Making Southeast Asia and Beyond: Featuring Asia through Academic Discourses

Farihatul Qamariyah | CRCS | News
Making-Southeast-Asia-and-Beyond-05New work in exploring new directions in re-contextualizing and re-conceptualizing Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian Studies was the main feature of the international conference hosted by Southeast Asian Studies Program and International Studies (ASEAN – China) International Program, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand. This program was conducted in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Thammasat University Tha Phrachan center in Bangkok on 15 – 16 January 2016. It was the second event held by the center of Southeast Asian Studies, Thammasat University in collaboration with University of Gadjah Mada Research Center. The first was held on 2 – 3 May 2014 at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

As shown in its title “Making Southeast Asia and Beyond,” this conference had three important objectives. First, it was a space to encourage the exchange of views, experiences, and findings among senior scholars, young researchers and students. The second objective was to offer a platform for students to present their research and findings. The last, this event becomes the medium to promote academic and research collaboration between universities in ASEAN Community. The conference welcomed a variety of papers dealing with historical, cultural, political, social, religious, or multidisciplinary researches as the stage to share and engage issues concerning Southeast Asia.

Making-Southeast-Asia-and-Beyond-06This conference was attended by many scholars, graduate students, and researchers coming from several universities in Thailand and Indonesia. During two days, there were three seminar sessions and five panel discussions. The topics of the seminars were “New players in Southeast Asia,” “Southeast Asia and East Asia: Interconnections,” and “Indonesia and Muslim Studies: a New Perspective.” The panel discussions were focused on “Media and Business in Southeast Asia,” “Religion and Identity,” “Tourism and Management,” “Cultural Politics in Asia,” and “Memory and Modernity.”

The heart of motivation for this program could be summed up through some words delivered by the keynote speaker, Emeritus Professor Charnvit Kasetsiri from Thammasat University. In the opening session of his speech topic “From Southeast Asian Studies to ASEAN: Back to the Future?” he said that the opportunities are good for Southeast Asia and for ASEAN, but the region also needs integration –the possibility of a dream of one vision, one identity, and one community. Consequently, our efforts to reach this future, should be in line with the blueprints for political security, and all economic, and socio – cultural aspects in the ASEAN charter.

The Center of Religion and Cross – cultural Studies (CRCS), University of Gadjah Mada, was also invited to participate in this conference. Suhadi, as one of the lecturers, was a speaker in the first session of the seminar entitled “New Players in Southeast Asia” from the perspective of religious studies. Two students, Farihatul Qamariyah and Abdul Mujib from the batch 2014, presented their papers in the panel discussion on “Religion and Identity.” (Editor: Greg Vanderbilt)





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