International Council for Traditions of Music and Dance

A Non-Governmental Organization in Formal Consultative Relations with UNESCO

The 4th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Performing Arts of Southeast Asia

31 July – 6 August 2016

Organized by 
School of the Arts, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang

Venue: Cititel Hotel, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia


Tentative schedule:

30 July: Arrival and Registration of Participants and Observers
31 July: Continuing Registration & Opening of the Symposium, Sessions begin 1-2 August: Sessions
3 August: Cultural Excursion Day
4-6 August: Sessions, Summary, Closing and Departure of Participants

Local arrangements information is ready now and has been sent to all PASEA members in a separate email; Information on actual payment of registration fees will be sent later January 2016. If you are not on the current membership list and a copy of the local arrangements information is needed, please make your request at the following email:


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 music.

Pursuing a "Logic of Practice" (Bourdieu, Handelman), this theme looks at how music, dance and other performance genres and practices enact religiosity, regardless whether it be Buddhism, Hinduism, any of the Abrahamic traditions, or indigenous religions. 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 of particular social groups that are acquired through the activities and experiences of everyday life), capital (forms of knowledge, skills, education and advantages that a person has which gives them a higher status in society) and field (a setting in which agents and their social positions are located). This theme proposes a comparative critical approach to music/dance 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 to the given communities? Are they still sustainable to the given communities, and if so how are the communities taking steps to ensure the sustainability and the relevance?

This theme is proposed to better understand and consolidate our thinking on the issues confronting such performing arts genres throughout Southeast Asia.

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).


English is the official language of this symposium, however, the official language of the host country is Malay and papers may be presented in the Malay language with English language Powerpoint and Abstract, and with a detailed Outline of the presentation in English to be handed out at the time of the session. However, all proposal Abstracts are to be submitted in English for review and selection purposes.


Proposals are invited in the following formats:

  1. Individual paper, 20 minutes long and followed by 10 minutes for discussion; a 20-minute paper is about 8 or 9 type-written pages, double-spaced using 12 point font. 

  2. Organized panel, 90 minutes long for 3 presenters, OR 120 minutes long for 4 presenters OR 3 presenters and a discussant (each presentation is 20 minutes with 10 minutes for discussion). 

  3. Forum/Roundtable, up to 90-120 minutes long with 3 or more presenters on a given topic, entirely organized and run by a given Chair of the Roundtable, with discussion among the presenters and the audience 

  4. Participatory Workshop, informal, interactive hands-on session on one topic for a maximum of two hours, completely run by the workshop organizer/presenter. 

  5. Film/DVD, recently completed or in-progress films, video programs or excerpts thereof, each presentation about 20 minutes in length including some discussion on the film/dvd. 

  6. ‘Lightning’ papers of 10-minutes in length to focus on reports of current research by graduate students and others, with 5 minutes for Questions/Answers. 
The format of the lightning paper may also be a ‘pecha kucha’ presentation in the form of showing 20 slides on your given topic with a 20-second commentary on each slide, the timing of commentary and changing of slides is controlled by the presenters. The entire slide presentation by an individual would be a total of 6 minutes & 40 seconds, with the balance of time for Questions/Answers, up to a maximum of 15 minutes total (Slides & Q&A). 

  7. Poster Presentation or a poster session is the presentation of research information by an individual or representatives of research teams from ICTM-PASEA. The poster presentation (size 3x4 feet maximum) should follow the IMRAD format (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) as follows: 

  • a. The Introduction presents the background and purpose of the research. Typically, this section consists of a statement summarizing the current knowledge in an area, the knowledge that is lacking, and how the research project addresses the knowledge gap. A hypothesis can be included in this section.
  • b. The Methods section should specifically address the research design, the research setting, ethnographical notes, and how they were selected. This section should also include a description of the intervention (if appropriate), a description of the outcome and the method of analysis.
  • c. The Results section includes the qualitative and/or quantitative data. This section usually begins with a description of the subjects in the study and a description of the research result.
  • d. The Discussion section states concisely what can be concluded from the study and its implications. It is important that the conclusions are supported by the data presented in the Results and do not present unsubstantiated personal opinion.

All proposals  undergo peer review, and notification of decisions on proposals will be announced no later than the middle  of January 2016. If you have a deadline for funding applications towards travel, accommodation and so on, please notify the Program Committee of your deadline date when sending in your proposal.


IF there are questions about a submitted proposal, please send your queries to the following co-chairpersons for the symposium:  

1) Prof. Dr. Made Hood (Co-Chair of the Program Committee) Email:

2)Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan (Co-Chair of the Program Committee) Email:


For those of you who are interested in starting a sub-study group focusing on a specific theme or topic, you will need to select a chair or spokesperson and write up a brief description of your proposed sub-study group, noting the rationale and any projects that can be earmarked by the group at the time of your proposal. Submit your proposal for the particular sub-study group to the Chair of this Study Group at email: Your proposal will be included at the Study Group Meeting for discussion and approval.


Please note that all presenters must register as a member of the International Council of Traditional Music directly with the ICTM Secretariat before attending the Study Group Symposium. The email contact is: Those visitors who wish to attend this Symposium as non-members will be able to do so under a special registration fee. All student presenters must also register as a member of the ICTM directly with the ICTM Secretariat, and all students will have a special registration fee. All registration fees and other information will be forthcoming from the Local Arrangements Committee.

The Program Committee for this Symposium is Made Hood and Jacqueline Pugh-Kitingan, Co-Chairs (Malaysia), Larry Witzleben (USA), Patrick Alcedo (Canada), Aline Scott-Maxwell (Australia), Lawrence Ross (Malaysia), Sarah Anais Andrieu (France & Thailand), Patricia Hardwick (USA).

The Local Arrangements Committee for this Symposium is Tan Sooi Beng, Chair (Malaysia); Dr. A.S. Hardy Shafii, Mohd. Anis, Patricia Matusky, Mumtaz Backer, Hafzan Zannie, Mayco Santaella, Hanafi Hussin (Malaysia).