Toward an Indigenous and Engaged Southeast Asian Archaeology

1University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

2Thammasart University

3College of Arts and Humanities, California State University

4UCLA Department of Anthropology

Archaeology as a discipline was implanted into Southeast Asia by various colonial powers, such as the Dutch in Indonesia, the French in Cambodia and Vietnam, and the Americans in the Philippines. The late professor Ian Glover traced the development of archaeology in Southeast Asia from “colonialism to nationalism” and the problems it created, including limited international collaborations (or the inequity of collaboration that lacks input from local Southeast Asian collaborators), language barriers, and conflicting research agendas. Some contemporary archaeologists have also noted that Western concepts, practices, and terminologies are often incompatible with our attempts to reconstruct the past in Southeast Asia. This panel proposes to draw on the collective experiences, specialties, and perspectives of emerging Southeast Asian scholars to move discussion on the future of Southeast Asian archaeology beyond Western paradigms and nationalist agendas. We encourage discussions focused on community engagement, international and transregional collaboration, and transdisciplinary research, whilst maintaining indigenous perspectives. Panelists are expected to produce a short essay that outlines problems, solutions, and best practices they have learned through their field research and classroom teaching on these themes.