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In collaboration with the APSARA (Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap) National Authority of Cambodia, and with the support of the UNESCO Phnom Penh Office, the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore is pleased to announce the convening of a conference entitled Angkor and Its Global Connections in Siem Reap over three days 10-12 June 2011.

The aim of the proposed conference is to examine the history of the Khmer polities which were centred in and around the Angkor region, the development of their urban centres, and the links between these polities and other political and cultural centres in Southeast Asia, East Asia and beyond. It is hoped that the papers presented, selections of which will be subsequently published in an edited volume, will offer a state-of-the-field overview of Khmer polities, their urban development and their relations with other polities and cultural centres, including Tai, Thai, Cham, Viet, and Chinese polities, the Arab and Persian worlds and maritime Southeast Asia.

The need for such a conference is obvious. While there are annual ICC-Angkor meetings held in Siem Reap under the auspices of APSARA and UNESCO, these relate mainly to the preservation and maintenance of the monuments of the Angkor region. It has often been the case, however, that these ancient cities have been examined in splendid isolation, without sufficient reference to their external links which, it must be affirmed, are integral and essential elements for any functioning metropolis in history or today.

The most recent major scholarly conclaves to address the broader issues of the historical and external contexts of the Khmer centres were the ‘Khmer Studies Symposium’, hosted by the Greater Angkor Project at  Sydney University in 2005 and the ‘Contemporary Research on Pre-Angkor Cambodia’ conference convened by the Centre for Khmer Studies, Siem Reap in the same year. The amount of archaeological, textual, epigraphic and comparative research which has been conducted since then suggests that the field would benefit from another gathering of specialists, with some new foci. It is to this end that the proposed conference is being convened. This is the first conference in the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre’s “Early Cities of Southeast Asia” series.

Research institutes throughout the world are invited to nominate scholars whose participation in the conference they will financially support. Independent scholars are also invited to submit proposals, but funding will be limited to those from Asia most in need of financial support.

The languages of the conference will be English and Khmer.

Proposals should be directed to:
Angkor and its Global Connections Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre Institute of Southeast Asian Studies 30 Heng Mui Keng Terrace Singapore 119614 Email: lucyliu@iseas.edu.sg Applications close 10 April 2011 Queries should be directed to: Ambassador Pou Sothirak (sothirak@iseas.edu.sg) or Dr Geoff Wade (gwade@iseas.edu.sg)