SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

Centre of South East Asian Studies Events

The events draw a varied audience with an interest in the region.

All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise stated.

Registration is essential to guarantee a place.

For further information contact the Centres and Institutes Office.


Please note that every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained on the website is as accurate as possible. We cannot guarantee, however, that subsequent changes have not been made. Please be advised to check information relating to scheduled events by using the contact information provided.

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  • Maritime Trade and Shipwrecks: Recent Discoveries from Vietnam and Central Thailand
  • Abhirada Komoot (PhD Candidate, University of Western Australia) and Do Truong Giang (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences)
  • Abhirada Komoot will discuss The Phanom-Surin Shipwreck and Cultural Exchange between Mainland Southeast Asia and the wider Indian Ocean World, and Do Truong Giang will talk about Champa’s Long-distance Cultural Exchange: A View from Maritime Archaeology and History.



  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia: A Transcultural History of Heritage?
  • Michael Falser (Heidelberg University/Technical University of Munich)
  • Michael Falser will take you on a journey, one that will give you the chance to see some of the results of his recent monograph Angkor Wat. A Transcultural History of Heritage (DeGruyter, Berlin 2020), which traced the multiple lives of Angkor Wat over a 150-year-long period from the 1860s to the 2010s, and presented for the first time a kind of visual anthology of the temple with more than 1,400 historic photographs, architectural plans and samples of public media.

  • Agrarian change in the Chao Phraya delta (1950-2020)
  • François Molle (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement)
  • The Chao Phraya delta has been the historical heart of commercial rice production in Thailand since the Bowring Treaty (1855). In the early 1900s, it accounted for 70% of the country’s production and 100% of exports. What happened to this agrarian system in the following 100 years?


  • Shadows & Illuminations
  • Robert Lemelson (UCLA)
  • A film screening of Shadows & Illuminations. A film that follows an older Balinese man, Nyoman Kereta, as he struggles with the intrusion of spirits into his consciousness. Kereta says he has been living in two worlds, the world of his family and community and the world of the spirits, for the past 40 years.


  • The Politics of Restitution
  • Jos van Beurden (Researcher, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Hilmar Farid (Director General of Culture, Ministry of Education and Culture of Indonesia)
  • Jos van Beurden will present Lessons for the Future: Returns by the Netherlands to Indonesia in the 2010s and the 1970s, and Hilmar Farid will discuss The Future of Restitution: What is Possible?

  • Artefacts, Identities and Restitution
  • Phacharaphorn Phanomvan (Lecturer, University of Oxford), Charlotte Galloway (Honorary Associate Professor, Australian National University)
  • Phacharaphorn Phanomvan will present Plai Bat: Reclaiming Heritage, Social Media, and Modern Nationalism and Charlotte Galloway will discuss Repatriation, Restitution and Myanmar. 


  • SOAS Annual Philippine Studies Conference 2021
  • The 6th SOAS Annual Philippine Studies Conference aims to bring together academics in the fields of the humanities and the social sciences, as well as artists, writers and performers that are based in the Visayas. The objective of the conference is to bring together key people in Visayan scholarship and cultural production and develop a body of discourse on Visayan cultural practices.


  • Digital Humanities Approaches to the Study of Baybayin
  • Prof Ramon Guillermo (University of the Philippines Diliman)
  • The lecture aims to demonstrate how methods from Digital Humanities can be used to deepen our understanding of the inner workings of the baybayin writing system.


  • Decolonising Curating and the Museum in Southeast Asia
  • This lecture series will explore what it means to decolonise the museum and curatorial practice in a Southeast Asian context. The speakers cover a range of topics, including the display of Buddhist and Hindu sculpture, ethnographic and colonial collections, curating contemporary art, and the use and exhibition of Southeast Asian material in western museums.



  • YouTube and Philippine Politics
  • Dr Cheryll Ruth Soriano (De La Salle University, Manila)
  • High levels of engagement in politics are generally considered to be a sign of a healthy democracy, where the citizenry is empowered and interested in being involved in matters of the State. But is that always true? In the Philippines, where a third of the 61 million-strong electorates are from the 18-35 age bracket, and for whom social media is often considered as a news source despite widespread disinformation, the answer may not be so simple.


  • China in the World
  • Various Speakers
  • This conference will use the PechaKucha format to bring out the perceptions of China’s rise from countries that stretch from the eastern extremity of Asia, through the Middle East to the west coast of Africa.