Stranger Parallels: Foreignness in Southeast Asian Arts
2nd Annual Southeast Asian Studies Symposium at University of Oxford, 9-10 March 2013
Before colonial domination over the region now known as Southeast Asia, there has already been artistic intermingling between the locals and the Arabic, Chinese, Indian merchants and explorers. Since then, Southeast Asia as the causeway between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea has been posited as a strategic region for American and European expansions in both the industrial and digital eras. While historical and ethnographical narratives by the trespassers have burgeoned, in situ perceptions by the natives have remained lacklustre. From the perspective of culture and the arts, this panel aims to reconsider Victor Liebermann’s otherwise-Eurocentric historiography of the region as an erstwhile disparate assemblage of polities resistant to cultural integration.
Situated within the current politics of decolonisation, this panel is interested in how the foreign has interwoven themselves into the aesthetic discourses of both mainland and maritime Southeast Asia. How did the Chinese, the Indian and the Arabic shape the arts when they first arrive? How have various aspects of the arts changed as a result of the incoming of the farang, the bule and the angmo? How does that which is foreign figure in the literary, performing and visual arts? How have foreigners and/or foreign elements become involved in the arts of the last millennia?
Papers of 20-minutes are welcome from all academics and postgraduates. Please send the title of your paper and an abstract of 250 words to the convenor Jun Zubillaga-Pow by Friday 14 December 2012.