A Brief DeBrief: Reflections on ASEAS (UK)’s 2022 Conference

Between September 8th and 10th, we were  pleased to welcome scholars from sixteen countries* to our Annual Conference. Hosted online due to the unpredictability of the pandemic situation in the UK, as well as an awareness of the barriers in person conferences can sometimes cause, the conference featured a broad series of panels, workshops and roundtables.

As well as making our UK-based conference more accessible, the event was also an opportunity for early career researchers to develop their presentation skills and benefit from a range of networking opportunities. 

Opening on the Thursday with a workshop on getting published by ASEAS Executive Committee member Dr Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitz, the conference was formally launched soon after with a keynote by Professor Jonathan Rigg (University of Bristol). Professor Rigg emphasised the importance of moving outside of our own disciplines in order to approach an understanding of Southeast Asia. The first day closed with a publishing workshop led by Dorothea Schaefter, Routledge Senior Editor of Central Asian Studies, South Asian Studies and Southeast Asian Studies.

The next few days saw scholars from across the world present on a range of topics, from the Indo-Pacific tilt, to the role of men in feminist research; as well as race and right wing politics; postcoloniality; and Southeast Asian Institutions. Outside of the main events we hosted workshops on the Research Excellence Framework, blogging & podcasting, digital impact and ECR networking.

We closed things off with a second keynote by Dr Maitrii Aung-Thwin (National University of Singapore), who talked about moving towards a more public Southeast Asian Studies.

The conference brought scholars from around the world into conversation, hopefully forging connections that will last beyond these brief virtual encounters. The ASEAS Executive Committee would like to thank those who helped make this event possible, both presenters and participants, and we look forward to seeing familiar and new faces at our next conference.

* Australia, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, the UK and the USA

Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash