International Institute for Asian Studies
From the director
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 ( 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.

Posted on March 2013

With an average of 60 postdoctoral fellows per year, from various nationalities, disciplines and backgrounds, IIAS can rightly claim to be supporting one of the most significant communities of Asia scholars in the world. The impressive numbers are primarily the result of the diversity of fellowship programmes offered by IIAS

Posted on December 2012

Two IIAS events took place this October in different parts of Asia. Both testify to the versatility and pioneer-like character of the institute in its ability to widen the contours of the fi eld of ‘Asian Studies’, and with it, to test the role that academia can assign itself in the business of transcultural relations. Both events were under the purview of the IIAS thematic cluster on critical heritage studies in Asia and Europe.

Posted on June 2012

In April this year, IIAS received a visit from Prof. Webby Kalikiti, who teaches history at the University of Zambia, in Lusaka, Republic of Zambia. Prof. Kalikiti is an “Asianist”, or more specifi cally a “Southeast-asianist”, who did his research on the economic history of Vietnam during the colonial period. He represents a rare example of African historians who chose to focus on an Asian research topic and who, after completing his postgraduate education in Europe, returned to teach about Asia at his home university. Local economic realities and demand from his students compelled him, however, to instead teach about Europe and North-America and thus refrain from sharing his expertise and passion.