A-ASIA INAUGURAL CONFERENCE
Accra, 24-26 September 2015
Organized by the Association of Asian Studies in Africa (A-Asia) in cooperation with the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS), "AFRICA - ASIA" was 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, seeks 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?
For the A-ASIA conference 2015 the A-Asia/ICAS Africa-Asia Book Prize was organized.
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).
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