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IAS at the UBD – BSN Borneo Studies Conference

The Institute of Asian Studies (IAS) had a strong presence at the recent Universiti Brunei Darussalam – Borneo Studies Network (UBD-BSN) Borneo Studies Conference held 30 June – 1 July 2021 at UBD and virtually with the theme of “Borneo Within, Borneo Beyond.”

IAS Director, Associate Professor Bruno Jetin, a member of the conference organizing committee, introduced the first keynote of the conference by Dr. Victor T. King, Professor of Borneo Studies at IAS. Professor King’s keynote was entitled “A Contextualization and Deconstruction of Borneo Studies over the last 50 Years,” and it provided a comprehensive context for understanding how Borneo has been studied over the past half century.

On the second day of the conference, Professor Jonathan D. Rigg of the University of Bristol gave the second keynote of the conference on “Climate Change and the Meantime: Borneo in the Asian Context,” and was introduced by IAS Research Associate and member of the conference organizing committee Dr. Noor Hasharina Hassan.

Over the course of the 2-day conference, there were 12 panels that covered a wide range of topics, from Brunei’s energy transition to Islamic finance, and from heritage to the impact of Covid-19. Several IAS staff members and research associates contributed to these panels.

In a panel on comparative studies of language and identity, IAS Professor Lian Kwen Fee and Associate Professor Paul Carnegie presented a paper on “Doing Sociology in Borneo: Aspects of the Everyday.” In the same panel, Professor King and IAS Research Associate Dr. Magne Knudsen of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) at UBD presented a paper on “The Iban of Brunei: Case Studies of Change and Response in Temburong.” Both of these presentations were based on on-going research projects.

IAS staff member Associate Professor Hoon Chang Yau, currently serving as the Director of the Centre for Advanced Research (CARe) at UBD, chaired a panel on diversification from hydro-carbon energy that included a presentation by IAS Deputy Director Assistant Professor F. Merlin Franco on “Natural Ecosystems and their Management in Brunei Darussalam.”

Finally, IAS Research Associate Dr. Stephen Druce of the Academy of Brunei Studies chaired a panel on “Borneo Historical Perspectives,” while IAS Research Associate Dr. James McLellan (FASS) presented a paper in a panel on language, identity and music entitled “Borneo and Mindanao: A Comparative Study of Translanguaging Practices and Identity Projection, Negotiation and Concealment.”

For more information about the conference, please see this official report on the conference from UBD.

The full program of the UBD – BSN conference can be accessed here.

And for some images from the conference, please see below.