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June 06, 2013

State Policy and the Cultural Politics of Heritage-Making in East and Southeast Asia

CFP State Policy and the Cultural Politics of Heritage-Making in East and Southeast Asia, Singapore - Deadline: 15 July 2013
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IIAS - together with ISEAS and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
(NUS) - organizes a conference on cultural politics and heritage-making in East and Southeast Asia. We cordially invite you to discuss with us the role of the state and its international extensions (like UNESCO, Asian Development Bank, World Bank) in determining which cultural attributes are considered "legitimate" in the articulation, preservation and promotion of "heritage". We are looking forward to receive your paper proposal before 15 July 2013.

** State Policy and the Cultural Politics of Heritage-Making in East and Southeast Asia Deadline **

Application deadline: 15 July 2013.
Conference dates: 16 - 17 January 2014
Venue: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
Keynote speaker: Michael Herzfeld (Harvard University)
Organizers: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore
International Institute for Asian Studies

Conveners:
Dr Hui Yew-Foong, Senior Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Dr Daniel Goh, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore
Dr Philippe Peycam, Director, International Institute for Asian Studies

The conference:
Heritage, though suggestive of an immanent sense of that which is
inherited, is not given. What is construed and articulated as heritage
is embedded in a cultural politics where different actors jostle to
determine which inherited objects, sites and practices are to be valued above others and represented as markers of identities. Very often, the actors involved in this process of heritage-making include the state, civil society and international organizations. The relationship between them can swing from constructive engagement and negotiation to contestation, though in most situations the state and social elites attached to it have the final say.

While we recognize that the making of "heritage" is embedded in
multi-vocality and the power of definition does not reside with the
state alone, the state and its international extensions, such as the
UNESCO, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and other inter-state agencies, remain key actors in the articulation, preservation and promotion of "heritage". This conference will focus on the multifaceted role of the state in determining which cultural attributes are considered "legitimate".

The relation of the state to heritage is thus an ambivalent and critical one. On the one hand, in being embroiled in the politics of representing the nation, the state is readily projected as guardian of the "official" narrative of the nation. Indeed, the preservation, curation, governance and promotion of heritage are largely dependent on the resources and legitimacy of the state. On the other hand, the state, in having to allocate space and resources to different developmental needs, may be inclined to subject heritage to an ideological system of values such as the current neoliberal sway in favor of the "market", with the corollary of creating a murky boundary between what is "public" and what is "private". Furthermore, heritage is itself a contested thing-in-the-making within the state. We do not see the state as a unitary actor, but as a set of institutions providing arenas for competing claims, into which non-state local and international actors enter to articulate and lobby their interests.

The multiple arenas of the state, where policies related to the
governance of heritage are debated, formulated, legislated and enforced, need therefore to be subjected to critical examination. For instance, what is the legal framework governing the preservation of heritage? How does the state bureaucracy(ies) frame and administer heritage sites -- material and immaterial (e.g. language policy)? Do governments have a penchant for privileging material heritage to the detriment of the socio-cultural life revolving around sites, leading to their gentrification and therefore social exclusion? Conversely, what is the meaning of the recent focus by numerous Asian states on "intangible" heritage (e.g. food, dance, etc.)? On a related front, while tourism contributes to the commercial sustainability of heritage, how does it augment its meaning in the national landscape as sanctioned by the state? In other words, we need to scrutinize state policies on heritage and ask if they are framed in a sustainable and socially accountable way. We also need to investigate the different modalities of state-centered politics that complicate policy framing and execution over time, as heritage itself evolves in the nexus of the competing claims of state and non-state actors, locally and internationally.

With these issues in mind, we invite papers looking into the following
themes:
- Neoliberalism, the state and heritage
- Heritage and representing the nation
- Heritage governance: legal framework and administration
- Policies and sustainability
- Tourism and heritage sites
- Memory and identity in vernacular landscapes
- Politics of language
- Heritage diplomacy

Papers can engage or compare the more general discursive contexts of
nation-states in East and Southeast Asia, or focus on the heritage
politics of major cities in these regions.

Requirements:
Paper proposals should include a title, name of author, institutional
affiliation, email address, an abstract (250 words) and a brief personal biography (150 words). The proposal should be submitted by 15 July 2013 to Dr Hui Yew-Foong (yfhui@iseas.edu.sg).
Successful applicants will be notified by 15 August 2013 and will be
required to send in a completed draft paper (5000 - 8000 words) by 15
December 2013.

Accommodations:
Accommodations will be provided for all participants. For participants
traveling from Asia, economy class airfare will be provided.
Participants traveling from beyond Asia may receive partial funding for air travel.

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Thomas Voorter
Communication Coordinator
International Institute for Asian Studies
+31-71-5272917 | www.iias.nl

Posted by katemw at June 6, 2013 10:14 AM

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