ACAH2018


"Recentering: Asian Spaces, Cultures and Ideas in the 21st Century"

March 30 – April 01, 2018 | Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art & Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan

If globalisation is characterised by simultaneous networks of information, has the concept of centres become obsolete? Or do certain recent geopolitical developments – the fading of America’s “global leadership” being counterbalanced by the rise of China’s, the latter’s new Belt and Road Initiative promising to become a new Silk Road, Britain’s exit from the EU, and the newly proposed trade agreements between Japan and Europe – put the world on the verge of a radical recentering? Will the burgeoning mega-cities in Asia displace the traditional nation-state in the competition for capital, status and enhanced technologies?

Scholars and students of the humanities have long questioned the extent to which shifts in formations of power – empires, countries, regions, cities – resonate through cultural practices that centre on literary and aesthetic meaning, expression and representation. This provokes further questions about how such centres can be identified, defined and represented; and about their relations of other types and modes of centering. Is cultural prestige dependent on political centrality? Or can it be achieved through the circulation of forms and aesthetics that operate in their own economy? For that matter, what is central to its meanings and valuations of culture?

What of the humanities themselves? Fears of their marginalisation are based on the assumption that they were once central, and that the only way to restore their former authority is to argue against their subordination to scientific, technological or vocational forms of education. Can the humanities find new life in multi- or cross-disciplinary frameworks? How can they survive the dominant trend towards more marketable or “useful” forms of education? What is central to the humanities? Should older disciplines such as Literature and Aesthetics reinvent themselves as it be Cultural Studies? Or should they now concentrate on comprehending their own historical genealogies in relation to current scholarly practices?

There is also the question of why, in the wake of postcolonial and transnational decenterings, do elite Anglo-American universities retain so much of their cultural capital? How might humanities redefine themselves if recentred in Asian institutions? Is it possible for the prevailing discourses of Western humanism to be combined with Asian values, goals and traditions? Could such a transformation help to rehabilitate the humanities’ current beleaguered status in America and Europe?

Our present historical moment compels us to think through the implications of these and other modes of recentering. The Asian Conference on Arts and Humanities 2018 provides an opportunity for academics, artists, writers and students to explore the challenges of multi-faceted and interdisciplinary rethinkings of the ways we imagine, articulate and work with centres.

While we invite proposals that deal with any aspect of recentering, we offer the following list of possible areas of exploration. It is by no means final or exhaustive; rather, we offer it to stimulate and provoke considerations of how the humanities can engage with ideas of recentering and decentering.

The Concept of Centres

  • What is a centre? Do centres still exist in a globalised world?
  • What new definitions have emerged of power and centrality?
  • Can simultaneous networks of information be restricted to any specific location?
  • Does the concept of place retain any relevance in a globalised world?
  • Will space-time compression inevitably accelerate?

Historical and Geographical Centres

  • The Silk Road(s) then and now: centres in motion.
  • The growing urbanisation of humanity, particularly in Asia.
  • Cities and metropoles as centres: from world city to global city to mega-city.
  • Is the nation-state now obsolete? What might take its place?
  • Is it now possible to define a genuinely cosmopolitan ethics?

Centres and/of Knowledge

  • What lies at the centre of the humanities? Do they retain relevance in Asia or the West?
  • What are specifically Asian modes of knowledge? Is the university itself an imported form?
  • Can the humanities be recentred around specifically Asian values, goals, traditions?
  • Can English language and literature studies be recentered as a multi-focal globalised lingua franca?
  • Why in a decentred world has the elite Anglo-American academy retained such prestige?

The Self as Central

  • How can memory be preserved as the locus of future-directed experience?
  • What alternative relations of person to collectivity might be possible?
  • Are there new definitions of transnational identity?
  • How has gender been transformed through interaction with global capital?
  • How are forms of knowledge gendered?
  • How does gender function in the institutional structures of academia?

In conjunction with our Global Partners, we look forward to extending you a warm welcome in 2018.

The ACAH2018 Organising Committee

Key Information
  • Venue & Location: Hyōgo Prefectural Museum of Art & Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan
  • Dates: Friday, March 30, 2018 ​to Sunday, April 01, 2018
  • Conference Theme: "Recentering: Asian Spaces, Cultures and Ideas in the 21st Century"
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: November 10, 2017*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: January 11, 2018
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: February 09, 2018

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.

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Programme

  • British Romanticism in China: Received, Revised, and Resurrected
    British Romanticism in China: Received, Revised, and Resurrected
    Keynote Presentation: Professor Li Ou
  • IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
  • IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening
    IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening

Additional programming will be announced here shortly.

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Speakers

  • Dr Eun Kyung Min
    Dr Eun Kyung Min
    Seoul National University, South Korea
  • Professor Li Ou
    Professor Li Ou
    Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  • Dr Yutaka Mino
    Dr Yutaka Mino
    Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan
  • Dr Shoso Shimbo
    Dr Shoso Shimbo
    RMIT University, Australia

Additional speakers will be announced here shortly.

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Organising Committee

The Organising Committee of The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities (ACAH) is composed of distinguished academics who are experts in their fields. Organising Committee members may also be members of IAFOR's International Academic Advisory Board. The Organising Committee is responsible for nominating and vetting Keynote and Featured Speakers; developing the conference programme, including special workshops, panels, targeted sessions, etc.; event outreach and promotion; recommending and attracting future Organising Committee members; working with IAFOR to select PhD students and early career academics for IAFOR-funded grants and scholarships; and oversee the reviewing of abstracts submitted to the conference.

  • Professor Donald E. Hall
    Professor Donald E. Hall
    Lehigh University, USA
  • Professor Myles Chilton
    Professor Myles Chilton
    Nihon University, Japan
  • Dr Yukari Yoshihara
    Dr Yukari Yoshihara
    University of Tsukuba, Japan
  • Professor Steve Clark
    Professor Steve Clark
    University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Dr Joseph Haldane
    Dr Joseph Haldane
    The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan

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Review Committee

  • Dr Anne-Kathrin Wielgosz, Walsh University, USA
  • Dr Divine Ngwa Fuhnwi, Protestant University of Central Africa (PUCA), Cameroon
  • Dr Firas Al-Jubouri, American University of Sharjah, UAE
  • Dr Reena Mittal, Dak Degree College, India
  • Dr Rosalina Rara Sarabosing, Holy Name University, The Philippines
  • Dr Suranti Trisnawati, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia
  • Dr Yi-Chin Shih, Tamkang University, Taiwan
  • Professor Joseph Sorensen, University of California at Davis, USA
  • Professor Jie Selina Gao, Murray State University, USA
  • Professor Kong Ho, University of Brunei Darussalam, Brunei Darussalam
  • Professor Loren Goodman, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea

IAFOR's peer review process, which involves both reciprocal review and the use of Review Committees, is overseen by conference Organising Committee members under the guidance of the Academic Governing Board. Review Committee members are established academics who hold PhDs or other terminal degrees in their fields and who have previous peer review experience.

If you would like to apply to serve on the ACAH Review Committee, please send your CV to acah@iafor.org.

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British Romanticism in China: Received, Revised, and Resurrected
Keynote Presentation: Professor Li Ou

The reception history of British Romanticism in twentieth-century China unfolds a drama of vicissitude, corresponding to the tumultuous course of the Chinese national history and violently shifting literary politics. While all foreign literature, texts or trends, are reconfigured by its interaction with the national tradition, the afterlife of British Romanticism in China is distinguished by the radically divided and polarised responses it had received in the past century. This paper considers British Romanticism from several of its key aspects, namely, radicalism, self-expressiveness, and naturalism, and examines how each of them had been treated with drastically contradictory stances in China along with the conflicting ideologies taking turns dominating the Chinese centre stage. It also discusses the significance of the intermediary of Japanese, German, and Soviet sources in the Chinese reception of British Romanticism, and being twice removed from the original might have contributed to the predominant emphasis on what is without instead of what is within British Romantic poetry. Despite the consistently instrumentalist approach China had taken to British Romanticism, the paper concludes with the profound, though implicit, legacy British Romanticism had left in China. Almost all the leading modern Chinese poets who had participated in the formation of Chinese new (vernacular) poetry had been inspired in one way or another by their British fellow poets, who thereby inscribed their names on the Chinese poetic tradition. The remarkable tenacity of British Romanticism in surviving the trying circumstances in China derived, after all, from its power of poetry.

Image | Lord Byron by Richard Westall (1813)

Read presenter biographies.

IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

As an organization, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In 2018, we are excited to launch a major new and ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative which uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges.

IAFOR is headquartered in Japan, and the 2018 inauguration of this project aligns with the 150th Anniversary of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when Japan opened its doors to the trade and ideas that would precipitate its rapid modernisation and its emergence as a global power. At a time when global trends can seem unpredictable, and futures fearful, the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative gives the opportunity to revisit the question of the impact of international relations from a long-term perspective.

This ambitious initiative will encourage individuals and institutions working across the world to support and undertake research centring on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia – from Gibraltar to Japan – and the maritime routes that went beyond, into the South-East Continent and the Philippines, and later out into the Pacific Islands and the United States. The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative will be concerned with all aspects of this contact, and will examine both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.

For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.

IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) in 2015 as an international photography award that seeks to promote and assist in the professional development of emerging documentary photographers and photojournalists. The award has benefitted since the outset from the expertise of an outstanding panel of internationally renowned photographers, including Dr Paul Lowe as the Founding Judge, and Ed Kashi, Monica Allende, Simon Roberts, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Simon Norfolk and Emma Bowkett as Guest Judges. Now in its third year, the award has already been widely recognised by those in the industry and has been supported by World Press Photo, Metro Imaging, MediaStorm, Think Tank Photo, University of the Arts London, RMIT University, British Journal of Photography, The Centre for Documentary Practice, and the Medill School of Journalism.

As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In keeping with this mission, in appreciation of the great value of photography as a medium that can be shared across borders of language, culture and nation, and to influence and inform our academic work and programmes, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award was launched as a competition that would help underline the importance of the organisation’s aims, and would promote and recognise best practice and excellence.

Winners of the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 were announced at The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film 2017 (EuroMedia2017) in Brighton, UK. The award follows the theme of the EuroMedia conference, with 2017’s theme being “History, Story, Narrative”. In support of up-and-coming talent, the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award is free to enter.

Access to the Award Winners Screening is included in the conference registration fee. For more information about the award, click here.

Image | From the project Single Mothers of Afghanistan by IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 Grand Prize Winner, Kiana Hayeri.

Dr Eun Kyung Min
Seoul National University, South Korea

Biography

Dr Eun Kyung Min is Professor of English at Seoul National University where she has taught since 1998. A specialist in eighteenth-century British literature, she received her PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton University. Her research interests include Enlightenment ethics and aesthetics, the history of literary canon formation, and early modern cultural history; she is also interested in Asian literature in English, Asian American Literature, and Asian cultural production in general. Her book China and the Writing of English Literary Modernity, 1690-1770 is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press (April 2018). Dr Min has published articles on eighteenth-century British literature in such journals as The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, Eighteenth-Century Studies, Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century, Essays and Studies, and ELH (English Literary History). Her work on Adam Smith appears in The Adam Smith Review as well as a book collection entitled The Question of the Gift: Essays across Disciplines (Routledge 2002). She has also published essays on Korean and Korean American literature in the journal Social Text and two book collections, Other Sisterhoods: Literary Theory and U.S. Women of Color (University of Illinois Press 1998) and The Politics of English (John Benjamins 2013).

Keynote Presentation (2018) | “The Prospect . . . towards the East”: Reorienting Eighteenth-Century British Literature
Professor Li Ou
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Biography

Li Ou is Associate Professor at Department of English, the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is the author of Keats and Negative Capability (London: Continuum, 2009), ‘Keats, Sextus Empiricus, and Medicine’ (Romanticism 22:2 (2016), 167-76), and ‘Keats’s Afterlife in Twentieth-Century China’ (English Romanticism in East Asia: A Romantic Circles PRAXIS Volume, ed. Suh-Reen Han). Her research interests include Romantic poetry and cultural/literary relations between China and Britain.

Keynote Presentation | British Romanticism in China: Received, Revised, and Resurrected
Dr Yutaka Mino
Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan

Biography

Yutaka Mino was born in Kanazawa, Japan, in 1941, and has received his PhD in Art History at Harvard University in 1977. He was appointed as the associate curator in charge of Asiatic Department at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1976, the curator of the Oriental Art Department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1977, and the curator of the Asian Department at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1985. After Returning to Japan, he was appointed as the director of Osaka Municipal Museum of Art in 1996, and as the founding director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa in 2004. In 2007, he assumed the Vice Chairman, Sotheby’s North America, the Chief Executive Director, the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa and the Honorary Director, Osaka Municipal Museum of Art. In April 2010, he was appointed as the director of Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, in 2012, the director of Yokoo Tadanori Museum of Contemporary Art, in 2013, the Honorary Director, Abeno Harukas Museum of Art. Yutaka Mino has organized many exhibitions, and also published individual books and catalogs such as Freedom of Clay and Brush Through Seven Centuries in Northern China: Tz’u-chou Type Wares, 960-1600 A.D. in 1980 and Hakuji (White Ware), vol.5 in the Chugoku Togi (Chinese Ceramics) series in 1998.

Welcome Address & Featured Presentation (2018)

Previous Presentations

Featured Presentation (2017) | Art and Narrative in the Public Sphere
Dr Shoso Shimbo
RMIT University, Australia

Biography

Shoso Shimbo PhD is a certified teacher of Ikebana and has 30 years experience in Ikebana. Shoso was selected by Belle magazine as one of six “Australia’s top floral designers” and has won multiple awards including the Gold Award at the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show. His works were selected for the prestigious publication, International Floral Art (Stichting Kunstboek) in 2014/2015 & 2016/2017 editions.

His sculptural works have been featured in some of the nation’s major contemporary art exhibitions. His recent commissions includes a public work of art for the Archibald Award Exhibition 2015 at the Art Gallery of Ballarat and the Wye River project as a part of the Lorne Sculpture 2016.

Shoso has an MA in Japanese Studies, a Master of Fine Art and PhD in Education. He is also qualified as a garden designer. He is a directer of International Society of Ikebana Studies and he teaches “Japanese Aesthetics: From Ikebana to Contemporary Art” at RMIT University Short Courses.

Featured Presentation | Ikebana Workshop
Professor Donald E. Hall
Lehigh University, USA

Biography

Donald E. Hall has published widely in the fields of British Studies, Gender Theory, Cultural Studies, and Professional Studies. Prior to arriving at Lehigh in 2011, he served as Jackson Distinguished Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English (and previously Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages) at West Virginia University (WVU). Before his tenure at WVU, he was Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where he taught for 13 years. He is a recipient of the University Distinguished Teaching Award at CSUN, was a visiting professor at the National University of Rwanda, was 2001 Lansdowne Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Victoria (Canada), was Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Cultural Studies at Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria, for 2004-05, and was Fulbright Specialist at the University of Helsinki for 2006. He has also taught in Sweden, Romania, Hungary, and China. He has served on numerous panels and committees for the Modern Language Association (MLA), including the Task Force on Evaluating Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion and the Convention Program Committee. In 2012, he served as national President of the Association of Departments of English. In 2013, he was elected to and began serving on the Executive Council of the MLA.

His current and forthcoming work examines issues such as professional responsibility and academic community-building, the dialogics of social change and ethical intellectualism, and the Victorian (and our continuing) interest in the deployment of instrumental agency over our social, vocational, and sexual selves. His book, The Academic Community: A Manual For Change, was published by Ohio State University Press in the fall of 2007. His tenth book, Reading Sexualities: Hermeneutic Theory and the Future of Queer Studies, was published in the spring of 2009. In 2012, he and Annamarie Jagose, of the University of Auckland, collaborated on a volume titled The Routledge Queer Studies Reader, which was published in July of that year. He continues to lecture worldwide on the value of a liberal arts education and the need for nurturing global competencies in students and interdisciplinary dialogue in and beyond the classroom.

Professor Donald E. Hall is a Vice-President of IAFOR. He is Chair of the Arts, Humanities, Media & Culture division of the International Academic Advisory Board.

Professor Myles Chilton
Nihon University, Japan

Biography

Myles Chilton (BA University of Toronto; MA and PhD University of Chicago) is a Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature at Nihon University. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Chilton has been in Japan for over twenty years, writing about relationships between contemporary world literature and global cities in Literary Cartographies: Spatiality, Representation, and Narrative (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), and in journal articles such as Comparative Critical Studies, The Journal of Narrative Theory, and Studies in the Literary Imagination. He also focuses on global English and literary studies in such books as the monograph English Studies Beyond the ‘Center’: Teaching Literature and the Future of Global English (Routledge 2016); and in chapters in the books The Future of English in Asia: Perspectives on Language and Literature (Routledge 2015), Deterritorializing Practices in Literary Studies (Contornos 2014), and World Literature and the Politics of the Minority (Rawat 2013). Chilton has also presented papers on these and other topics at universities around the world. He is also on the editorial board of the IAFOR Journal of Literature and Librarianship.


Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | History, Story, Narrative – Constructing History
Dr Yukari Yoshihara
University of Tsukuba, Japan

Biography

Yukari Yoshihara is an associate professor at the University of Tsukuba, Japan, and a board member of the Asian Shakespeare Association. Her publications include “Toward Reciprocal Legitimation between Shakespeare’s Works and Manga” (2016), “Tacky Shakespeare in Japan” (2013), “The First Japanese Adaptation of Othello (1903) and Japanese Colonialism” (2012), and the “Introduction” to English Studies in Asia (2007). She convened the Robinson Crusoe in Asia conference in 2014 at University of Tsukuba. A dedicated fan of L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, she was interviewed by BBC Toronto as to why Anne is the most popular red-head in Japan. Enthusiastic about creating spaces where pop culture meets high culture, she organized the 1st Graphic Shakespeare Competition in 2016 and is to convene the 2nd GSC in 2018. Her current project is on Anglophone literature in Cold War Asia.

Professor Steve Clark
University of Tokyo, Japan

Biography

Steve Clark is a professor in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, and in the Department of English Language and Literature, University of Tokyo, Japan. He received both a BA and PhD from the University of Cambridge, then was a British Academy postdoc and fellow of the School of Advanced Studies at the University of London, UK. He taught at Osaka and Nara before moving to the University of Tokyo. His many publications include Paul Ricoeur (Routledge, 1990), Travel-Writing and Empire (ZED, 1999), Reception of Blake in the Orient (Continuum, 2006), and Asian Crossings: Travel-Writing on China, Japan and South-East Asia (Hong Kong University Press, 2008). His most recent book, co-edited with Tristanne Connolly, is British Romanticism in a European Perspective (Palgrave 2015). He has also written a number of articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as reviews for such publications as the Times Literary Supplement. He has either organised or co-organised conferences in both Japan and the United Kingdom, including the recent Romantic Connections and Pacific Gateways conferences, both at the University of Tokyo.

Dr Joseph Haldane
The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan

Biography

Joseph Haldane is the Chairman and CEO of IAFOR. He is responsible for devising strategy, setting policies, forging institutional partnerships, implementing projects, and overseeing the organisation’s business and academic operations, including research, publications and events.

Dr Haldane holds a PhD from the University of London in 19th-century French Studies, and has had full-time faculty positions at the University of Paris XII Paris-Est Créteil (France), Sciences Po Paris (France), and Nagoya University of Commerce and Business (Japan), as well as visiting positions at the French Press Institute in the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas (France), The School of Journalism at Sciences Po Paris (France), and the School of Journalism at Moscow State University (Russia).

Dr Haldane’s current research concentrates on post-war and contemporary politics and international affairs, and since 2015 he has been a Guest Professor at The Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, where he teaches on the postgraduate Global Governance Course, and a Co-Director of the OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre, an interdisciplinary think tank situated within the university.

He is also a Member of the International Advisory Council of the Department of Educational Foundations at the College of Education of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

From 2012 to 2014, Dr Haldane served as Treasurer of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (Chubu Region) and he is currently a Trustee of the HOPE International Development Agency (Japan). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society in 2012, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2015.

A black belt in judo, he is married with two children, and lives in Japan.