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SEA Studies Symposium 2016 – Call for Panels and Papers

“Human and Environmental Welfare in Southeast Asia”

14 – 16 April 2016
at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford

Project Southeast Asia invites proposals for Panels and Papers for the 5th Annual Southeast Asian Studies Symposium at the University of Oxford, 14 – 16 April 2016.

You will find detailed instructions for submissions, and more detailed information about the conference below. If you have any questions, please email

Download a one page Call for Panels and Papers Leaflet or the full Call for Panels & Papers Instructions.

Please read the following carefully for more information:


Themes of the Symposium

The theme of the 2016 Southeast Asian Studies Symposium is “Human and Environmental Welfare in Southeast Asia”. While panels and workshops on this theme will be particularly welcomed, the Symposium will also accept panels and papers on any topic relating to Southeast Asia.

Aims of the Symposium

Project Southeast Asia has three aims:

  • To present solutions for contemporary Southeast Asian issues by bringing together the brightest minds from all fields and disciplines, and from around the world. Its core goal is to promote the integration of the humanities and social sciences with science, medicine, and business in order to create solutions which are effective, viable, and appropriate to culture and geography.
  • To build networks and relationships between current and future decision-makers in Europe and Southeast Asia, as well as connections among academia, government, civil society/NGOs, and business. Integral to the Symposium will be opportunities for Southeast Asian and European politicians, corporate leaders, academics, and NGOs to interact and build relationships.
  • To promote the research of the most talented scholars of Southeast Asia and offer a platform for young academics to present their work.

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Proposal Selection Criteria

Panels focusing on any topics relating to Southeast Asia are welcome. In particular, panels which focus on one or more of the following are highly encouraged:

a) Contemporary Southeast Asian issues, in particular relating to (but not limited to) the theme above;
b) Transnational Southeast Asian studies;
c) Interdisciplinary approaches and collaborations;
d) Methodological issues relating to Southeast Asian studies.

Multi-disciplinary and/or multi-institutional representation is strongly encouraged for all proposals. Young and emerging scholars are particularly encouraged to advance panel proposals.

The Organising Committee also supports innovative formats that will encourage effective communication, lively dialogue, and audience involvement. Some examples of novel formats:

  • Panellists are invited to post the full text of their papers online prior to the panel, and are allocated three minutes during the panel itself to summarise their arguments. This is followed by presentations by discussants, and then questions from the audience.
  • Commentators begin by summarising and commenting on papers. Paper authors then reply to these comments.
  • Knowledgeable members of the audience are encouraged to prepare comments of their own, with focused audience commentary early in the discussion.
  • A single major paper, film, or book launching is the subject of attention on which other papers and all commentary are focused.
  • Panels based on a clash of perspectives, interpretations, or methodologies.

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Proposal Guidelines

1. The Symposium is primarily a panel-based conference, and Fora, Academic Paper Panels, Roundtables, Cultural Events, and Workshops will be given preference in the review process over Individual Paper proposal submissions.

2. Session length: Each session will last a minimum of 90 minutes. Double session panel proposals may be submitted, but each session requires a separate proposal which will be reviewed on its own merits; acceptance and/or sequential scheduling cannot be guaranteed. For an idea of the timing of sessions, please see the programme for the 2015 Symposium.

3. This year, we 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.

4. There are four session types:

a. Academic Paper Panels: Academic paper panels should consist of a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of four (4) paper presenters, and a chair and/or a discussant. Proposals should include panel and paper titles as well as an abstract of not more than 250 words describing both the overall panel and each paper.

b. Roundtables should have a minimum of three (3) and a maximum five (5) discussants and one (1) chair. The goal of the roundtable is to foster a lively and informed discussion on a single issue from diverse viewpoints, especially practitioner and other non-academic views, with a maximum of audience participation – think along the lines of BBC’s “Question Time”. Proposals should include the roundtable title, an abstract of not more than 400 words detailing the roundtable discussion, and a description of how each panellist will contribute to the discussion.

c. Workshops are a more interactive format with a practical focus. They will bring together government, academic, business, and civil society  leaders in a discussion centred on a specific issue that aims to produce concrete policy recommendations. Interactions from the audience are also highly encouraged. Proposals should list one (1) chair, one (1) rapporteur, a minimum of three (3) leaders from at least two of the above categories, a 250 word outline of the issue to be addressed, and a list of questions or an agenda to guide discussion.

Preference will be given to workshops which a) draw together a wider range of expertise from different fields and nationalities; and b) address a clearly defined, tightly focused issue. The rapporteur must submit a report that includes policy recommendations for governments and other interested parties, by 15 June 2016, to Project Southeast Asia. The report will be included in any Symposium report, downloadable from the website, and distributed to Symposium participants and other interested parties.

d. Cultural events encompass a wide range of artistic and cultural endeavour. They may take place as part of the regular session programme or be held outside the scheduled sessions. Proposals should include description of not more than 400 words which describes the form and timings of the event as well as the resources and/or equipment required. Examples include: documentary screenings, art installations, dance performances. These may incorporate academic discussions as well. For example, please see the documentaries screened at the 2015 Symposium.

5. Individual papers should include an abstract of not more than 250 words. Please keep in mind that the Symposium is primarily a panel-based conference, and panels will be given preference in the review process over individual paper proposal submissions. Our experience from previous Symposia (as well as participant feedback) has also demonstrated that accepting individual papers produces highly unpredictable results. Thus our acceptance rate for individual papers is low as it depends on our being able to fit your paper into a panel. We may be forced turn down a good paper just because we can’t find anywhere to fit it in. Acceptance rates for panels are significantly higher and we urge you to organise a panel in order to maximise your chances of acceptance.

If you are looking for a panel to join or for people to join your panel, we suggest you list yourself at our linkage page or our facebook page.

Please note: Individuals may present on one (1) panel session of each type only; they may, however, serve as Chairs or Discussants of an unlimited number of other panels. Organisers are not considered ‘participants’ and therefore may organise more than one panel session.

6. Proposals must be complete at time of submission. Minor changes to the title or abstract, or replacement participants are allowed but additional participants and adding co-authors are not allowed after the panel has been accepted. The Organising Committee reserves the right to reject panels if the final panel composition differs substantially from the original proposal. Final details of all panels must be confirmed by 15 December 2015.

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Timeline for Proposals

1 July 2015: Call for Panels and Papers opens.

1 October 2015: Call for Panels and Papers closes. ALL proposals, including Fora, Academic Paper Panels, Roundtables, Workshops, Cultural Events, and Individual Papers, must be submitted by the 1 October 2015 deadline.

15 October 2015: Panel organisers notified of selection outcome.

15 November 2015: Registration for the Symposium opens.

15 December 2015: Final details of all sessions are due.

15 January 2016: Early registration period for the Symposium ends; regular registration continues

16 March 2016: Registration for the Symposium closes.

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Travel Grants and Registration Fee Waivers

There is very limited funding available for travel grants and registration fee waivers. Funding is limited to participants in accepted panels. The submission, confirmation, and registration dates are designed to allow participants sufficient time to apply for grants from other sources.

Eligibility for travel grants is limited to a) Southeast Asian nationals; b) students; c) participants travelling from outside Europe. Travel grants are partial grants and will not cover the full cost of travel. For the 2016 Symposium, the amount of each travel grant will be limited to no more than 80% of a return airplane ticket and capped at approximately £250 to £300. Applicants are encouraged to apply for grants from other sources.

Registration fee waivers will be considered on an exceptional case-by-case basis for those in genuine financial need. Proof of financial circumstances will be requested. This category does not include students or retirees/OAPs who qualify for the concessionary registration rate.

Participants must be nominated by their panel organiser to qualify for a travel grant or registration fee waiver. Each panel organiser may only nominate ONE (1) member of their panel for a travel grant or registration fee waiver. In order to apply for travel funding or a registration fee waiver, panel organisers must FIRST submit a complete proposal application and receive a confirmation email by 1 October 2015. A travel grant or registration fee waiver request maybe then be submitted AFTER proposal submission by writing to Panel organisers should specify if the applicants meet any of the preference criteria stated above. All nominations for travel grants or registration fee waivers must be received by 1 October 2015. Successful applicants will be notified by 15 October 2015.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Deadline for proposal submission

2. One-Appearance Rule

3. Proposal Submission & Acceptance

4. Travel Grants

5. Registration for Participants

6. Miscellany


When is the deadline for submitting a proposal for the 2016 Southeast Asian Studies Symposium?

The proposal submission deadline is 1 October 2015.

Can I participate on more than one panel?

Individuals may present on only one panel at the conference. You may act as Chair/Discussant on multiple panels and organise multiple panels.

Can I serve as a Chair/Discussant on one panel and present a paper on another panel?

Yes, provided you only present on one panel, you can act as Chair/Discussant for other panels.

Can I serve as Chair/Discussant and present a paper on the SAME panel?

Yes, you may serve multiple roles within one panel. For example, an individual may serve as Chair and Discussant, or Chair and Paper Presenter on the SAME panel.

I am an organiser of a panel. Can I present a paper on another panel?

Yes, there is no limit to the number of panels an individual can organise. Organisers may participate in the role of Chair, Presenter or Discussant on a separate panel from the original Organised Panel, but may present on only one panel.

We have submitted a “two-part”/”back-to-back” panel. Does the one appearance rule apply here considering this really is the same panel but scheduled in two parts?

The committee will treat a “two-part”/”back-to-back” panel as two separate panels. The acceptance of both proposed panels essentially takes a slot from another panel that, for example, may not have been accepted due to space constraints. Therefore in the effort of fairness, “two-part” or “back to back” panels cannot contain the same individuals from the related panel.

Why is the Symposium Organising Committee so strict regarding the one appearance rule?

The Organising Committee would like to give as many individuals the opportunity to participate each year. Limiting the number of appearances assists us in accomplishing this goal. Additionally, the Organising Committee has the challenge of balancing and scheduling dozens of panels. The one appearance rule also helps us to minimise scheduling conflicts.

I am an organiser of a panel. May I make changes to the panel abstract after I have submitted the proposal?

Yes, organisers are allowed to make changes to the panel proposal after submission anytime before the 1 October 2015 submission deadline. Please email to make changes. No changes to the abstract are permitted after 15 December 2015.

Do I need to submit my full paper?

The Organising Committee does not require or accept full papers for the Symposium. We do not publish, print, or sell papers. However, the abstracts from upcoming panel sessions and those from previous Symposia are posted on our website.

How/when will I be notified if my proposal has been accepted?

The Organising Committee will meet and send out notifications in early October via e-mail.

My proposal has been accepted. What happens next?

All individuals whose proposals have been accepted by the Organising Committee for inclusion in the conference are now considered participants. All participants will receive an information pack regarding their participation and next steps, including registration information and full panel information.

May I make changes to my panel once it has been accepted by the Organising Committee?

The Organising Committee will only accept the following changes to panels after acceptance: 1) personal address and affiliation information, 2) panel/paper title and minor abstract edits and updates, 3) replacement names for participants who have withdrawn from the panel. We will not accept NEW and additional names to be added to the panel, including new co-author names that were not on the original submission. All changes must be sent to the Organising Committee directly

Does the Symposium Organising Committee offer travel grants and how do I apply?

In order to apply for travel funding, you must FIRST submit your complete proposal application and receive a confirmation email. AFTER submitting your proposal, you may then submit a travel grant request by writing to Only students who are Southeast Asian nationals and travelling from outside Europe are eligible for travel grants.

When is the deadline for submitting a travel grant request?

All travel grant requests must be received by the 1 October 2015 deadline. A grant request should be submitted by the panel organiser following the proposal submission. Organisers will receive a separate email confirmation of the grant request submission.

When is the registration deadline for participants?

In order to qualify for the discounted participant registration fee, participants must register by 15 January 2016. After this date, participants may still register online before 16 March 2016, but they will have to pay the standard registration fee. Please note that all participants must register by 16 March 2016.

Why must all participants register in advance? Can a participant register on the day of the Symposium itself?

It is unfair to both presenters and other registered delegates to attend panels with only one or two presenters. Therefore, if presenters fail to register in advance, we will assume they are not coming. This will give us time to reschedule papers to ensure that all panels have at least three papers. Thus, we must insist that all participants register by 16 March 2016.

Does the Symposium provide audio-visual equipment?

All session rooms will have a LCD projector and screen. Microphones will be provided for larger rooms and for roundtable discussions.

It is the responsibility of panel participants to bring their own laptop computers (and in the case of Apple laptops, a VGA adapter to connect with the projector cord) and/or arrange and pay for additional equipment and services needed. The Symposium Organising Committee regrets it cannot assist in these preparations.

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How to Submit a Proposal

Submissions will be accepted in English only.

Please read all the information above before submitting a proposal.

Once your proposal is submitted, the Organising Committee will review the proposal and then email you a confirmation. This may take up to seven (7) days, so please submit your proposals early. For assistance, please contact

The Symposium will also offer alternative opportunities outside formal panel sessions. These include rooms for group meetings/discussions/project debates and an area for the display of posters or exhibitions. All suggestions are welcome. Please email if you are interested in any of the above.

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