InterAsian Connections V: Seoul, the fifth in this international conference series, was held April 27-30, 2016, in Korea, at the Seoul National University Asia Center.

This series continues to showcase innovative research from across the social sciences and related disciplines and explore themes that transform conventional understandings of Asia. Crossing traditional area studies boundaries and creating international and interdisciplinary networks of scholars working to theorize the intersection of the "global" and the "regional" in a variety of contexts, the conference aimed to reconceptualize Asia as a dynamic and interconnected historical, geographical, and cultural formation stretching from West Asia through Eurasia, South Asia and Southeast Asia to East Asia.

Copies of all five conference programs, including detailed workshop descriptions and individual paper abstracts, can be downloaded from each conference webpage.

Following a model used in previous conferences, the 2016 Seoul conference comprised ten concurrent, closed director-led workshops as well as plenary sessions open across workshops and to the general public, which enables intensive working group interactions on specific research themes as well as broader interactions on topics of shared interest and concern.

The first plenary, “National Histories and the Cold War: A Transpacific Critique,” was delivered by keynote speaker Lisa Yoneyama (University of Toronto) and featured panelists Juliette Chung (National Tsing Hua University) and Myoung-Kyu Park (Seoul National University). 

During the second plenary, former InterAsian Connections workshop directors were asked to reflect on the InterAsian theoretical framework — both as they interpreted this at the time of their workshop and beyond — and to discuss the ways that researchers can move this work forward beyond the workshop and conference setting, integrating these perspectives and insights into their own work as well as their departments, institutions, and other inter-institutional initiatives. 

Here, returning workshop director Engseng Ho (Duke University) reflected on his “Old Histories, New Geographies: Contrapuntal Mobilities of Trade and State across Asia” workshop from InterAsian Connections II: Singapore (2010).



For detailed descriptions of the individual workshops and participant lists, see links below.


Conviviality beyond the Urban Center: Theorizing the "Marginal Hub"
Workshop Directors: Magnus Marsden (Social Anthropology and Sussex Asia Centre, University of Sussex) and Madeleine Reeves (Social Anthropology, University of Manchester)

Forced Migration in/of Asia: Connections, Convergences, Comparisons
Workshop Directors: Elaine Lynn-Ee Ho (Geography, National University of Singapore) and Cabeiri Robinson (International Studies and Anthropology, University of Washington)

Frontier Assemblages: Political Economies of Margins and Resource Frontiers in Asia
Workshop Directors: Michael Eilenberg (Culture & Society, Aarhus University) and Jason Cons (LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin)

Genealogies of Financialization: Reframing Sovereignty in Asia (1600–present)
Workshop Directors: Sankaran Krishna (Political Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa) and Saeyoung Park (Modern Korean Studies, Leiden University)

Geo-political Economies of (Post) Developmental Urbanization in East Asia
Workshop Directors: Bae-Gyoon Park (Geography Education, Seoul National University) and Jamie Doucette (School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester)  

Knowledge Mobilities and the Prospects for InterAsian Urbanisation
Workshop Directors: Francis Collins (Geography, School of Environment, University of Auckland) and Kong Chong Ho (Sociology, National University of Singapore)

Logistics of Asia-Led Globalization: Infrastructure, Software, Labor
Workshop Directors: Brett Neilson (Institute for Culture and Society, University of Western Sydney) and Ranabir Samaddar (Director, Calcutta Research Group)

Mecca InterAsia
Workshop Directors: Engseng Ho (History and Anthropology, Duke University, and Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore) and Cemil Aydin (History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Mediated Populism across Asia
Workshop Directors: Paula Chakravartty (Gallatin School of Media, Culture and Communication, New York University), Zeynep Gambetti (Political Science and International Relations, Bogaziçi University), and Srirupa Roy (Centre for Modern Indian Studies and Political Science, University of Göttingen)

The Social Economy and Alternative Development Models in Asia
Workshop Directors: Euiyoung Kim (Political Science and International Relations, Seoul National University) and Hiroki Miura (Institute of Korean Political Studies, Seoul National University)


Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What do you mean by InterAsia?
    Applicants are encouraged to think about “InterAsia” in the context of connections, convergences, and comparisons, while also paying attention to the particular way or ways that this has been conceptualized by workshop directors.
    Connections— the exploration of historical and/or contemporary transnational/cross-national/transregional processes, structures, practices, and flows within and across the territorial and imaginative space of Asia;
    Convergences—viewed as the responses of different Asian societies to common processes or the traces of international connections within a particular location or around a set of objects and/or phenomena; and
    Comparisons—involving the investigation of particular topics across specific societies/polities across Asia, especially those that explore diverse and innovative units of comparison.

    Through InterAsian Contexts and Connections we seek to reconceptualize Asia as a dynamic and interconnected formation and to move discussions beyond the territorial fixities of area-studies research without discounting the importance of contextually grounded, place-based knowledge. InterAsia as a theme not only helps examine connections and continuums that transcend traditional area studies divides but also reexamines topics such as urban transformations, knowledge networks and migration as forms of “Asia‐making.” More broadly, through a focus on the “reregionalization” of Asia, the projects supported by the fellowship program will further the understanding of how globalization operates through various types of territorial and extraterritorial processes.

    For examples, see workshops and conferences organized by the InterAsia partnership on this theme and project abstracts for the 2012 and 2013 cohorts of the SSRC Postdoctoral Transregional Research Fellows.

  2. Can I apply to participate in more than one workshop?
    No. Please read the list of workshops and individual workshop CfPs carefully before selecting a workshop for participation. You can only apply to one workshop. Multiple submissions will be disqualified from the selection process.

  3. Can I apply to participate if I have participated in or applied to a previous InterAsian Connections event?

  4. Can I submit a joint application with another researcher?
    Yes; however while we are able to accept co-authored/joint paper proposals, we can only provide financial support for one author per accepted application to participate in the conference. Those submitting co-authored paper proposals should indicate the primary author. If selected, second authors are welcome to attend at their own expense.

  5. Are there language requirements for this event?
    Yes. A working language of English is required, and the papers and presentations will be in English. No translation/interpretation services will be available at the conference.

  6. If my paper proposal is accepted, what will be required of me as a conference and workshop participant?
    The responsibilities of the conference participants include:
    • Submission of a DRAFT research paper of 20-25 pages by January 4, 2016. Papers should be high-quality original research in line with the workshop description available on the conference’s website. Papers should correspond to the original abstract/proposal submitted by the author.
    • Submission of a REVISED, final research paper by April 1, 2016, taking into account any guidelines and suggestions received from workshop directors (directors’ comments due February 12, 2016).
    • Reading the pre-circulated papers of all other participants in their workshop prior to arrival in Seoul. Papers will be circulated electronically in advance to all fellow workshop participants (~10), and made available to all conference participants (~100) at the time of the conference.
    • Participation in all workshop sessions and attendance at all conference events, including the Welcome & Closing Sessions and all Conference Plenary Sessions. Final details, including the conference agenda, will be available approximately six weeks in advance of the event.

  7. Will financial support be provided for conference participants?
    The InterAsia Partnership has made every effort to insure funding for InterAsian Connections V: Seoul, but will not be able to cover all participant costs in-full. At this point we can confirm the following level of financial assistance:
    • single room accommodations including breakfast for all non-local participants for up to five-nights;
    • local transport to/from the conference site daily;
    • lunch on-site daily;
    • one group dinner; and
    • partial airfare stipend (this will vary based on participant’s point of origin and access to other funding sources)
    We cannot cover full airfare costs or any other incidentals, including meals not provided by the organizers, ground transportation, visa processing fees, etc. Therefore we encourage participants to seek funding from external agencies (such as their home institutions). We will not be able to confirm details about final funding amounts until the selection process has been completed (winter 2016).

  8. What are the anticipated research outcomes of the workshops and conference, and plans for follow-on activities, if any?
    Anticipated research outcomes of the workshops vary, and will be determined largely by the individual workshop directors, often in collaboration with the selected workshop participants. While there are no set conference-wide plans for follow-on activities, individual workshops may wish to pursue various options, including the production of edited volumes and special journal issues (please see our site for a description of previous conference-related publications). In addition, the InterAsia partners hope to facilitate collaborations among the expanding network of InterAsian scholars, and will work to develop these cross-workshop and cross-conference collaborations on an ongoing basis, including through the development of a participant database, on-line resources, and other activities that connect participants across various partner institutions (or “nodes”).