Crisis and Connectedness: Flashpoints for Inter-Asia Cultural Studies


Flashpoints for Inter-Asia Cultural Studies

9-19 August 2022
Hosted by Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur


The severity of structural inequalities and the violence that sustains them have become especially stark in the last two years since the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, they have been long in the making.  While the various political, economic, ecological, health, and social crises currently unfolding may manifest differently across Asia, they are nonetheless profoundly entangled with one another. Given the global scale and systemic nature of these upheavals, what are the theoretical concepts required to understand how these crises are interconnected while allowing us to consider site-specificity and difference? What temporal and  historical frameworks can  help us  identify and examine the longer periods of germination and gestation that birthed today’s urgent problems, which have seemingly come out of nowhere? What critical, creative, and collaborative practices are necessary for making sense of how we arrived at this present and for organising a better future? 

To engage with these questions,  Summer School 2022 will focus on four keywordsauthoritarianism, environment, translation, and movement – as entry points for our discussions. Each keyword will feature two sessions led by an invited scholar; one session will be open to the public (spaces limited; registration required) and the other  only for participants accepted into the Summer School.

Hosted by Universiti Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, the 2022 Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Summer School will be held online. In addition to the synchronous sessions held on Zoom, which will be scheduled throughout the two weeks, Summer School participants will also have access to an online platform for asynchronous discussions. A full programme will be published by July.


Taking Asia as our starting point, how might we understand authoritarianism as a more complex and global phenomenon, and one that is centrally entangled with the histories of colonialism, decolonization, and postcolonial national development?


What multiple strategies do Indigenous communities employ to uphold their rights over their native territorial domains? How might a more ethical approach and understanding of Indigenous strategies contribute to better forms of conservation and research?


In what way does inter-referencing within Asia take place in translation? How might translation tackle the politics of inequality such as issues concerning language hegemony, gender, race, and colonialism in Asia? To what extent is the mediatory power of the English language confronted and challenged in Inter-Asia translation? How do scholar-translators intervene in the formation and dissemination of knowledge in and about Asia?


What inter-Asian and global events underpin people’s movements, whether voluntarily or through force, from one place to another, from one time to another, and from one ideology to another? How do people negotiate, navigate, resist, and interact with these movements? How can activist scholars not only read these events but also contribute to movement-building at a grassroots level?


The full schedule of Summer School sessions will be published by July 2022.


Dr. Fiona Lee, Senior Lecturer, Universiti Malaya
Dr. Simon Soon, Senior Lecturer, Universiti Malaya
Associate Professor Khoo Gaik Cheng, University of Nottingham, Malaysia
Professor Sharmani Patricia Gabriel, Universiti Malaya

For any queries, please email

Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Summer School 2022

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