22 April 2006

2006 international conference on religious festivals in s.e. asia

In celebration of its commencement, the academic program Southeast Asian Text, Ritual, and Performance (SEATRiP) of the University of California, Riverside will organize a conference entitled, “Religious Festival in Contemporary Southeast Asia,” on February 16-18, 2007 in Riverside.
The conference will explore festivals as embodied narratives in which the connections between religion and nationalism, globality and locality, tourism and politics are drawn, urgent issues that invite careful unfoldings in Southeast Asian Studies today.
Our ideas for this conference are steered by two complementary assumptions. Firstly, religious festivals are pivotal events in the life of a local community, no matter how heterogeneous itself. Secondly, in spite of its differences, Southeast Asia is tied together by certain commonalities, and a discussion of religious festivals could make a substantial contribution to determining these commonalities.

In order to make the conference lively and focused—to be commemorated by the publication of a volume of interconnected essays—participants are invited to address some of the following issues and questions:

· Religious festivals are concentrated moments of communality and expressions of a community’s faith. However they are also a means of empowering political and economic networks. What is the nature of the intersection of the sacred and the secular in religious festivals celebrated in Southeast Asia today?

· Increasingly inherent to religious festivals are the concerns of the tourist industry: religious festivals are actively employed for tourist consumption. In this process of touristification, issues of authenticity, locality, and heritage have become more prominent, but also more problematic.

· Religious festivals often foreground narratives of various sorts, which are stories
of origins and beginnings. Performative activities such as dancing, singing, chanting, procession, and theatrical presentations, i.e the central elements in every festival, are embodiments of these narratives, evoking those very beginnings in a continuous cycle. How do these embodiments occur?

· Religious festivals are extraordinary occasions in which, among many other things, gender is played out and displayed in public. How are festivals gendered in contemporary Southeast Asia?

· Festivals are by nature repetitive, and repetitions are by definition a process of similarities and differentiations. A discussion of any festival necessarily implies articulation and a distinct interest in shifts and changes over time.

Kindly email your title and abstract (not to exceed 2 pages, double spaced), no later than 15 July 2006 to:

Dr. Patrick Alcedo
Program for Southeast Asian Studies
Department of Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521
patrick.alcedo@ucr.edu

If you have additional questions and concerns, please do not hesitate to contact him.

Conference Organizers and Editors
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Patrick Alcedo, PhD (UC Riverside)
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Hendrik M.J. Maier, PhD (Leiden)
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Sally Ann Ness, PhD (Washington)

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Francis Paolo said...

Thanks ng marami Sir Wendell. I'll be sure to tell them your greetings.

-Francis Paolo Quina

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