Transformation of Youth Identities in East and Southeast Asia: Public Space and Intimacy

Takeshi Morisato's picture
Call for Papers
May 27, 2019 to May 28, 2019
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Chinese History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Philosophy, Political Science

GENEsYs Conference at the Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium 

"Transformation of youth identities in East and Southeast Asia: Public spaces and intimacy" 

East and Southeast Asian societies have been undergoing profound demographic, political, economic, and technological transformations in recent decades. As the so-called “Millennials” or “Generation Y” grow up with values, cultures, and means of communications that are in many ways distinct from previous generations, they have also begun to play a significant role in shaping the political, socio-economic and cultural developments of these societies and thereby redefining their own individual and social identities. 


This conference aims to bring together scholars from various disciplines to explore the construction, transformation, and negotiation of youth identities through the prism of “public space” and “intimacy.” The proliferation of digital communication technologies has in particular affected young people’s experiences with public space and intimacy since they are now able to participate in virtual networks and communities that can be simultaneously both public and intimate. The discussion will therefore approach the idea of public space in both physical and virtual senses, examining the ways in which the young people’s appropriation of public space—online and offline—or withdrawal from it influences their negotiation of social, cultural, and political identities. 


We welcome contributions that explore the relationship between the youth identities, public spaces, and intimacy from a range of disciplinary perspectives such as sociological, anthropological, philosophical, religious, and political. Participants’ respective empirical and theoretical research may be focused on any of the countries or regions in East and Southeast Asia, and comparative approaches are particularly encouraged. Potential topics may include and are not limited to: 

  • The use and creation of public spaces in youth participation in social activism and political mobilizations 
  • The politics of intimacy and the relationship between the political and the personal in youth activism 
  • Emerging feminist movements that question the boundary between the public, the private and the intimate 
  • Gender and public spaces 
  • Youth participation in the (re-)creation or construction of a religious space in public 
  • Secular pilgrimage(s) as an intimate space of the religious in contemporary societies 
  • Sacred landscapes and identities 
  • Philosophical notions of intimacy and/or public space 
  • New media and social networks 
  • Continuities and discontinuities between generations in terms of perceptions of public space and intimacy 
  • The influences of global popular culture and transnational circulation of ideas within and beyond the region 

Submission deadlineMarch 15th, 2019   

Submission guidelines:

  • Please submit your cv and abstract to The abstract should be 300-500 words.
  • All submissions must be in .doc, .docx or .pdf formats and should be prepared for blind review.
  • Responses to submissions will be sent by March 15th, 2019.
  • Please send any questions to

Organizing Committee: Takeshi Morisato (ULB), Nolwenn Salmon (ULB), Chenchen Zhang (ULB) 

Scientific Committee: Pierre Bonneels (ULB), Baudouin Decharneux (ULB), Eric Florence (Université de Liège), Vanessa Frangville (ULB), Asuncion Fresnoza-Flot (ULB), Thierry Kellner (ULB), Françoise Lauwaert (ULB), Pierre Petit (ULB), Frederik Ponjaert (ULB) 


For more information, visit ULB-EASt website


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