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News from NIAS

New workplace student at NIAS

NIAS had the pleasure of welcoming a new workplace student.

Malte Möller-Christensen is studying for a degree in History at the Faculty of Humnanities at University of Copenhagen. Malte's thesis focuses on EU-policy in Uzbekistan.

Chanjittra Chanorn New Associated PhD Student at NIAS

Chanjittra Chanorn (Baitong) comes from Chiang Mai University in Thailand. Her research areas are: Cultural-economic anthropology, Socio-economic development, Ethnicity, Cultural rights, Cultural commodity and Globalization, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia

Baitong's current project is:
The Social Life of Indigo The role of cultural commodities to sustain local cultures in Northeastern Thailand. This study mainly emphasizes indigo culture in the Northeast of Thailand at a local level and what challenges arise in the indigo culture as a result of globalization. Indigo culture had vanished for several decades; however it has been again reintroduced, commoditized, globalized and is being sold in national and global markets. Consequently it has been transformed and it also effects to transformation of its originated communities. The main question is focused on whether the particular local culture can maintain its identity or if it will be homogenized to a global culture.

Baitong will be at NIAS for a year, working on her PhD project.

Chinese Digital Publishing and Digital Library

Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Librarian and Webmaster  Inga-Lill Blomkvist and SUPRA student assistant Erik Svanström participate in the conference Chinese Digital Publishing and Digital Library - CDPDL 2012 in Kunming, Yunnan, 25-26 June.
The conference covers new developments within a wide range of subjects related to digital libraries in Asian and Asian studies libraries in Asia, the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.

NIAS Library Summer Opening Hours

NIAS Library will be closed for visitors during the summer holidays from 1 July until 6 August.

For urgent matters please contact us on bib(at) or +45 35329510.

Books can be returned through Diamanten or the Faculty Libraries

Burma book launch

Monday, June 11, 2012 - 16:00

NIAS Press is pleased to announce the publication of two new books on Burma. The first of these is the latest volume published in our Gendering Asia series:

The Authority of Influence : Women and Power in Burmese History
Jessica Harriden

First book to explore the relationship between gender and power throughout Burmese history from pre-colonial times to the present day.
More details at:

In celebration of its publication and the ongoing success of the Gendering Asia series, an informal book launch will be held at NIAS. This will comprise:

. A short talk by Kyoko Kusakabe on internally displaced people in Burma and her reaction to an advance copy of the book that she received.
. Brief comments by Gerald Jackson, Editor in Chief, NIAS Press.

Refreshments and nibbles will be provided plus copies of the book will be on display (and available for purchase by attendees at a discounted price).

This event will be part of the workshop "Re-visiting Gender in Development", being held at NIAS all next week, but will be a public session taking place outside the conference room, in the main area at NIAS. All interested attendees are welcome.

Venue: NIAS main area, 3rd floor, Leifsgade 33
Time: Monday 11 June, 16:00

Attendees may also be interested to look at the second Burma book just published by NIAS Press. This is:

Modern China-Myanmar Relations : Dilemmas of Mutual Dependence
David I. Steinberg and Hongwei Fan
First book-length study examining the increasingly important and dynamic relationship between China and Myanmar.
More details at:

Copies of this book - and many other NIAS books - will be also on display (and available for purchase by attendees at a discounted price).

Scholarships for MA and PhD students Autumn 2012

If you are working on a MA or PhD thesis during Autumn 2012 and need some inspiration, literature or simply just time to write on your thesis, then NIAS has something to offer: the Nordic Scholarship!

The Nordic Scholarship covers inexpensive travel to Copenhagen, two weeks board and accommodation plus a working place at NIAS! A perfect chance to concentrate on your thesis, have inspirational talks with our researchers or collect material in Northern Europe's most comprehensive Asian studies library.

More information about SUPRA students' experiences at NIAS and practical information as well as application form.

NB: SUPRA scholarships are primarily for students from NNC member institutions.

New Deadline for application: 6 June 2012

For more information, please contact Erik Svanström, SUPRA student Assistant

Catherine Earl new guest researcher at NIAS

Catherine is currently a guest researcher at NIAS. She is a social anthropologist from Monash University, in Melbourne. Her research interests center on social change, social mobility and social differentiation in late twentieth and twenty-first century urban Vietnam and Australia. She is preparing a manuscript based on her doctoral thesis, an ethnographic study exploring migration, cultural capital and social change among Ho Chi Minh City’s re-emerging middle classes.
She is the author of commissioned community histories of a Melbourne-based Vietnamese women’s community organization (2008), a community health service in regional Australia (2011) and co-author of teaching-led research monograph on the experiences of undergraduate students in Australia and South Africa (2012). She has also published in the Journal of Vietnamese Studies and Children in War: The International Journal of Evacuee and War Child Studies. Catherine will stay at NIAS until the end of June 2012.

2nd CFP 6th Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference at Aalto University, Nov. 27-30, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 to Friday, November 30, 2012

China's Economy and Society: Regional and global implications of a growing Chinese influence

The conference and PhD Course are co-organized by NIAS and the Center for Markets in Transition (CEMAT) and the Department of Management and International Business at Aalto University School of Business.

Conference 27-28 November and PhD Course 29-30 November

The conference will mainly focus on the increasingly prominent Chinese economy that has a growing impact both on the regional and global levels. What drives China’s economic and political expansion, and under what circumstances can this growth be assumed to continue? What kind of implications does the ‘rising China’ have in the economic, societal, and political scene in other Asian countries, and elsewhere? What is the relationship between politics and business in the Chinese hybrid economy? Will the strategic sectors of the economy continue to be dominated by large state-owned enterprises under Party control?
Hence, the conference will discuss the 'rising China' and its influence on the economies, societies, and politics of wider Asia, as well as other parts of the world.

The following keynote speakers will inspire our proceedings

  • Bruce Dickson, Professor, Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Linda Jakobson, Director, East Asia Program, Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Riitta Kosonen, Professor, Center for Markets in Transition, Aalto University School of Business
  • Claes Alvstam, Professor, Centre for International Business Studies, Univ. of Gothenburg
  • Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Professor, Asia Research Institute, Copenhagen Business School
  • Pang Zhongying, Professor, School of International Studies, Renmin University
  • Ilan Alon, Professor, Rollins College, USA

Confirmed commentators at the PhD course are:

  • Bruce Dickson, Professor, Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University
  • Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Professor, Asia Research Institute, Copenhagen Business School
  • Timo Kaartinen, Professor, Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki
  • Erja Kettunen-Matilainen, Research Manager, Center for Markets in Transition, Aalto University, School of Business
  • Bent Nielsen, Associate Professor, Department of Cross-Cultural and regional Studies, University of Copenhagen
  • Matti Nojonen, Department of Management and International Business, Aalto University School of Business
  • Pang Zhongying, Professor, School of International Studies, Renmin University

For more information go to the conference website:

The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul celebrates its 50th Anniversary

The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul was founded in 1962 by the Swedish Ministry of Education and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012 with a workshop and a seminar 31 May - 1 June. NIAS Director Geir Helgesen will participate in the celebrations and hold a lecture at the seminar.

About SRII
The Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul – SRII – is an institute for multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in a Turkish and Eurasian perspective. The aim of SRII is to promote academic research on Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia, particularly in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Fields of study represented at the Institute are first and foremost Turkic and West Asian Languages and Literatures, Archaeology, Classical and Byzantine Studies, Art and Architectural History, General History, with the emphasis on Ottoman and modern Turkish history, Religion, Anthropology, Sociology, Educational Studies, and Political Science, including International Relations. 

In January 2012 Professor Birgit N. Schlyter, previously Head of the Department of Central Asian Studies at Stockholm University, assumed the position of Director or SRII.
More information about SRII here.
​Gunnar Jarring Central Asia Book Collection 
A collection of Central Asia publications originating from the private library of  the diplomat and Turkologist Gunnar Jarring (1907–2002) has been donated to SRII/Istanbul. The collection consists of almost 5000 volumes, a number of manuscripts, catalogues and maps as well as more than 3000 offprints. All of the most renowned accounts of expeditions to Central Asia from the late 19th and early 20th centuries can be found here, along with a great number of less known accounts, some of which are very rare and accessible at just a few or perhaps even no other libraries in the world. After transportation to Istanbul in the spring of 2012, it will be set up as a special section of the SRII Library.
More information on the library and the Gunnar Jarring collection here.
Scholarships and guest researcher facilities
SRII provides scholarships for Nordic researchers or students focusing on Turkey and regions related historically, linguistically or culturally to Turkey and the former Ottoman Empire, including Central Asia and parts of South Asia. Advanced graduate students (Master or C/D-level) can apply for one month scholarships and doctoral students or Post-Docs can apply for three months scholarships at the institute. 
More information incl. deadlines here.

The institute also has a guest house and conference rooms which can be used by researchers from the Nordic countries.
More information and prices here

Associated PhD Vera Altmeyer on fieldwork in Indonesia

Vera Altmeyer, associated PhD student at NIAS, has been granted a visiting fellowship at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Jakarta, Indonesia, from May to July this year. During her time at CSIS she will conduct fieldwork for her PhD thesis on Local Election Campaigns in Indonesia and the Philippines. As the first of four case studies Vera will analyse the campaigns for the election of Governor and Vice-Governor of Jakarta Province, which is to be held in early July. She will look at the campaign practices of the various candidates, the actors and institutions shaping them, as well as potential consequences these might have for the outcome of the election. Overall her research aims to investigate how these factors influence the power relations between groups of actors in the national and local political sphere.