In situ graduate school

The 2018 In Situ Graduate School Delta Cities: Rethinking Practices of the Urban is organized by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS, Leiden), University of Social Sciences and Humanities Ho Chi Minh City (USSH HCM), and Engaging with Vietnam (EWV)


The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) is a global humanities and social sciences research institute and knowledge exchange platform that supports programmes which engage Asian and other international partners. Aiming to contribute to a more integrated understanding of present-day Asian realities as well as to rethink 'Asian Studies' in a changing global context, IIAS works to encourage dialogue and link expertise, involving scholars and other experts from all around the world in its activities. IIAS thus acts as a global mediator, bringing together academic and non-academic institutes in Asia and other parts of the world, including cultural, societal and policy organisations. IIAS adopts a thematic approach to the study of Asia, fostering research that, by its nature, transcends disciplinary and regional boundaries. The three research foci of IIAS are Asian cities; the uses of culture and cultural heritage; and Asia’s projection into the world and intra-Asian connections. In addition, IIAS remains open to other possibly interesting areas of investigation.

In addition to supporting international research networks and programmes, IIAS organises different types of academic events throughout the year, many of them in Asia. These include conferences, workshops and seminars, as well as thematic roundtables and Summer/Winter Schools for PhD students. IIAS runs an international fellowship programme and a publication and publishes ‘The Newsletter’, its free periodical on Asian Studies which enjoys a worldwide readership of 50,000. IIAS hosts the secretariat of various networks, including the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) and the European Alliance for Asian Studies. All of these activities are based on international cooperation. It is this fundamentally collaborative and inclusive nature that has allowed IIAS to become the most global research-led meeting ground in the field of Asian Studies. 


The University of Social Sciences and Humanities – Ho Chi Minh City (USSH HCM), established in 1957, has more than 890 faculty members and non-teaching staff. The percentage of the academic staff holding professorial titles or postgraduate degrees is 98.4%. There are more than 22,000 students enrolled in 28 undergraduate programs, 38 postgraduate programs and over 10 joint programs in collaboration with international partners.

The programs offer students access to a very diverse selection of academic options and enhance students’ capabilities to embrace the challenge of the country’s modernization and industrialization, translating what they learn into professional achievements.

The university is one of the two biggest institutions in the field of social sciences and humanities in Vietnam. The school is the pioneering institution in offering new academic programs to meet societal demands such as Vietnamese Studies, Oriental Studies, Anthropology, International Relations, Urban Studies, Spanish Linguistics and Literature, Italian Linguistics and Literature, and so on. In addition, the university is the leading institution nationwide in having over 300 registered international students — from Japan, South Korea, Laos, Cambodia, the United States, Singapore, Austria, Turkey, Thailand, and Australia — in degree programs and over 2,000 students enrolled in short-term courses.

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Engaging with Vietnam was founded in 2009 by Dr. Phan Le Ha (Full Professor in the College of Education, University of Hawaii at Manoa), who was then a faculty member in the Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia. Since 2011, Dr. Liam C. Kelley, Associate Professor in the Department of History, University of Hawaii at Manoa, has become another key person jointly developing EWV with Phan Le Ha. EWV was founded in the context of increasing globalization and internationalization and knowledge mobility and their multi-dimensional interactions with and impacts on a changing Vietnam. EWV’s main purpose has been to create a regular, rigorous and committed arena for scholarly inter/multi-disciplinary dialogues among scholars, researchers, policy makers, and public intellectuals across generations working on and interested in Vietnam and/or Vietnam-related scholarship. Over the years EWV has also attracted a new group of participants - curators, artists and artist scholars whose works have benefited from and inspired academic scholarship in many ways. 

Annual inter/multi-disciplinary scholarly conferences are a major part of EWV. Each conference focuses on one theme. Critical and evolving questions regarding knowledge production on, about, for, from, by, in and of Vietnam are central to EWV’s annual conferences. To date there have been nine EWV conferences co-organized by a number of institutions and organizations in Vietnam, Australia, and the United States. 2018 will marked the 10th anniversary of EWV. There will be a series of activities throughout 2018 to celebrate this milestone accomplishment of EWV; and jointly organizing the Delta Winter School 2018 in Vietnam is one such activity. Visit for more information.