Southeast Asian studies in the Ibero-American research landscape: emerging postcolonial perspectives
Part 1Session 5
Thu 11:00-12:30 Room 3.08
Part 2Session 6
Thu 14:00-15:30 Room 3.08
- Alberto Fidalgo Castro Universidad Complutense de Madrid
- Marisa Ramos Gonçalves Centro de Estudos Sociais - Universidade de Coimbra
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Research on Southeast Asia: comparing research landscapes in Portugal and Spain
Lúcio Sousa Universidade Aberta
This paper intends to present a comparative analysis of the research done in Portugal and Spain in the last two decades concerning Southeast Asia. Both countries colonized territories in this region, and both left it, at different times, and in different circumstances. This research has an exploratory character. It evolves a descriptive approach to the time period and geographical preferences of the research, but it also intends to present exploratory questions about the historical circumstances and drives that may have led researchers in Portugal and Spain to work about this region of the world. This comparative attempt will take as source reference the databases relating to thesis and dissertations completed at universities in both countries about the nine Southeast Asian countries.
Research trends about Timor-Leste in anthropology and sociology in Brazil: a critical appraisal
Kelly Silva Universidade de Brasília
This paper addresses current research trends in anthropology and sociology about Timor-Leste in Brazil. On the basis of honor monographs, master dissertations and Ph.D thesis approved in Brazilian ungraduate and graduate programs between 2004 and 2021, one argues that phenomena comprising controversies around modernization processes in the country is the most common concern among them. Additionally, the way modern and customary institutions intertwine one another producing various displacements, new agents and agencies is another trend observed. Difficults regarding a deeper and critical engagement with the ethnology of Eastern Indonesia is pointing out. One risks suggesting that it derives from the scarcity of training in such ethnographic area in Brazil.
Timorese women and intellectual production - analysis of the educational cooperation programs between Brazil and Timor-Leste
Camila Tribess Universidade Federal da Bahia
The south-south cooperation fostered by Brazil, especially within the scope of the CPLP countries, had great growth from the beginning of the 2000s, with investment of resources in educational, military and security cooperation, in the promotion of partnerships for the optimization in food production, oil exploration and construction. These relationships were even more emphasized from 2005, with progressive implementation of Brazilian embassies in several countries in Africa and Asia. In Timor-Leste, Brazilian cooperation has been established since 2000 and was strengthened from 2005, growing significantly in the educational area from 2010 onwards. In this presentation, I had defined the research scope in three dimensions: the granting of scholarships within the Graduate Students-Agreement Program (PEC-PG) for Timorese students to pursue a master’s and doctorate degree in Brazilian public universities from 2010 to 2018. The second dimension is to understand, among these grantees, how many Timorese women were assisted and attended postgraduate studies in Brazil. The third one concerns the production of master’s dissertations and doctoral theses resulting from this program produced by these women. Some questions mobilize this research, such as: what percentage of women are covered? How many actually finished their studies? In which areas of knowledge? And, in a more qualitative way, how much their works dialogue - or not - with more critical perspectives of the south-south cooperation thought, or contribute to the production of socially situated knowledge, leaving the Eurocentric perspectives in the different areas.
From oral to written history : “The untold Story of Camiguin Island”
Andres Narros LLuch Research Institute of Mindanao Culture
This paper adds to the discussion on how scientific research contributes to the production of knowledge that is not conditioned by eurocentric models of knowledge that perpetuates colonial perspectives through a case study in Camiguin Island, a very small island in Mindanao, south of the Philippines. Through the research done prior to the publication of the book “The untold story of Camiguin Island”, the author presents an alternative ethno-historical research approach to revisit the history and cultural identity of the island. Based on his extensive ethnographic work, oral history accounts were first collected and then confronted with the manuscripts of the priest who lived and worked in the island in the XVIII and XIX centuries from different archives both in the Philippines and Spain. Finally, small doses of fictional elements were added to the story in order to reach and engage with current island inhabitants. That approach resulted locally relevant as was able to document for the first time several episodes and indiginous leaders that have been silenced so far by the colonial models of knowledge. Far from being irrelevant these hidden transcripts ultimately craft the cultural identity of the island.
Performing culture: tais’ journey as a national symbol of timorese Identity
Brunna Crespi Musée du Quai Branly
This paper aims to analyze the process of performing culture for the outside world and the attempt to legitimize identity for tourism development in Timor-Leste. More specifically, I will develop the important role that anthropologists and collectors who passed by the island of Timor have played in this choice of cultural practice to be objectified. In other words, this paper will seek to understand how the making of these textiles went from being an endangered practice to this “objectified culture”, in the words of Carneiro da Cunha (2005).
The three patrons: lia’s negotiating skills and the weight of kultura
Daniel Simiao Universidade de Brasilia
The paper explores the tense coexistence between elements from different origins in the ways of managing East Timorese life, based on the criticism usually made of rituals (lia) as draining family resources, which constitutes an obstacle to modern forms of social and economic development. Through the analysis of a specific type of ritual, the importance of negotiation skills is highlighted as an inseparable part of local governance techniques. The State’s ambiguous position in relation to local ritual elements is understood as a manifestation of the parasitic use of culture as a form of governance. We suggest that, more important than an eventual economic impact, the lia is a form of shaping the relationship of a local community to the State, providing a model of vertical hierarchical solidarity that guides the relationship of the Timorese with their modern governance institutions.
Studies on Southeast Asia (SEA) have not been the focus of social and human sciences in the Ibero-American space. In Portugal and Spain, research themes are mainly related to their former colonies: Timor-Leste, in the case of Portugal, and the Philippines, in the case of Spain. On the other side of the Atlantic, the tradition is even more limited, apart from Brazil and Mexico. In Brazil, a focus on Timor-Leste studies developed after the SEA country’s independence. In Mexico, the Asian and African Studies at El Colegio de México has developed a wider SEA research community with the presence of anthropologists, political scientists, economists, and linguists focused on the area.
This panel proposes an analysis of research themes and studies carried out on Southeast Asia and with researchers from this region, promoting both a critical look at the historical relations between these spaces and their contemporary dynamics. The discussion will seek to understand to which extent scientific research in these spaces has effectively contributed to a production of knowledge that is not conditioned by Eurocentric models of knowledge that perpetuate colonial perspectives in different scientific areas; also, it will interrogate on what are the emerging themes and ongoing research, in the different areas of social and human sciences, that open paths for post-colonial perspectives in the production of knowledge about Southeast Asia.