This interdisciplinary conference explores how ‘Asia’ has been imagined, imaged, represented and transferred visually across linguistic, geopolitical and cultural boundaries. It aims to challenge established assumptions (and consumptions) of cultural products of ‘Asia’, from arts, artefacts and film to performance. Despite the constant movement of people and objects in the globalized world, ‘location’ still remains an important reference point in identifying images of/from ‘Asia’. The particular focus is on the role of ‘long-distance cultural specialists’ (Harris 2006) – understood in this context as artists, writers, anthropologists and intellectuals, whose works have the distinctive feature of bridging or traversing different worlds. These members of the Asian diasporas, subaltern intellectuals and transnational cultural workers use their artistic and intellectual mobility to represent their ‘native culture’ in the ‘host culture’ or elsewhere. Hence a critique on authenticity, indigeneity, hybridity and inter-cultural influence and borrowing – all of which inevitably leads to questions on power and agency – can benefit from a dialogue between theories in art history, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and anthropology.
Effectively a globalised examination of localized cultural ‘Asia’, this conference is an
interdisciplinary dialogue along the following themes: 1) ‘Locations of cultures’; 2) Identity and images; 3) Representation of culture as translation and 4) Hybridity and agency. It seeks to develop an analytical apparatus to capture the complex positioning of ‘cultural translators’ and ‘cultural products’ across borders. As such, this conference will shed fresh light on the diverse, polyphonic cultural productions of ‘Asia’ against the backdrop of shifting power dynamics between ‘east’ and ‘west’, ‘north’ and ‘south’ in a transnational era.
Dr Clare Harris, University of Oxford (To be confirmed).
Provisional speakers include:
Professor Chihiro Minato, Tama Art University
Professor John Clark, University of Sydney
Dr. Morgan Perkins, State University of New York College at Potsdam
Dr Jan Mrazek, National University of Singapore
Programs Manager (Conferences & Visiting Fellows)
Research School of Humanities
College of Arts and Social Sciences
Sir Roland Wilson Building #120, McCoy Circuit,
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia
T: + 61 2 612 54357 (Phone and Voicemail)
F: + 61 2 612 51380
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