon original research.

Prospective authors should send, by September 1, 2017, a brief cover letter (including address, e-mail details, and institutional affiliation), a two page CV, and an abstract not exceeding 500 words. Depending on the outcome of the editorial review of the abstracts, full manuscripts (not exceeding 8,000 words) will be invited for peer review.

The deadline for the submission of first drafts of full manuscripts will be May 31, 2018. The papers are to published in Issue 95, which is in Spring 2019.

All correspondence should be addressed to:

Ulbe Bosma, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam,


AAS 2018 CFP now open


The call for proposals is now open for the 2018 AAS meeting in Washington DC, March 22-25.  The submission deadline is August 8.*   (This message replaces my message of June 21 looking ahead to the call for proposals.  –Megan Thomas, PSG Country Chair)

–If you have an idea for a Philippine studies-themed panel and are seeking others to join, please let me know (e-mail me at and I can post an announcement here.

–If you’re interested in organizing a panel and having it be considered for Philippine Studies Group sponsorship, please plan to submit the complete proposal to me ( by July 25,* which is 2 weeks before the AAS deadline; I’ll let you know at that point when you can expect to hear whether PSG would sponsor your panel.  As always, the PSG sponsorship request is independent of the AAS submission process; endorsement of a selected panel does not guarantee acceptance by the AAS conference committee but is acknowledged as an expression of support from a community of peers. 

–You may also want to check out the “sessions seeking participants” and “participants seeking sessions” forum of the AAS conference website.  You may well have other networks too, of course, but this is one way to connect with scholars you don’t already know for the purposes of putting together a panel.

–Junior scholars: Remember the SEAC Rising Voices panel on Environmental Issues and Human Health in SEA.  Proposals are due for this panel July 1.

–As you consider how to organize yourself into a panel with others, remember that the LDC travel grant is available to help fund scholars from “late developing countries”.  See the full call for proposals for more information.  Only one LDC grant of a maximum of $2,000 is available per panel, and must be requested at the time of submitting the panel.  If you would be applying for an LDC grant, be sure to communicate this to your panel organizer and make sure both of you carefully follow the AAS’s instructions.

–Keep in mind the program committee’s criteria.  (The below text is copied from the full call for proposals.)

The Program Committee focuses on the following criteria when reviewing and scoring proposals:

     1.      Intellectual quality of the research (originality of material or interpretations, soundness of methodology, knowledge of the field, etc.).
     2.      Quality of the written abstracts, the overall panel abstract being of greatest importance (clear, jargon-free prose is especially valued).
     3.      Coherence of the papers to the overall panel topic and quality of paper abstracts.
     4.       Diversity in Gender, ethnicity, and institutional balance with a combination of junior and senior scholars.
     5.       Indication of a commitment to stimulating active discussion at panel sessions.
     6.      Attention to AAS guidelines (deadline, prohibition on more than one appearance, limits on number of presenters, etc.). 

* These dates are 5 days later than I’d indicated in my June 21 post/e-mail; the AAS bumped back their deadline, and in turn I’ve adjusted the deadline for consideration for PSG sponsorship.

Update from PSA–Pandaigdigan Kongreso sa Araling Filipinas sa Wikang FIlipno

Dr. Bernardita Churchill, of the Philippine Studies Association (PSA), kindly wrote me to update PSG membership on PSA activities since the International Conference on Philippine Studies (ICOPHIL) in Dumaguete 2016.  The PSA and the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino are co-sponsoring the Pandaigdigan Kongreso sa Araling Filipinas sa Wikang Filipino 2-4 Agosto 2017.  More information, including the program and featured speakers, is available on that site.  Also, planning for the PSA 2018 National Conference is underway, as is planning for ICOPHIL 2020 in Alicante, Spain (co-convened by Dr. Churchill and Isaac Donoso).  Thanks to Dr. Churchill for keeping Philippine Studies Group members apprised of these events and plans.  –Megan Thomas, Country Chair, PSG

(To avoid confusion: The PSA is not formally affiliated with the Association for Asian Studies or the Philippine Studies Group.  However, the Philippine Studies Group has co-sponsored PSA’s ICOPHIL, and some members are active in both organizations.  We appreciate the chance to share information on each others’ events.)

AAS-in-Asia June 24-27


Get ready for Seoul!  AAS-in-Asia is coming up June 24-27, and many PSG members will be attending and presenting.  I’ve used keyword searches to compile a list of panels with papers that appear to relate to Philippine Studies in some way: Philippines panels AAS-in-Asia 2017.  (Pls. pardon the awkward formatting–I had a tough time with this but I hope it’s at least readable.) The on-line program, which allows you to view the full panel information including panel and paper abstracts, is available here:

[No one requested additions or corrections to the version I sent June 10, so that remains the latest version.]

It promises to be a great meeting!

–Megan Thomas, PSG Country Chair