Cfp AAS-in-Asia 2017: Panel "The Asian Games as a contested sporting field: Post-colonialism, nationalism, and cultural identities in Asia"

Friederike Trotier's picture
Call for Papers
October 28, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Diplomacy and International Relations, Nationalism History / Studies, Sport History & Studies

Call for papers AAS-in-Asia Conference 2017 (Seoul)

I am seeking proposals for a conference panel I am organizing toghether with my colleague Jung Woo Lee (Edinburgh) for the AAS-in-Asia conference in June 2017 in Seoul, South Korea. The title is The Asian Games as a contested sporting field: Post-colonialism, nationalism, and cultural identities in Asia. The proposed panel abstract is below:

A sports mega-event is a field wherein a range of political and cultural identities are displayed and contested. The Asian Games is no exception. At one level, the founders of the Asian Games promoted the event as a tool to develop friendship and intercultural knowledge and to strive for unity and fraternity among the participating countries. Also, this competition showcases unique oriental physical practices such as Kabaddi and Sepak takraw which are not part of other global sporting events. In that sense, the Asian Games is a distinctive occasion which celebrates cultural harmony and diversity in Asia.   

At the same time, this continental event often turns into a symbolic battlefield due to the long history of intense political rivalries and fierce nationalist conflicts between states in South, East, and Central Asia respectively. Hence, each edition of the Asian Games places the host country and the national performance into the forefront and subsequently enforces boundaries between Asian nations. Additionally, as a consequence of European and Japanese imperialism, post-colonial identity politics are also actively at work at the Asian Games.  

In this respect, the Asian Games offers valuable materials that deserve academic attention from Asian Studies scholarly networks. This panel seeks to address chances and obstacles of the Asian Games to cross over boundaries and to build a sense of Asian community. Scholars from different disciplines discuss specific editions of the event – also in comparison with other international competitions – with reference to pan-Asianism, nationalism, and post-colonialism in the past, present and future.     

If anyone is interested in submitting a paper, or joining as a discussant, please contact me at before October 28th. The deadline for the panel proposal ist October 31st.

Friederike Trotier

Contact Info: 

Friederike Trotier, Department of Southeast Asian Studies, Goethe University Frankfurt