Call for Papers: The Rights of Women and LGBTQ People in Southeast Asia

The Southeast Asia Council (SEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is seeking paper proposals from up-and-coming scholars – including graduate students – to join a “Rising Voices” panel on the topic of “The Rights of Women and LGBTQ People in Southeast Asia” (See below for eligibility). We seek to recruit early career scholars from Southeast Asian countries to form a panel for inclusion in the 2023 Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, March 16-19, 2023. SEAC will provide partial financial assistance for presenters to attend the meetings. In addition to receiving financial support from the AAS/SEAC, this year’s Rising Voices Panel also has financial support provided by TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia.

Panel Topic Description 

The prolonged pandemic, democratic declines, and/or returns to authoritarian rule have adversely affected the rights of many ordinary people in Southeast Asia. In particular, the bodies of women and LGBTQ people have become key battlegrounds for state boundaries, religious and cultural values, national identity, and morality. This panel will examine the rights of women and LGBTQ persons in Southeast Asia who face systemic discrimination and often violence from a wide range of perspectives, including history, politics, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, geography, and/or economics. Panelists may choose to discuss either the rights of women or LGBTQ  persons or both. Panelists may study the topic within a given Southeast Asian country/countries or across the region in Southeast Asia. 

Some questions the panel may consider include: 

  1. Why and how has a state (or states) controlled the bodies of women and LGBTQ persons? 
  2. To what extent have political and economic changes in Southeast Asia (e.g., rise of authoritarian regimes, adoption of neoliberal policies) affected the conditions of the rights of women and LGBTQ persons?
  3. Are there identifiable regional trends or comparative patterns across nation-states affecting the rights of women and LGBTQ persons in Southeast Asia? 
  4. What have women and LGBTQ persons done to advance their rights in Southeast Asia in the face of rising antifeminism and political homophobia? In what way have they been successful? In what ways have they fallen short of their goals? 
  5. How have civil society organizations responded to the deteriorating rights situation of women and LGBTQ persons? Have they been successful or not? In what ways are they successful? In what ways have they fallen short of their goals? 

Eligibility and Selection Criteria 

We seek papers by Southeast Asian scholars who are early career scholars, or “rising voices.” Rising voices are defined here as advanced graduate students (currently writing dissertations based on original field or archival research) or untenured faculty members (including tenure-track assistant professors, adjuncts, and lecturers, or the approximate equivalent based on the academic tradition from which the scholar is coming). Applicants may be currently enrolled as students in, or employed by, any institution of higher education in the world. However, preference may be given to students or faculty currently based at underfunded institutions in Late Developing Countries (LDC) in Southeast Asia. (Please note that the definition of LDC used by the AAS excludes the following Asian countries: Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of China (Taiwan), Republic of Korea (South Korea), and Singapore). In addition to the stated goal of supporting rising voices from Southeast Asia, the primary criteria for selection will be the quality of the paper proposals as well as the way selected proposals work together as a viable panel. 

The panel is intended to be a Southeast Asia-focused panel. Submissions that do not substantively address issues pertaining to the region will not be considered. 

To submit a paper proposal, please submit the following, in the order listed below, all in a single Microsoft Word file or PDF document, by July 15, 2022: 

  1. Applicant’s Name, affiliation, and contact information, clearly indicating applicant’s current country of residence.
  2. Paper abstract. 250 words in the format of the standard AAS paper proposal. 
  3. Brief bio-sketch of 200-300 words describing current and recent scholarly positions, a brief sentence or two about current research, and any significant publications. The model for this should be the standard blurb one sees on a faculty or graduate student website. 
  4. Current curriculum vitae

Please save the file with the following filename convention: RisingVoices2022_ApplicantsFamilyName.doc

Completed applications should be sent to the attention of Dr. Eunsook Jung and Dr. Christina Schwenkel to the following address: by the July 15, 2022 deadline. Late submissions will not be considered.