Conferences in Academic Year 2016/17

The department will be hosting a number of conferences in the forthcoming year. The conferences come from all three sections of the department and reflect engagements both with Southeast Asian scholarship and with broader communities of scholars.

Global in the Local: Ecocriticism in South-east Asia
1-2 August 2016

The department will be holding the first Southeast Asian ecocritical conference on 1 and 2 August, 2016. Entitled “Global in the Local: Ecocriticism in South-east Asia”, the conference aims to bring together the community of ecocritics and scholars of environmental humanities from several countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The forum will provide a platform for multiple perspectives necessary for the ongoing interactions between humans and non-humans, through the critical analysis of literature, art, film, music and popular culture, both local and global.

Most notably, at the Inaugural ceremony of the conference, the International Association for the Study of Literature and Environment will launch a Southeast Asian chapter, namely, ASLE-ASEAN. The founding president of ASLE International, Prof. Scott Slovic will be present at the launch. For more details on the conference and the launch of ASLE-ASEAN, please visit the conference website,

Popular Culture, Religion, and the Anthropocene
4-5 August 2016

Now that the effects of the Industrial Revolution are widely believed to have caused a rapid form of climate change that will have disastrous effects on plant, animal, and human life, the gifts of modern technology strike some as a Faustian bargain. Marvelous capacities gained over the last several centuries threaten the future of many species and may well multiply the scale of problems that we can barely cope with at present. The term “anthropocene” is used with increasing frequency in scientific literature, and it has gained wide purchase within the popular imagination.

How do we cope? Looking at museum shows, films, and literature as reflections of our yearnings and strategies, “Popular Culture, Religion, and the Anthropocene” will examine relationships between this daunting challenge and the religious imagination. What do we think will happen? How does the fear of a looming environmental disaster relate to millenarian hopes and dreams? Is religion seen primarily as a strategy of avoidance, or one of engagement? At what point does the benevolent wish to offer hope tilt into a form of denial? This workshop brings together experts in environmental humanities and religious studies to examine the nature of these interactions.

Presenting Cultural Specificity in Digital Collections
12-14 August 2016

Digital records of artistic practices (recordings, prints, motion capture data, and 3-D models) enable people around the world to access information about a wide array of artistic practices that originate in different cultural contexts. Through online archives, collections and scholarly editions, an increasing number of people are able to explore records of artistic practices not readily available through other means. This is important for teaching, preserving and studying a variety of culture-specific artistic practices that are often under-represented in international scholarship. This workshop aims to produce a reflexive overview of the key mechanisms through which the makers of digital collections introduce general audiences to the cultural specificity of their collections. A possible concept that can encompass these mechanisms is 'hermeneutic algorithms', which include things as diverse as audiovisual introductions, critical commentaries, interactive visualizations, navigational frameworks and tool-tip displays. In this workshop, leading researchers in the area of digital archiving are invited to consider the question: what kinds of contextual materials are required in digital collections and what are the best technical tools to communicate these contextual materials?

GLOW-in-Asia XI
20-22 February 2017

The 11th Meeting of GLOW-in-Asia will take place for the first time in Southeast Asia at the National University of Singapore. GLOW-in-Asia has contributed significantly to the advancement of theoretical linguistic research in Asia and has now developed into one of the most prestigious conferences in the field. Past conferences have invited many influential figures in theoretical linguistics, including Prof. Noam Chomsky, Prof. Richard Kayne, Prof. James Huang and Prof. Mamoru Saito, among others. The program will feature three invited talks, alongside 18 talks and 30 posters, which will be chosen on the basis of a public call and double-blind peer-review of abstracts submitted. The confirmed list of invited speakers are:

• Dr. Edith Aldridge, University of Washington, Seattle (invited speaker for syntax)
Specialist in the syntax of Austronesian languages such as Tagalog, East Asian linguistics

• Dr. Rajesh Bhatt, University of Massachusetts, Amherst (invited speaker for semantics)
Specialist in syntax, semantics, syntax-semantics interface, Indo-Aryan languages

• Dr. Timothy Vance, National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (invited speaker for phonology/phonetics)
Specialist in Japanese linguistics, sequential voicing, phonology, phonetics, pedagogy

For more details on the conference, calls for paper, and other information, please visit the conference website: below: