Crossroads Studies: Mobilities, Immobilities and the Issue of Positionality for Rethinking Area Studies

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Crossroads Asia Conference at Center for Development Research, Bonn, Germany, November 27-28, 2014

Call for Papers

The research network Crossroads Asia: Conflict, Migration, Development, funded by the Area Studies Initiative of the German Ministry of Education and Research since March 2011 questions the validity of the conventional ‘world regions’ of Central and South Asia as defining bases for Area Studies as conceptualized, organized and taught at German universities. The increasing mobility of people, goods and ideas along Asia’s crossroads – so the networks assumption – does not  justify a division of the world in territorially fixed ‘areas’, defined by certain character traits to be found on the ‘inside’, but instead demands for concepts that take these dynamisms into account. The network chose Norbert Elias’ concept of figurations to generate knowledge transgressing conventional areas and brought together researchers trained in Central, South Asian and Iranian Studies with geographers, political scientists, sociologists, linguists and social anthropologists.

The here proposed conference on ‘Crossroads Studies’ as research programme aims to bring together the empirical research conducted by the network members with empirical, conceptual and methodological debates on the rethinking of Area Studies – from Asia just as much as from other parts of the world. It is the explicit aim to identify several empirically-based common lines of thought and emic patterns of  defining socio-cultural and physical spaces relevant for the rethinking of disciplinary constructs of those, namely for Area Studies.

Our research into the everyday lives of people living between Eastern Iran and Northern India, as well as the Aral Sea and Western China strongly indicates that different mobilities, just as much as immobilities, and thus different types of borders and boundaries are negotiated, take on shape, come into being or are deconstructed again in and as a consequence of human communication and interaction processes.

The notion of ‘Crossroads Studies’ therefore refers not only to the study of different types of mobility and immobility along some of Asia’s crossroads and the reflection of the researcher’s own position in this. But in addition it refers to the conscious reflection of these border/boundary negotiations as processes of the communicative construction of socio-cultural and physical spaces at the crossroads of Area Studies and ‘systematic’ disciplines. We thus locate ourselves, ‘Crossroads Studies’, in the centre of what Knorr-Cetina (1999: 12) calls “the disunity of science” and “the diversity of the manufacturing systems from which truth effects arise”. It is this diversity – with reference to ‘systematic’ disciplines, Area Studies and geographic regions of the world that we hope to nurture in this conference on rethinking of Area Studies, by studying the dynamisms and the blockades of today’s world.

We thus would like to encourage the submission of innovative papers related to the rethinking of Area Studies from any disciplinary or Area Studies perspective as well as of empirical and/or conceptual nature. For submission please send a max. 2 page long abstract and a short CV to Dr. Anna-Katharina Hornidge (Mail: crossroads@uni-bonn.de) by latest April 30th. Selected speakers will be expected to submit a full draft of the conference paper by October 15, 2014. The conference organisers will cover the travel expenses of all invited speakers.    

Center for Development Research
Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF)
University of Bonn
Walter-Flex-Str. 1-3, Room 1.013
53113 Bonn, Germany

40th Annual Meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society

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June 25th-28th 2014, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The 40th annual meeting of the French Colonial Historical Society (FCHS) will take place between the 25th and the 28th of June 2014, in Siem Reap, known worldwide as the gateway for the Angkor temples region. The event will be hosted by the Center for Khmer Studies and Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia- Siem Reap campus.

This year’s theme will be France and the Asia-Pacific region, but as usual, proposals on all aspects of overseas France will be considered. The Society encourages students, scholars, and educators, from all disciplines to attend.

The FCHS depends on membership dues. All conference participants must be or become members at the time of registration. Additional information about the conference and the FCHS’s scholarly activities, fellowships, and past conferences is available from their homepage.

IFLA World Library and Information Congress 17-23 August 2013, Singapore

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At this year’s congress, a full day session will be dedicated to Asian collections. Session 95 “Rare and special collections in the Asian or Oceanian context — Rare Books and Manuscrips with Asia and Oceania” will see a range of poster presentations and speeches concerned with the management, preservation and use of special collections. Many presentations will be related to collections of Southeast Asian materials.

Programme of the session:  

19 August 2013 08:30 – 18:00, National Library of Singapore

Presentations, Morning session:

Mapping dreams to pin the future to: access ideas for the National Library Singapore
TIMOTHY PWEE and MAGES PERIASAMY (Special Collections, National Library Singapore, National Library Board, Singapore)
Taonga (treasures) at the Alexander Turnbull Library: documentary heritage in Polynesia
Report on Historical Documents Collection of Wenzhou
XIE ZHIYONG (Wenzhou Public Library, China)
Rare handwritten manuscript collection in Indic languages at Scindia Oriental Research Institute (SORI), India
ANIL KUMAR JAIN, SUDHIR KUMAR, KEERTI BALA JAIN (School of Studies in Library and Information Science, Vikram University, Ujjain, India), SUBHAJIT CHOUDHURY (Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, India) and BAL KRISHNA SHARMA (Sciendia Oriental Research Institute (SORI), Ujjain, India)
Preserving Cordillera culture and history through the University of the Philippines Baguio Cordillera Studies Collection Library and Archives
CRISTINA B. VILLANUEVA (Cordillera Studies Collection Library and Cordillera/Northern Luzon Historical Archives, University of the Philippines Baguio)
Exploring Filipiniana rare books and the state of Filipiniana rare books management
ROMULO R. UBAY, JR., MARTIN JULIUS V. PEREZ, TERESITA C. MORAN (Library Services, Far Eastern University, Manila, Philippines) and JOANNA O. SIAPNO (Library, De La Salle University-Makati Extension Campus, Makati City, Philippines)

Poster presentations:

Preserving Sri Lanka’s traditional manuscript culture: role of the Palm Leaf Digitization Project of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Kelaniya
Social construction of manuscript preservation at Rekso Pustoko, Mangkunegaran Palace, Surakarta, Central Java
Content analysis of manuscripts: case study on digital library in National Library and Archives of I.R. of Iran
The 1893 printing of the Tipitaka (the first ever printing of this text), which King Chulalongkorn presented to over 200 institutions world-wide
Compilation of Yongle Encyclopedia kept in the National Library of China

Presentations, Afternoon session:

Asia in New Haven
Books on the move”: rare Chinese collections at the University of British Columbia
JING LIU (Asian Library, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) and ALVAN BREGMAN (Technical Services, University of British Columbia Library, Vancouver, Canada)
The USEK Library: An academic library with a national mission of conserving the heritage of Lebanon
RANDA AL CHIDIAC (Executive Director, Library, Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK), Kaslik, Lebanon)
Reliving the Filipino classical music heritage: preservation and restoration of Philippine art music manuscripts of the University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Music
IYRA S.BUENROSTRO and JOHANN FREDERICK A. CABBAB (School of Library and Information Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines)
The Cristoforo Castelli’s narration: between the Word and image
MARIETTA CHIKHLADZE (National Centre of Manuscripts, Tbilisi (Georgia)

Tour of the National Library of Singapore

Full conference Programme IFLA 2013

6th International Conference on the Asia-Pacific Region

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The 6th International Conference on the Asia-Pacific Region “Network interrelations in the Asia-Pacific Region: Society – Economy – Politics” will be held at the Wrocław University of Economics on 17-18 November 2013, in Wrocław, Poland. The purpose of the conference is to exchange experiences and to popularize the knowledge of the Asia – Pacific Region.

The conference will concern multifaceted issues of networks in the Asia – Pacific, in the social, economic and political dimension. The conference will have an international character, and the leading language will be English. Papers in English will be published in Wroclaw University of Economics Research Papers after a positive peer review. Deadline for submission of full text papers is 12 May 2013 (max. 10 pages).

For further information, please visit: http://www.azja-pacyfik.edu.pl