The 44th Southeast Asia Seminar (Webinar)

The Covid-19 Pandemic in Japanese and Southeast Asian Perspective
Histories, States, Markets, Societies

Call for Applications

Deadline: December 1, 2020

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The 44th Southeast Asia Seminar (Webinar)

The Covid-19 Pandemic in Japanese and Southeast Asian Perspective
Histories, States, Markets, Societies

Via Zoom Webinar
March 1, 2021, 9 : 00 to 17 : 30
March 2, 2021, 9 : 00 to 12 : 30

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The 44th Southeast Asia Seminar

“The Covid-19 Pandemic in Japanese and Southeast Asian Perspective: Histories, States, Markets, Societies”

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University, welcomes applications from advanced graduate students (advanced masteral students with fields of specialization relating to the seminar topic, along with All-But-Dissertation PhD. candidates) and early-career scholars (who received their PhDs within the last ten years) to participate in the 44th Southeast Asia Seminar on “The Covid-19 Pandemic in Japanese and Southeast Asian Perspective: Histories, States, Markets, Societies,” which will be held at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University on March 1 and 2, 2021. Deadline for application is December 1, 2020 (JST).

Please note that this year’s seminar will be conducted online (via Zoom Webinar) on March 1, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m (Japan Standard Time/GMT+9:00), and from March 2, 2021, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m (JST). For more information on CSEAS Kyoto University’s long history of convening annual Southeast Asia Seminars, see

Application requirements: Participants must submit their application online by filling out an online form (see below) that includes a statement of research background and interests (maximum 450 words, explaining how their research background and interests relate to the Southeast Asia Seminar topic; please note that the statement will be circulated among the core seminar participants) and one writing or publication sample (the topic of which need not be directly related to the Covid-19 pandemic).

To fill out the online application form and upload a writing/publication sample, click here.
Application deadline: December 1, 2020 (24:00 JST).

Participation requirements: The format is a hybrid of lecture and seminar sessions. Participants chosen to attend the seminar are expected to read a set of assigned readings before the seminar and actively take part in the first-day sessions as discussants. Participants will also be expected to give short presentations on the second day of the seminar.

For information on eligibility and application procedures, see here.

For inquiries, please e-mail <seaseminar44[at]>. Please use “SEA Seminar” as the subject heading of your e-mail; otherwise, we may not receive your email.

Online Application

DEADLINE: December 1, 2020

Please click below to apply.


The 44th Southeast Asia Seminar

“The Covid-19 Pandemic in Japanese and Southeast Asian Perspective:
Histories, States, Markets, Societies”

As of October 28, 2020, according to the World Health Organization, there are nearly 43.77 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 infections and more than 1.16 million deaths worldwide. On January 13, 2020, the first recorded case outside China was confirmed in Thailand. By January 30, the World Health Organization’s situation report indicated that more than half of the first eighteen countries that had confirmed cases were from the closely connected Asia-Pacific region, including China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Australia (Taiwan, which registered its first case on January 21, was excluded because it was not a member of the WHO).

Since then, the countries in this region have had varying degrees of success in adopting variegated policies and other responses to the pandemic and its devastating effects on people’s lives and livelihoods. Mortality rates from Covid-19 are highest in the Philippines (6.61 deaths per 100,000 population, as of October 28, 2020; updated statistics here) and Indonesia (5.05), and lowest in Thailand (0.08) and Vietnam (0.04). Japan, despite not undertaking large-scale PCR testing and imposing tight lockdown, has a lower-than-average mortality rate (1.36) among developed countries. This suggests a heterogeneity of thinking, policies, practices, and behavior on the part of states, markets, and societies as they cope with, find ways of surviving and living with, the coronavirus.

The Covid-19 pandemic provides a touchstone as well as a window from which to view, analyze, and understand the evolving dynamics that are (re)shaping the histories, politics, economies, landscapes, ecologies, cultures, and daily life of this region. How have Japanese and Southeast Asian states, markets, and societies responded to the pandemic crisis? What constraints and opportunities for transformative change does the pandemic afford? What would a post-Covid-19 Japan and Southeast Asia look like?

The 44th Southeast Asia Seminar seeks to provide grounds for reflection and comparison by presenting a selection of “case studies” through which prominent experts based in the region adopt a variety of perspectives—historical, epidemiological, political, economic, and socio-cultural—to critically examine the connectivity, impact, and implications of the pandemic, the challenges and lessons it poses, and the policy, market, and quotidian responses adopted by different actors in and across nations and regions.





email: seaseminar44[at]




Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Am I eligible to apply?

A1. If you are an advanced graduate student (either an advanced masteral student with a field of specialization relating to the seminar topic, or an All-But-Dissertation PhD. candidate working on a topic relevant to the seminar) or an early-career scholar (who received your PhD within the last ten years), you are eligible to apply. If you are neither an advanced graduate student nor an early-career scholar, you may still be eligible to attend the lectures and seminar sessions on the first day; please refer to Q3 below.

Q2. When can applicants expect to receive results?

A2. An email will be sent only to successful applicants by December 20, 2020.
* Please note that we are unable to answer any questions relating to the process of selection.
* The personal information provided in the submitted documents will be used solely for this recruitment, and not for any other purpose.

Q3. I can only attend some sessions of the seminar. Am I eligible to apply?

A3. Participants are expected to attend all sessions of the seminar, which will be held on March 1, 2021, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (JST, GMT+9:00), and from March 2, 2021, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (JST). Those who are interested to “sit-in” on the live-streamed lectures and seminars can register to attend only the first day of the seminar. A separate Call for Registration will be issued on January 15, 2021.

Q4. My research field is not directly relevant to the topic of the seminar. Am I eligible to apply?

A4. Yes, you are. However, you will need to explain in your online application how the seminar topic relates to your research background and interests.

Q5. I have attended one of the previous Southeast Asia Seminars. Am I eligible to apply?

A5. Yes, you can apply.

Q6. When can I receive the set of assigned readings?

A6. The readings, which will be in Word or PDF form, will be sent to you by the end of January, 2021. You must read all the assigned readings before the seminar.

Q7. What kind of presentation am I expected to make on the second day?

A7. In addition to being assigned to serve as a discussant for the first-day sessions, you are expected, on the second day of the seminar, to give five-minute presentations reflecting on your takeaways from the seminar (i.e., how the insights, issues, and questions raised in the course of the seminar generate more questions and how these can inform or refine your own research agenda). Your statement of research interests and background, submitted online during the application period, will be circulated among the other participants of the seminar beforehand.

Q8. I don’t have a Google account. Can I apply via e-mail or post, instead of via online application form?

A8. The online application system is the only method you can use to apply for the seminar. If you have any special circumstances that require a different method of application, please contact us at <seaseminar44[at]>