The theme of the conference is SOUTHEAST ASIA IN THE NEW NORMAL


Two major events have greatly impacted Southeast Asia in the past two years. Apart from the COVID 19 pandemic that has adversely affected the world closer to home, the region of Southeast Asia has witnessed a series of political uprisings. The first has debilitated the global economy and the wellbeing of all walks of people, the latter has crippled peace and security, creating much turmoil and sparking protracted violence. In a nutshell, the region is in deep crisis. The question is, how are the people facing these challenges and how are governments getting back on track to offer good governance.

ICONSEA 2021 will pay close attention to these issues relating to the challenges of the pandemic and the ongoing political crises. It is not just another conference dealing with the pandemic (we are aware that there are many indeed!!). However, one which urges you to ask hard and probing questions: hate speech, migrant xenophobia, vaccine politics, draconian and emergency laws, hung parliaments, criminal juntas, unlawful censorship are the order of the day. We ask not just why they happen but for you to engage in circumventing and providing alternatives to move beyond the crises. We also pay attention to possible and different ways of cultural and heritage preservation amidst the pandemic.     

Most significantly, ICONSEA 2021 will address how the field of Southeast Asian Studies (SEAS) has been responding to the new normal in teaching SEAS, challenging hitherto practised methodologies that require fieldwork and observation. What were the learning curves, and how do we normalise these newfound teaching and learning ways?  

As scholars, researchers and social activists, it is our collective duty to examine these critical issues related to the pandemic and the new normal and propose suggestions as well as recommendations through our research outputs and findings where possible. The findings discussed and deliberated at this conference can also lead to new ways of studying and researching Southeast Asia.

We depart from the norm of the previous ICONSEA, and in the spirit of adopting a new norm, ICONSEA 2021 will be entirely online, and we are targeting specific themes for the conference. We invite academics, scholars, and researchers to delve deep into the New Normal debate. We are looking for panels organised under the following themes, or alternatively, you can send your individual abstract to suit the themes. Some of the subtopics that can be considered, but not limited to, are as follows:

  1. COVID-19 and SEAS
  2. COVID-19 and Security
  3. COVID-19 and Migration/Migrants/Vulnerability
  4. COVID-19 and Economy; Food Security  
  5. COVID-19 and Political Change, or Politics in SEA
  6. Sustainability and Environment
  7. Culture, Arts, Heritage and Tourism
  8. COVID-19 and Tourism, Maritime Issues
  9. COVID-19 and Human Rights; and
  10. Any other issues related to Southeast Asian Studies