Trans-Asia events

  • Monash Asia Institute Focus Theme Inaugural Seminar

    Key issues on Diversity, Mobility and Inclusion for Trans-Asian approaches

    Date & Time: 31 March Friday, 12-2pm (light lunch will be provided)

    Venue: N105, Caulfield Campus, Monash University


    Julian Millie (Centre for Southeast Asian Studies)

    Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash Asia Institute)

    In a globalized world in which people’s mobility and accompanying human exchange have been intensifying, the promotion of diversity is a key issue. While the current attention to diversity tends to be economy-driven with an emphasis on its utility to make the workplace creative and globally competitive, this seminar will discuss what kind of issues regarding socio-cultural diversity, human mobility and inclusion are emergent and need to be critically studied in various parts of Asia and whether and how we can make a comparative examination of Asian cases and/or collaboratively tackle the transnationally shared issues which are distinctly articulated in specific local contexts.

    This seminar is an inaugural event of the establishment of MAI focus themes and regional coordinators (please see Together with focus theme and regional coordinators, we will discuss how to productively promote collaborative research by organizing seminars/conferences and inviting international visiting scholars to Monash.

    Please RSVP for catering purpose to by 25 March.


  • Trans-Asia as method is an academic seminar series that aims to facilitate trans-Asian and cross-disciplinary dialogue by comparatively and collaboratively examining how globally shared issues are similarly, differently, and/or inter-connectedly articulated in various local contexts of Asian regions.

    Scholars working in Australian contexts, and scholars working in Asian Australian experiences are also constitutive of trans-Asian dialogue. Such discussion will lead to developing new conceptualisation and theorisation from Asian experiences and de-Westernising the production of knowledge.

  • FOCUS THEMES & REGIONAL COORDINATORS (**Inaugural Seminar on 31 March**)

    MAI establishes four focus themes to promote inter-disciplinary and trans-Asian research collaboration and dialogue. Coordinators of focus themes will organize trans-Asia seminar series. MAI will also invite international scholars who are working on the below themes to give a talk at trans-Asia seminar series.

    1. Migration, Diaspora and Belonging (Coordinated by GIl Soo Han and Mridula Chakraborty)
    2. Diversity, Mobility and Inclusion (coordinated by Julian Millie & Koichi Iwabuchi)
    3. Media, Culture and Performance (coordinated by Ariel Heryanto & Olivia Khoo)
    4. Cultural Citizenship and Public Pedagogy (coordinated by Koichi Iwabuchi & Philip Chan)


    MAI also appoint regional coordinators who are responsible for facilitating cross-regional exchange and responding to inquiries about the research of the region:

    East Asia: Gil Soo Han and Gloria Davies/Jonathan Benney

    Southeast Asia: Ariel Heryanto and Julian Millie

    South Asia: Mridula Chakraborty and Chandani Lokuge

  •  International Symposium

     “Diversity Promotion and Multicultural Inclusion in East Asia”

     17-18 March 2018

    Rikkyo University, Ikebukuro Campus, Tokyo

    Organized by  Monash Asia Institute, Monash University & Trans-East-Asia Multiculturalism Project (TEAM)

    Supported by Kajima Foundation

    In a globalized world in which people’s mobility and accompanying human encounter and exchange have been more and more intensifying, the promotion of diversity in society is a shared key issue. The current promotion of diversity tends to be more economy-driven as business sectors put an emphasis on the enhancement of diversity in terms of women, LGBTIs, and foreign nationals/people of diverse ethnic backgrounds to make the workplace more innovative, productive and globally competitive. The viewpoints on the promotion of diversity for economic activities and cultural perceptions are not identical as the emphasis on the pragmatic utility and inclusive promotion of diversity are often incommensurable. What kind of diversity is being promoted, while not others, is a crucial question. At the same time, it is an open question whether the business-driven stress on the promotion of diversity is entirely unconnected to and has no (unintended) impact on the advancement of socio-cultural inclusion. A wider attention to diversity might involve various social actors such as artists, educators, NGO/NPOs and local administrative agencies together with migrants and ethnic minority communities in ways to positively enhance the social perception of existing and growing ethnic diversity. This conference will critically and innovatively consider whether and how the business-driven promotion of diversity enhances socio-cultural inclusion through comparative examination of and mutual learning from East Asian cases (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong/China) by attending to similar and different experiences and problems of the promotion of diversity in the region The conference also aims to facilitate productive intellectual exchanges among academics, administrators, educators, NGO/NPOs and young cultural performers/practitioners of migrant and ethnic communities over the possibilities and limitations of promoting ethnic diversity as a positive asset to enrich society. We expect that the participants will develop relational networks and collaboratively make policy recommendations including the design of a public pedagogical program to advance social praxis of promoting diversity in an inclusive manner across borders and sectors.

    Key issues to be discussed are as follows but not exclusive to others:

    – How diversity is discussed in relation to the enhancement of (business) creativity and enrichment of society and what kinds of diversity is promoted, while others are not.

    – Whether and how business-driven promotion of diversity eventually stimulates the discussion and practice of enhancing cultural inclusion in society

    – How various local actors (policy makers, administrative agencies, education sectors and NGO/NPOs etc.) that work with multicultural issues engage with diversity and what kinds of strategies are taken; and how people and/or communities concerned (migrants and ethnic minorities) are involved in it

    – How the positive image of diversity is and can be envisioned and visualized?

    – What kind of social learning programs and events will effectively promote the understanding of the significance of diversity to make society inclusive?

    – How can we facilitate collaboration across national borders?

    – How the discussion in this conference is relevant and applicable to the project of Tokyo Olympic 2020 whose slogan is “unity in diversity”?

    We are inviting proposals for paper presentations on these issues, although proposals that are in other ways relevant to the topic will also be considered. We welcome a proposal by non-academic persons or organizations that engage with the promotion of cultural diversity. We accept proposals either in English or Japanese. Please send your paper proposals (less than 200 words) with your affiliation details and e-mail address no later than 20 November to: Please clearly put “Paper proposal for Cultural Diversity” in the subject line. Acceptance of proposals will be notified by early December. Please kindly be advised that we will not be able to offer financial support for participants’ travel costs.

    We look very much forward to receiving your proposals!


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Past events

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