July 8-10, 2016 at Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand
The International Conference on Lao Studies (ICLS) is held once every three years (starting after 2007), rotating among various academic institutions around the world. In 2005, Northern Illinois University became the first host of the First Lao Studies conference, followed by Arizona State University in 2007, Khon Kaen Univeristy, Thailand in 2010, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2013.
The main purpose of the Lao Studies conferences is to provide an international forum for scholars to present and discuss various aspects of ethno-linguistic groups of Laos, the Lao Isan, cross-border ethnic groups in Laos’ neighboring countries, and overseas Lao.
The Lao PDR today has a population of more than six million people, comprising an amazing complex of ethnolinguistic groups. Moreover, the number of ethnic Lao people outside of the Lao PDR, including the Lao “diaspora” numbers as many as twenty-five million. In recent years there has been an increased interest in Laos and its peoples as subjects of serious discussion by scholars and the interested public alike. Indeed, there has been a flowering of scholarly publications on topics pertaining to Laos in the last several decades and a growing interest cultivated by the international media with its global reach. The First International Conference on Lao Studies at the Northern Illinois University heralded the burgeoning of a growing interest in Lao studies among a new generation of scholars. The subsequent conferences will build on that momentum.
The theme of the Fifth International Conference on Lao Studies is “Lao PDR in the ASEAN Context” with particular (though not exclusive) emphasis on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
All Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states have committed to creating a region which is highly competitive, equitable in economic development and fully integrated into the global economy. The establishment of the AEC in 2015 will bring enormous opportunities as well as great challenges for the individual member countries in the region, especially for Lao PDR.
Suggested topics for the conference range from economic studies, social sciences, studies on culture, language and history, art, literature, music, Buddhism, traditional knowledge, education, environment and health, and much more. For more details and deadlines for submission of paper presentations, posters, performances etc. please visit the conference homepage.