An upcoming conference at the University of Washington will be of interest to many New Mandala readers. The details are:

The University of Washington’s Southeast Asia Center at The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies

20th Anniversary Celebration Conference

Religion, Ethnicity, and Modernity: Identity and Social Practice in Asia

October 5-6, 2007

University of Washington
Walker Ames Room, Kane Hall

The Southeast Asia Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies will celebrate its 20th anniversary on October 5-6 by honoring the scholarly contributions of its founding director, anthropology professor Charles “Biff” Keyes. Since the beginning of his career, Professor Keyes’s work has centered on three key Weberian themes-religion, ethnicity, and modernity-which, together and separately, have had special relevance to the study of Southeast Asia, and Asia more generally. Leading scholars of the region will attend this two-day conference to explore these three concepts and their relevance in understanding the complex and volatile processes of change that have taken place in the region.

All parts of the conference are free and open to the public. The panels will begin at 2:00pm on Friday, October 5 and continue throughout the day on Saturday. There will be receptions both evenings, with a dinner and keynote address on Saturday by James Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Professor of Anthropology at Yale University . If you plan to attend Saturday’s dinner and keynote address, please rsvp to us.

For more details of the conference, hotel and shuttle information, please visit our website. A conference schedule with paper titles and abstracts will be posted by September 15.

The conference will take place with generous support from the Henry M. Jackson Foundation, the University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences, the Center for Global Studies, the department of Anthropology and the U.S. Department of Education.

We would be very happy to host a report on this important conference from any New Mandala readers who are going to attend. Please get in contact with me if you would like to write one.