Inter-Asian Connections IV: Istanbul was hosted by Koç University and co-organized and cosponsored by an expanded set of institutional partners that included Yale University, the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS) at the University of Hong Kong, and Göttingen University 

In its effort to update the conference series on an ongoing basis, the organizers solicited conference workshop proposals around an expanded and diverse set of fourteen broad, umbrella themes. Six workshops were selected around five themes: The Post-Neoliberal State, Connected Empires, Picturing and Fictionalizing Asia, The Social Life of Capital in Asian Cities, and Food and Foodways. In addition, the conference’s hosts at Koç University organized a seventh workshop focused on Inequalities in Asian Societies.

As throughout the series, the conference structure was designed to enable intensive “working group” interactions on a specific research theme, as well as broader interactions on topics of mutual interest and concern. The conference featured a public keynote address delivered by Willem van Schendel (University of Amsterdam), “Recombining Asia, or Three Wars and a Conversion,” [watch video here]. The conference also featured a roundtable discussion organized by members of the Transregional Virtual Research Institute focused on “the new global left,” as well as plenary sessions and closed workshop sessions.

In addition, Deniz Kandiyoti gave an opening plenary address [watch video here], “Ambiguous Locations/Shifting Vocations: Turkey in Asia,” in which she challenges the “Westward” orientation central to conventional accounts of Turkish modernization with her own personal account of less acknowledged influences.


Opening Plenary Address: “Ambiguous Locations/Shifting Vocations: Turkey in Asia”
– Deniz Kandiyoti

Keynote Address: “Recombining Asia, or Three Wars and a Conversion”
– Willem van Schendel

Conference Workshops

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

“After Neoliberalism?” The Future of Postneoliberal State and Society in Asia
Workshop directors:
Emel Akçali, Department of International Relations and European Studies, Central European University, Hungary
Ho-Fung Hung, Sociology, Johns Hopkins University, US
Lerna Yanik, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Kadir Has University, Istanbul

Asian Early Modernities: Empires, Bureaucrats, Confessions, Borders, Merchants
Workshop directors:
Kaya Sahin, Department of History, Indiana University, US
Hendrik Spruyt, Department of Political Science, Northwestern University, US

Contemporary Art and the Inter-Asian Imaginary
Workshop directors:
Alice Jim, Department of Art History, Concordia University, Canada
Henry Tsang, Faculty of Culture and Community, emily carr university of art + design, Canada

Inequalities in Asian Societies: Bringing Back Class Analysis
Workshop directors:
Deniz Yükseker, Sociology, Koç University, Turkey
Ching Kwan Lee, Sociology, UCLA, US
Can Nacar, History, Koç University, Turkey

Porous Enclaves: Inter-Asian Residential Projects and the Popular Classes from Istanbul to Seoul
Workshop directors:
John Friedmann, School of Community and Regional Planning, University of British Columbia, Canada
Erik Harms, Anthropology and Area and International Studies, Yale University, US

Rescuing Taste from the Nation: Oceans, Borders, and Culinary Flows
Workshop directors:
Krishnendu Ray, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, New York University, US
Cecilia Leong-Salobir, University of Wollongong, US

The Sounds and Scripts of Languages in Motion
Workshop directors:
Jing Tsu, East Asian Languages and Literatures, Yale University, US
Ronit Ricci, School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia-Pacific, Australian National University