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2021 WISLI Conference Keynote Lecture: John Sidel
June 26 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Cosmopolitanisms and Comparisons in the Study of Southeast Asian History
Southeast Asian Studies, and in particular the study of Southeast Asian history, has long been distinguished by preoccupations with indigeneity on the one hand, and nationalism, on the other. But over the past three decades, historians of the region have provided the basis for an alternative perspective, one which emphasizes the importance of long-distance commerce, transoceanic connections, and various forms of ‘cosmopolitanism’ in the making of modern Southeast Asia. Drawing on this rich and growing body of scholarship, John Sidel’s new book, Republicanism, Communism, Islam: Cosmopolitan Origins of Revolution in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press, 2021), provides a synthetic revisionist account of the developments and trends leading to the Philippine, Indonesian, and Vietnamese revolutions. In this lecture, he discusses his new book and the possibilities of a denationalized, internationalized, and transnationalized understanding of Southeast Asia rooted in comparative historical sociology.
John Sidel is a Sir Patrick Gillam Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and is affiliated with the departments of Government and International Relations and the Southeast Asia Centre.