Call For Papers: "Understanding Timor-Leste" - Timor-Leste Studies Association 2019 research conference, Dili, 27-28 June



Understanding Timor-Leste: 2019 TLSA Research Conference

Liceu Campus, Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e (UNTL), Avenida Cidade de Lisboa, Dili, Timor-Leste, 27–28 June 2019

This two-day conference for researchers is organised by the Timor-Leste Studies Association (TLSA). The TLSA is an interdisciplinary, international research network focussed on all aspects of research into East Timorese society, including politics and history, economics, communications, health, language, agriculture and science. 

This year’s conference will also have three special streams: the first on the theme of 1999: 20 Years On to be convened by Clinton Fernandes and Mica Barreto Soares; the second on the theme of Gender Research in Timor-Leste to be convened by Hannah Loney and Uka Pinto; and the third on the theme of Agriculture to be convened by Claudino Nabais and Robert Williams.

2019 marks two decades since Timor-Leste’s historic ballot on self-determination and the end of a long period of foreign occupation. TLSA 2019 will be the occasion for a comprehensive reassessment of the momentous events of 1999. This special stream invites contributions with a focus on 1999. Papers on a range of topics are welcome: politics, history, culture, economics, international solidarity, resistance organisations, military strategy, international relations, the 30 August referendum, international peacekeeping, war crimes, human rights, civil-military relations, and much more.  

The Understanding Timor-Leste 2019 conference will be co-hosted by the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e, Swinburne University of Technology, and the University of Lisbon.  


The organisers now call for papers addressing any aspect of social science / humanities / scientific research related to Timor-Leste. The conference organisers welcome papers from academics, researchers, activists, community groups, and policy makers. A refereed conference proceedings publication will be published after the conference. Conference sub-themes will include, but are not limited to:

  •          1999: 20 Years On
  •          Gender Research in Timor-Leste
  •          Agriculture
  •          Anthropology and Archaeology
  •          Community Development
  •          Culture and Society
  •          Development Policy
  •          East Timorese Perspectives on Regional and Global Issues
  •          Economics, Business and Trade
  •          Education
  •          Health
  •          History and Heritage
  •          Human Rights
  •          Language and Linguistics
  •          Peace-Building
  •          Politics and International Relations
  •          Resource Management
  •          Timor-Leste’s Regional and International Relationships


Papers may be presented in Tetum, Portuguese, English or Indonesian.


Please send all abstract proposals for 20-minute papers, with a 150-word abstract, by Friday 29 March 2019, to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Proposals must include:

  •          Name:
  •          Affiliation:
  •          Paper Title:
  •          150-word Abstract:
  •          Language(s):
  •          Theme:

You may also propose a 1.5-hour panel (3 papers). Please include an abstract proposal for each paper, as well as a panel title and abstract.  

Tetum language papers should also be sent cc: Dulce Martins and Leo Soares (Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Portuguese language papers should also be sent cc: Nuno Canas Mendes (University of Lisbon) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Indonesian language papers should also be sent cc: Alarico da Costa Ximenes (Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosa’e) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Further information regarding registration will be available online soon.


See registration details (available online shortly) for special discounts for East Timorese participants.


The Understanding Timor-Leste conference will precede the UNTL/ Victoria University conference to be held in Dili on 1–2 July 2019. For further information about this conference, please contact Helen Hill: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

These are linked conferences and discounted co-registration will be available for those who attend both.

On the weekend between these two conferences (Saturday 29 – Sunday 30 June), a number of special events will take place in Dili. More details will be available soon.


Further details about registration, accommodation and travel will be available soon on the TLSA website:


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