Identity and the Nation in 20th Century Asia

Identity and the Nation in 20th Century Asia

Hübner, Stefan, Jacobs University, Bremen; Weber, Torsten, Universität Freiburg
Jacobs University
From - Until
20.07.2012 - 21.07.2012
Hübner, Stefan

The formation of group identities in 20th century Asia has been a complex process of interacting phenomena. Not only did "Western" and Japanese colonialism, wars and revolutions affect the identities of different Asian nations and ethnicities. Decolonization, nation-building, the Cold War and various ideas of pan-Asianism also influenced the relations between Asian peoples as well as those with other regions and international organizations. For a couple of years now, international history and more recent methodological approaches like transnational and global history have paved the way for a resurgence of identity studies. Still, neither is there an entity called "Asia" in a political, economic or cultural sense, nor have the many upheavals in 20th century Asia been overcome completely. Identity in Asia therefore was and still is characterized by various shifting local, regional and national identities, often contradictory or mutually exclusive, most of them stemming from or at least shaped by the 20th century.

The workshop seeks to unravel the nexus between identity and the nation in Asia from three perspectives. First, it probes the ideas, transfers, and flows responsible for forging these dimensions. Second, it investigates actors and their often complex interactions with Asian and non-Asian counterparts, specifically in regard to constructions/deconstructions of national identities and of the nation. Thirdly, it looks at ‘mega events’ and the way they orchestrated national or Asian unity, modernity or uniqueness.

This call for papers is mainly aimed at PhD students but open to all those interested in presenting current and/or ongoing research in a stimulating environment open to new ideas and approaches. Presentations shall be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes, with a further 30 minutes of discussion time. The workshop language is English.

The workshop is connected to a research project on ‘Asianisms in the 20th Century’ (principal investigators: Nicola Spakowski, University of Freiburg and Marc Frey, Jacobs University Bremen) and sponsored by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Funding for accommodation, meals and travel expenses is available. Interested researchers are requested to send an abstract of max. 400 words and a short CV to both Stefan Hübner and Torsten Weber no later than April 15, 2012.


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Stefan Hübner

Jacobs University, Bremen

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