Call for Papers: WWII in the Asia-Pacific: Border Crossing Mobilities

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Two-day online workshop: WWII in the Asia-Pacific: Border Crossing Mobilities

Date: 18 &19 July 2022

Place: Online via Zoom (TBA)

Project Name: 移動グローバル社会史研究会


Call for Papers

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. Please see the workshop website for the complete list of key questions papers may address and for the complete call for papers.


While scholars from any stage of their career are welcome to apply to present at this workshop, early career researchers (ECRs) are particularly encouraged as one of the key aims is to support ECRs.  Successful PhD and ECR applicants will have the opportunity to attend a presentation training and feedback session with the convenors prior to the workshop. (ERC eligibility: PhD awarded no earlier than 2016; career interruptions are also considered).

Selected papers from the workshop will be submitted to a Q1 journal (yet to be confirmed) as part of a special issue on war mobilities in the Asia Pacific War/WWII. Those selected for inclusion will be expected to work with the workshop convenors/special issue editors to revise their draft paper and to adhere to set deadlines. We anticipate publication in 2023/24.

Paper proposals should include:

1)  a title;

2) an abstract (up to 500 words maximum);

3) a brief personal biography of 150 words); and

4) contact details.

Please use the template for your paper proposal  
and submit your proposal to


Key dates

1) Deadline for submission: 17 January 2022

2) Notification of outcomes of your submission: by 14 February 2022

3) Workshop presentation mentoring for ECRs: TBA June 2022

4) Online workshop: 18 & 19 July 2022.



Dr Christine de Matos (Faculty of Arts & Sciences and Business & Law. The University of Notre Dame Australia)

Dr Rowena Ward (School of Humanities and Social Inquiry, University of Wollongong, Australia)

Associate Professor Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi (College of Global Liberal Arts, Ritsumeikan University, Japan)

     To contact the convenors     

Please send an email to

Workshop website:



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