ICAS 1, Leiden
25–28 June 1998
Nearly one thousand participants gathered during this convention. We named it a convention because we brought people together with an interest in Asia. The meeting was the first of such a size in the context of Asian studies in Europe. Twenty five percent of the sessions transcended the usual boundaries between disciplines, between nations studied, and especially between the geographic origins of the presenters. This was pointing in a new direction. The venue was a convention centre near Leiden, where a plethora of other public activities took place, such as a film festival, dance performances, a journalist forum on the Eurasian Century, music performances and an exhibition on Pakistani truck art.
We think of this convention as a platform at which Asian, American and European Asianists can study problems of interest to all – J. Campbell and W. A. L. Stokhof, co-chairs programme committee ICAS 1 Leiden
Quoting one the participants: “The greatest value of ICAS was that it did allow a greater mixing of Asian, North American and European scholars than we have experienced at any previous such gathering. This was of course one of the aims of the convention and we hope that its unqualified success will be sufficient incentive to attempt a ‘repeat performance’ in future. We are all greatly impressed with the convention – its venue, its scope, the excellence of the organisation, the diversity of activities and the range of scholars who attended”.