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Session 207: Reform and Resistance in State/Society Relations in South East Asia

Organizer: Carlyle A. Thayer, University of New South Wales
Chair: Laura J. Summers, University of Hull
Discussants: Vincent K. Pollard, University of Hawaii, Manoa; Carlyle A. Thayer, University of New South Wales

The study of state systems has been challenged in recent years by scholarly focus on 'non-state' political processes. Although scholars are now more aware that the state cannot be regarded as the natural focus of political and historical analysis, states remain a most complex and expansive form of human organization.
This panel seeks to explore relationships between, on the one hand, power systems and ideologies promoted by state elites and, on the other, the concerns and priorities of the people over whom states claim authority. It will focus on points of intersection and resistance, exploring the complex processes by which political cultures and systems of power are continually contested by dissent and opposition, giving rise to altered conceptions of authority and community. A particular focus will be the extent to which popular concerns both constrain the development of state-sponsored ideologies and engender their transformation.
The panel will bring together scholars from history, political science, and anthropology, presenting diverse case studies such as the importance of semangat in nineteenth-century Sarawak and contests over ideology and state power in contemporary Vietnam. Participants will draw on a number of methodological approaches in their analyses.
The panel aims in this way to contribute to the understanding of political community and legitimacy in Southeast Asia.

Public Spaces/Public Disgraces?: Crowds and the State in Vietnam
Mandy Thomas, University of Western Sydney
This paper argues that a semantic shift in the crowd in Vietnam over the last decade has allowed public space to become a site through which transgressive ideologies and desires may have an outlet. At a time of accelerating social change, the state has effectively delimited public criticism yet a fragile but assertive form of Vietnamese democratic practice has arisen in public space, at the margins of official society, in sites previously equated with state control. Official state functions attract only small audiences, and rather than celebrating the dominance of the party, reveal the disengagement of the populace in the party's activities. Where crowds were always a component of state(stage)-managed events, now public spaces are attracting large numbers of people for supposedly non-political activities which may become transgressive acts condemned by the regime. In support of the notion that crowding is an opening up of the possibility of more subversive political actions, the paper presents an analysis of recent crowd formation and the state's reaction to them. These events include religious festivals, street celebrations after football matches, public gatherings outside law courts, and the massing of the public at the funeral of a popular young actor. The analysis reveals the modalities through which popular culture has provided the public with the means to transcend the constraints of official, authorized, and legitimate codes of behaviour in public space. Changes in the use of public space, it is argued, map the sets of relations between the public and the state, making these transforming relationships visible, although fraught with contradictions and anomalies.

Current position: Senior Tutor, Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne.
Discipline: Literature, French Language
Education: PhD University of Western Ontario
Areas of expertise: Francophone and post-colonial studies; Franco-Vietnamese literature (Linda Lê, Kim Lefèvre, Jean Vanmai, Anna Moi); Vietnamese Diaspora (France); French literary institution (Goncourt, Femina)
Current research on Vietnam: Vietnamese Diasporic literature and film.
Recent publications:
  • "From Incest to Exile: Linda Lê and the Incestuous Vietnamese Immigrants" in Indochina, India and France: Cultural Representations, ed. Jennifer Yee and Kathryn Robson, Lexington Books, 2005: 165-177.
  • "Entre salut et damnation: une exploration de l'héritage post-colonial des exilés vietnamiens à travers les métaphors de la nourriture chez Linda Lê" French Cultural Studies, July 2004: 142-157.
  • "The Vietnamese Cooking Legacy: A Cultural and Post-colonial Exploration of Food Metaphors in Linda Lê's Les Trois Parques", in Essays in Modern Italian & French Literature, Special Number “In Recollection of Tom O’ Neill”, ed. Alaistair Hurst & Tony Pagliaro, Spurti e Ricerche, 2004: 40-49.
  • Qui a créé la créatrice? De la création du texte de femme à la création du meilleur livre de l’année. in Françoise Grauby and Michelle Royer (eds). Repenser les processus créateurs/Rethinking The Creative Process. Peter Lang SA: 2001. pp133-147.
  • Confesseur et pécheresse: conversion et subversion dans Léon Morin, prêtre. Women in French Studies. 2001. pp 79-91.
  • La Folie de la femme: une réponse au viol patriarcal? Synthèses 3. 1996. pp 43-53.
  • Le Thème de l’exil dans l’autobiographie de Violette Leduc. Synthèses 2. 1996. pp 9-16.
  • “Exile: Rupture and Continuity in Jean Vanmai's Chan Dang and Fils de Chan Dang” in Exile and Social Change, ed. Paul Allatson & Jo Mc Cormack, Routledge, (in progress 2006).


Следует отметить, что исследования проводятся не только в университетских рамках, но и при организации музейных выставок по истории, антропологии, этнографии, социальным вопросам, архитектуре, искусству.


Архитектурная выставка в Париже, музей архитектуры в начале 21 века и соответствующие публикации.

Большая антропологическая выставка в Нью Йорке, 2003-2004 год.

Выставка ткачества в музее этнографии в Ханое, 2005.

Выставки изобразительного искусства (часто сопровождаются конференциями или лекциями)- Париж-Ханой- Сайгон. Мои выступления и лекции в Макао, Беркли, ЛА, Монреале и т.д.

Зарубежные исследователи, занимающиеся теми или иными вопросами вьетнамологии, часто выступают на конференциях или семинарах, проводимых в Ханое и организуемых иностранными организациями просветительского толка: Альянс Франсэз или Институтом Гете (конференция по урбанизму). Эти организации зачастую финансируют независимых исследователей и их публикации – перевод вьетнамской монашеской поэзии, моя книга.


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Session 188: Designing Women: The Use of Fashion to Construct International Modernity, National Tradition, and Gender in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Within the South Asian Diaspora | Внутренняя политика Петра I
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