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SEMINAR: Asian Studies Seminar Series

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Today's date is Thursday, November 26, 2020
Asian Studies Seminar Series : From the Ambivalent Edges of “Asia”: Japan, Turkey, Australia Other events...
This talk is a springboard to reflect on some of the background conceptual considerations framing a new research area I am moving into on Japan-Turkey interactions. On the surface, this may come across as an odd choice of topic, given the geographic distance between the two countries, as well as their (apparently) very different socio-economic and cultural conditions. However, there are in fact areas of historical and socio-economic intersection and commonality between Japan and Turkey, including the ways in which the project of modernity unfolded in both countries, and how both have defined their modern national identities in relation to the “West” and the “non-West” (specifically, “Asia”). The specific research will be carried out in 2014 in collaboration with colleagues at Middle East Technical University in Ankara and Boğaziçi (Bosphorus) University in Istanbul, and the Turkey-Japan Foundation. The projects themselves are fairly precise, clearly delineated ones – one on corporate culture interactions in Japanese firms conducting business in Turkey, and the other on engagements with Japanese popular culture among young Turkish fans. However, framing these specific, bounded topics are broader conceptual issues that I wish to explore in the longer-term, connected to imaginings of “Asia” and “Inter-Asia”, and expanding out from previous work I have done on circuits of popular culture and East Asian modernity (e.g. Dasgupta 2013). Asian Studies, particularly in Australia, tends to be heavily slanted towards research on (and research from) East, Southeast, and South Asia. The dominant (mis-)perception seems to be that “Asia” ends at the Pakistan-Iran border. However, “Asia” is, and historically has been, far more fluid and elastic than the current dominant understandings would suggest; in fact the name itself was first applied with reference to a region (Anatolia, in Turkey) that today gets largely ignored in academic and mainstream conversations on Asia and Asian Studies. This seminar, accordingly, seeks to reflect on the fluidity and instability of “Asia” with reference to three seemingly disparate societies located on the “fringes” of the continent – Japan, Turkey, and Australia – all of whose narratives of modernity and national identity were, and continue to be, framed in juxtaposition to imaginings of “Asia” and “non-Asia”.
Speaker(s) Asst Professor Romit Dasgupta
Location G.25, Social Sciences North
Contact Laura Dales <[email protected]>
Start Fri, 22 Nov 2013 13:30
End Fri, 22 Nov 2013 15:00
Submitted by Karen Eichorn <[email protected]>
Last Updated Thu, 14 Nov 2013 12:17
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