NEW YORK CONFERENCE ON ASIAN STUDIES
OCTOBER 7-8, 2022
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
State and Society in Asia: Past and Present
We invite submissions from scholars across all disciplines on all topics related to Asia and Asian Studies. We are particularly interested in topics related to our main theme: “State and Society in Asia: Past and Present.” Recent events such as the successes and failures of states at mitigating the Covid-19 pandemic; the targeting of religious, racial, and ethnic minorities; widespread protests against military regimes; the possibility of a new cold war between China and the US; and the dramatic takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban forces have highlighted the ever-crucial role of the state in Asian societies, both in its presence and absence. In bringing scholarly perspectives to these current events, questions that interest us include: What historical legacies of the state persist in contemporary Asia? What roles do technology and urban development play in extending state power to unprecedented degrees? Conversely, how does a vacuum in state infrastructure in countries like Afghanistan create conditions for regime change? Can countries like Myanmar continue to isolate themselves and not suffer social and economic hardships?
Contemporary artists, filmmakers, and environmental activists frequently challenge and critique these developments. How do regime changes unsettle and re-arrange key local and national cultural constituents and what impact do these changes have on environmental history, archaeology, and cultural heritage sites?
We also invite explorations of issues such as how local populations have historically contested the hegemony of the state in both its “weak” and “strong” formations and how inter-Asian networks operate across, within, or against state geographies. Additionally, we are interested in the ways that migrations, climate change, the Belt and Road Initiative, and the renewed importance of the Indian Ocean littoral have challenged and transformed the nation-state geographies of Asia and Asian studies.