From Southeast Asia to Europe: Tracing the Roots and Routes of Transpacific Radicalism


Single Panel

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Session 3
Wed 13:30–15:00 Room 1.401


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Since the 19th century, Southeast Asian nationalists from Jose Rizal to Ho Chi Minh traversed national and colonial boundaries and crossed oceans in pursuit of what Benedict Anderson calls as educational and political “pilgrimages.” In Europe and America, they found kindred spirits and allies for intellectual enlightenment and political solidarity, and these relationships helped shape nationalist and independence movements in Southeast Asia.

In the 20th century, Southeast Asian activists and radicals continued this tradition. Many enlisted in the Spanish Civil War, studied in Russia, organized labor unions in the United States, forged alliances with international radical organizations to raise funds and support causes back home. This panel looks at the roots and nature of such movements—these circuits of transpacific and transoceanic radicalism—and to trace the routes Southeast Asian radicals took to support revolutionary causes at home and abroad.