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Calls for Papers: Asian Studies in Africa- the Challenges and Prospects of a New Axis of Intellectual Interaction

Asian Studies in Africa: the Challenges and Prospects of a New Axis of Intellectual Interaction

Version française

24 – 26 September 2015

15 February 2015

Accra, Ghana

The conference
Organized by A-Asia in cooperation with the International Convention of Asian Scholars (ICAS), “Asian Studies in Africa” will be the first ever conference held in Africa bringing together a multi-disciplinary – multi-sector ensemble of scholars and institutions from the continent and the rest of the world with sharing focus on Asia and Asia-Africa intellectual interactions.

The conference, through panels and roundtables, will seek to assess the prospects for Asian Studies in Africa in a global context by addressing a number of theoretical and empirical questions that such an enterprise will raise: How should Asian studies be framed in Africa and African Studies in Asia? Is Asian studies relevant for Africa? What is the current state of capacity (institutional, intellectual, personnel, and so on) for Asian studies in Africa and can this be improved and how? How does (and must it?) Asian studies dovetail into the broader field of ‘Area studies’, as it has been developed mainly in Western institutions? Are new narratives required for understanding the very visible contemporary presence of Asia in Africa and Africa in Asia? What are the historical origins of this transregional connection? What is the current state of research on Africa-Asia (transnational) linkages?

Call for panels, roundtables and papers
We invite proposals for panels, roundtables, papers and book presentations in the fields of Asian-African interactions studies.

Proposals in English, French or Portuguese should be submitted online before 15 February 2015.

All panel, roundtable, and paper proposals should clearly outline the methodological approach(es) taken and whether they contribute to the theoretical and/or empirical objectives of the conference (for guidelines see the submission form).

The online submission forms and guidelines are availabale on the conference website.

The working languages of the conference will be English, French and Portuguese, but all power point presentations must be in English.

Take note: If your proposal was already accepted in the first round of submissions it is not necessary to resubmit your abstract.

Further information about registration fees, the venue, and logistics will be provided on the conference website once the panels and papers have been accepted.

Conference dates
The conference was scheduled originally from 15-17 January 2015, but due to the ebola crisis in some countries in West Africa it was postponed to 24 – 26 September 2015. It is important to mention that, to this day, Ghana has not been affected by the ebola virus.

The postponement offers us the opportunity to expand the conference’s programme and to make it even more inclusive. Already over 50 panels and roundtables have been accepted.

The book prize
The A-Asia / ICAS Africa-Asia Book Prize (AAIBP) was established by the ICAS Secretariat in 2013. The aim is to create by way of a global competition both an international focus for publications on Africa-Asia while at the same time increasing their visibility worldwide.

Academic publications in the Humanities and Social Sciences which are eligible should either be written by an African scholar on an Asian topic or by any other author on Africa-Asia (transnational) linkages. Authors from Africa and Asia are strongly encouraged to submit their books before 15 March 2015.

Travel Fund
Very limited financial support may be made available to specific scholars residing in Africa and some junior or low-income scholars in other parts of the world. If you would like to be considered for financial support, please submit the Grant Application form in which you state the motivation for your request. Please note that the conference operates on a limited budget, and will not normally be able to provide more than a partial coverage of the conference expenses. The form should be submitted before 15 February 2015. Requests for funding received after this date will not be taken into consideration.

The organisers
The A-Asia was established in Chisamba, Zambia, in November 2012 on the occasion of the ‘Asian Studies in Africa’ roundtable which was organized by the University of Zambia (UNZA), the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and the South-South Exchange Programme for Research on the History of Development (Sephis).

A-Asia is registered in Zambia. Its steering committee consists of: Lloyd Amoah (Ashesi University College, Ghana); Thomas Asher (Social Science Research Council, USA); Scarlett Cornelissen (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa); Webby Kalikiti (Secretary A-Asia / University of Zambia); Liu Haifang (Peking University, China); Yoichi Mine (Doshisha University, Japan); Oka Obono (University of Ibadan, Nigeria); Philippe Peycam (International Institute for Asian Studies, the Netherlands).

ICAS is the premier gathering of Asia scholars in the world. Since its foundation in 1997, ICAS has brought more than fifteen thousand Asia scholars from 60 countries together at 8 conventions which has resulted in new long term international research partnerships and many publications. The ICAS Secretariat is hosted by IIAS. The ICAS International Council consists of Maris Diokno (Southeast Asian Studies Regional Exchange Program, Philippines); Praesenjit Duara (Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore), Carol Gluck (Columbia University, USA); Michael Hsiao (Academia Sinica, Taiwan); Tak-Wing Ngo (University of Macau); Philippe Peycam (International Institute for Asian Studies, the Netherlands); Aromar Revi (Indian Institute for Human Settlements, India); Henk Schulte-Nordholt (Chair International Institute for Asian Studies, the Netherlands) Hiromu Shimizu (Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University, Japan); Paul van der Velde (Secretary ICAS).

Please address all enquiries to: Ms Martina van den Haak at

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