Could it be possible to look at the decolonization of the Asia-Pacific in the longue durée instead of being merely a phenomenon of the Cold War? Perhaps the interwar anti-imperialist aspirations of the 1932 Siamese Revolution and the budding socialist/nationalist movements across French Indochina in the 1920s could be perceived in the same trajectory as the 1955 Asia-African Conference in Bandung and the Games of the New Emerging Forces (GANEFO) in 1963, which was incidentally the same year that Konfrontasi broke out between the Republic of Indonesia and the Federation of Malaysia? Is it possible to establish a new understanding of ‘imperialism’ and ‘decolonization’ in East and Southeast Asia without the stigma of certain parties having been defeated in the Second World War or demonized by the Red Scare of the Cold War Era?
This workshop invites participants to investigate the possibilities of decolonization efforts born within Asia long before the US entered the Pacific War, and the aspiration for self-determination that persisted even after the declaration of independence that led many parties within the newly emerging nations of East and Southeast Asia to continue their fight for autonomy through the Cold War years. We will revisit the spirit of Pan-Asianism and quest for decolonization in the long narrative of the ‘transwar,’ which would allow us to better understand the causal relations and connectivity that intricately link the narrative of modernization and nation-building in the Asia-Pacific from the interwar years through the early decades of the Cold War.
Contributors are invited to explore decolonization efforts in East and Southeast Asia from the interwar years (1920s) through to the early decades of the Cold War (1960s). We encourage everyone to define ‘decolonization’ in the most liberal manner, especially in the sense that decolonization could also occur in territories that had not officially been colonized, and that decolonization could definitely continue even after a nation had successfully gained independence or be accepted as a member of the United Nations, or both. Submissions may or may not fall into one of the following three chronological and thematic sections,
1) Anti-imperialist and Nationalist movements of the interwar years 1920s-1930s
> Siamese Revolution 1932
> Anti-imperialist movements in French Indochina
2) Nationalist movements in relations with Japanese Imperialism in East and Southeast Asia 1930s-1940s
> Franco-Thai War 1939-40
> Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere 1943-45
3) Anti-Imperialist movements in the early Cold War 1950s-1960s
> Asia-Pacific Rim Peace Conference (Beijing 1952)
> Asia-Africa Conference (Bandung 1955)
These are but a few examples of what could be considered in the revisiting of Pan-Asianism and decolonization efforts in ‘transwar’ Asia-Pacific.
Submission: Please submit abstract (>350 words) to email@example.com by 4 May 2022.
Decisions: Successful applicants would be notified by 4 June 2022.
Workshop: 18 September 2022 (Full draft of workshop paper should be submitted for circulation among workshop participants by 1 September 2022)
Revisions: Post-workshop revised papers will be resubmitted for publication (Manusya: Journal of Humanities special issue vol.26 2023) by 31 December 2022.