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News from NIAS

Prof. Min at Central Europe and East Asia conference

The 9th annual conference of the Lodz East Asia Meeting 'Central Europe and East Asia' has been held on 6-7 June 2013 at the University of Lodz in Poland.
The conference is an annual gathering of scholars from all over the world interested in Asian affairs, especially the political and economic aspects. Prof. Qi Wang (University of Southern Denmark) and Prof. Min Dongchao (NIAS, University of Copenhagen) participated in this conference and presented a paper on “Gender and Corruption – insights from China”. 
Here is a link to the Q&A session with the organizers of the conference and Prof. Wang and Min where issues related to their topic were discussed.

Current SUPRA student at NIAS

Hermann Aubie, University of Turku
Topic: Historical analysis of Liu Xiaobo’s political engagement from June 4th 1989 to Charter 08

Elizabeth Elendor Dimond, University of Oslo
Topic: Maritime delimitation and the Chinese Navy, impact in the East China Sea

New workplace student at NIAS

Mia Ji Sørensen is a new workplace student at NIAS, she is stud.cand.mag in International Studies and Social Science. Has experience from jobs in international institutions and the private sector. Mia has lived in several countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Vietnam, and is by origin from South Korea. She has a comprehensive interests in East- and Southeast Asia's culture, diversity, economy and increasing influence in international relations. Therefore, future career plans will hopefully materialise in that region of the world.
The title of Mia's thesis is "Asia's rising influence in the Global Economy - with emphasis on the Economic Development of Southeast Asia"

New Secretary at NIAS


Elisabeth Brink Bendiksen is the new secretary at NIAS. Elisabeth comes with a wide range of experience from her many years in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has also lived and worked in Italy for several years.
Elisabeth started this Monday, and we are happy to have her at NIAS.


Geir Helgesen talks to NK News about human rights in North Korea

"North Korea refuses to cooperate at any level on the issue of human rights, according to an announcement from the United Nations in early July.

But a recently established investigation commission, led by Australian judge Michael Kirby, seems determined to gather all possible information both from former North Korean citizens now living abroad and, should access be granted, directly from North Korean authorities, even if the latter seems unrealistic at the moment."

NIAS' Director Geir Helgesen, long-time researcher of politics and culture on the Korean Peninsula, has analyzed the human rights issue in North Korea in Dialogue with North Korea? Preconditions for Talking Human Rights with the Hermit Kingdom, which he co-authored with Hatla Thelle, published in April. Because of this he was recently  interviewed by NK News to discuss human rights, Western perspectives of North Korea, and what lies ahead.

To read the full interview follow this link to the NK News website

New face in the library

Librarian and IT expert Chia-Ning (Debbie) Chen has started at NIAS Library. Debbie has a Bachelor of Art in Library Science from Taiwan and a Master of Science in Computer Science from California State University. Debbie will be working in a temporary position at NIAS Library. We are very happy to welcome her at NIAS Library.

Inger Agger invited to join research group on trauma at Kyoto University

NIAS Associate Inger Agger  spent a month at the French School of Asian Studies (EFEO) in July 2013 in Kyoto, Japan, as part of her research on "Trauma, Memory and Healing in the Context of Organized Violence in Asia". She showed her documentary film on "Justice and Healing in Cambodia" at Kyoto University and was invited to become Overseas Research Associate of the Research Group: “Trans-disciplinary Studies of Organizing Traumatic Experiences and Memories: From Narratives to Memorials,” at Institute for Research in Humanities, Department of Humanities, Kyoto University, Japan.

Read more about Inger Agger and Testimonial Therapy & the Life Project on the In Focus Blog where a longer interview with her from the magazine Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives has been re-published.

New workplace student at NIAS

We are happy to welcome a new workplace student to NIAS.

Erja-Liisa Lappalainen is a master’s student from the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Finland. Her master’s thesis is about social media in China, focusing on the microblogging behavior of Chinese urban youth.
Erja-Liisa started at NIAS on 5 August and will stay until December.

2nd Call for Papers 7th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference at University of Southern Denmark 4-8 November 2013

Monday, November 4, 2013 to Friday, November 8, 2013

The conference and PhD Course are organized by SDU’s Negot in Chinese/Institute of Design and Communication at University of Southern Denmark and NIAS. The PhD Course is co-organized together with IIAS - International Institute for Asian Studies in Leiden.

Opening and registration 4 November, Conference 5-6 November, PhD Course 7-8 November

As the movement of thoughts from East to West seem to increase, it is high time to realize the opportunities of a multipolar world and seriously consider all existing human experiences and knowledge systems. The present conference and PhD workshop will limit itself to Western and Asian experiences, in an effort of bringing the two into a creative and fruitful dialogue. In light of this, area studies and the different disciplines need to come together and share insights and identify theoretical and methodological approaches that might strike a reasonable balance between universal concerns and particular cultural understandings.

The following keynote speakers will inspire our proceedings

  • Nandita Chaudhary, Associated Professor, Lady Irwin College, Delhi University
  • Jan-Olof Nilsson, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Lund University
  • Jaan Valsiner, Professor, Department of Psychology Clark University, Niels Bohr Professor of Cultural Psychology, University  of Aalborg

More keynotes will be announced later

Commentators at the PhD course are

  • Nandita Chaudhary, Associated Professor, Lady Irwin College, Delhi University
  • Min Dongchao, Professor  & Director of the Centre for Gender and Culture Studies, Shanghai University
  • Geir Helgesen, Director NIAS –Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
  • Nikita A. Kharlamov, PhD, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University
  • Willem Vogelsang, PhD, Institute Manager, IIAS - International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden
  • Qi Wang, Associated Professor, Department of Design and Communication, University of Southern Denmark

For more information please go to the conference website:


Visit from Shanghai

On July the 3rd a group of eighty (80) Chinese students from five universities in the greater Shanghai area visited NIAS. The European trip was organized by Fudan University and brought the group of students and some of their teachers to Oxford University and to  University of Copenhagen, where Professor Lars Bo Kaspersen, head of the department of Political Science and chairman of the NIAS board gave a lecture on “The development of the welfare state, Danish experiences”. Only the busy schedule and two buses waiting for the group stopped the lively discussions after the lecture. Our research guest of the summer, Dr. Chiu Chen-Yu presently a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Architecture  at Aalto University, but originally from Taiwan assisted us as interpreter for those of the Chinese students who needed it.