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Possession and Persuasion--Cornell Southeast Asia Program’s 20th Annual Southeast Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference

Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 9:30am

Kahin Center
640 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA

Possession and Persuasion conjure a range of images and concepts, from cultural performance, to the control and mobility of objects, bodies, and spaces, to modes of coercion, influence, and authority. The terms also evoke possibilities of resistance and transformation. How are entanglements of subjectivity and materiality at work across Southeast Asia? How have possessions and persuasions, broadly imagined, organized studies of Southeast Asia, and to what futures do they beckon?


9 March: Day 1

4:00 PM          Registration

4:30 PM          Opening Remarks, Prof. Abby Cohn, Juan Fernandez

Keynote Lecture, “Possession and Persuasion in/by the Field”

Prof. Chiara Formichi, Department of Asian Studies


6:00 PM          Reception


10 March: Day 2

8:30 AM          Breakfast

9:00 AM          Panel 1: Boundaries of Desire

“Borderland zin lum: affect and activism in Kachinland,”

Emily Hong, Cornell University

“Trouble in 'Gay Paradise': The exclusion of women's sexuality and denial of lesbian subjecthood in Thai history,”

Emily Donald, University of Queensland

“Fantasy of “Colonial Violence”: Japanese Settlers in a Philippine Frontier in the First Half of the Twentieth Century” 

Eri Kitada, Rutgers University

Discussant: Prof. Tamara Loos, Department of History


10:30 AM        Break


10:45 AM        Panel 2: (Re)Production

“No Pigs for the Ancestors: Kinship Travels to the East Timor Highlands,”

Prash Naidu, University of Michigan

“Messy Development: Adaptation strategies and foodways of low-income residents in rapidly urbanizing Hanoi,”

Aaron Vansintjan, University of London

“Conflicting Rights: The Problem with Commercial Surrogacy Legislation in Southeast Asia,”

Trisha Maharaj, Columbia University

“Possessions and Dispossession of Biocultural Memory: Karen Human-Plant Movement and the Persuasion/Coercions of Exile and Return,”

Terese V. Gagnon, Syracuse University

Discussant: Prof. Marina Welker, Department of Anthropology


12:45 PM        Lunch


1:45 PM          Panel 3: Inhabiting Heritage

“Dispossessions and Repossessions of Space and Memory in Kampong Glam, Singapore's Malay Heritage District,”

Alisha Elizabeth Cherian, Stanford University

“Architecture, Nationalism, and Internationalism in Indonesia, 1959-1965,”

Robin Hartanto Honggare, Columbia University

“Contemporary art in post-socialist Laos,”

Anna Koshcheeva, Lasalle College of the Arts Singapore

Discussant: Emiko Stock, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology


3:15 PM          Break


3:30 PM          Panel 4: Tangled Lines

“The Line of Kings: Institutional Change and the Royal Succession of Ayutthaya,”

John SF Smith, University of Michigan

“The Indonesian Jazz Archive: Canonization, Curation, and Identity,”

Otto Stuparitz, University of California Los Angeles

“’Khmer has no grammar rules:’ metapragmatic commentary and linguistic anxiety in Cambodia,”

Cheryl Yin, University of Michigan

“Conjuring Atmospherics: Buddhist Temporalities and Post-Cold War Affect in Southeast Asian Film and Video Art,”

Chairat Polmuk, Cornell University

Discussant: Prof. Kaja McGowan, Department of the History of Art


5:30 PM          Dinner


11 March: Day 3

9:30 AM          Breakfast

10:00 AM        Panel 5: Conflict and Cohesion

Slavinnen, Fanfù, & Njai: Female Servitude and Concubinage in Late 18th Century Batavia,”

Lezhi Wang, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Tlawmngaihna: Self-Proclaimed Prophets, Moral Vigilantes, and Extra Judiciary Inmates Turned Selfless Volunteers,”

Mariangela Mihai Jordan, Cornell University

‘Urang Awak’: Scales of Differentiation in Minangkabau Interaction,”

Moniek J. van Rheenen, University of Michigan

Discussant: Prof. Magnus Fiskesjö, Department of Anthropology


11:30 PM        Closing Remarks, Mary Kate Long


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