SEAC Rising Voices panel “The Politics of Protest” CFP deadline July 15

If you or someone you know is an early career scholar from Southeast Asia working on the social movements, please read the below CFP for the the Southeast Asia Council’s Rising Voices panel.  Applications are due July 15!  I apologize for the extremely short notice; this is my mistake.  –Megan (Megan Thomas, PSG Country Chair,


Call for Papers: Politics of Protest: Social Movements that Transformed Southeast Asia

Rising Voices in Southeast Asian Studies – A SEAC / AAS Initiative

Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference 2021 (AAS2021 @ Seattle)

Submission deadline: July 15, 2020

Proposal format: See below for details

The Southeast Asia Council (SEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is seeking paper proposals from up-and-coming scholars to join a “Rising Voices” panel on the topic of “Politics of Protest: Social Movements that Transformed Southeast Asia.” We seek to recruit early career scholars from Southeast Asian countries to form a panel for inclusion in the 2021 Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, to be held in Seattle, Washington from March 25-28, 2021. SEAC will provide partial financial assistance for presenters to attend the meetings.

Panel Topic Description

Mass protests are a striking demonstration of popular agency and political will, offering an important avenue for critical exploration in Southeast Asian studies. In the ongoing quest for local autonomy in historical narrative, the aim has been to break away from colonial and Cold War sensibilities—recognizing Southeast Asia as a region of sovereign nations engaged in complex relations both with one another and the wider world. Studies focused on local forms of politics and social practice have made a significant contribution to the field. Yet, their emphasis on regional autonomy has not fully addressed the problem. For local political leaders and state policy in Southeast Asia are all too often driven by extrinsic forces, not least those of global capital and neoliberal development. It is here that the study of protests and social movements may be crucial for our understanding of the myriad voices and forms of agency that shape social, cultural and political life in the region—and how they have transformed through the post-colonial and post-Cold War periods.

Every nation in Southeast Asia has experienced a variety of social movements and mass protests in the period following the Second World War. Many among them, if not all, continue to be influenced and transformed by these movements and protests to the present day. The importance of social movements is perhaps most keenly felt in times like the present, in 2020 – the year of the Coronavirus pandemic – when most countries have been in some form of lockdown, and government agencies have been rendered vulnerable and/or ineffective for a significant part of the year.

This panel is intended to re-examine social movements in Southeast Asia from a wide range of perspectives. Despite the panel title, politics is not the only desirable angle for ‘Rising Voices 2021.’ Investigations into the history, culture, arts, emotions, gender, and environment of social movements are also encouraged. The historical timeframe is flexible so to include all movements in the 20th century up to the present day. Though this is a SEAC initiative, transnational perspectives are also most welcome. So, social movements that cross regional boundaries to interact with neighboring regions of Southeast Asia – and beyond – would also be considered for the panel.

Some questions the panel may consider include:

  1. What are the characteristics of mass protest and social movement in Southeast Asia? Is there a regional – or more locally particular – culture of protest?
  2. What have been the primary demands made through these protests and movements? What vision of ‘the people’ is articulated through them? And how do their respective articulations relate across linguistic, national and other boundaries.
  3. How do the region’s geographical settings, political histories and varied cultures help to shape mass protests and social movements?
  4. How have mass protests and social movements influenced democratization (or lack thereof) in Southeast Asia? To what uses have these protests and movements been put? And with what consequences, both intended and otherwise?
  5. How has the historical narrative of mass protests and social movements in Southeast Asia transformed since the dawn of the 20th century to the present day?
  6. How have mass protests and social movements themselves changed through time (e.g., in terms of ideology, networks, technology)?

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

We seek papers by Southeast Asian scholars who are early career scholars, or “rising voices.” Rising voices are defined here as advanced graduate students (currently writing dissertations based on original field or archival research) or untenured faculty members (including tenure-track assistant professors, adjuncts, and lecturers, or the approximate equivalent based on the academic tradition from which the scholar is coming). Applicants may be currently enrolled as students in, or employed by, any institution of higher education in the world. However, preference may be given to students or faculty currently based at underfunded institutions in Late Developing Countries (LDC) in Southeast Asia. (Please note that the definition of LDC used by the AAS excludes the following Asian countries: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of Korea (South Korea), and Singapore). In addition to the stated goal of supporting rising voices from Southeast Asia, the primary criteria for selection will be the quality of the paper proposals as well as the way selected proposals work together as a viable panel.

  1. The panel is intended to be a Southeast Asia-focused panel. Submissions that have nothing related to this region will not be considered.
  2. To submit a paper proposal, please submit the following, in the order listed below, all in a single Microsoft Word file or PDF document, by July 15, 2020:
    1. Applicant’s Name, affiliation, and contact information, clearly indicating applicant’s country of birth and current country of residence.
    2. Paper abstract. 250 words in the format of the standard AAS paper proposal.
    3. Brief bio-sketch of 200-300 words describing current and recent scholarly positions, a brief sentence or two about current research, and any significant publications. The model for this should be the standard blurb one sees on a faculty or graduate student website.
    4. Current curriculum vitae.
    5. Please save the file with the following filename convention: RisingVoices2021_ApplicantsFamilyName.doc

Completed applications should be sent to the attention of Dr. Wasana Wongsurawat and Dr. Richard Fox to the following address:  by the 15 July 2020 deadline.  Late submissions will not be considered.

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