2019 Situations International Conference:
Ethnicity, Race and Racism in Asia
School of the Humanities, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Thursday 24 October-Saturday 26 October 2019
In recent years, the questions of ethnicity, race and racism have come to assume an increasing prominence in scholarly as well as social discussions in Asia. Thanks in large part to the global economy, societies in Asia that were mostly homogeneous have started to become more racially and ethnically diverse, while those that were already multi-ethnic face new difficulties. Meanwhile, in North America and across western Europe, the questions raised by the issues of race and ethnicity have emerged as major elements in a political landscape that is increasingly centered on the question of identity.
In response to the turbulence of the global economy, the breakdown of the international order, and the massive flows of migrants they have triggered, populism has become a potent political force in much of the world. The widening disparities caused by neoliberal economics often display a distinct racial or ethnic element, while the expansion of Asian economic and cultural influence across the world has created new connections between peoples, even as it can foster distinct forms of alienation and resentment in other contexts. Longstanding liberal values such as pluralism, tolerance, and multicultural coexistence have come under challenge, as fears of economic crisis and cultural conflict have given strength to extremist stances across the political spectrum. Finally, the fact that historical barriers have come down between different population groups has resulted in some cases in the intensification of conflicts between them that involve other explosive fault-lines, such as differences of religious belief that too can take on a racial or ethnic dimension.
What does ethnic diversity and pluralism mean in Asia today? What kind of impact has globalization had on the relations between different ethnic groups in multi-ethnic states such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia? What kinds of conflicts–as well as new modes of coexistence – are being generated by the flow of peoples in accordance with the demand for labor and patterns of investment? How are more ethnically homogeneous nations such as Japan, China, and South Korea affected by this dynamic?
The current rise of populist anger across the West portends a potential revival of the nation-state, which in many instances has had a relatively homogeneous population as its foundation. Alternatively, the fragmentation of social and political systems may indicate a return to older institutional arrangements that could be surprisingly peaceful and tolerant in comparison to modern multi-ethnic or multi-cultural states because they were more willing to recognize hard cultural differences. What kind of relationship between the old and the new are we likely to see as the nations and cultures of Asia attempt to adjust to new social and economic realities?
In exploring this topic, the 2019 Situations conference welcomes papers on such subjects as:
• The history of race and ethnicity as Asian ideas
• Belonging and exclusion
• Refugee flows and crises around the globe
• Flows of labor and capital
• Diaspora and identity
• Racial divides and religious differences
• The populist challenge to multiculturalism
• Non-Western models of pluralism and diversity
• Race, culture, and the high-trust society
• The future of cosmopolitanism
• Race, equality, and democracy
• Multiculturalism, pluralism, and empire
• Race, ethnicity, and biomedical technologies
• Race and models of beauty
Among our confirmed keynote speakers are:
Dr. Lawrence Grossberg (UNC)
Dr. Meaghan Morris (U of Sydney)
Dr. Chua Beng Huat (NUS)
Early inquiries with 200-word abstracts are appreciated. The deadline for a 4,000-word
presentation is September 1 2019.
We will provide hotel accommodation for each invited speaker. A partial defrayment of
the airfare is available upon acceptance of the proposal while funding lasts.
Each invited participant is expected to turn his or her initial presentation into a finished
6,000-word paper for possible inclusion in a future issue of the SCOPUS-indexed
journal, Situations: Cultural Studies in the Asian Context
All submissions should follow the Chicago Manual of Style (16th ed.).
All correspondence should be
addressed to the Editor of Situations, Terence Murphy, at email@example.com and cc’d
to the Managing Editor Rhee Suk Koo at firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-hosted by School of the Humanities, Nanyang Technological University and the Department
of English BK 21 Project Yonsei University
CFP categories: Asia; race; racism; ethnicity; multiculturalism; belonging; exclusion;
cosmopolitanism; diversity; pluralism; populism; refugees