You are here

News from NIAS

2nd CFP - 9th Nordic NIAS Council Conference and PhD Course

Monday, November 7, 2016 to Friday, November 11, 2016

Nordic Asian Studies in the 21st Century – Stocktaking for the Future
Conference Asia House, Copenhagen 7-9 November 2016
PhD Course NIAS, Copenhagen, 10-11 November 2016

At the beginning of the 21st Century, relations with Asia have become crucial not only for the private, but also for the public sector. Economic, political and cultural relations between the West and the East are growing, and the need in our part of the West – the Nordic region – for solid knowledge about Asia, is also growing.

The present situation presents new opportunities for Asian studies within the Humanities and Social Sciences and, not least, a need for closer cooperation between the two. Unfortunately however, while our knowledge has become more useful and relevant to the wider society, many of us experience general budget cuts and difficulties in maintaining, not to speak of developing, our academic activities.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Pingtjin Thum, Visiting Fellow at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford; Research Associate at the Centre for Global History, University of Oxford; and coordinator of Project Southeast Asia
  • Tansen Sen, Professor of History, City University New York (CUNY) and NYU Shanghai Campus.
  • James Wertsch, Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Henning Kristoffersen, Public Affairs Director Asia, DNV·GL, Shanghai
  • Jong-kun Choi, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science and International Studies, Yonsei University, Seoul
  • Kerstin Sahlin, Professor University of Uppsala, Secretary General of Humanities and Social Sciences Swedish Research Council, Stockholm
  • Ummu Salma Bava, Professor of European Studies, Centre for European Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • Arnar Steinn Þorsteinsson, Asia Team Supervisor - Sales and Marketing, Iceland Travel
  • Sebastian Bersick, Professor, Head of Department, International Political Economy of East Asia, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

The aim of the conference is twofold:

  1. To gather colleagues from the Asian studies environments in all five Nordic countries to identify current tendencies and future prospect for Asian studies within the Humanities and the Social Sciences, as well as to identify Asia-relevant tendencies in academia outside these fields for future cooperation.
  1. To invite people from the public and private sectors who engage with Asian partners. Through their presentations and in a dialogue with them, locate areas of common interest.

Conference website:

Extended Deadline for submitting abstract (maximum 300 words): 3 Oct 2016

Fudan Center newsletter no.4 out now

Read the latest Newsletter "Rediscovering China" from the Fudan-European Centre for China Studies to get updated on all the interesting things that have taken place the last busy year.

"The year 2015 has witnessed exciting growth of Fudan centre and its new engagement with our
partners in both Nordic and other parts of Europe.
As a China study promotion institution, Fudan centre has been preoccupied with relational, crossdisciplinary
and comparative approach to build up the understanding about China’s rise and
transformation. This orientation not only echoes the “Nordic-ness” that defines the identity of Nias,
but is also congruent with the international trend of China studies that we have been observing."

Read more in the newsletter!

Buyer’s Paradise - NIAS research project as theatre performance

A NIAS research project on relations between workers in China and consumers in Denmark has inspired creation of the theatre performance Buyer’s Paradise, which will be shown at the Passage Festival in Denmark 4-6 August.  

Buyer’s Paradise is an artistic exploration of relations between global phenomena and individual and collective lives played put through the example of the production and consumption of smartphones. The performance is concerned with the paradox between, on the one hand, acknowledging how the current global system of production and consumption creates inequality and threatens the possibility of a sustainable future on the planet and, on the other hand the perpetuation of this system. The performance invites the Danish consumer audience to explore this paradox through their encounter with mobile phones produced by factory workers in China.

The play is co-produced by the Culture Association of the New Dane Jimbut (Denmark) and STEREO Akt (Hungary). It is sponsored by the S.C.Van Foundation and the Danish National Art Foundation.

Guest researcher Ramy Bulan back at NIAS

Thursday, July 7, 2016 to Monday, August 1, 2016

Ramy Bulan, Associate Professor of law, Faculty of law University of Malaya, and Director of University of Malaya Centre for Malaysian Indigenous Studies is back at NIAS for the summer. She will continue her work on a book on Indigenous Legal Traditions and Native Customary Rights: Content and Proof of Kelabit Customary Land Rights which will be published by Lexis-Nexis.

Feminist activism in the PRC: Generational changes, global connections

NIAS was present at the annual University of Copenhagen Asian Dynamics Initiative Conference, 20-22 June 2016, with a panel on ‘Feminist activism in the PRC: Generational changes, global connections. The panel was organized by Cecilia Milwertz in collaboration with anthropologist Elisabeth Engebretsen, the University of Oslo.

The panel included 13 papers by scholars from China, Europe and the US, screening of the documentary film Hooligan Sparrow on feminist activist Ye Haiyan, as well as a celebration of a three new books edited or written by panel participants:

  1. Elisabeth l. Engebretsen and William Schroeder (eds) (2015) Queer/ Tongzhi. New Perspectives on Research, Activism and Media Cultures. Copenhagen: NIAS Press. Gendering Asia series.
  2. Zeng Jinyan (2016)中國女權:公民知識分子的誕生 Feminism and the Genesis of the 
    Citizen Intelligentsia in China
    (provisional title). Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press.
  3. Qi Wang, Min Dongchao and Bo Ærenlund Sørensen (eds) (2016) Revisiting Gender Inequality. Perspectives from the PRC. Palgrave Macmillan.

NIAS Researcher Aki Tonami Speaking at Arctic Symposium

Monday, August 15, 2016 - 15:00 to 18:00

Arctic Symposium – Foreign Investment in Greenland

This symposium addresses some of the current most central aspects relating to foreign investment in Greenland, including the needs and prospects, legal challenges in relation to investment protection, the potential for Chinese investments and the opportunities for public-private partnerships. The symposium thereby seeks to combine law, policy and business aspects.


Date: Monday, August 15, 2016 - 15:00 to 18:00
Venue: Faculty of Law, 02-3-44, Studiegaarden, Studiestraede 6, 3rd floor, DK-1455 Copenhagen K
Registration and more information

Welcome to our new SUPRA Student

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mohamed Fawas is a Sri Lankan postgraduate student at University of Oslo in Norway, where he is currently studying Master of Philosophy in Peace and Conflict Studies. He did his bachelor’s degree at University of Colombo in Sri Lanka where he specialized in Political Science including the other subjects Sociology and International Relations. His Bachelors thesis was about Monk Politics and its Impact in Multicultural Sri Lanka and the Master thesis was about Ethnic Conflict and Powersharing with reference to Muslim community in Sri Lanka. He is current working on ‘Ethnic Conflict and Nonviolence Response with reference to Violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka’ for his M.Phil thesis.

Aki Tonami at the ISA Asia-Pacific conference in Hong Kong

This conference, hosted by the Asia-Pacific Region of the International Studies Association, will investigate the ways in which IR (as both practice and theory) is being transformed in the Asia-Pacific.

The rise to political and economic prominence of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and India, along with other members of the BRICS, has constituted a powerful challenge to the dominance of Western powers and ideas in world politics. However, both Asian superpowers - like Japan and the East Asian ‘Tiger’ economies before them - have as yet been unable to re-shape International Relations (IR) theory and practice. The rise of Asia more generally has led to a proliferation of national schools of IR (such as the Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Indian) which have attempted to challenge the hegemony of Western ideas and theories in the discipline yet have left the traditional ontology of IR intact. The region is also characterised by a complex of people-centred non-traditional insecurities and vulnerabilities including human insecurities, people movements, environmental degradation, the politics of identity and democratisation which together challenge orthodox state and market centric approaches to the study and practice of International Relations.

Aki Tonami will be a chair/presenter at the panel “Asia at the poles”.

Chair Aki Tonami (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen)
Disc. Elizabeth Wishnick (Montclair State University)

  • Asia and the Antarctic Regime Complex, Marcus Haward (University of Tasmania)
  • Japan’s Achilles heel? Japan’s Polar engagement and the role of scientific whaling, Aki Tonami (Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen)
  • The rise of China in the Arctic? Domestic motives, actors and international context, Martin Kossa (City University of Hong Kong)

For more on the conference please click here

Asia in Focus Issue 3 is out!

We are pleased to announce that Issue 3 of Asia in Focus is out!  Geographically we cover China, Japan and India this time. The content embraces diverse analytical frameworks that have not been taken up in previous issues such as literary analysis and analysis of popular culture, film and media. We also offer a unique insight into the classroom and teaching practices in China and address the opportunities and challenge of using humour in international professional settings.

For the first time we include two book reviews and we look forward to receiving more proposals for future issues. On that note, we shall shortly be presenting recent titles from NIAS press our website, which we invite early career scholars to review, and submit their review for prospective publication in Asia in Focus.

You will notice a new layout, design and logo which we thought fitting to mark the progress of the journal which now has an International Standard Serial Number. We now also have an effective blind peer-review process. All of these developments are good for the journal and good for the authors we publish.

Call for articles for Asia in Focus, Issue 4

Friday, August 5, 2016
Asia in Focus is a Nordic journal on Asia published by NIAS - Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and is freely available online. 
We kindly invite Master students and Ph.D. students from the humanities and social sciences, who are affiliated to a Nordic institution, to submit an academic essay, academic article, or a book review on a subject involving one or more Asian countries (from Central Asia to Oceania, excluding Australia and New Zealand) for Issue 3. 
We welcome article submissions all year round. 
More detailed information can be found in the attached Call for Articles and on the journal website Please feel free to share the announcement with your colleagues, students, departments and networks.
Important Dates for publication in Issue 4
Deadline for submission: 5 August, 2016
Publication date: 19 December, 2016
For further enquiries, email the Editorial Team at