Southeast Asia Seminar
Each year since 1977, the Center for Southeast Asian Studies has convened the Seminar to bring together junior and senior scholars for learning and exchange in Southeast Asian area studies. Initially, the seminar ran for two weeks, offering intensive lectures that provided an overview of the nature, culture, society, economy, and other aspects of the region and the basic knowledge needed to understand the concept of area studies. Subsequently, it became more topically focused, and the period had been shortened to one week for the convenience of participants. The seminar is open to graduate students and has attracted numerous participants each year, in particular many from within the region starting their engagement with Southeast Asian studies. Since the 1990s, with the increase in similar seminars off-campus, it has attracted increasing interest by choosing relevant topics and changing the format of participation.
As the times have changed so has the seminar. Since the 33rd seminar in Kyoto, CSEAS has switched to an all-English seminar including lecturers from outside Japan. Since then, we have been holding a series of seminars in different countries in Southeast Asia, and participants have applied from all over the world. It provides a great opportunity for Japanese graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to exchange ideas with young scholars outside of Japan. The seminar has gradually shifted from a lecture-based format to a more participatory style in which lectures, field visits and group work provide the participants an opportunity to engage in multifaceted learning processes with not only the lecturers, but with local society and environments as well. The seminar now offers a unique framework for exchanges between young and upcoming scholars in the region helping to foster the next generation of researchers and expanding networks.
In 2010, the seminar was in principle shifted from Kyoto to Southeast Asia, in recognition of the Center’s deep commitment to understanding the region through intensive and sustained involvement in the field. The organizers also redesigned the seminar format to enable more discussion with the lecturers, exchanges between participants, and consider the thematic issues from the local point of view. This approach lets the Center engage more closely with its partner institutions around the region, adding a new element of education and training to the collaborations that have been developed around research activities.
Topics of the Seminar vary, but endeavor to incorporate a number of disciplinary perspectives in the annual theme – particularly the integration of ecological perspectives within social frameworks for understanding the dynamics of regional, national and local change.
Several of the previous Japan-based Seminars had already pioneered field-based models of the “mobile workshop,” which has long been a part of the Center’s research tradition. What can a group see collectively when specialists from different backgrounds come together to conduct work on a shared research area? It is the consideration of this type of problematic that the Seminar hopes to foster among the participants. In addition to the value of multidisciplinary perspectives on an area, the Seminar also aims to cultivate added value in a heightened awareness of location of participants’ own individual specialization within a broader collaborative research framework.
In November 2017, CSEAS will hold the 41st annual Southeast Asian Seminar in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The Seminar will be held over a period of four days, hosted locally by The Faculty of Economics and Business Management, National University of Laos. The title of the Seminar is “Economic Development in Laos and the Greater Mekong Region,” and will examine the dynamics of large-scale economic development activities and regional integration. Participants will engage in a combination of lectures, field visits, discussions with local experts and group work.
Past Southeast Asia Seminars
|2017||Laos||Economic Development in Laos and the Greater Mekong Region|
|2016||Myanmar||The Promise and Challenge of Democracy in 21st Century Southeast Asia|
|2015||Japan||Mapping the Aesthetics of Urban Life in Asian Cities: A Dialog with the Arts|
|2014||Cambodia||Connectivity in Southeast Asia: Multidisciplinary approaches to understanding global transformations|
|2013||Malaysia||Human-Nature Interactions in Southeast Asia: Trans-disciplinary approaches|
|2012||Philippines||Cities and Cultures in Southeast Asia|
|2011||Thailand||The Transformations of Human Landscape in Southeast Asia|
|2010||Indonesia||New Concept Building for Sustainable Humanosphere and Society from the Equatorial Zone of Southeast Asia|
|2009||Japan||“Region” and Regional Perspectives on/from Southeast Asia|
|2008||Japan||Southeast Asia: Light and Shadow|
|2007||Japan||Area Studies and Geographic Information Science: Observing, Analyzing and Relating the Time and Space of a Region|
|2006||Japan||Areas Studies in Sites of “Development”: Environment, Poverty and Practice|
|2005||Japan||Beyond Southeast Asia: The Frontier of Chinese and Overseas Chinese Studies|
|2004||Japan||Engaging with the Field, Contributing to the Field: Diverse Approaches to Area Studies|
|2003||Japan||Opening Mainland Southeast Asia: The Many Aspects of Market Economy Transformations|
|2002||Japan||Life, Ageing, Sickness and Death in Southeast Asia: Perspectives from the Field|
|2001||Japan||The Kaleidoscope of Southeast Asian History: Welcoming the 21st Century|
|2000||Japan||20th Century Southeast Asia: Trajectories and Prospects|
|1999||Japan||Area Studies and Geographic Information: Fieldwork with Remote Sensing and GIS|
|1998||Japan||The “Crisis” of the Southeast Asian Economy: Catalyst of Reform?|
|1997||Japan, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore||Southeast Asia after the Era of Borders: From Vientiane to Singapore|
|1996||Japan||The Many Forms of Rural Development|
|1995||Japan||Southeast Asia from the Perspective of Human Formation|
|1994||Japan||Southeast Asia and Human Existence|
|1993||Japan||Area Studies Methods: From the Practice of Southeast Asian Studies|
|1992||Japan||Area Studies Methods: From the Practice of Southeast Asian Studies|
|1991||Japan||Southeast Asian Perspective on Nature, Development and Culture|
|1990||Japan||Considering the Thai Economy: A View from Thailand|
|1989||Japan||Southeast Asia as Marine Region: The Foundations of the Maritime World, Formation and Development of the Maritime World, Marine Regions and the Present|
|1988||Japan, Thailand||Southeast Asia as a Frontier|
|1987||Japan||Politics and Revolution in the Southeast Asian World|
|1986||Japan||Approaches to the Southeast Asia World|
|1985||Japan||The Malay World|
|1984||Japan||Southeast Asian Economics from a North-South Perspectives|
|1983||Japan||Agriculture in Southeast Asia|
|1982||Japan||The Mainland Southeast Asian World|
|1981||Japan||Indonesia and the Archipelagic World|
|1978||Japan||Nature, Culture and Society in Southeast Asia|
|1977||Japan||Rice-Producing Southeast Asia: Myrdal’s Asia, Environment and Rice Production in Southeast Asia|