New Area Studies and Southeast Asia


Round Table

Time & Location

Session 8
Thu 15:30–17:00 Fritz-Reuter-Saal


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This round table looks at Southeast Asian Studies in the light of the upsurge of New Area Studies. The relevance and future of Area Studies have over the last few years been the object of much theoretical discussion – among others within the framework of a special Area Studies funding line of the German federal ministry of education and other programs elsewhere. From these discussions, a range of publications has emerged, which try to set the agenda for the near future. In Berlin, we have started to outline our idea of New Area Studies. We consider it essential that the international scholarly community of Southeast Asian Studies, while being assembled in Berlin, is informed about these developments and has a chance to critically reflect upon the most pertinent issues.

The round table discussion brings together staff members in Southeast Asian Studies from German universities with colleagues from international institutions, who have all actively contributed to the debate on New Area Studies. Topics to be addressed are the relationship between Area Studies and the disciplines, new institutional formats of Area Studies, the role of the ‘local’ and the ‘transregional’ in Area Studies research, as well as the effects a growing politicization of academic life has on Area Studies.