Keynote Addresses

For the EuroSEAS 2022 conference, we are very happy to welcome two major scholars of Southeast Asia for two keynote addresses putting their rich research experience in perspective.

Keynote 1 - Religious Landscapes of Buddhist Southeast Asia: The Burmese Case Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière

During the opening ceremony, Wednesday 29 June, 9:00-10:30, Auditorium 250 (with duplex in Auditorium 150), Centre de Colloques

Delineating religious fields in Buddhist Southeast Asia has always been a convoluted issue for scholars. This talk reviews the main ways in which religious fields have been dealt with in the region by scholarly research, from the heyday of 70s holist anthropology based in rural lowland communities to the recent and still limited turn to ontological perspective, focusing on small scale societies. The Burmese case and the subaltern point of view of spirit possession cults provide for a convenient side-step to highlight both historical gaps in documentation of localized ritual systems and effects of contemporary global dynamics of transformation on these Buddhist dominated religious landscapes.

Bénédicte Brac de la Perrière is an anthropologist at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris and former director of its Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CASE). She specializes on Burma-Myanmar, where she has conducted regular field research since the 1980s, and has written widely on religion and rituals.

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Keynote 2 - The Marcos Restoration: Observing the 2022 Philippine Elections in the ‘Solid North’ - Duncan McCargo

Thursday 30 June, 18:00-19:00, Auditorium 250 (with duplex in Auditorium 150), Centre de Colloques

Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. won the 9 May 2022 elections by a landslide, securing over 31 million votes. How could the utterly undistinguished son of a disgraced former dictator enjoy such an astounding electoral victory? This keynote draws on my experiences as an officially accredited international election observer, based in the Cordillera and Ilocos regions popularly known as the ‘Solid North’ – or the Marcos heartlands. It introduces some of the people I encountered on my travels, and the insights I gained into the troubling dynastic politics that distorts public life in the Philippines. I will discuss how provincial dynasties like the Marcoses may become ‘fat’ over time, and will examine how two of the main 2022 mayoral contests in Ilocos featured bitter family infighting that might offer us insights into the future directions of national politics in the country.

Duncan McCargo is Director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and a professor of political science at the University of Copenhagen, where he specializes on the comparative politics of Southeast Asia. Best known for his books and articles on Thailand, he has been visiting the Philippines since 1987. Duncan is also a past president of EuroSEAS.

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