ACCS2018


"Fearful Futures: Cultural Studies and the Question of Agency in the Twenty-First Century"

June 1–3, 2018 | Art Center Kobe, Kobe, Japan

We have reached a moment in international history that is one of potential paradigm shift. It is a moment when a problematic, but at least blandly progressivist, pro-multiculturalist movement toward “cosmopolitanism” (as Kwame Anthony Appiah might use the term) is being threatened by a far more destructive and potentially genocidal ethno-nationalism, the ferocity of which is fuelled by economic disparity, religious intolerance and retrograde ideologies regarding gender, race and sexuality. The possible global futures we face are fearful, indeed.

In this context, cultural studies has a unique role to play in tracing the genealogy of the present moment and charting different paths forward. As never before, cultural studies is called to return to its activist roots, to diagnose the ideologies driving hatred and intolerance, and to posit different models of social engagement and organization. Looking to the past, what do we learn about the challenges of today? How does culture replicate itself (or critically engage itself) in the classroom, in literature, in social media, in film, in the visual and theatrical arts, in the family and among peer groups? How do we rise to the challenge of articulating a notion of human rights that also respects cultural difference? How do cultural representations of the environment abet or challenge the forces driving climate change? What are the roles and responsibilities of the individual activist as teacher, writer, social scientist and community member?

This international and interdisciplinary conference will bring together a range of academics, independent researchers, artists and activists to explore the challenges that we face in the twenty-first century. While we have every right to fear the future, we also have agency in creating that future. Can we commit to a cosmopolitanism that celebrates difference and that challenges social inequity? On our ability to answer to that question affirmatively likely hangs our very survival.

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Programme

  • Indigenous Resurgence and Environmental Justice on the Global Stage
    Indigenous Resurgence and Environmental Justice on the Global Stage
    Keynote Presentation: Helen Gilbert
  • Poetic Resistance and Empowerment
    Poetic Resistance and Empowerment
    Keynote Presentation: Tammy Lai-Ming Ho
  • The Challenge of the Global South
    The Challenge of the Global South
    Keynote Presentation: Vinay Lal
  • Fearful Futures: Rescuing Asian Democracy
    Fearful Futures: Rescuing Asian Democracy
    Featured Panel Presentation: Haruko Satoh, Pavin Chachavalpongpun & Colin Duerkop
  • The Cities We Fled
    The Cities We Fled
    Keynote Presentation: Donald E. Hall
  • IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening
    IAFOR Documentary Photography Award 2017 | Award Winners Screening
  • IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session
    IAFOR Silk Road Initiative Information Session

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Speakers

  • Pavin Chachavalpongpun
    Pavin Chachavalpongpun
    Kyoto University, Japan
  • Colin Dürkop
    Colin Dürkop
    Visiting Fellow, Kyoto University, Japan
  • Helen Gilbert
    Helen Gilbert
    Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
  • Donald E. Hall
    Donald E. Hall
    Lehigh University, USA
  • Vinay Lal
    Vinay Lal
    The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA
  • Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
    Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
    Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong
  • Takuma Melber
    Takuma Melber
    The University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Haruko Satoh
    Haruko Satoh
    Osaka University, Japan

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Organising Committee

The Organising Committee of The Asian Conference on Cultural Studies (ACCS) 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, and so forth; 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 overseeing the reviewing of abstracts submitted to the conference.

  • Sue Ballyn
    Sue Ballyn
    Barcelona University, Spain
  • Joseph Haldane
    Joseph Haldane
    The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
  • Donald E. Hall
    Donald E. Hall
    Lehigh University, USA
  • Baden Offord
    Baden Offord
    Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
  • Seiko Yasumoto
    Seiko Yasumoto
    University of Sydney, Australia

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Review Committee

  • Dr Adriano Balagot, City University of Marikina, The Philippines
  • Dr Alexandre Avdulov, Saint Mary's University, Canada
  • Dr Anand Wadwekar, School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal, India
  • Dr Angela Turner-Wilson, Bournemouth University, United Kingdom
  • Dr Cecilia Fe Sta Maria-Abalos, University of the Philippines Baguio, The Philippines
  • Dr Helena Vasques de Carvalho, ISCTE-IUL, Portugal
  • Dr Patricia Audrey Ruslijanto, University of Brawijaya, Indonesia
  • Professor Shu-Chung Lii, Chang Gung University, Taiwan
  • Dr Susan Bacud, University of the Philippines Los Banos, The Philippines
  • Dr Yoshihiko Yamamoto, Shizuoka University, Japan

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 ACCS Review Committee, please visit our application page.

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Indigenous Resurgence and Environmental Justice on the Global Stage
Keynote Presentation: Helen Gilbert

Once largely ignored beyond their local contexts, the ecological concerns of indigenous groups now register to broad international constituencies, in both public and scientific arenas, as they increasingly align with evidence of our planet’s precarity – and its volatility – as a life-sustaining system. This presentation traces the ways in which environmental concerns have been broached in recent indigenous performances, while also suggesting the global arena in which such concerns play out, sometimes contentiously. I will begin with a brief discussion of the 2015 People’s March for Climate, Justice and Jobs in London and the UN Climate Summit held in Paris shortly afterwards. Both events featured indigenous protests covered by international media, and acted, however temporarily, as new public nodes in a loosely configured global network manifesting the eco-political resurgence of indigenous communities. Within this broad canvass, my focus then segues to two creative works that take on the artistic labour of environmental activism: an interactive installation, Ars Longa, Vita Brevis! Sinking Islands, Unsinkable Art, created by Kiribati community members for the 2017 Venice Biennale, and Cut the Sky (2015), a multi-dimensional performance staged in Europe, Canada and Australia by intercultural dance-theatre company Marrugeku. The first issues a plea for collective action on global warming while also enacting the quiet resilience of the island nation’s inhabitants; the second choreographs a haunting vision of extreme weather events, tempered by the insights of Aboriginal knowledge systems. Both show that environmental justice is crucial not only for the wellbeing of the marginalised but also for humanity as a whole. Discussion of these works’ distinctive campaigns for climate action will be informed by Rob Nixon’s theorisations of incremental ecosystem destruction as a ‘slow violence’ dispersed across time and space.

Image | Impacts of coastal erosion and drought on coconut palms in Eita, Tarawa, Kiribati

Read presenter biographies.

Poetic Resistance and Empowerment
Keynote Presentation: Tammy Lai-Ming Ho

July 1, 2017 marked the twentieth anniversary of the return of Hong Kong's sovereignty from the UK to China. On the face of it, Hong Kong may not seem to have changed very much since the 1997 handover. However, beneath this veneer of immutability, people in the city have witnessed and experienced changes - subtle at the very beginning but in recent years increasingly evident - that could prove to be as irrevocable as they are tangible. One of these changes concerns language.

The majority of the population in Hong Kong speak Cantonese as a first language, even though some may speak Mandarin, English or other languages at work. A constantly evolving language, Cantonese is unfortunately being stifled and side-lined institutionally in Hong Kong and there is a sense that it is "endangered". With all this background in mind, I have been intrigued by the various ways non-English native Hong Kong poets incorporate foreign elements, including language, form and thought, into "the local ethos" of Hong Kong in their work.

Aspects of interest are the appropriation of Western poetic forms, explicit references to Western writers in epigraphs or even the body of the texts, reworking and transposing lines from Western poems to suit the Hong Kong cultural and political context, and creative misreadings and wilful erasures of Western texts. The paper then takes as a case study the poetry of the Hong Kong poet Nicholas Wong, winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry in 2015 for his second poetry collection Crevasse. Looking at the haiku sequence at the end of Crevasse, which is an erasure of letters between James Schuyler and Frank O'Hara, Wong's long Occupy Central poem, and several others, this section investigates how Western literature and culture are incorporated into the expression of a unique Hong Kong identity filtered through gender politics, bilingualism, cultural production and Hong Kong-China relations. The paper ends with a reflection on the impossibility of fashioning a coherent narrative about Hong Kong, and the potential strengths and drawbacks of this reality.

Read presenter biographies.

The Challenge of the Global South
Keynote Presentation: Vinay Lal

It is commonly thought that the idea of the Global South received its first major articulation at the Afro-Asian Conference held at Bandung in 1955. However, the genealogy of the idea is far more complicated, since Bandung cannot be read only as an endeavour to forge solidarity between formerly colonised subjects or to create a third path that would steer clear of both the West and what was then the Soviet bloc. Rather, the challenge of Bandung, one that not only remains with us today but if anything has acquired ever greater urgency, is to understand whether the Global South can mount an intellectual and socio-cultural defence that would facilitate the conditions for an ecologically genuine survival of plurality. Two considerations, as I shall argue, must reign supreme in any such endeavour. First, centuries of colonial oppression had, among other devastating consequences, the effect of eviscerating memories and histories of South-South contacts, many of which preceded the interaction of most countries in the South with nations of the West. One consequence of colonialism that persists with us today is that nearly all intellectual exchanges within the South are mediated by the West. A second related but distinct consideration is that it cannot suffice to understand oppression through the categories made familiar by liberal and Marxist analyses, among them racism, class warfare, ‘economic terrorism’, the military-industrial complex, and so on. Western social science, in particular, has generated a nearly insurmountable imperialism of categories, such that the histories and experiences of people in the South are interpreted through the templates generated in the Western academy. Is it possible for the South to galvanise its intellectual inheritance and socio-cultural resources to offer dissenting frameworks of knowledge? It is in these terms that the challenge of the South must be understood.

Read presenter biographies.

Fearful Futures: Rescuing Asian Democracy
Featured Panel Presentation: Haruko Satoh, Pavin Chachavalpongpun & Colin Duerkop

The wave of democratisation in post-Cold War decades, globalisation is often understood as the triumph of the international liberal order over the socialist model of political economy. Wealth creation through capitalism and political liberalisation (or democratisation) are supposed to go hand in hand, and at the end of the road history is supposed to ‘end’ with the proliferation of liberal democracies. This Western-centric idea of where the world should be headed, based on the notion that liberal values are universal, is buttressed by the institutions, norms, rules and regulations of Western design that bind international politics today. Yet, at the same time, issues of identity, culture and values have emerged in this discourse between the West (broadly defined) and Asia as an area of negotiation, if not outright contestation, in the course of a more complex and intense intercourse between the West that tries to assist democratisation and market economy in other parts of the world and the "post-colonial" rest, many of whose democratic foundations are challenged by the necessity of further (and sustainable) economic development or under threat from the return of authoritarianism. China's growing influence through its aggressive development aid policies (such as the Belt & Road Initiative and AIIB) is a relatively new challenge to nurturing democratic movements. What would be a meaningful dialogue and mode of engagement between "the West and the rest" in order to rescue democracy from its multifaceted perils of a changing world under globalisation?

Read presenter biographies.

The Cities We Fled
Keynote Presentation: Donald E. Hall

In this keynote presentation, Donald E. Hall of Lehigh University will discuss the city of his birth: Birmingham, Alabama (USA). While we often celebrate cities as places of vibrant artistic and cultural innovation and stimulation, cities can also feel like traps to some citizens if the values and priorities they embody are not compatible with the lives and interests of those inhabitants.

In discussing the personal journey out of his birth city, Professor Hall will pose questions to the audience for all to consider: What do we need from cities? How do some cities become lost in their pasts and therefore unable to embrace the changing needs of their populations? What causes some cities to languish, stagnate, and alienate, while other reinvent themselves and thrive? Following the keynote, the audience will be asked to provide their own thoughts on cities as sites of pleasure and pain.

Read presenter biographies.

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.

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.

Pavin Chachavalpongpun
Kyoto University, Japan

Biography

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is associate professor at Kyoto University’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies. He is also a guest professor at Japan's Doshisha University. Earning his PhD from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, he is the author of “A Plastic Nation: The Curse of Thainess in Thai-Burmese Relations” and “Reinventing Thailand: Thaksin and His Foreign Policy”. He is currently working on two book manuscripts, as editor; “Coup, King, Crisis: Thailand’s Troubled Politics since the 2014 Coup” and “Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Thailand”. Pavin is also the chief editor of the online journal “Kyoto Review of Southeast Asia” in which all articles are translated from English into Japanese, Thai, Bahasa and Vietnamese.

After Thailand' military coup of 2014, Pavin was twice summoned for his critical views of Thailand's military and monarchy. On rejecting the summons, Thailand's junta issued a warrant for his arrest and revoked his Thai passport. This forced him to apply for refugee status in Japan.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Fearful Futures: Rescuing Asian Democracy
Colin Dürkop
Visiting Fellow, Kyoto University, Japan

Biography

Colin Dürkop has been working for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), one of the German political foundations, for the past 29 years. Before his last posting in Ankara, he was KAS Regional Representative for Korea/Japan and Director of the KAS Political Dialogue Programme Asia in Singapore. From 2002 to 2009 he edited the journal Panorama: Insights into Southeast Asian and European Affairs. He also served at the Foundation's headquarters in Germany as the Director of the Asia Department. Earlier, he did stints as KAS Country Representative in Thailand, consulted World Bank projects in Thailand and Turkey and took part in various German bilateral aid consultancy projects. He started his career as an economist at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.

Colin Dürkop received his PhD in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Innsbruck/Austria.

Currently he is a visiting research fellow at Kyoto University's Center for Southeast Asian Studies (CSEAS).

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Fearful Futures: Rescuing Asian Democracy
Helen Gilbert
Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

Biography

Helen Gilbert is Professor of Theatre at Royal Holloway, University of London, and current Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at the University of Tokyo. Educated in Australia and Canada, her primary academic interest lies in the theatre and performance of marginalised cultures. Over the last three decades, her research has spanned artistic works and practices drawn from diverse parts of the world, with special emphasis on contemporary theatre in Australasia, Canada and Aotearoa New Zealand. Thematically, she concentrates on issues relating to race and representation, indigeneity, cultural identity, nationalism, democracy, diplomacy and the politics and aesthetics of cross-cultural engagement. Theoretically, her work attempts to extend postcolonial analytical models to better account for performative praxis.

From 2009–14, she led a transnational European Research Council-funded project on indigenous performance across the Americas, the Pacific, Australia and South Africa. A major performance-based exhibition, EcoCentrix: Indigenous Arts, Sustainable Acts (2013), emerged from this interdisciplinary work, along with several edited books, including Recasting Commodity and Spectacle in the Indigenous Americas (2014) and In the Balance: Indigeneity, Performance, Globalization (2017). The exhibition brought images, objects, sounds, performances and live art installations by over 40 international artists to London and was shortlisted for a UK national engagement award. A monograph synthesising the project’s pioneering insights is also near completion; it focuses on transnational aspects of indigenous performance, paying special attention to environmental justice, belonging, commodity culture, heritage and reconciliation.

Professor Gilbert recently completed a fellowship at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society in Munich, supported by a Humboldt Prize for career achievements in international theatre studies. Her early books in this field include Post-colonial Drama: Theory, Practice, Politics (co-authored with Joanne Tompkins, 1996) and two award-winning monographs: Performance and Cosmopolitics: Cross Cultural Transactions in Australasia (co-authored with Jacqueline Lo, 2007), and Sightlines: Race, Gender and Nation in Contemporary Australian Theatre (1998). She has also published in animal studies, among other eclectic topics. With Helen Tiffin and Robert Cribb, she wrote Wild Man from Borneo: A Cultural History of the Orangutan (2014), which studies the species boundary between humans and orangutans as imagined by scientists, philosophers, artists and the public at large over the past three centuries. Her research is now turning towards performance and activism in the age of the Anthropocene.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | Indigenous Resurgence and Environmental Justice on the Global Stage
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.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | The Cities We Fled

Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Vinay Lal
The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA

Biography

Vinay Lal is Professor of History and Asian American Studies at UCLA. He earned his Ph.D. with Distinction from the University of Chicago in 1992 after undergraduate and Master’s degrees in literature and philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. He writes widely on Indian history, historiography, public and popular culture in India, the Indian diaspora, colonialism, human rights, and the architecture of nonviolence, Gandhi, and the global politics of knowledge systems. His seventeen books include the two-volume Oxford Anthology of the Modern Indian City (Oxford, 2013); Political Hinduism: The Religious Imagination in Public Spheres (ed., Oxford, 2009); The Future of Knowledge and Culture: A Dictionary for the Twenty-first Century, co-edited with Ashis Nandy (Viking Penguin, 2005); Of Cricket, Guinness and Gandhi: Essays on Indian History and Culture (Penguin, 2005); The History of History: Politics and Scholarship in Modern India (Oxford, 2003); Empire of Knowledge: Culture and Plurality in the Global Economy (Pluto Press, 2002); and, most recently, India and the Unthinkable: Backwaters Collective on Metaphysics and Politics I, co-edited with Roby Rajan (Oxford, 2016) and A Passionate Life: Writings by and on Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay (Zubaan Books, 2017), co-edited with Ellen Carol DuBois. His work has been translated into Hindi, Urdu, Kannada, French, German, Spanish, Finnish, Korean, and Persian. Works in progress include two books on Gandhi, a political study of fasting, and a book on internet Hinduism. He also has the distinction of being listed among the “101 Most Dangerous Professors in America” in David Horowitz’s book, The Professors, quite likely the only fifteen minutes of fame he will ever have in his life. He blogs at vinaylal.wordpress.com and maintains a YouTube channel.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | The Challenge of the Global South
Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Biography

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong–born editor, translator, and poet. She is the founding co-editor of the first Hong Kong-based online literary publication, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (founded in 2007), and an editor of the academic journals Victorian Network and Hong Kong Studies (Chinese University Press). Her translations have appeared in World Literature Today, Chinese Literature Today, and Pathlight: New Chinese Writing, Drunken Boat, among other places. She holds an MPhil from the University of Hong Kong and a PhD from King’s College London, and she is currently Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches poetics, fiction, and modern drama. She has scholarly books forthcoming from Springer and Palgrave. Her first poetry collection is Hula Hooping (Chameleon Press) and she is the recipient of the 2015 Young Artist Award in Literary Arts presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. She is a Vice President of PEN Hong Kong.

Keynote Presentation | Poetic Resistance and Empowerment
Takuma Melber
The University of Heidelberg, Germany

Biography

Dr Takuma Melber is lecturer and coordinator of the Master Transcultural Studies Programme at The University of Heidelberg. A son of a German father and a Japanese mother, he is a historian by training. He studied Medieval and Modern History, Ancient History and Sociology at the Universities of Mainz and Zurich (2003 to 2009) and received his PhD in 2016.

His doctoral dissertation titled ”Between Collaboration and Resistance: The Japanese occupation policy in Malaya and Singapore, 1942-1945” (submitted to the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz) was awarded with the “Förderpreis für Militärgeschichte und Militärtechnikgeschichte 2017 (2. Platz)” (award for Military history and military technology history 2017 (2nd place)), one of the most famous awards for younger historians in Germany. He was also awarded with the “Wilhelm-Deist-Award for Military History 2009”. His book on the Pearl Harbor attack based on Japanese sources was also published in German.

He has been visiting scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE; 2013), the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of Waseda University (Tokyo, 2010/11) and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of Kyoto University (2018). He has also worked as an expert adviser for various documentaries on Japan and World War II / Pacific War and comments on the subject for German newspapers, TV and radio stations.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Fearful Futures: Rescuing Asian Democracy
Haruko Satoh
Osaka University, Japan

Biography

Haruko Satoh is Specially Appointed Professor at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), where she teaches Japan’s relations with Asia and identity in international relations. She is also co-director of the OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre and she was previously part of the MEXT Reinventing Japan project on “Peace and Human Security in Asia (PAHSA)” with six Southeast Asian and four Japanese universities.

In the past she has worked at the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA), Chatham House, and Gaiko Forum. Her interests are primarily in state theory, Japanese nationalism and identity politics. Recent publications include: “China in Japan’s Nation-state Identity” in James DJ Brown & Jeff Kingston (eds) Japan’s Foreign Relations in Asia (Routledge, 2018); “Japan’s ‘Postmodern’ Possibility with China: A View from Kansai” in Lam Peng Er (ed), China-Japan Relations in the 21st Century (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017); “Rethinking Security in Japan: In Search of a Post-‘Postwar’ Narrative” in Jain & Lam (Eds.), Japan’s Strategic Challenges in a Changing Regional Environment (World Scientific, 2012); “Through the Looking-glass: China’s Rise as Seen from Japan”, (co-authored with Toshiya Hoshino), Journal of Asian Public Policy, 5(2), 181–198, (July 2012); “Post- 3.11 Japan: A Matter of Restoring Trust?”, ISPI Analysis No. 83 (December 2011); “Legitimacy Deficit in Japan: The Road to True Popular Sovereignty” in Kane, Loy & Patapan (Eds.), Political Legitimacy in Asia: New Leadership Challenges (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), “Japan: Re-engaging with China Meaningfully” in Tang, Li & Acharya (eds), Living with China: Regional States and China through Crises and Turning Points, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). Professor Satoh is a member of IAFOR’s Academic Governing Board. She is Chair of the Politics, Law & International Relations section of the International Academic Advisory Board.

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Fearful Futures: Rescuing Asian Democracy
Sue Ballyn
Barcelona University, Spain

Biography

Dr Sue Ballyn is the Founder and Honorary Director of the Centre for Australian and Transnational Studies Centre at the University of Barcelona from where she graduated with a BA in 1982. Her MA thesis on the writings of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes won the Faculty prize in 1983. In 1986 she won the Faculty prize again, this time for her PhD thesis on Australian Poetry, the first PhD on Australian Literature in Spain.

She joined the English and German Philology Department on graduation 1982 and has remained at the university ever since. In 1990 she founded the Australian Studies Program which was recognised as an official University of Barcelona Observatory - Studies Centre in 2000, known as CEA, Observatorio Centre d’Estudis Australians. It is the only Australian Studies Centre in Spain and one of the most active in Europe.

Over the last twenty-five years, Sue Ballyn’s research has been focused on foreign convicts transported to Australia, in particular Spanish, Portuguese, Hispanics and Sephardim, and she works closely with the Female Convicts Research Centre, Tasmania. She has published and lectured widely in the area, very often in collaboration with Professor Lucy Frost. May 25th 2018 will see the publication of a book on Adelaide de la Thoreza, a Spanish convict, written by herself and Lucy Frost.

More recently she has become involved in a project on ageing in literature DEDAL-LIT at Lleida University which in turn formed part of a European project on ageing: SIforAge. As part of this project she is working on Human Rights and the Elderly, an area she started to research in 1992. In 2020 a book of interviews with elderly women, with the working title Stories of Experience, will be published as a result of this project. These oral stories are drawn from field work she has carried out in Barcelona.

She was recently involved in a ministry funded Project, run out of the Australian Studies Centre and headed by Dr Bill Phillips, on Postcolonial Crime Fiction (POCRIF). This last project has inevitably intertwined itself with her work on convicts and Australia. Her present work focuses on Sephardi Jews in Asian diaspora, and the construction of ageing.

Featured Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added shortly

Previous Presentations

Spotlight Presentation (2017) | “(…) For those in peril on the sea”: The Important Role of Surgeons on Convict Transports
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
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 Co-Director of the OSIPP-IAFOR Research Centre, an interdisciplinary think tank situated within Osaka University.

He is also a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Philology at the University of Belgrade, 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, and a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network for Global Governance.

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.

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.

Keynote Presentation (2018) | The Cities We Fled

Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | The Challenges of Doing Cultural Studies Today
Baden Offord
Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia

Biography

Baden Offord is an internationally recognized specialist in human rights, sexuality, education and culture. In 2012 he was a sponsored speaker to the 14th EU-NGO Human Rights Forum in Brussels where he spoke on ASEAN and sexual justice issues. In the same year he conducted a three-week lecture tour of Japan sponsored by the Australian Prime Minister’s Educational Assistance Funds post the Great Eastern Tohoku Earthquake in 2011.

Among his publications are the books Homosexual Rights as Human Rights: Activism in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia (2003), Activating Human Rights (co-edited with Elizabeth Porter, 2006), Activating Human Rights Education (co-edited with Christopher Newell, 2008), and Activating Human Rights and Peace: Theories, Practices, Contexts (co-edited with Bee Chen Goh and Rob Garbutt, 2012). His most recent co-authored publication in the field of Australian Cultural Studies is titled Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values (with Kerruish, Garbutt, Wessell and Pavlovic, 2014), which is a collaborative work with the Indian cultural theorist Ashis Nandy. His latest chapter, ‘Queer activist intersections in Southeast Asia: human rights and cultural studies,’ appears in Ways of Knowing About Human Rights in Asia (ed. Vera Mackie, London, Routledge, 2015).

He has held visiting positions at The University of Barcelona, La Trobe University, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and Rajghat Education Centre, Varanasi. In 2010-2011 he held the Chair (Visiting Professor) in Australian Studies, Centre for Pacific Studies and American Studies, The University of Tokyo. In Japan he has given lectures and research seminars at Chuo, Otemon Gakuin, Sophia, Tohoku and Keio Universities.

Prior to his appointment at Curtin University, he was Professor of Cultural Studies and Human Rights at Southern Cross University, where he was a faculty member from 1999-2014.

Featured Presentation (2019) | Presentation information will be added shortly
Seiko Yasumoto
University of Sydney, Australia

Biography

Dr Seiko Yasumoto lectures and carries out research on Japanese and East Asian media and cultural studies at the University of Sydney. Her primary research, which she has published widely, includes Japanese government media policy and broadcasting media within the domain of popular culture. The scope includes transmission of content, textual analysis, copyright, media industries, adaptation theory, youth culture, audience analysis and trans-national media cultural flows in Japan and East Asia. She is the editor of the IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies, guest editor of the Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia special edition on Global Media 2010 and co-editor of the scholarly journal Ilha Do Desterro a Journal of English Language, Literatures in English and Cultural Studies: Expression, Identity and Society.Vol.2006. She was the Japan and North, East Asia regional representative of the Asian Studies of Association of Australia (2009-2012), is an editorial board member of the Oriental Society of Australia, the East Asian Popular Culture Association and Journalism and Mass communication USA. She holds a prestigious Teaching Excellence Award from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney, Australia.


Previous Presentations

Spotlight Presentation (2017) | Cross-Cultural Engagement and Media Integration in Japan and East Asia