was hosted by the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences
in the Shanghai Exhibition Center in 2005 (20-24 August). It had slightly more participants and number of panels than ICAS 3. At the opening ceremony of ICAS 4 the ICAS Book Prizes (humanities, social sciences, best PhD) were awarded for the first time.
The conference drew more than 1200 specialists in the field of Asian Studies to the most booming town of Asia. New features of ICAS included the ICAS Book Prizes for the best studies in the fields of the Social Sciences and Humanities, and ICAS PhD thesis in Asian Studies.
The International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) was at the outset an experiment in terms of the parties involved, the nature of the participants, the contents, the manner of organization, and its size.
How did the ICAS come about?
As of 1995 the Association for Asian Studies, the European Associations for Asian Studies and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) had been thinking of ways of internationalizing Asian Studies. This transatlantic dialogue gradually matured and acquired a name: ICAS. Thus ICAS became a platform on which Asianists from all corners of the world could study problems of interest to all. Nearly 1000 participants from 40 countries attended ICAS 1 which was organized by the IIAS and held in Leiden in 1998. More than 350 universities, institutes, and organizations were represented. ICAS 2, which was hosted by the Freie Universitet Berlin in 2001, was attended by 800 scholars. In 2003 the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore, jointly hosted ICAS 3. Over 1200 scholars from 54 countries participated and some 940 papers were presented in 250 sessions, on a wide variety of topics. ICAS 3 also provided a platform for scholars to explore ways of coordinating Asia research in Asia .