Engaged Scholarship in the Asia Pacific


Panel 1: Defining the terms: Heritage, Landscapes, Indigenous Empowerment

Wednesday September 16, 8:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs September 17, 11:00 AM (TWN)

This panel will frame the direction of the webinar series. Moderated by Miriam Stark (UHM Anthropology), panel members discuss the main themes of the webinar series, with particular emphasis on a bottom-up approach to research. The panel highlights the role of community involvement in translational research and social/environmental justice movements. The panel emphasizes that the participation of stakeholder communities in research is the first step in redressing marginalization of Indigenous communities.

Panelists: Kahlil Apuzen-Ito (FARMCOOP, Mindanao Philippines); Da-wie Kuan (National Cheng-chi University, Taiwan); Marlon Martin (Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement, Ifugao, Philippines); Stephen Acabado (UCLA Anthropology); Kelli Swazey (ECA East Asia-Pacific Division)

Moderator: Miriam Stark (University of Hawaii-Mānoa)

Panel 2: Wisdom of the Landscapes 1.0

Wednesday September 23, 7:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs September 24, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Ecological degradation from resource extraction impact Indigenous communities the most. Most often, communities are displaced and if they are not, they lose access to their traditional resources. In this panel, community-led and/or collaborative research that facilitate the recognition of Indigenous groups as stewards of the environment are discussed. Drawing examples from Cambodia, Indonesia, and Guam, panelists focus on both policy implications of their work and how their collaboration results in empowering local communities. 

Panelists: Courtney Work (National Cheng-chi University, Taiwan); Micah Fisher (University of Hawaii-Manoa), Else Demeulenaere (University of Guam)

Moderator: Guy Charlton (University of New England, Australia)

Panel 3: Wisdom of the Landscapes 2.0

Wednesday September 30, 7:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs September 31, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Traditional resource extraction has been employed by Indigenous and/or local communities for generations. However, political and economic pressures have forced communities to alter their practices to adapt to outside pressures. This shift resulted in gradual loss of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and expedited the assimilation of Indigenous and local communities to the larger state entities. In this panel, we provide examples from Taiwan and Bicol, Philippines where communities decided to maintain their traditional agricultural and fishing practices, but at the same time, met the demands of market and political pressures. 

Panelists: Da-wei Kuan (National Cheng-chi University, Taiwan); Raul Bradecina (Partido State University), Yih-ren Lin (Taipei Medical University), Augung Wardana (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia)

Moderator: Ching-ping Tang (NCCU)

Panel 4: Weaving and Empowerment

Wednesday October 7, 7:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs October 8, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Traditional weaving in Southeast Asia is tied to cultural identity and cultural expressions. However, the assimilation of Indigenous communities to the larger societies meant that the cultural context of weaving has changed. The demands to produce textiles for monetary gain have also impacted the way weaving communities produced their crafts. In some instances, the cultural context of weaving has been lost. This panel provides examples of communities attempting – and succeeding – in situating their textiles to their cultural contexts. Panelists will also discuss how they are fighting against appropriations of their traditional designs by entrepreneurs through the establishment of locally-managed textile commerce.  

Panelists: Analyn Salvador-Amores (University of the Philippines-Baguio); Ping Nga Ong (National Cheng-chi University, Taiwan); Paulette Crespillo-Cuison (Kiyyangan Weavers Association)

Moderator: Marlon Martin (SITMo, Philippines)

Panel 5: History and Heritage

Wednesday October 14, 7:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs October 15, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Archaeological practice in Southeast Asia has recently shifted to active engagement with local stakeholders. A growing number of investigations are actively seeking the involvement of communities as both contributors and as active and involved research participants. This undertaking humanizes our community partners and counters the exclusivity often associated with the authority of scholarship. In this panel, we forefront examples from Southeast Asia where heritage conservation and management involved community inputs. Works by colleagues in Indonesia, Cambodia, Bali, Indonesia, and Thailand underscores the importance of involving communities in heritage issues. 

Panelists: Peter Lape (University of Washington); JB Chevance (Archaeology and Development Foundation, Phnom Kulen Program, Cambodia); Wiwik Dharmiasih (Universitas Udayana, Bali, Indonesia); Rasmi Shoocongdej (Silpakorn University, Thailand)

Moderator: Grace Barretto-Tesoro (University of the Philippines-Diliman-Archaeological Studies Program)

Panel 6: Pacific Histories

Wednesday October 21, 7:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs October 22, 10:00 AM (TWN)

The histories and identities of Pacific Islanders have been drastically supplanted by Euro-centric narratives because of centuries of colonization. Archaeological work and community stories are helping to rethink these narratives through Pacific historiography. Using examples from the Solomon Islands, Easter Island, and Pohnpei, the panel discusses how community stories are helping to regain what was lost because of colonial imposition.

Panelists: Tarcisius Kabutaulaka (University of Hawaii-Manoa), John Peterson (University of San Carlos, Cebu, Philippines); Britton Shepardson (Terevaka Archaeological Outreach 501(c)(3)); Beno Atan (Metropolitan Touring Ecuador)

Moderator: Jason Throop (UCLA)

Panel 7: Indigeneity, Identity, and Empowerment

Wednesday October 28, 7:00 PM (PDT) / Thurs October 29, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Indigenous Peoples have struggled to define their identity amid the increasing pressures exerted by the larger society that aims to assimilate local cultures to develop a national identity. This is exemplified by the experiences of Indigenous groups in the Philippine and Taiwan where centuries of colonization have influenced the way they feel about themselves. In this panel, we discuss how Indigenous groups in the Philippines and Taiwan have instituted programs to define their ethnic identity in relation to the larger society. Examples that will be highlighted in the panel includes “reinvention” of culture among the Higaunon (Mindanao, Philippines), working with elders to revive traditional knowledge systems (Ifugao, Philippines), and filmmaking to document Indigenous identity (Tayal, Taiwan).

Panelists: Oona Paredes (UCLA); Eulalie Dulnuan (Ifugao State University); Sayun Simong (Sqoyaw, Taiwan); Andrea Malaya Ragragio (University of the Philippines-Mindanao); Margaret Palaghicon Von Rotz (UC Hastings College of the Law)

Moderator: Justin Dunnavant (Vanderbilt University)

Panel 8: Indigenous Rights and Heritage Laws

Wednesday November 4, 2020, 6:00 PM (PDT)/ November 5, 2020, 10:00 AM (TWN)

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was ratified in 2007. It was a product of a long and slow process that started in 1982 with the establishment of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations. A draft declaration was submitted in 1994, which became the basis for several state parties establishing statutes on the rights of Indigenous populations. In the Asia Pacific, countries that have a long history of colonialism adopted measures to provide some form of redress to the injustices received by Indigenous groups. These statutes were based on the 1994 draft declaration, which predated the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as well as local regulations. In this panel, we discuss various issues that Indigenous groups have experienced since the ratification of Indigenous Peoples rights laws in different countries. We provide examples from Australia, New Zealand, Philippines, Taiwan, and Cambodia. The panel discusses how these laws have empowered Indigenous groups and how the lessons from the last 20 years could help strengthen these statutes.

Panelists: Teddy Baguilat (Indigenous Conserved Communities Areas); Awi Mona (National Dong Hwa University); Claire Charters (University of Auckland), Kathleen Tantuico (Nayong Pilipino Research Institute)

Moderator: Guy Charlton (University of New England, Australia)

Panel 9: Preserving Textiles: Indigenous Knowledge and Methods

Wednesday November 11, 2020, 6:00 PM (PST) / November 12, 2020, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Southeast Asian traditional textiles are world renowned and valued as expressions of cultural identity, from the weaving and dyeing processes to the symbolism of their aesthetics and uses. However, local knowledge and actual methods to preserve such deterioration-prone organic material is an under-studied field. To identify tropical-climate appropriate, locally sourced, sustainable, and cost-effective methods that can be adopted by local practitioners working in the preservation of traditional textiles, SEAMEO SPAFA collaborated with local researchers on a region-wide project to collect, document, and compile invaluable indigenous knowledge on caring for textiles. Data collected includes plant materials and methods for wet cleaning, dry cleaning, stain removal, insect mitigation, storage, and associated spiritual beliefs. A first study of its kind, it brought together a dynamic group of textile professionals, museum experts, conservators, historians, scientists, and anthropologists, eager to research, chronicle and learn more about their own national and indigenous practices – before the knowledge is lost.

Panelists: Julia M. Brennan (Senior Consulting Conservator, Caring for Textiles); Annissa M. Gultom (Director, National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE); Lilian García Alonso-Alba (Conservation Scientist/Professor, Escuela Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Museografía, Mexico); Mohd Syahrul bin Ab Ghani (Curator, Division of Research and Documentation, Department of Museums Malaysia, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia)

Moderator: Linh Anh Moreau (SEAMEO SPAFA)

Panel 10: Tying Ends Together: Translating Engagement and Empowerment

Wednesday November 18, 2020, 6:00 PM (PST) / November 19, 2020, 10:00 AM (TWN)

Various examples of community engagement from multiple regions in the Asia Pacific were discussed in this webinar series. Collaboration between researchers and community members highlighted the empowering nature of such partnership. This panel will discuss the lessons learned from these examples and propose means to translate the outcomes of community involvement in research/development projects into concrete programs that will further enable Indigenous/local communities to take control of their heritage and intellectual properties. In addition, the panel will discuss how these collaborations can influence curricular development, policy changes, and institutionalizing of community involvement. Panelists provide examples from their respective works in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand.

Panelists: Georgina Lloyd (UNEP); Marcelle Burns (University of New England); Neyooxet Greymorning (University of Montana)

Moderator: Dada Docot (Purdue University)