Scales of Cold War History in Southeast Asia

AHA Session 92
Friday, January 6, 2017: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Room 501 (Colorado Convention Center, Meeting Room Level)
Fredrik Logevall, Harvard University
Colleen Woods, University of Maryland, College Park

Session Abstract

In the past two decades, scholarship on the Cold War in Southeast Asia has benefited from new archival sources and shifting geo-political dynamics that have opened the history of the period to new historical, thematic, and methodological inquiries. Likewise, there is increasing recognition of the importance of considering non-American and non-Soviet perspectives, as well as transnational and international approaches. Southeast Asian histories provide a particularly fruitful avenue of exploration. While local and regional histories contribute to our understanding of indigenous agency, international and transnational approaches emphasize how networks and negotiations informed the dynamics of Cold War conflicts. Likewise, analysis of small state politics challenges traditional approaches to super power politics. Our panel will explore the ways that different scales of historical research, and their juxtaposition with each other, creates new links in scholarship on the Cold War in Southeast Asia. The speakers will address wide-ranging subjects, including the mobility of information and people, role of authoritarianism, significance of grassroots political movements, agency of indigenous political actors, and impact of the environment on political and social change.
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