CFP Trans-Asia as method: Exploring new potentials of "trans-Asian" approaches

Iwabuchi Koichi Discussion

Call for papers

International Conference

Trans-Asia as method: Exploring new potentials of "trans-Asian" approaches


12-13 June 2017

Monash University, Prato Centre, Italy

Organized by Monash Asia Institute, Monash University


Monash Asia Institute, Monash University will host an international conference, ‘Trans-Asia as method’ at Monash University Prato Centre in Italy on 12 and 13 June 2017.

The conference aims to discuss the potential of trans-Asian perspectives and approaches for the investigation of human mobilities, media culture flows and people’s cross-border connection across Asia. With the intensifying globalization processes, intra-regional and transnational approaches to the study of Asian culture and society have been developed in the last decade as shown by initiatives such as the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies society and journal, InterAsian Connections (by the Social Science Research Council), and TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, to name just a few. Monash Asia Institute has also been engaging with trans-Asian approaches to promote intellectual dialogue beyond country, region and discipline. More specifically, drawing on the idea of “Asia as method” that was suggested by Takeuchi Yoshimi—which Kuan-Hsing Chen expands in association with the development of inter-Asia cultural studies—, Monash Asia Institute has been engaging with “trans-Asia as method” to encourage the analysis of transnational connections engendered by human mobilities, media culture flows and people's solidarity across the Asian region, as well as intra-regional comparison and reciprocal learning about how globally shared issues are commonly and differently articulated in various Asian countries and cities. The purpose of this conference is to further advance such “trans-Asian” approaches, and rigorously flesh out their definition, through extensive discussion of how they generate innovative knowledge production, what kinds of scholarly frameworks need to be developed, and how transnational collaboration can be fruitfully formed.

Examining empirical cases regarding human mobilities, media culture flows and people’s connection across Asia, “Trans-Asia as method” will explore four patterns of trans-Asian approaches, which are not mutually exclusive to each other, as follows:

1 Cross-border flows and connections

Much has been studied about of trans-Asian flows and connections in terms of human mobilities, migration, media culture and social activism. The conference will discuss how we can further advance such studies and what has been hitherto neglected issues of investigation. How to define the scope of “trans-Asia” in an open and inclusive manner will also be discussed.

2 Inter-Asian comparison and referencing

While the examination of cultural and social issues in a particular socio-historical context is crucial, giving fresh insight from other Asian experiences enriches our understanding. The conference will discuss how we can tactically develop inter-Asian comparison and referencing to further deepen our understanding of the issues and engender innovative conceptualization and theorization from Asian experiences.

3 Transnational & de-nationalized approaches

In a globalized world, so many issues have been shared among Asian countries (and beyond). The conference will explore transnational and de-nationalized perspectives through which we can better understand and engage with globally shared issues, which are commonly and differently articulated in a particular place. We will also consider the lessons, relevance and implications of Asian experiences to other parts of the world and vice versa.

4 Cross-border collaboration

The investigations above will cultivate the sense of shared-ness among researchers working on similar issues in different places and foster transnational collaboration to tackle these shared issues. The conference will discuss some ways to further promote transnational collaboration beyond the confinement of the nation-state and region as well as beyond academic community.

Confirmed speakers include: Ien Ang (Western Sydney University), Jeroen de Kloet (University of Amsterdam), John Erni and Chow Yiu Fai (Hong Kong Baptist University).

Please send your paper proposals (less than 300 words) with your affiliation details and e-mail address no later than 30 September to:

Please clearly put “Paper proposal for Trans-Asia as method” in the subject line. Acceptance of proposals will be notified in late October.

This is a discussion-oriented conference, which will have 15-20 presenters. Presenters will be required to send a paper by the end of May. To facilitate discussion, all speakers will give a concise talk of the main points for 20 minutes. Speakers are not expected to present complete papers but to raise key theoretical questions with related empirical examination where relevant.

Selected papers will be published as an edited volume as part of the book series, Asian Cultural Studies: Transnational and Dialogic Approaches (Rowman & Littlefield International).

Please kindly be advised that we will not be able to offer financial support for participants’ travel costs, but we will try to cover accommodation, if partially. There will be no registration fee for the conference.

You can find more details of the conference and the venue at the Monash Asia Institute website:

We look very much forward to receiving your proposals!

Best regards,

Koichi Iwabuchi

(Convener, Monash Asia Institute, Monash University)