WWII in the Asia-Pacific: Border Crossing Mobilities Online Workshop July 18 and 19th, 2022 Program schedule and registration info

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July 18, 2022 to July 19, 2022
Subject Fields: 
East Asian History / Studies, Australian and New Zealand History / Studies, Military History, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies


Two Day Online Workshop

WWII in the Asia-Pacific: Border Crossing Mobilities 

Date: Monday 18 & Tuesday 19 July 2022

The Workshop is free and open to the public. Please register here 


 prior to the conference.

For the detailed schedule of speakers and presentation descriptions please see the conference website.


This workshop focuses on international mobilities and migration as a way to understand the impacts of WWII across the Asia-Pacific region. Crises, including war, famine, natural disasters, political upheavals (such as revolution), epidemics and pandemics, create human mobilities and migration on a large scale. WWII was no exception. Charles Tilly describes World War II as “one of the greatest demographic whirlwinds to sweep the earth” (Tilly 2006). This demographic whirlwind also swept through the battlefields of the Asia Pacific region. While there is substantial research on war mobilities in the European context (deportees, expellees, refugees, etc.), much less is documented about similar experiences in Asia and the Pacific, despite ample cases of such mobilities (forced labourers, POWs, evacuees, etc.).

This disparity likely results from two factors. First, war histories tend to be researched within a paradigm of national history at the expense of inter-regional war mobilities. Second, international migration studies (IMS) have paid scarce attention to war migration/mobilities in Asia. This workshop will challenge dominant paradigms in both war histories and IMS and enrich various social histories of war.

By identifying various types of war mobilities and migration, the transnational connections or disconnections resulting from them, and the manifested outcomes of these mobilities, this workshop aims to present complex histories of World War II and to shift familiar ways of understanding this war, and the empires and (changing) borders that have often defined it.

    Workshop Conveners    

 Dr. Christine de Matos    (The University of Notre Dame Australia)

 Dr. Rowena Ward       (University of Wollongoong, Australia)

 A/Professor Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi       (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)


     Keynote Speaker   

Associate Professor Kirsten L. Ziomek

Director of Asian Studies, Department of History, Adelphi University, USA


This workshop is funded by the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social Science, Ritsumeikan University and an Event Grant for the 2021 round from the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA).

Contact Info: 

Workshop Contact: Dr Laura Clark

Contact Email: