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Perspectives and Methodologies of Area Studies:
Reviews and Prospects of Taiwan’s Southeast Asian Studies


何謂區域研究?它與學科研究的關聯性與異同為何?如何同時關照區域共通性以及地方的多樣性?又如何連結社群、國家、跨國乃至於跨區域不同尺度的研究?彼此間的研究視野與研究方法,可否在不斷地辯證過程中獲得精進?在眾多前輩學者的書寫成果上,哪些議題、研究地域值得我們進一步去探索,並突破既有的理論概念、開展不同於前的洞見與詮釋可能? 這些問題都有待我們結合不同學科於(跨)東南亞區域繼續深耕,也期待藉由這次年會的切磋碰撞出指引的火花。我們誠摯邀請臺灣的東南亞區域研究夥伴們,以及國外學界友人一起來共襄盛舉,為這次年會留下你們的足跡,也一起展望臺灣東南亞研究的下一個三十年。

In 1994, with the initiation of the former President of Academia Sinica, Dr. Yuan-Tseh Lee, the Program for Southeast Asian Area Studies (PROSEA) was created. This marked the commencement of institutional research on the region among Taiwan’s academics, and consequently motivated the launch of graduate and undergraduate studies and research centers on Southeast Asia in several universities. In 2003, the Center for Asia-Pacific Area Studies (CAPAS), grounded in PROSEA (and the Program for Northeast Asian Area Studies, also at Academia Sinica), was established. Over the last three decades, Taiwanese academia has generated three generations of researchers in these area studies—the senior, the middle-aged, and the junior. They have immersed themselves in a range of research issues, learnt from the experiences of international academics, absorbed their theories and engaged in ongoing debates. Concurrently, Taiwan’s connections with Southeast Asia have deepened. This conference, hosted by CAPAS, provides a timely opportunity to look at the perspectives and methodologies of Southeast Asian studies in Taiwan, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and beyond.
Some of the questions we will examine on this occasion are:
What constitutes area studies? 
What is the relevance of area studies vis-à-vis academic disciplines, and what are their differences? How do we reconcile regional unity and local diversities? How do we connect different scales of studies, ranging from communities, nations, trans-nations, to trans-areas? How do we move forward from ongoing debates between different research perspectives and methodologies? What are the issues and research sites that require further exploration, so that we can go beyond established theoretical concepts and bring out new insights and interpretations?

The answers to these questions will require interdisciplinary efforts. We would like to make this conference a venue for exchange of ideas and inspirational moments. We sincerely invite local and international scholars to take part in it. We look forward to your participation as well as the continuous growth of Southeast Asian studies in Taiwan. 

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