Call for Papers: Intimate Connections: EVERYDAY EXPERIENCES OF INTER-ASIAN TIES

Call for Papers


A Workshop sponsored and organized by the Japan Institute, and the College of Asia and the Pacific, Australia National University

DATES: 11 August – 13 August 2016
LOCATION: The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Deadline for Abstracts: 10 JUNE 2016

Keynote speakers:
Professor Koichi Iwabuchi, Monash University
Associate Professor Thang Leng Leng, National University of Singapore
Dr Chika Watanabe, University of Manchester
Dr Dredge Byung’chu Kang, University of California San Diego


In recent years Asia has experienced an unprecedented flow of people, media representations, and capital as many countries have undergone vast economic and political transformations. In considering these tectonic shifts, analysts have often focused on macroeconomic and political questions, studying shifting market forces or politics at a national level. Such questions have tended to promote top-down research focusing on one nation or one sub-region at a time. In contrast, there is an emerging field of research on inter-Asian connections which views contemporary Asian nations as interlinked and interrelated at the most intimate of levels. Building on this approach, this workshop offers a space for rigorous discussion on how shifting political-economic realities are fostering new intimate connections among people throughout the region.

Specifically, the workshop will examine the effects of inter-Asian connections in the realm of the intimate. It will highlight how the intimate lives of those moving within Asia — for marriage, work, care, development, activism, education and so on— are shaped by and in turn influence these broader changes. We thus invite scholars interested in asking how people’s intimate lives are transformed in the context of economic and political shifts throughout Asia. How do economies of desire travel from one nation to another? How are people’s relationships with others created and transformed in such journeys? And what do people’s affective attachments, in turn, reveal about emergent transformations underway within the Asian region?

By linking economic and political transformations to the everyday concerns of intimacy on the ground, this workshop will offer innovative approaches to comprehending the dynamics driving the region. The workshop is comprised of keynote addresses, panels and master classes. It will bring together distinguished international scholars, early career academics and postgraduate students to develop innovative methodological approaches and new theoretical/conceptual possibilities which transcend nation-states and cultural boundaries. The workshop will also be a networking opportunity for scholars employing empirical approaches to the study of intimacy in inter-Asia contexts. The organizers will aim to publish select papers from the workshop in a special issue of a peer-reviewed journal.

We invite applications from researchers interested in intimate connections relating the following themes:

· Media Flows/ Popular Culture
· Love, Gender, and Sexuality
· Economics, Development, Activism
· Kinship, Relatedness, Care

We invite applications from PhD students, postdoctoral researchers, and early career academics whose work intersects with the themes of the workshop, and who are based in disciplines including but not limited to anthropology, sociology, geography, cultural studies, gender, queer and transgender studies, postcolonial studies, and history. Participants will have the opportunity to present their research and receive feedback from high-profile specialists in the field.

We are particularly interested in research employing innovative empirical methodologies, especially in relation to Japan-Southeast Asia connections. However, all researchers working on relevant aspects of inter-Asian ties and intimacies throughout Asia are strongly encouraged to apply.

Accommodation at the ANU in Canberra will be provided for the duration of the workshop. In addition, participants from outside Canberra will receive a travel subsidy of up to AUD$500. Catering will be provided throughout the workshop.

Application Procedure

Please send a short abstract on your research (300 words) to both Ben Hegarty ( and Shiori Shakuto (, no later than 10 June 2016.

About Travis

I am a scholar of Japanese & Okinawan history with a particular interest in the history of arts and culture, and inter-Asia interactions, in the early modern period. I have been fortunate to enjoy the opportunity to live in Okinawa for six months in 2016-17, and in mainland Japan on multiple occasions, including from Sept 2019 to now.
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