Student Conference

APTLI | CESSI | SASLI | SEASSI | SIPI | Intensive Summer Multilanguage Seminar

June 26, 2021
9:30 AM – 4:15 PM Central Time 
Via Zoom 

The annual WISLI Student Conference provides an opportunity for students at WISLI institutes and UW-Madison to present original research on various disciplines across Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Eurasia, and the Middle East, as well as transnational Asian studies. Abstract submissions are organized into thematic panels of three to four papers, with a moderated Q+A session following the presentations.

This year’s keynote address (12-1:30 pm Central Time) will be presented by John Sidel, and is entitled “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.

More details on conference schedule coming soon. Attendance is free and open to the public. RSVP to the Facebook event page here. Please note that panel sessions will not be recorded. For questions, email

The finalized conference schedule is now available! Click below to view the downloadable PDF with live Zoom links for each panel.

2021 WISLI Student Conference Schedule