Conformities allude to laws, guidelines, and systems of political, cultural, and economic power that govern the lives of individuals and communities. What evident or overlooked conformities exist in the histories and contemporary issues of Southeast Asia? Conversely, the concept of interruptions offers a means to uncover non-conformities — individual and collective acts that subvert expectations. What systems or perspectives are challenged via processes of interruption? In Southeast Asian contexts interruptions might occur through performative or bodily acts, disturbances of socio-cultural boundaries, or subtle variations in physical and spatial environments. Yet, conformity and interruption can speak at multiple levels, from interpersonal to international and within/across collectives that don't adhere to national boundaries. What do moments of interruption reveal about conformity? Do they always undermine each other? Or can they be paired as tactics of intervention? Finally, what conformities might be present in the various disciplinary studies of Southeast Asia, and how can they be interrupted? The conference will be held March 8-10, 2019 at the Kahin Center for Advanced Research on Southeast Asia in Ithaca, New York.
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Hosted by Cornell University Southeast Asia Program.