Jakarta- Research Center for Regional Resources, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (P2SDR-LIPI) successfully held a Public Lecture on Social Theory and Asian Dialogue, on April 13, 2017 at LIPI Jakarta, as part of events commemorating 50 years of the LIPI. P2SDR-LIPI as research center for area studies has been continuously carrying out seminars, public lecture series, and discussion forum in many field of contemporary issues.
On this occasion, two prominent speakers were invited to give a lecture about the designated issue. The first speaker is Prof. Ananta Kumar Giri, Ph.D., Professor at Madras Institute of Development Studies, India. He talked about “Social Theory and Asian Dialogues: Cultivating Planetary Conversations. His lecture mainly discusses about self, Confucianism, dynamic harmony, and post-colonialism as part of broader field of social theory and Asian dialogues. He argued that up to today, there is much talk about globalization of sociology, but there is very little concrete effort to bring sociology and social theory into mutually transforming dialogues, involving cultural presuppositions about self, culture and societies from various locations and traditions of our world. He attempted to bring certain strands in Euro-American social theory in dialogue with some Asian traditions of thinking and being.
While the second speaker is Dr. Fadjar Ibnu Thufail, a senior researcher at P2SDR-LIPI. Dr. Thufail choose the topic of, “Area Studies in the Age of Global Assemblage”. He opened his lecture by giving some arguments that Asian Studies as practiced in the 1950s-1970s has been criticized, and therefore, area studies is changing. Following that, many scholars gave their idea on the discourse of area studies. They area: Goh Beng Lan’s “Decentering and Diversifying Asian Studies”, Thongchai Winichakul’s “Asian Studies in Asia”, and Kuang Hsing Chen’s “Asia as Method”. On this occasion, Dr. Thufail introduce his concept of “Area as Assemblage and Rhizome”. As Dr. Thufail argued that every localities is an assemblage, therefore, there will be no similar localities, but their elements of assemblage are interconnected. For him, “Area” is not geographically determined, but is a conceptual mapping.”
The public lecture was attended by scholars in field of social sciences, especially they who are interested in area studies. They mainly come from LIPI and university lecturer around Jakarta and Depok. (/firman)