ASAP Communiqué

…for students in the IMAS and IDAS programs at NCCU.

Asian Cities: Colonial to Global

Date: April 2013 (exact day TBA)
Venue: The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Leiden, Netherlands
Deadline for papers: 31 January 2013

‘Asian Cities: Colonial to Global’ is intended to be a multi-disciplinary seminar. Contributions are welcome from the fields of architecture, urbanism, geography, area studies, history, linguistics, religious studies, social science, anthropology, etc., but please remember that the point of departure will always be the built environment. Note also that this seminar is not intended to be an investigation into theoretical issues relating to the field of postcolonialism, rather it seeks to investigate more practical issues relating to the more literally ‘post-colonial’ (in the sense of the era following independence from erstwhile colonial or imperial powers), and the effects this has had on the built environment. Contributions are invited that cover the regions of East, Southeast and South Asia (including countries that were not colonized (such as Japan or Thailand) or were only partially colonized (such as China).

1. How colonial networks enabled certain cities to take the lead in the second half of the twentieth century to become global cities.
2. Underlying factors that encouraged colonialism in the first place (for example, geographical: Hong Kong’s natural harbour, Shanghai’s location at the mouth of the Yangtze, or Singapore’s command of the tip of the Malay Peninsula; social: the Dutch use of pre-existing Chinese networks in their colonization of Indonesia; or others: religious, military, access to raw materials, etc.).
3. The move from colonialism to imperialism in the Western empires, and the differences between them.
4. Use of colonial networks or systems (e.g. Singapore’s continued use of its British civil-service apparatus since independence).
5. Architecture’s role in colonial and/or global cities; how it can create identity and ethos, whether this be the colonial-era courthouse or grand hotel or the global era’s skyscraper and shopping centre.
6. Post-colonial networks.

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