The second conference in the InterAsian Connections Conference Series, hosted by the National University of Singapore (NUS), marked the beginning of a multiyear partnership between the SSRC, the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS) at the University of Hong Kong, and NUS.

This conference featured five concurrent workshops coordinated by individual directors that showcased innovative research from across the social sciences and related disciplines. These workshops focused on broad themes of particular relevance to Asia, reconceptualized as a dynamic and interconnected historical, geographical, and cultural formation stretching from the Middle East through Eurasia and South Asia to East Asia. Themes included Old Histories / New Geographies, Migration: Mobilities and Displacement, Security and Insecurity, Transnational Knowledge Economies, and Translocal Trust Networks.

The conference was structured to enable intensive “working group” interactions on specific research themes—a trademark of the series—as well as broader interactions on topics of mutual interest and concern.

The third day of the conference featured a public keynote address delivered by Dr. Ackbar Abbas (professor of comparative literature, University of California–Irvine), “‘Poor Theory’ and Asian Cultural Practices [watch video here].”

It also featured a plenary in celebration of professor Wang Gungwu’s eightieth birthday, with an address delivered by Philip A. Kuhn (the Francis Lee Higginson Professor of History and of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, emeritus, Harvard University), “China and Chineseness: Civilization as Historical Storehouse,” and a plenary devoted to “Electronic Media and Academic Interaction among Scholars in Asia” led by Paul H. Kratoska, managing director, NUS Press, and Michael Duckworth, publisher, Hong Kong University Press.

Conference Workshop

Click the following links for additional details on the five conference workshops, including full lists of workshop participants.

How Asia Became Territorial
Workshop directors:
Itty Abraham, University of Texas at Austin, US
See Seng Tan, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Inter-Asian Temple and Trust Networks within and out of Southeast Asia
Workshop director:
Kenneth Dean, McGill University, Canada

Old Histories, New Geographies: Contrapuntal Mobilities of Trade and State across Asia
Workshop directors:
Engseng Ho, Duke University, US
Lakshmi Subramanian, Jamia Millia Islamia, India

Regional Knowledge Hubs in Asia: The Social Sciences and Humanities in Science and Technology Human Capital (STHC)
Workshop directors:
V.V. Krishna, National University of Singapore
Tim Turpin, University of Western Sydney, Australia

Reproduction Mobility in Asia
Workshop directors:
Biao Xiang, University of Oxford, UK
Mika Toyota, National University of Singapore