19th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia
11 to 13 July, 2012
University of Western Sydney (Parramatta South)
Deadline for submissions of abstracts (individual paper or panel proposals): Tuesday 28 February, 2012
In the past few decades massive economic, political, social and cultural transformations have taken place in the region known as Asia. In the process, it has acquired an increasingly prominent place in the world. Whether or not this ‘rise of Asia’ merits talk about a coming ‘Asian century’, it is clear that the historical context for the study of Asia has irrevocably changed.
Four major considerations are at play here. First, increasing globalisation has led to growing interpenetration and interdependence between different parts of the world. This problematises prevailing boundaries, not least those between ‘Asia’ and ‘the West’. Cross-border interactions and transnational connections across and beyond the region are now vital determinants of local and national conditions in all parts of Asia. As a consequence, now more than ever, such local and national situations cannot be meaningfully studied without consideration of the constitutive role of the broader regional and global context. At the same time, studies of global significance must increasingly include studies of what is occurring in Asia.
Second, economic development throughout the region has given rise to the emergence of complex and vibrant new societies for which descriptors as ‘traditional’ or ‘postcolonial’ are inadequate, and whose understanding can no longer be pursued through using Western modernity as a benchmark. These societies are becoming modern in their own ways, requiring new concepts and tools for analysis.
Third, these recent transformations have led to a burgeoning interest in studying Asia among scholars who do not call themselves ‘Asianists’, for example in cultural and media studies, gender and sexuality studies, and human and urban geography. Thus, while specialist area studies and the disciplinary cores of political science, history, languages and so forth remain central, intellectual engagement with Asia has widened considerably.
Fourth, and crucially, as modern Asian societies mature there are new generations of Asian scholars who conduct research and scholarship on and within their own societies, establishing their own, intraregional scholarly networks. For these scholars, Asia is not ‘other’, as is still often the case for Western scholars.
In short, as Asia becomes an increasingly prominent, complex and self-confident region in the world, the meanings and potentials of ‘knowing Asia’ require fundamental rethinking at multiple levels. The conference will encourage reflection on the implications of these shifts on the field of Asian studies, both in Australia and internationally. In this light, we are seeking panel proposals which are organised around themes. At the same time, the conference will be open to general papers as well as area-specific panels.
Possible themes (not exclusive, and in no particular order) include:
• ‘Chindia’ in the 21st century: myth or reality?
• New Asian hegemonies?
• Transnational Asia: the role of English
• Transport, mobility and tourism
• Australia – Asia interactions
• Translating texts, translating culture
• Nations and their boundaries in a global age
• Gender, sexuality and queer studies
• The politics of heritage, nature and the environment
• Sport and society in Asia
• Urban cultures and social transformation
• Asian regionalism
• Race, ethnicity and multiculturalisms
• Technology and society
• Media and popular culture
• Asian modernities
• Cultural diplomacy and cultural policy
• Religion and secularism
• Asian Studies in Australian universities.
Paper and panel proposals addressing the conference themes are invited. Proposals spanning one or more themes are especially welcome.
• Individual paper proposals (200-300 words)
• Panel proposals (200 words for the panel concept and 200-300 words on each panel paper)
Please submit your abstract online (http://www.conferenceonline.com.au/index.cfm?page=booking&object=abstract&forceHB=1&id=240).
The deadline for abstract submissions is 28 February 2012.
Notification of acceptance will be 15 March 2012.
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