New Intimacies in Southeast Asia: Mediating Affective Relations between People, Places and Things

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Panel

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Abstract

This panel starts from the observation that in many parts of the world and in Southeast Asia in particular intimacies and forms of mediation are closely linked. People use various kinds of media – old and new, social or mass media, and often a mix of them – to relate to each other in an intimate way. Think here of ongoing communication between members of diasporic families, seekers of digitally facilitated romantic and/or sexual encounters and, in the realm of religion, online followers of particular preachers. However, the panel does not only focus on interpersonal intimacies as such but also attempts to explore intimate relations that people develop – in and through mediations – with places and things, which leads the panel to consider phenomena ranging from highly valued online gifts and halal speed dating to the commodification of Sufi symbols and the intimacy of haunted houses. The panel is thus also interested in research on affective ways of belonging and identification and how they become newly mediated today. Moreover, it seeks to trace Southeast Asian encounters, sites and materialities where the intimate – often due to mediation – unexpectedly emerges.