Southeast Asia: Human Evolution, Dispersals and Adaptations

the commission has four main research categories. The intention is to put more focus on the coverage of topics and research interest within the general theme. The research topic chosen to be under each category was based on what we understand to be the unique features of research in Southeast Asia, which reflects its strengths. It was also emphasized that through these categories and topics it will be easier to link our region’s research interest with the neighboring research communities of China, Korea, Japan, South Asia, Australia and the Pacific. For example, Indonesia and China play a central role in current worldwide studies on human evolution and hominid dispersals. The following are the agreed upon categories and topic.

Human Evolution and Dispersals. The general topics of human evolution and human dispersal could have direct connections with larger regional/global research; the specific topics of Austronesian and peopling of Southeast Asia are very much centered on the region.

Environment, Landscape and Adaptation. We recognized that there are significant research initiatives in the study of humans in relation with palaeoenviron-ments. The Southeast Asian region has direct experience with contemporary effects of environmental change, natural disasters, resource depletion and problems connected to coastal management. Our research on past conditions of the region can play a significant role in our understanding of these phenomena. At the same time it is also recognized that natural barriers play a significant role in the differences we observe between island and mainland environments.

Regional Patterns in Technology, Subsistence and Symbolic Behaviors. This category reflects the local nature of the region’s current knowledge production.

Theory and Method. There is a recognition that a focused venue should be provided to address reflective research questions. It is well recognized that the region needs to further discuss a common appreciation of organizing knowledge throughout the time period of interest and to better synthesized data and analysis at a higher level of abstraction.


SECRETARY: Andri Purnomo

VICE-PRESIDENT: Mokhtar Saidin & François Sémah