CFP: “Spaces of Occupation” Cultures of Occupation in Twentieth Century Asia (Workshop) (Kuala Lumpur, 27 May 2019)

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Call for Submissions


Spaces of Occupation


Date: Monday, 27 May 2019


Location: The Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


“Spaces of Occupation” will be the third workshop held under the European Research Council-funded Cultures of Occupation in Twentieth Century Asia (COTCA) project at the University of Nottingham. The workshop will be held with the support of the Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies (IAPS) at the University of Nottingham, Malaysia as well as the Asia Research Institute (ARI) at the University of Nottingham. To learn more about the COTCA project, please visit:


This workshop will bring together scholars from multiple disciplines working at the nexus of history, geography, and foreign occupation in Asia. “Occupation” is defined broadly to include studies of colonialism, imperialism, conflict, and war. While presenters are encouraged to discuss their current work in these fields, it is also expected that presentations will enable wider conceptual, methodological, and theoretical discussions that will be of interest to participants working in different disciplinary and geographic contexts. We particularly encourage proposals that utilize innovative approaches to spatial history, including work in the digital humanities. Discussion at the workshop will revolve around the following core questions:


  1. How did occupation give rise to new forms of cultural expression in the spatial realm? (i.e. manipulation of the natural and built environment for cultural purposes; the re-ordering of existing spaces or architectural forms in the occupation context, etc.)
  2. How did cultural representations, and interpretations of space and landscape, alter occupation? What, in other words, was the “shape” of occupation?
  3. What was the relationship between space, place, and scale under occupation? How was the urban and the rural linked in the occupation context?
  4. How did occupation lead to the development of different spatial regimes? What was the experience of occupation?
  5. What does a spatial analysis contribute to the history of occupation? What are some of the dilemmas or limitations of this approach?

We are expecting to welcome a minimum of 10 external speakers to the workshop. Speakers will be asked to present individual papers of 15-20 minutes each, allowing ample opportunity for open discussion at each session. While presentation at the workshop is by invitation only, the event will be open to students, researchers, and the community. We expect to publish an edited volume based on the workshop proceedings. Carolyn Cartier, Professor of Human Geography and China Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, will provide the keynote address.

Some reimbursement for travel to and from Kuala Lumpur will be determined based on where individual presenters travel from. Accommodations will be provided for two nights at the Royale Chulan hotel in Kuala Lumpur, which is situated adjacent to the Kuala Lumpur Teaching Centre. A catered lunch will be provided. Details about reimbursements will be made available once a final program is confirmed in early 2019.

Proposals for papers are welcome from scholars at all stages of their careers, including career researchers and doctoral students. Abstracts of 300 words, along with a short biographical note of no more than 100 words (indicating institutional affiliation, position, and contact details), should be sent to The deadline for the submission of abstracts is Friday, 21 December 2018.