This publication resulted from the workshop “Sites of Inter-Asian Interaction,” which convened at Inter-Asian Connections I: Dubai in 2008.
A focus on the sites of Asian interaction enables this volume to shed new light on the growing field of diaspora studies. Research on Asia’s many diasporas has enriched the older literature on migration to illuminate the links of kinship, affect, trade, and information that connect locations across Asia, and beyond. But where many recent works on particular diasporas have tended to look inwards – at how distinctive diasporic cultures maintained a sense of ‘home’ while abroad – the volume’s focus has been on how different diasporas have come into contact with each other in particular places, often for the first time. It also engages with research in the fields of urban studies and urban history. The articles develop the already rich historical literature on port cities across Asia – the quintessential sites of Asian cosmopolitanism – as well as more recent work on the ‘moving metropolises’ and ‘mobile cities’ of contemporary Asia.