The Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (IACS) Society’s Biennial Conclave returns to India after a gap of more than fifteen years. The 2021 conference was organized virtually by the IACS Society’s Secretariat at the National University of Singapore. In 2023 we propose a Landing Zone for the conference at Ahmedabad, India, July 27-29.
In pandemic times, no schedule can be written in stone. However, since we are all keen to travel and meet each other after more than two years of lockdowns and quarantines, IACS 2023 aims to be primarily an in-person conference. It will be hosted by the Centre for Inter-Asian Research, Ahmedabad University (CIAR). CIAR is a dynamic new research initiative at the University, tasked with forging connections between scholars and practitioners in the inter-Asia space.
Ahmedabad-2023 is the fourteenth conference since the first IACS event in Taipei in July 1998, titled Problematising Asia. Since then, biennial conferences have taken place in Fukuoka (2000), Bangalore (2004), Seoul (2005 and 2017), Shanghai (2007), Tokyo (2009), Dhaka (2011), Singapore (2013 and 2021), Surabaya (2015), and Dumaguete (2019). In 2007 the Open Call format was introduced. Through this period, IACS has experimented with several other formats, including closed and open teaching workshops, master-classes, forums, student pre-conferences and myriad related events.
The overarching theme for our 14th conclave is Post-Pandemic Futures: Re-Mapping Inter-Asian Routes.
The last two years have disrupted the forms of mobility to which we had become accustomed in inter-Asia, throwing our fragile collaborative structures into disarray. There is no simple return possible to a pre-pandemic age, no easy throwing away of masks. Zoom and its many cousins are now an integral part of our life at work and play. As we cautiously venture out on revenge tourism, we observe that the post-lockdown world around us has changed in innumerable ways. Online and offline, virtual and actual, are no longer binaries but spaces that form a continuum. In light of our transformed habitus, we attempt to reimagine the resources we had. Critique, once seen as a key task of Cultural Studies, tries to reinvent its purposes and its modalities. Community-building, another key task we took up in inter-Asia, is also being re-thought. With pandemically heightened awareness of borders, precarity – economic, social, cultural – has become the dominant feature of our everyday lives. It is all the more urgent that we look for new ways of re-connecting. At IACS 2023, we invite you to engage in renewed forms of working together by paying close attention to the material conditions of such collaboration, and by re-shaping our collective vision of what an inter-Asia conversation could be like.
See more details of this reformatted conference here