Academy Overview

What is the overall purpose of the InterAsia Academy?

The Academy will support work that reconceptualizes research on Asia as an interlinked historical and geographic formation stretching from West Asia (including Turkey) through Eurasia, Central Asia, and South Asia to Southeast Asia and East Asia, as well as work that promises to push the boundaries of current frameworks for transregional and transnational research.

Specifically, the Academy will engage with and explore the broad topic of “Integration and Disintegration.” It will also serve to highlight some of the innovative work previously supported by the program that provides new frameworks—theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical—from an InterAsian perspective. Discussions will focus on individual participants’ research projects as well as larger issues related to the process of conducting transregional research, course design, and teaching and pedagogy as situated globally within various institutional contexts.

What do you mean by “InterAsia”?

We view InterAsia in the context of connections, convergences and comparisons:

  • Connections – the exploration of historical and/or contemporary transnational/cross-national/transregional processes, structures, practices, and flows within, across, and beyond the territorial and imaginative space of Asia. Importantly, we hope to support research frameworks that look at connections across the boundaries of regions and countries, including border zones; economic and cultural continua; pathways of migration, including forced migration, bondage, indentured labor, and those occasioned by shared access to natural resources or legal systems as well as those facilitated by new forms of communication; and markets and economic reconfigurations. Issues concerning the spread of ideas and practices of cultural expression are also encouraged, including those of religion, art, music, and so on.
  • 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 particular set of objects and/or phenomena.
  • Comparisons – involving the investigation of particular topics across specific societies/polities within and across Asia, especially those that explore diverse and innovative units of comparison.

Through InterAsia 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. More broadly, through a focus on the “reregionalization” of Asia, the Academy will further the understanding of how globalization operates through various types of territorial and extraterritorial processes.

Eligibility and Criteria

Is participation limited to particular topics or themes?

We encourage applications addressing a diversity of themes—both historical and contemporary. Applicants will be asked to describe the ways in which their project contributes to the understanding of InterAsian integration and disintegration as well as one or more of the four thematic emphases: ecologies, infrastructure, legalities, and religions. These are not designed to be mutually exclusive, and applicants may indicate an interest in more than one emphasis.

What countries are included in “InterAsia”?

InterAsia includes all countries and regions stretching from West Asia through Eurasia to Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. We are interested in rethinking Asia as an interconnected historical, cultural, and contemporary formation spanning the continent. It also includes connections that link Asia with other world regions, whether through migration, trade, politics, cultural exchange, or global governance.

Do you accept comparative proposals that include one or more countries within Asia as well as countries/regions outside of Asia?

Yes. We encourage proposals that conduct innovative comparisons within and beyond Asia. Projects that address the ways in which global and intercontinental processes flow through and connect with Asian locations are welcomed.

**Is Academy participation limited to particular disciplines?*

No. This Academy competition is open to all disciplines across the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Is this event only open to scholars at particular stages in their academic careers?

Yes. The Academy is geared toward early-career researchers, including advanced graduate students who are currently enrolled in a PhD program, up through those no more than five years out of a PhD at the time of application (e.g. must have received degree no later than 2015). We define advanced graduate students as those who have already completed all required coursework and fieldwork (if applicable) and are in the process of writing the dissertation and generally understood to be within one year of completing the PhD.

In cases involving extenuating circumstances, applicants who are up to six years out of a PhD program can be considered. Applicants with extenuating circumstances (e.g., maternal or paternal leave) should contact the InterAsia Program at prior to applying and submit a detailed statement explaining the circumstances surrounding their situation. We will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Are there language requirements for the Academy?

Yes. All Academy events and presentations will be conducted in English, and all applicants must submit application materials in English. Translation/interpretation services will not be available.

Are there affiliation requirements for applicants?


Are there citizenship requirements?


Can I apply for the Academy if I applied (successfully or unsuccessfully) for other InterAsia activities/fellowships in the past?

Yes, as long as you meet all other eligibility criteria as outlined here.

What is required of Academy participants?

Successful applicants will be asked to prepare two presentations, one based on the application narrative statement elaborating on the theme of their research, and one focusing on developing pedagogical materials, such as course outlines, visual and digital materials, multilingual bibliographies etc. The content of both presentations will be finalized based on the thematic and pedagogical groupings suggested by the final selection of applicants to the Academy.

Application Process

What is the application process?

Applicants will be required to complete and submit the online application by 5:00 p.m. ET on October 2, 2020. Applications must be submitted online and will not be accepted by email or fax.

What does the application consist of?

  • Online application, consisting of personal information and project details
  • Short CV
  • Project bibliography
  • Project narrative statement (up to five pages, may be single spaced)

When will applicants be notified of the results?

Applicants will be notified of results by November 1, 2020.