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Registration NOW OPEN for 5th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium!

Registration for the 5th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium 2016 is now open!

The Symposium will be held Thursday 14 April 2016 to Saturday 16 April 2016 at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford, with the theme of “Human and Environmental Welfare in Southeast Asia”.

The 2016 Symposium will feature over 80 sessions and nearly 200 papers, including over 50 panels focusing on a wide variety of social, developmental, and political challenges facing Southeast Asia. For the first time this year, the Symposium also includes two specialised sub-fora: The Southeast Asia Investment Forum which aims to engage businesses with an interest in the region in issues including human rights, healthcare, and political risk; and the Southeast Asia Strategic Forum on Women, Business, and Economic Growth in Southeast Asia, which tackles gender equality.

You can also download a copy of the promotional leaflet or the sponsorship brochure.

Early Bird Registration costs £349 (corporate), £249 (academic), £149 (student/concessions) and is open till 14 January 2016. To register, please

The Symposium is organised by Project Southeast Asia, University of Oxford, and is the world’s largest annual conference on Southeast Asia. It aims to present interdisciplinary and transnational solutions to contemporary Southeast Asian issues, and to engage political, business, academic, civil society, and other leaders of society in collaborative efforts to improve the state of Southeast Asia. Together with other stakeholders, it works to define challenges, solutions and actions, always in the collaborative and collegial spirit of Southeast Asia.

Oxford to host EuroSEAS 2017

Project Southeast Asia is pleased to announce that the University of Oxford has been chosen as the host of the European Association of Southeast Asian Studies’ biennial conference. We look forward to welcoming all Southeast Asianists to Oxford!

Call for Participants: “Women, Business, and Economic Growth in Southeast Asia”

14-16 April 2015
in conjunction with the Southeast Asian Studies Symposium 2016

No nation can achieve the kind of growth that we all want and need if half the population never gets to compete. And we cannot afford any longer to exclude the energy and talent that women add to our economies.”

– Hillary Clinton, 17 November 2012, at Singapore Management University

Deadline for Responses: 4 September 2015

Download the Call for Participants in PDF format.

The barriers towards full female participation in Southeast Asia’s economic growth are manifold and complex. Gender equality is one of the most important issues facing Southeast Asia today, and impacts every single other major issue facing Southeast Asia. In recognition of this, Project Southeast Asia is addressing the issue in its inaugural Southeast Asia Strategic Forum (SSF). The SSF aims to bring together political, business, academia, and civil society leaders for dialogue and collaboration, with the aim of producing a concrete roadmap that can form the basis for action towards positive outcomes.

We invite participation from scholars from all disciplinary backgrounds that would illuminate the historical and contemporary dynamics that impacting female economic participation in Southeast Asia. This may include expertise in areas relating to the intersection of gender with business, entrepreneurism, education, law, culture, or any other related area. Themes to be addressed include:

  1. Legal parity, culture, and access to education: eg the historical context and progress made; the gap between the legal theory and practice; the rights of women – property, education, opening a bank account, gaining credit, inheritance including protection against domestic violence and exploitative pay; gender segregation.
  1. Women in leadership positions: eg the ability of women to access institutions – women on corporate boards, women in parliament, women in local governments; Improving equality in representation and policy outcomes; how to allocate talent more effectively; female leadership and traditional commercial culture; changing gender based attitudes and social bias.
  1. Building the unicorns and shaping the future: eg connectivity across Southeast Asia and with international trade, access to finance, skills, mentorship, and networking; fostering equal access to public sector procurement; single market access and international access.
  1. Moving from micro-enterprise to SME status: eg using property and chattels as collateral, building credit history, place in the global supply chain, accessing finance, skills development, technical assistance, childcare support.
  1. Transforming female exploitative economies to female empowerment: eg feminised migrant labour economies, eradicating human trafficking, going to court, addressing issues, the role of the law.

The SSF is envisioned not a singular event but a collaborative process which aims to understand an issue, set goals, create a workable roadmap, and build towards further research and development, with the ultimate goal of delivering concrete results. Participants are asked to participate from September 2015 onwards, subject to their own availability, in shaping the SSF agenda. Following the SSF in April 2016, participants will be expected to collaborate on the production of the roadmap, which is expected to lead to funded international collaborative research projects. Travel to and accommodation at the SSF will be funded for all participants, who must commit to attending the entirety of the SSF (around two days), and participating in the production of the SSF outputs.

Please email expressions of interest, including a brief summary of your expertise, to Jaime Gong <>, by 4 September 2015.

For more information, visit the Forum page.

SEA Studies Symposium 2016 – Call for Panels and Papers

Project Southeast Asia invites proposals for Panels and Papers for the 5th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium 2016. The Symposium will be held Thursday 14 April 2016 to Saturday 16 April 2016 at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford. The theme for the 2016 Symposium is “Human and Environmental Welfare in Southeast Asia”. Submissions on all topics related to Southeast Asia are welcome. The deadline for submissions is 1 October 2015.

This year, in addition to the standard session formats of Academic Panel, Roundtable, Workshop, and Cultural Event, we are excited to introduce a new type of academic structure: the Forum. The forum is a sequence of sessions with a clearly defined theme and goal. It aims to enable participants to discuss ideas, develop relationships, and formulate solutions through participating in the series of sessions. For an example, please see the State-Society Interactions in Southeast Asia Forum in 2015. The sequence can extend over multiple days and embrace a variety of session types. For example, it may begin with a keynote address, then over the next two days, open up into a roundtable, run through a series of academic panels and interactive workshops, before finishing with a final wrap-up session to consolidate and report findings and conclusions. Please send proposals to, making clear the overall aim of the forum, how each session builds upon each previous session in pursuit of the goal, the timing of the sessions, and the intended audience. We will discuss the proposal with you, and if we accept it, we will assign administrative support and some funding to support your forum.

Please visit the Call for Panels and Papers page to submit a panel or paper proposal. You can also download a one page Call for Panels and Papers Leaflet or the full Call for Panels & Papers Instructions.

See you in Oxford!

SEA Symposium 2016 – Call for Volunteers

Project Southeast Asia is seeking enthusiastic volunteers to help organise and run the 5th Annual Southeast Asian Studies Symposium at the University of Oxford, 14 – 16 April 2016.

The Southeast Asian Studies Symposium is the world’s largest annual conference on Southeast Asia. It aims to present interdisciplinary and transnational solutions to contemporary Southeast Asian issues; to provide opportunities for dialogue and networking among academic, business, political, and civil society leaders from Europe and Southeast Asia; and to provide a platform for emerging and established scholars to demonstrate their latest research on Southeast Asia.

In 2015, over 700 people took part in the 4th annual Symposium, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was opened by DYMM Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, and closed with a public lecture by Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University). [Above: Photo of the volunteers at the 4th Symposium, at Sunway University, Malaysia.]

In 2016, the 5th annual Southeast Asian Studies Symposium returns to Oxford. It will be held at the state of the art Andrew Wiles Building of the Mathematical Institute.

For more information, please visit the 2016 Symposium page (or visit the pages for the 2014 or 2015 Symposia) or email Dr PJ Thum (

An introductory meeting will be held on 19 May 2015, Tuesday, at 6 pm, at The Jam Factory (Hollybush Row, Oxford OX1 1HU). Please email Dr PJ Thum,, if you are interested in attending. Finger food and drinks will be served.

Download an information leaflet.

Why Volunteer?

  • Vision: The Symposium embodies the core vision of Project Southeast Asia: to pioneer transnational, interdisciplinary studies of Southeast Asia, in order to contribute solutions to Southeast Asia’s most pressing contemporary issues relevant to the people of Southeast Asia. The Symposium is unique. It is more than academic conference. It seeks to bring together leaders of academia, politics, business, and civil society, in order to discuss solutions and to make a difference.
  • Impact: The Southeast Asian Studies Symposium is the world’s largest annual Southeast Asian Studies conference. In 2015 it drew over 700 people, including members of royalty; politicians; over 200 of the world’s leading scholars of Southeast Asia; a wide variety of business leaders; civil society activists; and students. Speakers included DYMM Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, Prof Wang Gungwu (National University of Singapore); Prof Nick Rawlins (University of Oxford); Prof Barry Eichengreen (University of California, Berkeley); and Prof Jeffrey Sachs (Columbia University).
  • Innovation: The Symposium is entirely volunteer-run, and we welcome students and scholars of all levels who are interested in Southeast Asia. We  offer great scope for enterprising, entrepreneurial individuals to make a difference in the field of Southeast Asian Studies and to organise a major international conference. Do you have an idea for how to bring people together to make Southeast Asia a better place? We are a platform for you to make that idea a reality.

All volunteers will receive complimentary registration for the Southeast Asian Studies Symposium.

Read more

Report, Photos, and Videos online

A general report on the 4th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium is now online. Individual reports on the sessions are being uploaded. Photos are available at our facebook page. Videos of sessions are also being uploaded.

If you have any photos or video of the Symposium, please do share them with us (!

4th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium now on!

The 4th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium is now on! Follow us on Facebook (, on Twitter (@projectsea), and Instagram (@projectsoutheastasia) with hashtag ‪#‎psea2015‬.

The University of Oxford signs Statement of Intent with the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation

The University of Oxford signed a Statement of Intent with the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF) on 16 December 2014, for a range of academic and cultural project collaborations between Oxford and JCF. The agreement was signed between Oxford Pro Vice-Chancellor Nick Rawlings and Jeffrey Cheah Foundation Founding Trustee Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah.

The first such collaboration will be the 4th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium in March 2015. It will include a specially curated exhibition of artefacts from the Ashmolean Museum and Bodleian Library. The Southeast Asian Studies Symposium is the world’s largest annual Southeast Asian studies conference. You can register for it here.

Following the signing, Oxford Professor Emeritus Peter Carey delivered the Jeffrey Cheah Distinguished Speakers Series lecture on “The Uses and Abuses of History”.

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JCF is a not-for-profit foundation and Malaysia’s largest education-focused social enterprise dedicated to providing high quality education, teaching and research in Malaysia through the 12 institutions of the Sunway Education Group (SEG), and in particular Sunway University and Monash University Malaysia.

This partnership with JCF illustrates Project Southeast Asia’s commitment to building relationships, exchanges, and collaborations between Oxford and Southeast Asia, alongside its goals of promoting transnational and interdisciplinary research of Southeast Asia, and broadening access to an Oxford education for all Southeast Asians.

Registration now open for the 4th SEA Studies Symposium!

Registration is now open for the 4th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium.

Please visit our registration page to register. Registration closes on 28 February 2015.

A programme, list of panels, list of roundtables & workshops, and list of keynote speakers are also available. Please note the programme is subject to change.

This year we are also delighted to offer tours of two major research facilities in Kuala Lumpur: the Arkib Negara Malaysia (National Archives of Malaysia) and the Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia. Both tours are limited to 30 people, and are an optional add-on for any registered Symposium participant.

See you in Sunway!


One Week left to submit a proposal

There is just one week left to submit a proposal for a paper or panel at the 4th Southeast Asian Studies Symposium 2015. The Symposium will be held Friday 20 March 2015 to Sunday 22 March 2015  at Sunway University, Malaysia, in conjunction with the Asian Economic Panel conference (Monday 23 March 2015 to Tuesday 24 March 2015).

We invite proposals for panels, roundtables, workshops, and papers. The 2015 Symposium will focus on the theme of “The Year of ASEAN: Integrating Southeast Asia”, particularly in regard to the four sub-themes of the Environment and Natural Resources, Public Health, Education, and Economic Development. However, proposals focusing on any topics relating to Southeast Asia are welcome.

The deadline for submissions is 1 October 2014. Please read below or visit our Call for Panels and Papers webpage for more information.

We hope you will join us for our grand Malaysian adventure!