MAI Research Day: “Asian Studies” and Beyond – Innovative engagement with the study of “Asia” in the Asian century

MAI Research Day


“Asian Studies” and Beyond

Innovative engagement with the study of “Asia” in the Asian century


12-4 PM, 16 October (Fri) 2015

H8.05/06, Caulfield Campus, Monash University

  The 3rd MAI Research Day will be a brainstorming forum. We intend to openly discuss how we can innovatively enhance teaching and research of “Asia” at Monash. Monash has an excellent record in Asian Studies, and is home to many eminent researchers working on various issues in Asian regions from diverse disciplines. Although many of these do not necessarily work in the framework of “Asian Studies”, Asia is a geographical focus for their disciplinary expertise. The Research Day aims to reconsider whether and how the current academic structure effectively boosts the study of Asia, and to discuss what is necessary in order to further enhance the already existing academic strength at Monash in terms of the organization of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, cross-school and inter-disciplinary research, strategies to secure research grants, and the advancement of international exchange and collaboration. These issues will be considered in light of the opportunities and challenges we are facing with the rise of Asian economies, which has necessitated greater involvement by Australian researchers in Asian regions. In a global world, we need to develop trans-Asian approaches and de-compartmentalize “Asian Studies” as the study of “over there”, as many issues bear relevance across national borders, while not losing sight of the specific contexts and ways in which issues have been articulated. Some of the questions we may ask are: How do we make a creative balance between the de-compartmentalization of the study of Asia and critical engagement with the distinctiveness of each country. What should an innovative intellectual endeavour to engage with Asia look like, and how would such an endeavour go beyond current notions of “Asian Studies”?