Judith Nagata and Penny Van Esterik to be honoured at CCSEAS Conference

York Centre for Asian Research (YCAR) faculty associates and Emeriti Professors of Anthropology, Judith Nagata and Penny Van Esterik, will be honoured at the 33rd Biennial Canadian Council for Southeast Asian Studies (CCSEAS) conference to be held on 26 to 28 October 2017 at York.

The panels honouring Professors Nagata and Van Esterik will take place on 27 October at 11:00 am and 3:15 pm respectively in Room 0001 Victor Phillip Dahdaleh Building (Keele campus).

The CCSEAS is a national association that brings together scholars, students, policy makers and activists with an interest in Southeast Asia and its connections to the rest of the world. Both Professor Nagata and Professor Van Esterik are active and long-standing members of the CCSEAS and stalwarts of Southeast Asian studies in Canada.

“Their distinguished careers and research contributions have been the cornerstone of the Southeast Asian studies community at York and in Canada more broadly,” said Abidin Kusno, CCSEAS President and YCAR Director.

This year, the CCSEAS conference committee has organized special panels with former students and colleagues of Professors Nagata and Van Esterik in honour of their contributions to the field. The panels will focus on the impact of their research and engage with the contemporary relevance of their work.

Professor Nagata will be recognized for her work on regional and transnational religious ethnic identity politics. Her extensive fieldwork based research in Malaysia and Indonesia has contributed an understanding of religion that pushes the boundaries of how we categorize and study religion. Currently, she is following trends in humanistic Buddhism in Taiwan, Southeast Asia and Canada. Professor Nagata has also been a key figure in shaping how CCSEAS has evolved over the years and has been the lead organizer of many CCSEAS initiatives.

Professor Van Esterik, a feminist anthropologist and one of the world’s leading breastfeeding activists, will be honoured for her research that emphasizes the importance of nurturing others. She began her career with a focus on Southeast Asian studies as a result of the increasing demand for knowledge about Southeast Asia during the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Professor Van Esterik’s work spans material culture production, medical anthropology and food and nutrition studies through empirical cases from Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR.

The featured panels honouring Professors Nagata and Van Esterik’s highlight this year’s conference theme, “People In and Out of Place,” which emphasizes Southeast Asia’s regional dynamic as the crossroads of different peoples, histories, cultures, and politics.

The theme will also be on display through multiple interdisciplinary panels, a special opening address by Ricardo D. Trimillos (University of Hawai’i), and a keynote address by Goh Beng Lan (National University Singapore).

Trimillos’s address, Places and Spaces for Dancing and Musicking Filipinicity: Imagining Barangay, Crew, Ethnie, and Nation, explores the historical performance of Filipino identity in the Philippines and in the diaspora. Goh Beng Lan’s (National University of Singapore) keynote, Silent Resistance in Malaysia: Changing Mindsets as New Radical Politics, will examine the impact of Islamization on the future of radical politics in Malaysia.

Conference organizers said that they are looking forward to hosting international scholars, dignitaries, and community members over three days at York for an enriching interdisciplinary conversation on pertinent matters in Southeast Asian studies.

The CCSEAS conference is open to the public. For more information visit https://ccseas.ca/

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