The Newsletter

Mega-Urbanization in Asia

Picture a grid connecting existing urban centres, avoiding the areas that are considered uninhabitable due to altitude, lack of water, extreme climatic conditions, and some other factors. In his effort to map the future of the city and urbanization, the famous Greek urbanist C.A. Doxiadis, who published the journal Ekistics, projected this world city and called it Ecumenopolis (Doxiadis 1972). Then and now many feel horrified by the thought of a completely integrated settlement structure covering the earth’s crust with tentacles on all continents. This article introduces this issue’s theme ‘Mega-Urbanization in Asia’.

Psychiatry in Asia

Academic interest in the history of psychiatry and a general fascination with how ‘madness’ fared during the modern period were particularly prominent in Western countries during the 1970s and 1980s in the wake of Foucault’s ground-breaking work on Madness and Civilization and the high-profile campaigns of the anti-psychiatry movement. More recently, problems arising from the de-institutionalization of the mentally ill and the search for safe and financially and socially viable community care options and preventative mental health care measures have rekindled this earlier interest.

Asian Homosexualities

The 1990s, as the articles in the upcoming pages demonstrate, have witnessed a growth of both Western and Asian scholarly interest in same-sex sexuality in contemporary and traditional Asian societies. We have just begun to scrutinize the wealth of historical documents on the subject, and to reconstruct conceptual models buried underneath modern discourses on health and sexuality largely of Western origin (if often appearing in quite different ideological guises).

Sports in Asia

Since the early twentieth century, sports have continued to play significant roles in the formation processes of nations and nation states. Few modern states have abstained from the educative and disciplinary opportunities embedded in the curricula of physical education and sports. Furthermore, states and their representatives have become increasingly aware of the symbolic value and practical benefits of international sporting events ...

Afghanistan: Picking up the Pieces

Lest we forget,the burning of cultural objects such as musical instruments and manuscripts, the destruction of statues and images considered idols, and the wartime pillage and trade in valuable cultural artefacts – none of this type of devastation is new to humankind. However, seemingly out of sight and memory, as we turn our gazes away, some of the shards left behind in the rubble are picked up and saved. When considering this issue’s theme section, we were hesitant that anything on Afghanistan would wade into the mire of political debate, which is not our mandate; however, and especially in this case, to assume a dismissive posture to political issues would also be inappropriate. Thus, we asked some prominent scholars to describe their work, their findings and, if possible, their experiences in the field ...


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