CALL FOR PAPERS
Performing Arts and the Royal Courts of Southeast Asia
12-13 July 2018
Sunway University, Malaysia
This symposium brings together current scholarship on past and present roles of Southeast Asia’s
royal courts in regional performing arts.
Royal courts have long been sites for the creation, exchange, maintenance, and development of
myriad forms of performing arts, literature, and other distinctive cultural expressions.
Performing arts have been included among royal regalia of numerous kingdoms. They have
figured prominently in traditional displays of dominion. In many cases, they were transferred
between courts through marriage, conquest, diplomatic exchanges, trade, and tributary relations.
Within the kingdoms themselves, the performing arts have circulated between royal courts and the
public, providing vibrant mediums for civic discourse, education, and articulations of spirituality
and shared identity. Today, many of them occupy iconic positions within the popular imagination
as national heritage and classical archetypes.
As such, their legacies have important stories to tell about the region’s history, as well as the roles,
protocols, functions, and perceptions of monarchies in the present. This symposium addresses
three distinct, but related areas of discussion:
● How have court-to-court relations shaped the development of Southeast Asia’s performing arts?
● What do the performing arts tell us about power relations between past polities?
● How have palace-village exchanges contributed to developments, refinements, and standardized
practices in the performing arts?
● How do the performing arts reflect the institutions, ideologies, and constitutions of power
produced under state sponsorship?
● What roles do courts or court legacies play in the production and development of performing arts
in the twenty-first century?
● How have performing arts figured in the transformations of Southeast Asia’s hereditary polities
into modern states?
● How have recent generations of royal-court descendants transformed their patronage of the arts as
politicians, activists and entrepreneurs?
Abstract and Publication Details
Submission deadline: 15 January 2018
Abstract length: 250 words, along with a short biographical note (100 words or less)
Send to: PARC.SEA@gmail.com
—Please allow one month for notification from the program committee
We call for abstracts from scholars in Southeast Asian performing arts with fresh perspectives
germane to the abovementioned areas, who might draw from a range of topics including, but not
limited to, issues of origin and myth, genealogy, stylistic developments, repertoires and genres,
tools and instruments, ritual practices, proscriptions, and cultural preservation. We especially
welcome a variety of methodological approaches from a broad array of disciplines such as
heritage and history studies, manuscript studies, comparative studies, gender studies, religious
studies, ethnography, oral history, or hermeneutical studies.
Symposium papers should be 20 minutes in length. Additional time will be allotted for discussion.
Participants will be expected to contribute an expanded version of their symposium presentation
(of at least 8,000 words) as a chapter within a published anthology to be co-edited by the
conveners. The first draft of the publication manuscript will be due within three months of the
The committee will provide all selected speakers with airport transfer (between Kuala Lumpur
International Airport and the symposium site/hotel), and cover accommodation, symposium fees,
and meals for the duration of the symposium.
We thank you for considering your participation in this symposium. Please address any questions
regarding the event to the abovementioned email address.
Lawrence N. Ross, Academy of Malay Studies, University of Malaya (email@example.com)
Mayco Santaella, Department of Performance & Media, Sunway University