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Multidisciplinary and Collaborative Investigations in Southeast Asia: Archaeology, History, and Colonialism

Sat, April 2, 10:45am to 12:45pm, Washington State Convention Center, 6th Floor, Room 604

Session Submission Type: Organized Panel


The archaeology of Southeast Asia traces its origins to the colonial enterprise and has largely remained in the shadow of Western scholarship. This orientation has served to limit the relevance of archaeological research to the contemporary populations of Southeast Asia and restrict potential new theoretical and methodological innovations from outside of traditional Western scholarly traditions. In the last decade, however, postcolonialism and practice theory-guided investigations have provided new directions in the study of the archaeology of the region. These new directions have also given archaeologists, historians, and cultural anthropologists wider opportunities for collaboration. More importantly, these studies encourage descendant communities to work hand-in-hand with researchers. This panel brings together a wide range of researchers working on exploring Southeast Asia’s past in these new directions. The panel will emphasize collaborative research that crosses boundaries and challenges existing epistemological frameworks. These include projects that feature collaboration between archaeologists and scholars from other disciplines (such as history, cultural anthropology, or the natural sciences), between western and Southeast Asian scholars, and between archaeologists and members of descendant communities in Southeast Asia. We intend this panel to include frank discussions of the successes-and failures—of projects that cross boundaries.

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