THEME I : Performing Arts and the Religious Impulse in Southeast Asia

In this theme, religiosity is distinguished from religion in Southeast Asia. Religiosity or religiousness, in its broadest sense, is a comprehensive sociological term used to refer to the numerous aspects of religious activity, dedication, and belief (religious doctrine). Music and religious impulses emphasize the corporeal nature of social life, and stress the role of practice and embodiment of how faith is experienced through the performing arts.

Pursuing a "Logic of Practice" (Bourdieu, Handelman), this theme looks at how music, dance and other performance genres and practices enact religiosity, regardless of the specific religion. The logic of practice is related to the way cultural production, i.e. the performing arts, is constructed through habitus (individual’s personality structure, lifestyle, values, dispositions and expectations), capital (forms of knowledge, skills, education and advantages) and field (a setting in which agents and their social positions are located). This theme proposes a comparative critical approach to music/dance/theatre and religious impulses in the performing arts of Southeast Asia from the logic of practice, which may lead to new analyses on the theory and practice of religiosity guided by the following questions:

What are the forms, processes and methods by which religiosity is manifest with a given community? How does the community sanction performing arts genres and other practices that support and/or reflect religiosity? By looking at specific traditions, can we see a ‘Logic of Practice’ that could be identified as distinctly Southeast Asian?

THEME II: Endangered Performing Arts—Maintenance and Sustainability Efforts

The ‘endangerment’ of performing arts genres refers to the risk of specific arts no longer being practiced. This is of most concern where it happens against the will of the communities involved, as is the case in many Southeast Asian contexts. This theme proposes the discussion of performing arts genres that are in danger of disappearing and the reasons and situations found for their possible disappearance.

This theme also must consider the maintenance and sustainability efforts that can or are taking place to keep the endangered genres alive. In communities where endangered genres are found, are the given communities attempting to revitalize these genres and if so, how is this being carried out? Are the endangered genres still relevant and sustainable to the given communities? If so how are the communities taking steps to ensure the sustainability and the relevance?

THEME III: New Research

This theme covers all new research topics by members of the PASEA Study Group and may be presented in the form of a full 20-minute paper or a 10-minute lightning report (see more explanation below on forms of presentations).