The 36th Southeast Asia Seminar Call for Applications “Cities and Cultures in Southeast Asia”

| June 29, 2012


Cebuano Studies Center, University of San Carlos

Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
(“Southeast Asian Studies for Sustainable Humanosphere” Research Program and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Asian Core Program)

Date: 20-23 November 2012

Venue: Cebu City, Philippines

The Southeast Asia Seminar has been held annually by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University since 1976. Organized thematically around a variety of topics, the seminar offers three full days of intensive lectures by experts in the field and group discussions and presentations by the participants. This year, the Southeast Asia Seminar will be an international seminar co-sponsored by the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos. We welcome your application.

About the seminar

Southeast Asia has some of the world’s largest and most vibrant cities. Roughly 250 million people or over 40% of the population in the region live in urban areas. Mega-cities like Manila, Jakarta, and Bangkok are home to more than ten million people each, and serve as administrative and financial centers as well as migration, transportation and communication hubs. Singapore is touted as a “global city,” a status to which Kuala Lumpur also aspires. “Secondary cities” like Cebu, Chiang Mai, Penang and Surabaya have histories and cultures that are as rich as those of the national capitals from whose shadows they are emerging as part of larger, polycentric urban systems (including corridors) and networks across the region.
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This seminar looks at the social and cultural processes and practices out of which cities emerge, grow, decay, and change. Cities are concentrations of people, goods, capital, and infrastructure in space and across time, but they are also sites of power; objects of fantasies, aspirations, and “planning”; cultural, national and world “heritage”; subjects of literature, cinema, and other forms of representation; arenas of contestation, struggle, and negotiation involving individuals, groups, communities, and institutions; and base points for cultural interaction, social innovation, and economic and political transformation. The blurring of boundaries between cities and countrysides, and increasing connections and hierarchies within and between cities and between megacities and second-tier and smaller urban areas are making themselves felt in the culture, politics, and economy of Southeast Asian countries. The speakers in this seminar will address vital issues and concerns relating to the history of cities and heritage conservation, the role of communities in the making and remaking of cities, and ways in which politics and economy inform urbanization and are played out in the city. The seminar includes a one-day field trip within Cebu City.


Period: November 20 (Tues.) – 22 (Thurs.), 2012, with optional field trip on November 23 (Fri.), 2012. Participants will arrive in Cebu on November 19 and depart for their respective home countries on November 24.

Venue: Cebu City, Philippines

Program: please click here.

Participants: Applicants who want to join the seminar must have strong academic interest in the topic of this year’s seminar, and should be prepared to participate actively and join in the discussion for the full three-day seminar. We accept applications from young and up-and-coming scholars in Southeast and East Asia.

Seminar fee: Participation is free. Roundtrip airfare, accommodation, and per diem allowance for the seminar will be covered by the sponsors.

Online application form: Please fill in the online application form by clicking here. (The application deadline has passed).

Inquiries: Please send your inquiries to (Important: Please indicate “Southeast Asia Seminar” as the subject of your email; otherwise, your email may not reach us)

Application deadline: August 1, 2012

Selection: The seminar committee will select on the basis of the application forms and we will notify all applicants by the end of August.

Contact: please address all inquiries to
Caroline Hau, CSEAS Kyoto University
46 Shimoadachi, Yoshida, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan
(〒606-8501京都市左京区吉田下阿達町46 京都大学東南アジア研究所 )
Tel 81-75-753-7336
Fax 81-75-753-7350

Category: Events, Past Events