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2017 Southeast Asian American Studies Conference

Community Engagement, Research & Policy in Action

Illustration of a woman in traditional dress coming into contact with a modern bomb falling from the sky is a metaphor for war.

July 27-29, 2017, Lowell, Mass.

The Southeast Asian American Studies conference was a national summit of researchers, community organizers, artists, students, service providers, policymakers, community members, and others. The purpose was to reflect on the histories and current states of Southeast Asian American communities and to discuss solutions to the most pressing issues facing Southeast Asians in the U.S.

The 2017 conference sought to highlight Southeast Asian American communities in New England and seek to strengthen bridges between researchers, practitioners/service providers, policymakers, and community members.

Read about the 2017 conference.

The 2020 Southeast Asian American Studies Conference will take place at California State University-East Bay. Stay tuned!

Lowell, Massachusetts, is home to the second largest Cambodian American population in the United States, as well as Vietnamese, Lao, Burmese, and Bhutanese Americans. Nearby Dorchester, MA, and Providence, RI, are home to significant Vietnamese and Lao American populations, respectively. How are the histories and experiences of Southeast Asian Americans in New England and the East Coast similar to and different from other diasporic SEAAs? What new intellectual, political, and cultural formations emerge from considering this region?

This conference also sought to build bridges across disciplines (humanities, social sciences, and sciences), and across/among scholars, artists, policymakers, and community members. What are the range of approaches to Southeast Asian American Studies? How might we foster communication and collaboration between fields and disciplines? What interdisciplinary approaches have been fruitful? What are some challenges to working across disciplinary boundaries? Given the opportunities and challenges of community-engaged research, what role can scholarship play in enabling social change for diverse SEAA communities? How can engagement with SEAA communities enrich and inform scholarship, and vice versa?

  • Program Overview

Since the first Southeast Asians in the Diaspora conference in 2005 at UC Riverside – which began as a conversation between scholars in Vietnam Studies, Southeast Asian area studies, and Asian American studies – the field has expanded into an established field concerned with a range of issues in Southeast Asian America. This conference seeks to build on this growth of Southeast Asian American Studies and continue to explore ways to work with communities, advocate for change, and formulate policy initiatives.

The 2017 Southeast Asian American Studies Conference is made possible by the generous support of the Lowell Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the University of Massachusetts Lowell; the University of Minnesota Immigration History Research Center; and many other generous cosponsors. For a complete list, please visit our Sponsors and Co-sponsors page.

Note on Using UMass Lowell Websites:

UMass Lowell's website uses an "responsive design" feature in which the left-hand navigation menu only appears if the screen is zoomed out (i.e. text is smaller). When the screen is zoomed in (or on mobile devices) the MENU appears at the TOP RIGHT CORNER of the page (3 horizontal lines by the word MENU): illustrated in this Facebook post.

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