Workshop — Knowledge Mobilities and the Prospects for InterAsian Urbanisation



WORKSHOP DIRECTORS:

Francis Collins
Senior Lecturer, Geography, School of Environment, University of Auckland
f.collins@auckland.ac.nz

Kong Chong Ho
Associate Professor, Sociology, National University of Singapore
sochokc@nus.edu.sg

WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS:

Jacqueline Armijo, Associate Professor, International Affairs, Qatar University
“Islamic Knowledge Mobilities, DragonMart, and the Growing Chinese Muslim Community in Dubai”

Sujin Eom, PhD Candidate, Department of Architecture, UC Berkeley
“The Idea of Chinatown: Policy Mobilities and the Making of New Economic Imaginations in South Korea”

Maureen Hickey, Instructor, International and Global Studies Program, Portland State University
“‘English Fever,’ Migrant Teachers, and Cosmopolitan Aspirations in an Interconnected Asia”

Nithila Kanagasabai, Junior Research Fellow, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
“Possibilities of Transformation: Women’s Studies in Tier II Cities in India”

Yoonhee Kang, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Seoul National University
“A Pathway to ‘Constant Becoming’: Time, Temporalities and the Construction of Self among South Korean Educational Migrants in Singapore”

Stephanie Kim, Program Director, Center for Korean Studies, University of California, Berkeley
“Flexible Citizenship or Pejorative Privilege? Student Dynamics in an International Higher Education Space in South Korea”

Suray Agung Nugroho, PhD Student, Korean Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and Younghan Cho, Associate Professor/Associate Dean, Korean Studies, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
“Unwarranted Students: Changing Subjectivities of Indonesian Workers Studying at Indonesian Open University in South Korea”

Hyun Joo Sandy Oh, PhD Candidate, Anthropology, University of Toronto
“Escaping obsolescence: The shift from subject to skill based education in a South Korean International School”

Yasmin Patrice Ortiga, Research Fellow, Public Policy and Global Affairs, Nanyang Technological University
“Constructing a Global Education Hub: The Unlikely Case of Manila”

Le-Ha Phan, Professor, College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa
“Transnational Education, English, the Idea of ‘the West’, Reaching to ASEAN, and Dream Realization: A Case Study of a Regional University in Vietnam”

Liliia Zemnukhova, Research Fellow, Center for Science and Technology Studies, European University at St. Petersburg and Melanie Feakins, Research Associate, Institute of Slavic East European and Eurasian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
“’I’m not a gastarbeiter anymore”: Liminal Mobility of Young Kazakh IT Professionals in Russia”

CALL FOR WORKSHOP PAPERS

Over the last two decades, Asian nations have embarked on ambitious political projects that seek to reconfigure education, research, and knowledge as critical drivers of competitiveness, productivity, and economic growth. Heralded as the pathway to global emergence, these knowledge projects hinge on the cultivation and circulation of people, the transfer of skills and knowledge, and the generation of new InterAsian connections that cut across traditional hierarchies of nations, cities, and institutions. These aspirations speak to the multiplex challenges of interconnected Asian modernities: demographic growth in some places and a desire for renewal in others; the human capital demands of service and technology-centered economies in an era of growing trade; the impact of regional mobility and ethnic diversity on national identities; the place of meritocracy, privilege and inequality in the making of knowledge economies; and the social and ecological consequences of economic growth.

In the Asian region, a select group of regionally and globally connected cities are key sites for the generation and articulation of knowledge-based political projects and migration trajectories. Stretching from Dubai and Riyadh in West Asia, Delhi and Mumbai in South Asia, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in Southeast Asia, to Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Tokyo in East Asia. Long seen as critical spaces for nation-building projects, these cities are being re-crafted as post-industrial zones, desirable destinations for knowledge migrants, and regional hubs for education, research and technology. These cities are being re-assembled through transnational flows of popular culture, symbolic and aesthetic expressions, governmentalities of migration regimes, and materialities of new built forms. Concomitantly, this reworking of the Asian urban also articulates through a range of deterritorialising and reterritorialising effects as universities seek out global status and regional networks beyond the nation, workplaces become more diversified, urban spaces are reshaped to attract foreign students and workers, and principles of citizenship and political participation are re-examined.

This workshop will explore the emerging role of knowledge migration and the InterAsian connections that are being reconfigured in and through major urban centres in the region. Participants are asked to address specific forms of knowledge migration – student, scholar, scientist, professional – and examine the ways in which these mobilities are generated in and generative of new InterAsian connections; involve the de/reterritorialisation of urban, national and regional spaces; and articulate through new political anxieties and subjectivities. We seek papers from scholars across the social sciences and humanities who are working empirically in Asia on the role of education and knowledge in migration. Contributions are encouraged from scholars advancing new conceptualisations of the interconnections between mobility, cities, and knowledge flows. Potential themes include:

  • The desires/aspirations of people on the move and the role of knowledge as driver and enabler of migration.
  • Cities as desirable destinations for students, scholars, and professionals, and the ways in which such desirability is generated in transnational flows of popular culture, governmental discourses, institutional narratives and other symbolic endeavours.
  • The role of population mobilities in reconfiguring the role of cities within national, regional, and global spaces.
  • Emergence of various intra-regional Asian connections: Islamic, Southeast Asian, diasporic, mobility in the wider spheres of China and India, cross-regional movement.
  • InterAsian knowledge flows and the challenge of Anglophone hegemony in research, teaching and practice; alternative centres of knowledge production and circulation.
  • Normative and alternative globalization and regionalization of urban knowledge endeavours – policy mobility and learning in government, institutions, civil society.
  • Political anxieties and subjectivities in knowledge migration: demographic renewal, diversity and national identity; challenges to authoritarian rule; regional identities.