News


Environmental Asia theme for 2017 Nordic NIAS Council Conference in Oslo

On 20-22 November 2017, the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages (IKOS) at University of Oslo organizes a conference on environmental issues in Asia, together with the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS). This NIAS 10th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference, entitled ”Environmental Asia”, will take place at Voksenåsen not far from Oslo. Key note speakers include Georgina Drew, Lecturer, Anthropology and Development Studies, University of Adelaide, Australia. Her work fits within the fields of environmental anthropology and the critical anthropology of development, being particularly interested in struggles over resource use and management in South Asia and in the Himalaya more broadly. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 August 2017. Full information about the conference.
Conference participation is open to scholars and doctoral candidates in the social sciences and humanities. The conference encourages younger scholars, especially PhD and postdoctoral candidates to submit individual paper or panel proposals. It is possible for a limited number of participants to attend the conference without presenting a paper, or to attend only the keynote speeches. Connected to the conference, a PhD course will take place at Oslo University from 22-24 November 2017. Participants in the PhD course are expected to also take part in the conference (with or without paper presentation).
The aim of this conference is to facilitate critical discussions about Asia’s environmental pathways. What interests are at stake in current environmental policies, and who represents them? How will Asian societies deal with the double-bind of economic development and environmental protection? What roles do Asian religions and philosophies play in environmental debates? How have people reacted to and coped with major environmental changes in the past, and how do they anticipate the future? By exploring these questions, the conference aspires to promote a deeper understanding of environmental change in Asia.


London 2018 conference on Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean

The Aga Khan University’s Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations, based in London, organises an international confertence entitled ”Muslim Cultures in the Indian Ocean. Diversity and Pluralism, Past and Present” on 12-14 September 2018. The Call for Papers is open until 30 September 2017. This conference aims to explore the diversity of Muslim cultures prevalent in the Indian Ocean region - including the Maldives - where, historically, Muslims have interacted for centuries with each other and with other peoples and cultures. Islam not only provided the scaffolding that facilitated cultural exchanges but was also the pivot for transforming local societies. The conference seeks to bring together experts from different disciplines and backgrounds including archaeologists, historians, sociologists, anthropologists, geographers, and scholars of related disciplines to explore various facets of this diversity. This conference marks a reconnaissance of the Indian Ocean not as a periphery but as a centre for the study of Muslim cultures.
Indeed, over the past couple of decades, significant new research has been undertaken across East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent leading to fresh insights on a number of facets of Indian Ocean cultures. Some of these studies were written about the Indian Ocean on the longue durée and other studies were focused on local and regional histories. Cultural encounters across the Indian Ocean down the centuries have given rise to cities, towns, ports and other constructions and artefacts which, while remaining distinctive in themselves, also exhibit layers of shared features. They manifest the craftsmanship and values of their creators, peoples whose diversity is almost proverbial. Similar endeavours are present in almost all aspects of human creativity through contact, including religious beliefs and practices, literature, architecture, trade, cuisine, textiles and fashion, etc. Cultural contacts, exchanges and networks were facilitated by the sea as a link between these diverse worlds. Full information.


Bishkek Conference by the Asian Borderlands Research Network

The 6th Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network will be held 23-25 August 2018 at the American University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The conference theme will be ”Ruins, Revival(s) and Resources”, focusing on the generative and productive capacity of border spaces, which is urgently in need of being addressed. Remnants of the past, both material as well as immaterial ruins , constitute heritages that continue to affect livelihoods across Asian borderlands. Increasingly, borderlands witness a surge in religious, cultural, linguistic, and ideological revival(s) , where the past is perceived as a resource for securing community futures. Whether through the bottom-up claims of marginalized communities or top-down state processes of recognition, designations of cultural heritage have become arenas of contestation where varied actors seek to reframe histories. For this upcoming 6th Asian Borderlands conference in Bishkek, the organisers invite panels and papers that address the following questions: How are borderlands in Asia creating alternative spaces for heritages, self-definition and the extraction of resources? How can these cases serve to rethink social theories of various kind?
Since one of the main goals of this conference is to spur collaboration and conversations across diverse fields in the hope of building up a more nuanced picture of the intersections and relationships across Asian borderlands, the organisers would like to include scholars, writers, policy studies researchers, artists, filmmakers, activists, the media, and others from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. This might help to develop new perspectives in the study of Asian Borderlands. Applicants are encouraged to submit a full panel proposal, as only a small number of individual papers will be selected. The deadline to send in panel, roundtable and paper proposals is Monday 2 October 2017. Participants will be notified around January 2018. Full information.


New Zealand Asian Studies Society Conference in Dunedin

The 22nd New Zealand Asian Studies Society (NZASIA) International Conference will be held in Dunedin 27-29 November 2017. It is being hosted by the University of Otago in Dunedin on south island. In line with NZASIA's key objectives, this biennial conference is multidisciplinary and aims at bringing together scholars working in the broader, open, and contested site of Asian studies. Participants are invited to submit panel or paper proposals presenting original research on any Asian-related topic. Particularly the organisers seek contributions from emerging scholars and postgraduate students and a number of events are specifically targeted to support the new generation of researchers.
Keynote speakers include Professor Subrata K Mitra, Director for the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), and Visiting Research Professor, NUS, Singapore. The dynamic interaction of culture and rationality has deeply influenced his research profile, which focuses on governance and administration, citizenship, hybridity and re-use, the evolution of the Indian state from classical to modern times, the transition to democracy and its consolidation, and security and foreign affairs of South Asia. Professor Mitra's presentation is sponsored by New Zealand India Research Institute (NZIRI).  Full information.


Challenging Perspectives on the Indian Diaspora theme for The Hague conference

On 5-7 October 2017, an international conference on Diaspora Studies and Policies will be held at The Hague, The Netherlands. The conference, with the theme ”Challenging Perspectives on the Indian Diaspora”, is organised by the Foundation of the Lalla Rookh Academic Chair), in conjunction with VU University of Amsterdam, The International Institute of Social Studies of the Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Hague, and the Municipality of The Hague.
​Academic and policy papers from disciplinary, multidisciplinary and inter-disciplinary approaches that will emphasize new areas and linkages with India are invited, including topics like the role of  Bollywood films, homemaking and integrating practices, identity making, issues concerning citizenship and legal arrangements, and the politics and economics of diaspora. The conference will pay attention to exploring topics from new disciplinary areas, such as anthropology, economics, law, politics, sociology, geography, art and media, and history.
Keynote speakers include Professor Brij Lal, Australian National University, Canberra; Professor. N. Jayaram, former Dean Tata Institute for Social Sciences, Mumbai; Professor Shakuntala Rao, State University New York; Professor Vineeta Sinha, National University Singapore; and Professor Peter van de Veer, Director of the Max Plack Institute, Göttingen. Full information.


Habib University President’s Conference on Questioning South Asia

The 2017 Habib University President’s Conference will be held in Karachi, Pakistan, 22-24 November 2017. The theme for the conference will be ”Questioning South Asia”, focusing on how the politically-charged and contested category of South Asia stay can intact amid geological shifts and political restructuring underway globally? In these times of radical shifts in historical conditions, it becomes important to reconsider frameworks of knowledge determined by the ideologies of nation-states. Papers will be presented by scholars who seek to identify the historical modalities of the emergence of South Asia as an analytical construct, and shed light on how it continues to operate as a geographical, cultural, and economic category. Questioning South Asia as a discourse that at present burdens the scholarly imagination, and overdetermines conference agendas and research funding, might reconfigure the strategies we employ to understand the region. More information


Delhi conference on the Making and Unmaking of Asian Borders

The North East India Studies Programme at Jawaharlal Nehru University organises a conference entitled ”Between Empires: The Making and Unmaking of Borders, 19th- 20th centuries" on 1-2 February 2018 in New Delhi, India. Deadline for submitting abstracts is 15 July 2017.
​This two day international conference invites submissions from researchers working on the borderlands of South, South East and East Asia. What were the tools through which borders were historically demarcated and enforced on the ground? In what ways the nature of violence shaped the making of frontiers and borderlands? What practices were instrumental in reshaping the contours of local societies, economies and their historical geographies? Can land, coastal or riverine frontiers, rather than being perceived as insular and distinct spaces, allow one to rethink these geographies in terms of ideas and processes of connected histories? What are the practices through which borders are transgressed or unmade?
Focusing on the making and unmaking of various Asian borders, this interdisciplinary conference aims to engage with some of these questions. Read more...


Peshawar conference on State and Society in South Asia

The 26th International Pakistan History Conference will be held at University of Peshawar on 9-11 October 2017. The theme for the conference, jointly organised by the the Pakistan Historical Society; the Dept. of History at University of Peshawar; and the Hamdard Foundation Pakistan, is ”State and Society in South Asia: Historical Perspective”.
​Historically South Asia consists of the present day states of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The region has more than 2,000 ethnic entities with populations ranging from hundreds of millions to a few thousand. The blend of these various groups has produced composite cultures with some common traditions and beliefs. Despite the tendency towards assimilation, the traditions of some ethnic groups in South Asia have persisted throughout history, sometimes giving rise to strong local traditions such as the distinctive South Indian and Bengali cultures. The conference aims to generate an academic debate on different aspects of State and Society in South Asian context from earlier times to the recent past. The debate would look into the various phases of the development and growth of Society and State in the past, their role in present, and impact on the future. Full information.

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