Inter-Asian Connections III: Hong Kong
June 6-8, 2012
Call For Workshop Papers
The long nineteenth century was a period of major social, economic, and cultural shifts in Asia that were often spurred by colonialism, even when not specifically linked to it. Some of the most noteworthy drives and effects of these shifts include: competition between European imperial projects (French, British, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese); the growth of intra-Asian imperialist projects (in Korea, Taiwan, Manchuria and elsewhere); changes to historical trade routes in the Indian Ocean and between China and her neighbors; large-scale labor movements both within the region (from China to Southeast Asia, for instance) and beyond (from India to Mauritius, Southern Africa and the Caribbean or from Japan to Brazil and Peru); and the development of multicultural urban spaces as a product of these and other forces. These larger concerns also had a significant impact on local geographies. For example, the East India Company’s opium trade with China altered the lives of peasants in Bengal and Bihar and, in many cases, drove them to emigration. Similarly, the foreign presence in Shanghai had a direct impact on the development of the Chinese periodical press.
- How can postcolonial methodologies be revisited so that they take into account relationships other than those between colonizers and colonizeds? How can a better understanding of the multiple exchanges between different Asian locations help us to imagine alternative ways of studying Asia?
- In what ways has the area studies model interfered with our ability to see the interconnectedness of different Asian spaces to each other and to other parts of the world during the long nineteenth century?
- To what degree can imperialism be considered a process common to different Asian societies during the long nineteenth century? To what degree did it create new “crossings” within Asia and beyond?
The workshop is just the beginning of our deliberations. We hope that participants will work with us to produce an edited special issue and/or anthology and will collaborate with us on further inter-institutional and web-based projects on the theme of “Asian Crossings.”