Roundtable on Men and Feminist Research in Southeast Asia

Convenor: Christopher Choong Weng Wai, University of Warwick, UK

Feminist research speaks to the pandemic and its recovery in salient ways. Feminist theories and approaches have been used for research on Southeast Asia by women and men. On the relationship between men and feminist research, the literature tends to focus more on men as a subject of research, predominantly in the burgeoning scholarship on men and masculinity (e.g., Ong and Peletz, 1995; Ford and Lyons, 2012). However, there is less discussion on men, as an actor of research, adopting feminist theories and approaches to study women and/or feminised sectors. While not focused on Southeast Asia, the recent analytical essay, Can Men Do Feminist Fieldwork and Research? by Keshab Giri, has raised some pertinent points in this direction (Giri, 2022). This roundtable draws on some of the themes raised in the paper and calls for reflections on them with regard to past, present and future research on Southeast Asia. Key questions include:

  1. What are the pitfalls and possibilities for men to be feminist researchers?
  2. What are the methodological and epistemological concerns when men adopt feminist positions to study women and/or feminised sectors?
  3. How can men navigate feminist principles of situated knowledge, self-reflexivity, and positionality and power, in researching women and/or feminised sectors?         

The roundtable starts with the chair providing a short summary of the topic. This is followed by a few selected participants providing opening comments based on their research on Southeast Asia before opening up to a moderated discussion with the audience. Participants who are interested to provide opening comments are invited to submit a short expression of interest (not more than 200 words), giving attention to regional considerations of the topic and key questions. To broaden the discussion, the roundtable also welcomes submissions from women who have reflections on the topic (e.g., drawing on co-authorship and collaborative work involving men), and men researching women and/or feminised sectors but do not identify their approaches as feminist.        

To submit an expression of interest please email by 8 July 2022