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PhD Workshop: "Asian and North African Studies in a globalized and interconnected world"

Feb 06, 2020 - Feb 07, 2020
Organiser: Ca' Foscari University of Venice | Professorship Cultural Economic History
La Sapienza, Rome

Asia and North Africa today are interconnected and clustered regions. This process of clustering and interconnection is increasing, fulfilling thereby Henri Lefebre’s famous prediction of an “urban revolution”. Ultimately, Lefebre’s general urban theory implies that “there” is also “right here”, and “right here” means “in the city”. He thereby made a very insightful observation. While the world is increasingly becoming more interconnected, the important of place would not vanish. It would become ever more important. Processes of globalization and interconnectivity are not rendering the world “flat”. On the contrary, it is becoming “clustered and spiky”. Asia and North Africa are spearheading many of these transformations. Increasingly often, the Asian and North African cities are the basic economic and social unit of contemporary society. This begs the question how regional studies will deal with this? We have, so much is already clear, an empirical problem at hand, in that most data and information we have on society, economy, culture or communication is presented for the nation-state, but its importance is waning. At the same time, many processes of globalization and Lefebrian-style urbanization run through the institutions of the nation-state. Shifting focus from the nation-state to the city is too simple a solution. The renaissance of cities in contemporary Asia and North Africa calls for a fundamental reconsideration of how to engage in “regional studies” today. More urgently than ever, we need transcultural approaches and spatial understandings of social relations, culture, beliefs and communication. New approaches such as the contact zone, worlding policies or assemblage need to become part of our analytic toolbox today. In this PhD workshop, we discuss concept papers by our PhD students on “Asian and North African Studies in a Globalized and Interconnected World”. Presentations and discussions aside, we will also provide every PhD student for a one-on-one tutorial, and we will organize three keynote lectures on the topic.   


Tentative schedule

Day 1

09:00-10:30       Keynote lecture 1 (La Sapienza)

10:45-12:45       6 student presentations

14:00-16:00       6 student presentations

16:30-18:00       4 student presentation


Day 2

09:00-10:30       Keynote lecture 2 (Heidelberg)

10:45-12:45       Individual tutoring

14:00-16:00       Individual tutoring

16:15-17:45       Keynote 3 (Ca’Foscari)

17:45-18:00       Concluding remarks


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