The 47th Southeast Asia Seminar

December 7 - 14, 2023
Mae Ramat, Tak, Thailand

Health, Border, and Marginality:
Toward Transdisciplinarity?

Photo: Anonymous

The 47th Southeast Asia Seminar

Health, Border, and Marginality:
Toward Transdisciplinarity?

Call for Applications (CLOSED)

The 47th Southeast Asia Seminar
Mae Ramat, Tak, Thailand
December 7-14, 2023

Health, Border, and Marginality:
Toward Transdisciplinarity?

Organized by
The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University

Co-organized by
The Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU)

Application Deadline: August 31, 2023 (JST)

The Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University, welcomes applications from early-career researchers (who received their PhDs within the last five years), with fields of specialization relating to the seminar topic, to participate in the 47th Southeast Asia Seminar on “Health, Border, and Marginality: Toward Transdisciplinarity?” The seminar will be held along the Thai-Myanmar border, during December 7-14, 2023. Participats are required to attend the whole seminar.

Important Dates

August 31, 2023: Application Deadline
By September 30, 2023: Result Announcement
December 7 - 14, 2023: Seminar Dates

Seminar Fee

  • • There is no registration fee.
  • • Airfares:
  • Successful applicants will be required to cover their travel costs from their respective countries to and from Bangkok (and, where necessary, visa cost). Round-trip flight tickets between Bangkok and Mae Sot will be (partially) covered by the organizer.

  • • Accommodation, along the Thai-Myanmar border, will be covered by the organizer.

Application Requirements

Application should be submitted online by filling out the online form. The application must include:

  • • A statement of research background and interests:
  • Maximum 450 words, explaining how their research background and interests relate to the Southeast Asia Seminar topic, “Health, Border, and Marginality: Toward Transdisciplinarity?”. Please note that the statement will be circulated among the core seminar participants.

  • • Curriculum Vitae
  • • One writing or publication sample (the topic of which need not be directly related to the seminar topic).
  • Note: any applicant who does not submit a writing sample will not be qualified to apply.

Application deadline: August 31, 2023


The seminar committee will select participants based on the application forms, and ONLY accepted applicants will be informed by the end of September, 2023.

Participation Requirements

The format is an on-site seminar with a series of lectures and excursion trips to visit various stakeholders along the Thai-Myanmar border.

Selected participants are expected to read a set of assigned readings before the seminar and actively take part in discussions during the full eight-day seminar.

In relation to their research, participants will also be expected to:

  • • Give a presentation reflecting on the whole trip on Dec. 13, 2023.
  • • Submit a reflection paper (600-800 words) on the whole trip before leaving the Thai-Myanmar border.
  • • Submit a 2,000-word reflection paper on the whole trip – to be submitted by January 31, 2024.

Participants are required to book a round-trip flight ticket and send a copy of their e-ticket upon consultation with the secretariat office.

For more information, please see FAQ.

For inquiries, please email <seaseminar47[at]>.
Please indicate your inquiry and name in the subject line of your e-mail; e.g., SEA Seminar_change request_your name

DISCLAIMER: The organizer reserve the right to conduct the seminar online, postpone, or cancel if any exceptionally unforeseen circumstance arises.

The 47th Seminar: Concept

Health, Border, and Marginality:
Toward Transdisciplinarity?

A border is a “contact zone” of people, culture, and capital. In area like the Thai-Myanmar border region, disease must also be included, as tuberculosis, drug-resistant malaria, and a few others, have been prevalent therein – long before COVID-19 has raged the world. These transnational forces entwine and tremendously complicate these spaces in-between the two nation-states. Situated next to Burma/Myanmar – a country that has witnessed more protracted armed conflicts than unarmed negotiations since its independence in 1948 – this border region has become a space where many marginalized peoples have had to endure manifold sickness due to their marginal positionalities either as displaced peoples or voluntary migrants; and many of whom have become unskilled or low-skilled cheap labour in Thailand. The Thai-Myanmar border zones are, therefore, mosaic spaces with a variety of peoples with different cultural lifeworlds shaping their (economic) lives along the border vis-à-vis the two nation-states’ political and socio-economic policies. However, the Thai-Myanmar border is not an exception. Globally, at least nine other countries have also been rampaged by protracted armed conflicts: Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen. These countries have consequently produced not only unique but bleak border zones next to them, but also many ailing or dying migrants displaced or roaming along those border zones.

With such border realities resulting from protracted armed conflicts, two sets of issues guide this year’s seminar. One is a question, the other is a proposal. First, what kind of engagement should a researcher have toward this kind of space? And because this 47th Southeast Asia Seminar is the second chapter following the 45th Southeast Asia Seminar, we propose that transdisciplinarity is one of a few most appropriate inquiries for this kind of terrain.

Since the end of the 1990s, transdisciplinarity has gained more currency as a research approach based on collaborative endeavor, aiming not only to foster meaningful knowledge co-production, but also to solve complex societal and planetary challenges, while also endeavoring to narrow the gap between the academic and the non-academic spheres. Transdisciplinary inquiry, thus, not only requires innovative research methods, but also challenges researchers – many of whom work in relative isolation in so-called “ivory towers” – as well as professional experts – many of whom are disconnected from the broader civil society. The following are some key issues that will be explored during the trip to the Thai-Myanmar border:

  • • Toward “problem-solving”: Bridging the academic and the non-academic worlds?
  • • Knowledge co-production vis-à-vis the locations of “stakeholders.”
  • • Acknowledging dilemma, tension, friction, conflict: Transdisciplinarity’s unavoidable textures?
  • • Critical stances on the scientific discourse vis-à-vis knowledge of the marginalized.
  • • From epistemological engagements to ethical conundrums.
  • • Decolonizing transdisciplinarity: Creating spaces for marginalized voices/knowledge/worldviews.
  • • What is the role/responsibility of the “donor community” in the strategies adopted towards these border regions?

Thai-Maynmar border

A view of a “temporary shelter area”

The 47th Seminar

Program (Tentative)

Day 1: Dec 7

Arriving in Mae Ramat, Tak.

Day 2: Dec 8

Series of Lectures: By both the SMRU team and the CSEAS team.

Day 3 - Day 6: Dec 9-12

Excursion Trips: Learning from some stakeholders along the Thai-Myanmar border.

Day 7: Dec 13

Core participants’ presentations in Mae Ramat, Tak.

Day 8: Dec 14

Departing Mae Ramat, Tak.

Participants will arrive in Mae Ramat, Tak, Thailand, on December 7 and will depart for their respective countries of residence on December 14, 2023.


Who is eligible to apply?

Early-career researchers (who received their PhD within the last five years) with fields of specialization relating to the seminar topic are eligible to apply.

My research field is not directly relevant to the topic of the seminar. Am I still eligible to apply?

Yes, you are. However, in your online application, you will need to explain how the seminar topic relates to your research background and interests.

When can applicants expect to receive results?

Only successful applicants will receive an email by the end of September, 2023.
* We are unable to answer any questions regarding the selection process.
* The personal information provided in the submitted documents will be used solely for this recruitment and not for any other purpose.
* Nationality balance will be taken into consideration during participant selection.

When can I receive the assigned readings?

A set of readings, which will be in Word or PDF format, will be shared through Google Drive with you by one month before the seminar. It is mandatory to read all the assigned readings before the seminar.

I don’t have a Google account. Can I apply via e-mail or physical post, instead of using the online application form?

The online application system is the only method available to apply for the seminar. If you have any special circumstances that require a different method of application, please contact us at seaseminar47[at]

I can only attend some sessions of the seminar. Am I eligible to apply?

No, you are not eligible to apply. Participants are expected to attend the entire seminar from December 7 to 14, 2023.

What is the format of this year’s Southeast Asia Seminar?

The format is an on-site seminar with one day of lectures followed by a four-day excursion trip and one day of participant presentations.

What kind of presentation am I expected to make during the seminar?

In addition to actively taking part in discussions, you are expected to give a short PowerPoint presentation on the last day of the seminar. Your presentation should reflect on your takeaways from the seminar (i.e., how the insights, issues, and questions raised in the course of the seminar generate further questions and how they can inform or refine your own research agenda). Your statement of research interests and background, submitted online during the application period, will be circulated among the other participants of the seminar beforehand to promote active interactions and discussions.

For inquiries, please email <seaseminar47[at]>.
Please indicate your inquiry and name in the subject line of your e-mail; e.g., SEA Seminar_change request_your name

Past Seminars

The Southeast Asia seminar has been held annually by the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University since 1977, aiming to deepen the understanding of Southeast Asia from various perspectives. For more information on the long history of the Southeast Asia Seminars, please visit our website.