The CAS theme for the 2018-19 academic year will be Asian Connectivities. With the idea of “connectivity” we highlight not simply the fact that a dynamic web of connections exists (and has long existed) across Asia, but that those connections depend upon specific material infrastructures, media networks, institutions, technologies, policies, and translations in order to occur. Connectivity, then, draws our attention beyond connection as an already-established given, to the ability to connect. Engseng Ho recently wrote in The Journal of Asian Studies, that the study of Asia can “shed light on the social shape of societies that are mobile, spatially expansive, and interactive with one another.” Connectivity establishes the basis for such an approach. With Asian Connectivities we seek to explore the historical, cultural, and social contexts in which connections are made possible.
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