A three-year IIAS pilotprogramme (2014 -2016) supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (New York). - See more at: http://www.iias.nl/the-newsletter/article/rethinking-asian-studies-globa...

Research, education & networking

With the objective of reshaping the field of Asian Studies the three-year pilot programme (2014-2016) "Rethinking Asian Studies in a Global Context" seeks to foster new humanities-focused research. In practice, this means adapting Asian Studies to an interconnected global environment built on a network of academics and practitioners from Asia, the America’s, Europe and Africa. Educational opportunities are created by selecting cross-disciplinary methodological questions likely to shift scholarly paradigms as they pertain to Asia.

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the initiative is coordinated by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) in Leiden, The Netherlands, in collaboration with numerous institutions in Asia, the United States, Europe and Africa. The pilot programme includes a range of scholarly activities such as workshops, conferences and summer schools in five topical areas, or fora, that cut across regions and disciplines:

  1. Artistic interventions: history, maps, and politics in Asia
  2. Uses of Culture and Cultural Heritage
  3. Asian Spatialities
    - Indian Ocean World
    - Central Eurasia
    - Southeast Asian Borderlands
  4. Idea of the City in Asian Contexts
  5. Views of Asia from Africa

Alternative narratives

Both the research orientations and the architecture of the programme seek to enable participants to think in terms of a decentered knowledge on Asia, exploring alternative narratives of Asian history, questioning conventional spatial configurations of Asia through the  study of cities, exploring the complexity of the local-global nexus, and suggesting alternative approaches from those developed in Western – or Asian – academia.

Research strategy

The programme is incorporated in the overall research strategy of the IIAS, which focuses on three thematic clusters, namely Asian Cities, Asian Heritages and Global Asia.