SPICES 2008: Commercialization, Contestation and Creative Culture: The 3rd International Conference on Inter-Asian Culture, Communication, Conflict and Peace

by homey81

SPICES 2008: Commercialization, Contestation and Creative Culture

The 3rd International Conference on Inter-Asian Culture, Communication, Conflict and Peace
7-8 August 2008 (Thursday-Friday)

Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia

Hosted and Organized by

Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS), Universiti Sains Malaysia

Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Department of English and Communication, City University of Hong Kong

The Institute of East Asian Studies, Sungkonghoe University, Korea

Human Rights Studies and Social Development, Mahidol University, Thailand


This ongoing series of international conferences was first convened in Bangkok in 2006. It was agreed in Bangkok that the organizers would host this conference annually at different venues, and in the following year, 2007, the conference was held at the City University of Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, we also agreed to henceforth name our collective SPICES – to reflect the diversity and richness of Asian cultures. Hence, SPICES 2008. This third conference, with the theme Commercialization, Contestation and Creative Culture,will be held at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang in August 2008.

  1. To bring together scholars and civil society workers from across Asia to debate and dialogue on the state of research and study in the area of culture, communication, conflict and peace.
  2. To discuss papers with new ideas and agenda that would move forward the trajectories of Inter-Asia culture and communication with open borders
  3. To network between research institutions and universities, and individual scholars, researchers and civil society workers of diverse experience and interdisciplinary background
  4. To create focal points for future exchange of knowledge and people who share common interests


Commercialization and globalization have undoubtedly impacted on the development of cultural forms and strategies in the region. All too often the impact has been deemed ‘negative’, principally by local politicians and self-appointed cultural guardians, guided by their own political agendas. Such assertions, many times nostalgically yearning for a mythical past, assume the domination of certain cultural forms and practices and the subordination of ‘national’ cultures. Yet, despite some evidence to suggest the possible ‘levelling-down’ of cultures, at the same time, we see everywhere around us in the region the emergence and even development of alternative cultural forms and strategies. The young have been particularly adept at incorporating globalized cultural products and coming up with hybridized forms that speak of and from their own daily cultural experiences.

These developments pose contemporary challenges, both theoretically and politically.

Theoretically, these developments force us to reconsider possibly simplistic notions such as cultural domination and subordination, cultural authenticity and cultural autonomy. They also require us to analyze current cultural and communications practices and strategies and possibly come up with alternative forms of explanation which look at the linkages between the global, the national and the local.

Politically, the emergence and development of these new cultural strategies, not guided by official exhortations and often creatively challenging them, raise questions about the liberating potential of creative culture, often developed by members of civil society. Official discourses about ‘authentic’ cultures and the links with, for example, ethnicity and religion, are challenged.

Apart from addressing these developments, Spices 2008 aims to explore the sustainability of such indigenous developments and the capacities required for their expansion.


    1. Contestations and Indigenous Cultures
    2. Youth Cultures: Communicating Across Borders
    3. Popular Music: Commercialization, Cooptation and Consumption
    4. Gender and Popular Culture
    5. Big Media and Small Media: Commercialization and Independent Media
    6. Creative Culture: The Global, the National and the Local
    7. Transnational Film Culture and National Cinema
    8. Television, Genres and Authenticity
    9. Cultural Rights and the New Media

Groups or individuals who wish to propose other panels or present material related to the general theme of the conference, but not included in the above panels, are also invited to submit abstracts or panel proposal.

The organizers of SPICES 2008 would like to invite paper presenters to send in a soft copy of their abstracts (not more than 250 words) before 29 February, 2008 to SPICES2008@gmail.com

For further information please contact Soraya or Mahyuddin at:

Tel: +604 6532778 or +604 6533455

Fax: +604 659 1624

Email: SPICES2008@gmail.com


The Secretariat


Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS)

Universiti Sains Malaysia

11800, Penang


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