Asia and Europe: Histories of Entanglement
2019 marks three decades since the end of the Cold War, its aftermath marked by the ‘end of history’ thesis. Political and ideological transformations converged around an elite consensus concerning liberal democracy and global capitalism. Yet talk of a peace dividend notwithstanding, optimism has given way to disillusionment and resentment, in many Western and non-Western countries.
Indeed, the current historical moment is marked by unprecedented challenges, including xenophobic nationalism, systemic racism, an indefinite global war on terror, and a collective ecological malaise. The post-WWII narrative of unilinear progress, and the Enlightenment ideal of collective prosperity, is now questioned.
The ICAS Conference Pre-Event on 15th July at Leiden University College in The Hague poses crucial questions about collective imaginings, in Asia and Europe, in regard to the historical conditions which shape today’s world at local and global levels. How do the histories of Europe and Asia interact, converge, and diverge? What are the enduring legacies and sentiments of these narratives?
This event starts with a keynote address by Naoki Sakai. It is followed by a round-table and report on the Me, Asian? series of dialogues conducted with Asian/Dutch communities in The Hague. This leads to a block of interdisciplinary panels dealing with entangled histories of Asia and Europe, regarding collective narratives, women and political violence, popular culture, and the commodification of Asian healing traditions. Alongside a Global History of Asia student exhibition, the event will conclude with a theatre performance, Hotel De Jong, based on a 1907 event during the Second Peace Conference in The Hague.