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Religion in Southeast Asia Unit and Space, Place, and Religion Unit

Call for Proposals

Rethinking the Center and the Margin

This session would consider the way Southeast Asian kingdoms were traditionally designed around a central seat of power. Stanley Tambiah famously called this design “galactic polity” and likened it to the concept of the mandala with its core and its container. Today, Southeast Asian nation-states continue to have significant capitals surrounded by smaller cities and village communities. This session revisits this theory of Southeast Asian political-religious space making to ask how mandala theories continue to illuminate new aspects of Southeast Asian culture and how they obscure other forms of place-making. Where do centers dominate religious place making? Do we find peripheries, marginal spaces, that display religion without reference to a center? How should we understand the ways in which marginal groups assemble their religious spaces? We are interested in ethnographic and historical research on these questions as well as theoretical reflections regarding place-making in Southeast Asia.



  • Etin Anwar, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
    1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
  • Alexandra Kaloyanides, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
    1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
  • Katie Oxx, Saint Joseph's University
    1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027
  • Brooke Schedneck, Rhodes College
    1/1/2022 - 12/31/2027

Steering Committee Members



Review Process

Proposals are anonymous to chairs and steering committee members during review, but visible to chairs prior to final acceptance or rejection