Request for Workshop Proposals - InterAsian Connections V: Seoul,27-30 April 2016, Korea

Publish Date: May 05, 2015

Deadline: Jun 05, 2015


We are pleased to announce that InterAsian Connections V: Seoul, the fifth in this international conference series, will be held April 27-30, 2016, in Korea, at Seoul National University Asia Center.

This series showcases innovative research from across the social sciences and related disciplines and explores themes that transform conventional understandings of Asia. Crossing traditional area studies boundaries and creating international and interdisciplinary networks of scholars working to theorize the intersection of the "global" and the "regional" in a variety of contexts, the conference reconceptualizes Asia as a dynamic and interconnected historical, geographical, and cultural formation stretching from West Asia through Eurasia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, to East Asia.

Copies of previous conference programs, including detailed workshop descriptions and individual paper abstracts, can be downloaded from each conference webpage.

Following the model used in previous conferences, the 2016 Seoul conference--comprising both closed director-led workshops and plenary sessions open across workshops and to the general public—will be structured to enable intensive working group interactions on specific research themes as well as broader interactions on topics of shared interest and concern. Each workshop will have two directors with different institutional affiliations, preferably representing different disciplines as well.

Joint proposals are invited from faculty members at accredited universities and colleges in any world region who are interested in co-organizing and codirecting a thematic workshop that addresses one of the following broadly conceived workshop themes:

  • State Sovereignty and the Reconfiguration of State-Society Relations in Asia
  • Refugees in the Remaking of Asia
  • Mobilizing Religious Identities in InterAsian Perspective
  • Hubs, Mobilities, and the Asian Urban
  • Disaster Governance
  • Urban Ecology and Health
  • Natural and Cultural Heritage in Asia
  • Global 1970s
  • Late Twentieth-Century Asian Modernities
  • Asian Engagement with Modern Technology
  • Area Studies in the Anthropocene

Click here to see full descriptions of these workshop themes.


Applications are invited from scholars who would like to convene an international workshop that brings together a group of researchers working to address one of the broadly conceived workshop themes located in an InterAsian research landscape.

All workshop directors are encouraged to think about InterAsia in the context of connections, convergences and comparisons. We are interested in developing the study of connections–the exploration of historical and/or contemporary transnational/cross-national/trans-regional processes, structures, practices, and flows within and across the territorial and imaginative space of Asia, secondly convergences or the responses of different Asian societies to common processes, and finally comparisons involving the investigation of societies/polities within Asia, especially those that utilize innovative units of comparison. In addition to the investigation of particular issues and processes as described in the workshop themes, the conference aims to critically investigate the ways in which fields of knowledge map Asia and imagine alternatives. Workshop directors should encourage papers that promote a conscious InterAsian project of inquiry. We aim at gathering as broad an international and multi-disciplinary representation of scholars as possible. We also encourage proposals for workshops that will see participation by activists, policymakers, media practitioners, and cultural producers addressing different aspects of the InterAsian conference theme.

Each workshop should have two directors (with different institutional affiliations and preferably representing different disciplines) and will include ten to twelve participants (senior and junior scholars, graduate students, other researchers) chosen competitively from across relevant disciplines in the social sciences, humanities and related fields. Workshop Directors will be selected by the Organizers and are then expected to help recruit and select workshop participants, thus they should have sufficient research experience on the region and themes of their proposals. Both directors should be at least two years out of the PhD (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis for scholars who have comparable research and professional experience). It is recommended that at least one of the two directors be more senior, with additional experience in a workshop setting.

Directors will be selected according to four criteria:

  • The theoretical and/or empirical contributions of the workshop—i.e. the extent to which the proposed workshop represents an innovative and original contribution to existing scholarship on the subject;
  • The InterAsian relevance of the workshop—i.e. the extent to which the proposed workshop takes forward the intellectual mandate of the conference, of redefining “Asia” as a dynamic and interconnected formation, whether through innovative comparative approaches or through a focus on connections within and across the traditionally defined regions of Asia (West Asia, Eurasia, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia). Arguments that particular topics imply specific geographic configurations within and across Asia will be welcomed;
  • The anticipated composition of the workshop—i.e. the extent to which the workshop will elicit participation from a diverse community of scholars, with preference given to workshops that have multi-disciplinary and international appeal, and that involve scholars and researchers at different stages of their careers;
  • The anticipated research outcomes of the workshop—i.e. the extent to which the workshop has the potential to generate new and innovative research agendas and to forge/sustain intra and inter-regional networks of scholarly research and exchange among institutions and individuals working in and on Asia.

Note: workshop directors from the last two InterAsian Connections conferences (Hong Kong 2012 and Istanbul 2013) may not apply to serve as workshop directors, but may choose to apply as workshop participants.

The deadline for application submissions is June 5, 2015 and decisions will be announced in early July.

Applicants should submit the following (click here to access materials)

  1. Application cover sheet--basic workshop details
  2. 1-2 page C.V. for each workshop director (academic qualifications and employment history; list of publications)
  3. 1-page abstract of the workshop that could be circulated as an open call for papers (may be single-spaced). As a note, if selected to lead a workshop, directors may be asked to revise this CfP prior to circulation.
  4. Answers to five questions (3-4 pages, may be single-spaced)


Following the selection of workshop directors, we will issue a Call for Papers for individual paper submissions for all conference workshops--including thematic workshops and workshops organized by the host institution, Seoul National University Asia Center, and the Organizers themselves. The responsibilities of the workshop directors include:

  • Helping to recruit individual paper submissions from interested international workshop participants (senior and junior scholars, graduate students, and other researchers) competitively from across relevant disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, and related fields;
  • Collaborating with the Organizers to select ten to twelve participants for their workshop;
  • Communicating with workshop participants once they have been selected, including providing feedback on participant draft paper submissions approximately four months in advance of the conference;
  • Preparing a workshop agenda and workshop concept note;
  • Convening daily meetings of the workshop at the conference as well as participating in a plenary session;
  • Presenting a research statement at the conclusion of the conference and submitting a final workshop report.

The Organizers will cover all costs of directors’ attendance, including economy class travel and accommodations. Workshop directors will each receive a $1,000 honorarium. Funds will also be available to cover partial expenses of the workshop participants, based on an assessment of needs.

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Social Sciences

Eligible Countries


Host Countries

South Korea

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