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Shaping Asia Network hosts conference at Bielefeld

04. Sep. 2019

The Shaping Asia Networking Initiative will hold the international workshop “Entangled Comparisons. Grounding Research on Asia – Expanding Research Methodologies” at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Bielefeld from September 5-6. It is organised by the initiative’s speakers, Prof. Christiane Brosius and Prof. Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka.

The two-day event will be attended by twenty scholars from academic institutions across Asia and Germany and is geared at sharpening and developing research methodologies for conducting research on Asian cultures and societies. The aim is to engender sustained research and activate new collaborations among scholars from the Humanities and qualitative Social Sciences based at German universities in exchange with their colleagues working at partner institutions in different parts of Asia.

The approach is to enable necessary comparative dimensions and to grasp connectivities that shape dynamics across Asia and Asia's position in a globalised world. The applicants and the scholars involved in this Working Group engage in designing and testing research strategies and fields that allow for a synergetic approach towards various ways in and through which regions of Asia can be brought in relation to one another. The workshop addresses four major shortcomings that have characterised research on Asia, so far - particularism, methodical hesitancy, comparative bias and epistemic disruption.

For more information and the programme please visit the conference website.


The “Shaping Asia” network is a bottom-up networking initiative by a number of scholars from the humanities and social sciences, all working on Asia, and based at 18 German universities (FU and HU Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Bremen, Erfurt, Göttingen, Frankfurt, Freiburg, Halle, Heidelberg, Leipzig, Marburg, München, Münster, Tübingen, Würzburg) plus six Asian partners so far. Prof. Christiane Brosius, the HCTS professor for Visual and Media Anthropology, coordinates the network in cooperation with Prof. Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (Bielefeld University). “Shaping Asia” is partly funded by the DFG and had its initial workshop at Heidelberg in 2017.


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