"East Asia in Global Perspective: Transnational Movement and Exchange in the Age of Empire, c.1850-1950"

Barry Crosbie's picture
Call for Papers
May 24, 2019 to May 25, 2019
Subject Fields: 
British History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, World History / Studies

CFP: East Asia in Global Perspective: Transnational Movement and Exchange in the Age of Empire, c. 1850-1950


An International History Conference


The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, S.A.R. China

(24-25 May 2019)


The conclusion of the so-called “unequal treaties” between Euro-American powers and East Asian states brought a growing number of foreigners to China, Korea and Japan. Treaty ports and foreign settlements such as Shanghai, Tianjin, Harbin, Jemulpo, Nagasaki, Kobe and Yokohama, as well as the British colony of Hong Kong and the German lease of Jiaozhou, developed into lively trading centres. The rise of Japanese imperialism in Korea and Taiwan added a further dimension from the late nineteenth century on. Competition, cooperation and conflict between different imperial and national projects found expression in multiple ways. This conference provides a forum to discuss the social, political and cultural implications of the Japanese and Euro-American colonial presence in East Asia from the mid-nineteenth century to the Second World War. 


In terms of historiographic praxis, this conference aims at cultivating a dialogue between the more established fields of British or French imperial history with those of emerging paths of historical enquiry such as German- and Luso-Asian Studies, the history of American-East Asian relations, or the study of Russian engagement with East Asia. In doing so, the conference aims to bring together scholars working in the fields of global, transnational and imperial history, East Asian Studies, and related disciplines, to explore the myriad ways in which both imperial powers and East Asian colonies and treaty ports were shaped by the colonial encounter.


With a strong focus on the cultural interactions and exchanges between imperial powers and East Asian societies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, we welcome different disciplinary approaches that explore both formal and informal manifestations of empire, the legacy and afterlives of the Japanese and Euro-American presence in East Asia, as well as the different ways in which empire was reconstituted and colonial relationships reconfigured in the early post-war decolonization period.


We are particularly interested in papers that address the multiple forms of cooperation and competition that existed between different imperial and national visions in colonial East Asia, as well as the imbrications or comparisons between the Japanese and Euro-American powers themselves. However, proposals that examine only one of these nations in China, Korea or Japan will also be considered. Papers can explore, but are not limited to, the following themes:


  • Competing visions of different imperial projects
  • Foreign education, curricula, and international schooling
  • Clubs, sport associations and other social/cultural institutions
  • Expatriate communities, popular culture and associational life
  • Trade networks, commercial links and the business world
  • Foreign literary culture: popular reading, travel writing, theatre and drama
  • Colonial print, visual and material culture: exhibitions, fairs, museums and libraries
  • Missionary life, religious activity and spiritual culture 
  • International broadcasting, mass media, and the foreignlanguage press
  • Cultures of intellectual ‘improvement’ and exclusion based on race, class or gender
  • Influence of women, working class expatriates, indigenous and minority groups 
  • Public health, western medicine and the colonial environment
  • Legal and administrative cultures
  • Colonial and imperial identities: expressions of national and transnational belonging
  • Science, technology and the pursuit of colonial knowledge


Submission guidelines:


Please submit paper title, abstract of no more than 300 words, and a short biography to the conference email address: eastasiaconferencehk2019@gmail.com. If you are submitting a proposal for a panel, please include an abstract for each paper (300 words), a summary of the panel theme (250 words), as well as a short biography of each panel speaker.


All proposals should include your name, email address, and academic affiliation (if applicable).


The deadline for submissions is 11 January 2019.   


Tentative timeline:

  • 11 January 2019: Deadline for submissions of paper proposal
  • 31 January 2019: Decision on paper acceptance
  • 24-25 May 2019: Date of conference


For any enquiries, please contact Dr. Barry Crosbie at eastasiaconferencehk2019@gmail.com



























Contact Info: 

Dr. Barry Crosbie

The Education University of Hong Kong