From the director
Posted on March 2017
I was recently asked to reflect on IIAS’s collaborative and partnership philosophy. I take the opportunity of this tribune to elaborate on the subject, especially as my attention and that of many of my colleagues is currently focused on two ongoing major initiatives: our new humanistic pedagogical programme ‘Humanities Across Borders, Asia and Africa in the World’, and the tenth edition of ICAS in Chiang Mai next July.
Posted on October 2016
The 2016-2017 academic year started well for IIAS, as we received a major grant from the New York-based Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue our innovative work to develop new research and teaching paradigms that seek to move beyond traditional area studies, towards what can best be defined as globally connected humanities.
Posted on June 2016
The Spring of 2016 at IIAS has been marked by the unusual conjunction and demands of developing three major grant proposals. Two of them seek to contribute, in different ways, to the renewal of urban studies by further contextualising its practice, and by engaging more with the local human ecologies. The third proposal, more ambitious, seeks to set in motion a connected humanities platform aimed at fostering new research and educational opportunities, built on an inclusive international and trans-regional network of scholars and social cultural actors.
Posted on October 2015
I am writing this just as we are completing, in collaboration with our African and international partners, what was perhaps the most daring initiative by IIAS or by an institute of its kind: the extraordinary conference ‘Africa-Asia: A New Axis of Knowledge’ (Accra, Ghana, 24-26 September 2015). With more than 300 participants coming from 30-plus countries, mainly from Africa and Asia, about 60 panels and roundtables focusing on as many subjects, and despite all the logistical difficulties such an undertaking entails, something quite special took place during these three magical days at the University of Ghana, exactly 60 years after the historic Bandung conference. An “epiphany”, was how one of our Ghanaian hosts described it.
Posted on July 2015
With the two major IIAS-supported events of ICAS 9 (Adelaide) and the Africa-Asia Knowledge Axis (Accra) approaching, it is fitting for me to update you on how our institute is progressing in its efforts to explore new research-led orientations through the programme ‘Rethinking Asian Studies in a Global Context’ and its five forums (urban, heritage, geographies, arts and Africa-Asia.
Posted on October 2014
With autumn 2014 arriving, it is time to take stock of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-supported programme ‘Rethinking Asian Studies’, which officially began earlier this year (www.rethinking.asia). After only a few months of activities, this experimental programme, aimed at redirecting Asian studies to better reflect the global consequences of new Asian modernities at play, has already positioned itself as one of our institute’s driving intellectual engines. The unique programme seeks to foster new humanities-focused research and educational opportunities built upon an inclusive network of scholars, artists and other social leaders with their institutions in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa.
Posted on June 2014
After the celebrations of IIAS’ twenty year anniversary, I can now return to a more regular recounting of what the institute is up to and how the different programmes under the three thematic clusters are progressing (Asian Heritages, Asian Cities and Global Asia).
Posted on December 2013
IIAS’ twentieth anniversary is an occasion to take stock of what has been accomplished, and in particular, to gauge the institute’s capacity to evolve from a consortium-grounded national organization with an international reach to a locally embedded institution, member of the newly established area studies platform ‘LeidenGlobal’, acting as a global clearing house in the field of Asian studies.
Posted on October 2013
The dust of ICAS 8 Macau has now settled, but it was a great success on all accounts! It was not just the number of participants and meetings, but also the quality of the roundtables and panel discussions, the numerous activities developed in association with the convention, and the new connections made thanks to a record number of Asian contributors (70%).
Posted on June 2013
ICAS 8 in Macau is a landmark event for IIAS. It is not just because, as host of the ICAS Secretariat, IIAS was privileged to work with colleagues from tens of institutions and hundreds of individual scholars worldwide, including in particular our colleagues from Macau University, our partner for the event. It is also because, on the occasion of ICAS 8, the Institute will celebrate its twentieth anniversary. Since its creation in 1993, IIAS has grown to become, let’s not be afraid of saying so, the global meeting ground and network builder in the field of Asian studies.