Asian Borderlands: Connections, Corridors, Communities

Back in 2008 I attended the first Asian Borderlands Research Network conference in Guwahati, Assam, India. I have very fond memories of the event. So it gives me pleasure to help get out word about the 3rd conference organised by the Network. It will be held in Kunming, Yunnan, China, in October 2012, and follows the 2010 conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Anyone looking to be involved needs to submit their application by the start of December 2011.  All of the details follow below.

3rd Conference of the Asian Borderlands Research Network

Connections, Corridors, and Communities

Deadline for applications: 1 December 2011

Conference dates: 12 – 15 October 2012

Host: Centre for Southwest Borderland Ethnic Minority Studies, Yunnan University (YU), Kunming, China

Convenors:

Prof. He Ming (YU), Dr. Joy Bai (YU), Dr. Tina Harris (University of Amsterdam, UvA), Prof. Willem van Schendel (UvA) and Dr. Erik de Maaker (Leiden University)

Extensive land and maritime networks have crisscrossed Asia for centuries, providing the basis for encounters between diverse ethnic, linguistic, economic, religious, and political groups.  Today, developments such as new infrastructural projects, an increase in media access, and renewed interest in shaping cross-border cultural identities serve to both underscore these long-standing linkages and create new forms of connections across Asia. During the 3rd Asian Borderlands Research Conference inKunming, we invite submissions that address continuities and ruptures along routes and borders inAsia, broadly related to the theme, “Connections, Corridors, and Communities”.

  • Connections: How are Asian borderlands made more (or less) visible through the study of cross-border connections? In what ways does the idea of the “borderland” remain resilient throughout political and historical ruptures? What are the characteristics of various kinds of connections that are being created (as well as cut off) in Asian borderlands?
  • Corridors: Are networks and paths throughout Asian borderlands being forged, reopened, diverted, or closed, and what are the effects of such processes? Can one conceive of “corridors” in relation to maritime or island borderlands, information technology networks, or bodily borders inAsia?
  • Communities: What constitutes a “community” or “communities” in and across Asian borderlands, and how might these be contingent upon other factors, such as politics, environmental issues, and history? What are some of the barriers and restrictions to the creation of communities in the context of Asian borderlands? In what ways is a community defined by the state, by organizations, and/or by local individuals?

Since one of the main goals of this conference is to spur collaboration and conversation across diverse fields in the hope of building up a more nuanced picture of the intersections and relationships across Asian borderlands, submissions are invited from scholars, writers, policy studies researchers, artists, filmmakers, activists, the media, and others from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. We invite conceptually innovative papers, based on new research, in order to develop new perspectives in the study of Asian Borderlands.

Only a small number of individual papers will be selected. We therefore encourage you to submit a full panel or roundtable proposal. We will consider proposals for panels and roundtables that have a thematic focus, are of a comparative character, and involve scholars or practitioners affiliated with different institutions.*

*New to this Asian Borderlands conference, the roundtable format is intended to allow for a more open forum on a broader theme. Typically, panelists will each address the main issue or topic of the roundtable, and the remainder of the time is open for an informal discussion between the panel members and a more extended question-and-answer period with the audience. Some examples of wide themes in relation to Asian borderlands may include, but are not limited to: migration; security; gender; technology; environmental issues, etc.

Please visit http://asianborderlands.net to submit proposals. The deadline is 1 December 2011.

Participants will be notified towards the beginning of the year 2012.

Very limited financial support may be made available to specific scholars residing in Asia and some junior or low-income scholars in other parts of the world. If you would like to be considered for a grant, please submit along with your abstract for a panel and/or paper a short letter stating the motivation for your request. Please also specify the kind of funding that you have applied for or will receive from other sources. Please note that the conference operates on a limited budget, and will not normally be able to provide more than a partial coverage of the costs of travel.

Further information about registration fees, the venue, and logistics will be provided on the ABRN website once the panels have been accepted.

For more information, please visit the website at http://asianborderlands.net, or email info@asianborderlands.net

About Nicholas Farrelly