Conferences Accepting Submissions

2021 International Conference on Material Culture
School of Arts – Sunway University, Malaysia

Proposal Deadline: April 20, 2021
Conference Dates: October 20-21, 2021

ICMC focuses on Asian and Southeast Asian material culture. The main objective of ICMC is to serve as a platform for researchers and scholars from the academia, along with creators and artists from the industry, to share their research ideas and creations revolving around Asian and Southeast Asian material culture, as well as to form alliances towards developing and exploring new knowledges and creative approaches that will benefit mankind and humanity, and more generally contribute to our “planet health.”

The conference this year is themed: “Things in Daily Life, Life of Things in the East. Past and Present” and aims to provide a better understanding of past and present societies through objects that are no longer used or whose “life” is endangered by new modern lifestyles. We also aim to reconstruct the vision and perception of time through the use of objects, that is: routines; the idea of rapid or progressive obsolescence; phenomena such as “ageing” or travelling things; the different life cycles from the making to the “death” of objects (manufacturing, use/reuse, meaning in society, destruction etc.); the crystallisation of some objects in the memory of some individuals through emotions and feelings.

We invite researchers to explore the following themes:

1. Utilitarian Objects
2. Moving Objects
3. Playful Objects
4. Objects Through Time(s)

For the full announcement and submission guidelines, click here.

Southeast Asian Literatures and the Anthropocene
4th ASLE-ASEAN Ecocritical Workshop

Abstract Deadline: April 30, 2021
Workshop Dates: August 23-24, 2021

Organized by the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment – Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASLE-ASEAN) and the Department of English, Universiti Putra Malaysia. See the workshop website for more details.

2021 International Burma Studies Conference
Northern Illinois University

Abstract Deadline: April 30, 2021
Conference Dates: September 16-19, 2021

The Center for Burma Studies (CBS) announces its call for papers for the 2021 International Burma Studies Conference, which will be held Sept. 16–19 either on campus at NIU or virtually (stay tuned to the conference website for future announcements). The theme of the conference, which was postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, is “Burmavision 2021: Political Crisis, Social Resilience, and Cultural Vibrance in Myanmar.” CBS and the Burma Studies Foundation Board of Trustees and the Burma Studies Group invite papers or multi-media presentations on all aspects of Burma/Myanmar studies. For more information and to submit an abstract, click here.

Interrogating the Notion of “Cult” as a Social Formation in Asian Religions
National University of Singapore

Abstract Deadline: April 30, 2021
Conference Dates: October 21-22, 2021

In popular culture the word ‘cult’ is usually used in a derogatory sense to denote an exclusive and secretive new religious movement (Galanter 1999; Schaler 2015). However, the terms ‘cult’, ‘temple cult’ and ‘deity cult’ have an entirely different usage in religious studies, referring to popular followings of temples, deities, gurus, teachings or practices which are not necessarily secretive and often enter into mainstream religious practice. Studies of these types of cults range in historical period and geographic location and come from multiple disciplinary traditions: not only religious studies, but also anthropology, sociology, history, Asian studies and literary studies. Whether referring to the 16th century development of Confucian cults (Murray 2009), the role of obscure Bengali cults in contributing to religious literature (Dasgupta 1946), arguing for the centrality of ancestral cults in Chinese society (Ahern 1973), describing the spread of the cult of Guangze Zunwang from China to Southeast Asia (Tat 2009), or the current rise in village guardian cults in Northern Vietnam (Hung 2016), these studies each identify one unit of analysis as the “cult”.

However, are each of these conceptualizations of ‘cult’ referring to the same social-cultural configuration? What, in fact, is a temple/deity cult in the context of Asian religious traditions? And how does membership in a temple/deity cult contribute to people’s sense of self and sense of belonging in the world?

This workshop will bring together a diverse group of scholars who are at the forefront of researching temple/deity cults in Asia, both historic and contemporary, in order to theorize this prominent form of socio-religious grouping. For more information and to submit an abstract, click here.

Cultural Heritage, Digitalisation and Urban Diversity in Asia
Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore

Abstract Deadline: May 15, 2021
Conference Dates: September 23-24, 2021

In recent years, many Asian cities have invested in the digitalisation of cultural heritage, by developing virtual museum galleries, digitally enhanced experiences such as augmented reality or virtual reality, as well as participatory digital archiving platforms. In the context of the Covid-19 crisis, new kinds of digital experiences such as live-streamed performances and virtual city tours have become more widely available and gained enhanced popularity. These innovations are widely lauded for their potential to rejuvenate heritage, reach out to young publics, foster participation and interaction. But the implications of digitally enhanced heritage for urban diversity have been little explored. Does the digitalisation of cultural heritage enable broader participation, intercultural exchange, and the preservation urban diversity? Or does it generate new patterns of cultural fragmentation and contribute to the homogenization of culture? For the full announcement and to submit an abstract, click here.

2021 EuroSEAS Conference

Abstract Deadline: May 15, 2021
Conference Dates: September 7-10, 2021

The European Association for Southeast Asian Studies (EuroSEAS) invites scholars with an interest in Southeast Asia to present a paper in one of the selected panels at their next conference, hosted by Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. See the website for the list of accepted panels.

Asian Lives/Asian Studies in the Post Pandemic Era
2021 New York Conference on Asian Studies and SUNY – Brockport

Abstract Deadline: June 15, 2021
Conference Dates: October 1-2, 2021

This conference is dedicated to looking forward to post-pandemic life as well as examining the impact of pandemic life – both subtle and profound, positive and negative- on Asian lives and the field of Asian Studies. How did the pandemic impact Asian lives? In what ways did the pandemic change the trajectory of Asian lives and Asian Studies and how should we respond? What factors influenced the field in the past year and how will that affect behavior and research going forward? For more information and to submit an abstract, click here.

COVID-19 in Asia: Communication, Nationalism and Technology

Abstract Deadline: 30 August 2021
Conference Dates: October 6-8, 2021 in Bangkok, Thailand

COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic in March 2020, following the first infections detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. Since then, the number of infected cases and death rates have increased exponentially. Governments have introduced emergency and temporary laws, placed their citizens and residents within their jurisdictions under lockdowns, implemented stay-at-home orders, enforced social distancing and closed their borders. The COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to interrupting global and national economic activities and halting cross-border movements, has exposed the weakness of global health monitoring systems and put pressure on national public health infrastructures.

In this environment, the difficulties in tackling disinformation and misinformation – including about the virus and responses to it –  have been compounded by the inordinate amount of online communication. Contact tracing, digital identification technology and surveillance have led to concerns about privacy. The pandemic has also generated inward-looking nationalism as countries, including big powers, increasingly look within for independent sustainability.  ‘Vaccine nationalism’ has reared its ugly head as countries race to demonstrate their technological prowess by being the first to develop one, to manage the resulting intellectual property rights and to acquire enough stocks for their own populations.  It has fostered unprecedented online interactions leading to changes in ways of working, business transactions and spurred innovations in the digital space.

By late 2020, countries were experiencing second or third waves of infection and deaths as resumption of some business activity and relaxing of border restrictions became necessary to revive faltering economies. As the COVID-19 pandemic lives on into 2021 and beyond, it is important to understand its impacts – economic, political, social – upon national and international society. In particular, if the pandemic has contributed to accelerating us towards the 5th industrial revolution and its likely impact on politics and society. This conference, taking place one year after the start of the pandemic, seeks to identify these impacts and to search for practical solutions to challenges, which include shrinking democratic space and regression in rights in Asia.


The impact of the pandemic on the following areas will be examined:

  • Online disinformation, fake news and hate speech during the pandemic;
  • Contract tracing, digital identity recognition, surveillance and privacy;
  • Digital, health and media literacy;
  • Nationalism, multilateral collaboration and geopolitical shifts;
  • Impact on democracy and rights;
  • Digital platforms, remote communications, online services;
  • AI, data analytics, machine learning;
  • Any other relevant themes

Click here for more information.

Upcoming Conferences

A Conversation on the Plantationocene
Cornell University

Conference Dates: April 15-16

Click here for more information.

500 Years of Global Navigation and (Anti)Conquest
Mactan500 Virtual Conference

Conference Dates: April 23-24, 2021

Click here for the full announcement.

NYSEAN Public Universities Consortium 2021 Conference

Conference Dates: April 26-29, 2021

Click here for more information.

Scripts in Asia: c. 1500-2000
The Asian Center, University of the Philippines – Diliman

Conference Dates: April 27-28, 2021

Click here for more information.

Northeast Asian Countries’ Soft Power in Southeast and South Asia
University of Hongkong

Conference Date: May 1, 2021

 For more information, email Mr. Trevor Wan at and visit the university website here.

“Making and Unmaking Southeast Asian Spaces”
Annual SEASGRAD Conference

Conference Date: May 14, 2021

Click here for more information. Or contact 

InterAsia Water(s) Graduate Student Conference
Yale InterAsia Initiative

Conference Dates: May 28-29, 2021

For more information, click here.

1st International Virtual Conference on the Teaching of Filipino as a Second Language
University of Hawai’i at Hilo and University of Santo Tomas

Conference Dates: June 17-19, 2021

To register for the conference, click here. For inquiries, please email the Conference Secretariat at

Indonesian Studies: Paradigms and New Frontiers
2021 AIFIS-MSU Conference on Indonesian Studies

Co-organized by
 The American Institute for Indonesian Studies & Michigan State University
Conference Dates: June 23 – 26, 2021

Click here for more information.

“Rethinking Southeast Asia in World Politics”
16th International Conference Lodz East Asia Meeting

University of Lodz, Poland

Conference Dates: June 24-25, 2021

For the full announcement, click here.

UK Association for Buddhist Studies Conference
“Word, Image, Object, Performance”

Conference Dates: July 1-2, 2021

Hosted by the University of Edinburgh. Click here for more information.

“From Social Regulation to Social Movements – Alter-political Engagements across Southeast Asia”
2021 ALTERSEA Conference

Conference Dates: July 7-9, 2021

Click here for more information.

Reconceptualizing the Cold War: On-the-ground Experiences in Asia
2021 National University of Singapore Workshop

Workshop Dates: July 29-30, 2021

See the full announcement here.

2021 Chulalongkorn Asian Heritage Forum

Conference Dates: August 19-20, 2021 in Bangkok Thailand

Click here for more information.

“Ub-Ufok: Explorations on Philippine Folklore”
UH – Manoa Center for Philippine Studies 2021 Conference

Conference Dates: September 16-17, 2021 

Click here for more information.

“People, Power, Politics, Pandemics & Other Perils in Southeast Asia”
Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies Conference 2021

University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Conference Dates: October 21-24, 2021

Click here for more information.

Religion in Southeast Asia Unit, American Academy of Religion
2021 Annual Meeting

Meeting Dates: November 20-23, 2021

For more information, click here.

“Thailand at a Global Turning Point”
14th International Conference on Thai Studies

Conference Dates: December 10-12, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan

Click here for more information.

2022 Modern Language Association Conference

Conference Dates: January 6-9, 2022

Call for papers for two sessions sponsored by the MLA’s Southeast Asia and Southeast Asia Diasporic forum, and the MLA’s Asian American Literature and Southeast Asia and Southeast Asia Diasporic Forums. For the full announcements, please email

Big Data & Social Media in Southeast Asia
How do social media, big data, and/or online platforms reformat geography and power within, through, and beyond SE Asia’s subregions and borders? 300-word abstract and 1-page CV by 10 March to and

Alden Sajor Marte-Wood, Rice U ( ) Ben Vu Tran, Vanderbilt U ( )

Archipelagic Thinking in Asian American and Southeast Asian Literature
How might archipelagic thinking connect Asian American and Southeast Asian literary-cultural studies, especially regarding migration, globalization/transnationalism, the environment, settler colonialism, radical friction, aesthetics? 300-word abstract and 1-page CV by 10 March to and

Weihsin Gui, U of California, Riverside ( ) Harrod Suarez, Oberlin C ( )