Call for Papers: The Instrumentalisation of Cultural Heritage in Southeast Asia (ASEASUK Conference 2016)

Proposals are invited for the following panel, which has been accepted for the Association of Southeast Asian Studies in the United Kingdom (ASEASUK) Conference 2016.

Date: 16-18 September 2016
Venue: School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, United Kingdom. More details on the Website.

Panel: The Instrumentalisation of Cultural Heritage in Southeast Asia

This panel seek to explore how culture and cultural heritage is being instrumentalised by different actors for different agendas and purposes, in different socio-political contexts, in Southeast Asia. It seeks to understand how cultural heritage is deployed in different circumstances, how it is essentalised by different actors in particular socio-economic contexts, and the different impacts of this instrumentalisation.

Cultural heritage is a loaded and ambiguous term, broadly defined as the perception of the past in the present, it is shaped by power relations and embroiled in wider political struggles concerning identity, ethnicity, self-determination, representation and resource access. Due to its nebulous character, culture and heritage may be mobilised strategically by different groups for different purposes. While international agencies and national governments have drawn on the positive roles that culture and cultural heritage play in development, little research has been conducted to substantiate these claims or to examine alternative appropriations and articulations of heritage by subnational groups.

Abstract Submission

Abstracts (up to 200 words) can be sent to by 18 March 2016 (Friday). Abstracts should also include a title, the author's name and affiliation, as well as contact details (including email address). Successful applicants will be notified by 1 April 2016 (Friday).

All enquiries should be directed to


Ms Yunci Cai
PhD Candidate in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies UCL Institute of Archaeology


Professor Paul Basu
Professor of Anthropology
School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS)


Yujie Zhu