A bi-monthly update on Asia-related events in the Nordic Region
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Divination for Resistance: Religion, Magic, and Youth Protest in Thailand

TS4 Webinar


Join Assistant Professor Edoardo Siani (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) for a journey into the magical world of divination, revealing how religion, superstition, and magic blend into a powerful potion for Thailand's Gen Z opposing the Prayuth government.

Since the Covid-19 crisis, divination has boomed among the Thai youth. Trendy bookshops stack piles of tarot cards for eager consumers, fortune tellers report record number of clients, and young practitioners become rising stars in the industry for magical services. Some among these divination-loving youth are actively involved in the protests against the Prayuth government.

While often critical of institutional religion, they incorporate divination and related forms of lore in their repertoire of resistance. They choose astrologically propitious days and times for protest, organize rituals to achieve specific political ends, and deploy sorcery against the ruling elite. Drawing from ethnographic data collected in 2022 Bangkok, this talk explores the political uses of magic among young activists and the discourses that govern them.

Find more information about the event here.

Time and date: 08.00 - 09.00 (CET),  10 November 2022



Hawking the Nation: Street Food Culture as Nation-Branding in Malaysia and Singapore 


Lunch Talk


NIAS is delighted to be able to invite you to another lunch talk with our newly arrived guest researcher, Bernard Z. Keo. Lecturer in Asian History at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, Bernard investigates decolonisation and nation-building in post-World War II Malaya and Singapore, focussing particularly on the trajectory of the Peranakan Chinese of the Straits Settlements in Malaya's path to independence with further interests in the Malayan Emergency, transnational connections across the Malay world, and the end of empire in Southeast Asia.

In 2020, Singaporean hawker culture was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the latest development in the process of (re)making street food as a quintessentially Singaporean national phenomenon. UNESCO’s recognition of Singaporean hawker culture belies a longer history of hawker food as existing within the fabric of both Malaysian and Singaporean societies. In this talk, I will provide a brief history of hawker culture in both countries, focussing particularly on how it has deployed by both Malaysia and Singapore as part of larger nation-branding strategies tied to cultural heritage tourism.


Find more information about the event here.

Time and date: 12.30 - 13.30 (CET),  17 November 2022


The Role of Digitalized Resistance in Myanmar

Virtual Talk with Mai Van Tran

NIAS postdoctoral researcher Mai Van Tran will, as part of the 2022 Myanmar Research Center (MRC) Dialogue Series, speak at the virtual event "Democratic backsliding disrupted: The role of digitalized resistance in Myanmar". The event is organized by the Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific.

More than one year since its coup, the Myanmar military has neither established effective control of the territory nor crushed online dissent. What factors have enabled the resistance forces to deny the consolidation of military rule? This question among others is addressed in order to deepen the understanding of Myanmar's post-coup contestation dynamics as well as other cases of unpopular autocratization in the current-day digital era.

Find more information about the event and register here.

Time and date: 09.00 - 10.00 (CET), 18 November 2022

News from the Asia Portal

Newest InFocus Blog Entry

Ms Santa Stopniece


The newest contribution to the InFocus Blog is by Ms Santa Stopniece, PhD of Intercultural Communication, Vice Dean of Foreign Affairs, Suzhou Polytechnic Institute of Agriculture. The article presents a study of the dificulties connected to online teaching and learning amidst the global pandemic of COVID-19 in China. The study aims to explore the benefits of outdoor workshops and how getting together and experiencing the restorative effect of being in the nature as a method can be utilized to maintain motivation amidst lengthy online learning periods.

Read the whole article here.

InFocus blog - Call for Contributions


In Focus is a forum for articles with a focus on Asia. We welcome well-written contributions from early career researchers as well as senior researchers on topics with relevance to modern and contemporary Asia. The blog has existed since 2008 and hold contributions on a number of different topics over the years.
The target length of the articles is 800-1000 words. If you have an accompanying picture, please feel free to include it with your submission.
You can send your submission to with the subject 'New blog submission'.
Contributions are reviewed on a rolling basis when sent to us. 


New episodes in the #NordicAsiaPodcast

Looking for a listening experience full of researchers' insights on Asia? Try the Nordic Asia Podcast, co-hosted by NIAS, CEAS and ASIANETTVERKET. 

Since the last NIAS Update, we've released the following episodes:

Give it a listen on your favorite podcast streaming platform or find it here


NIAS Press at Jin Ping Mei Book Symposium


Last week, the NIAS Press Team attended a symposium in Copenhagen on the scholarship of the classic Chinese novel Jin Ping Mei. The publication of the book Jin Ping Mei- A Wildhorse in Chinese Literature edited by Vibeke Børdahl and Lintao Qi was also celebrated. Photo taken at Carlsberg Academy besides NIAS Press book exhibition.   

'Waves of Upheaval in Myanmar' goes to print next week 


We're excited to announce that Jenny Hedström and Elisabeth Olivius' upcoming book Waves of Upheaval in Myanmar. Gendered Transformatinos and Political Transitions will go to print next week and therefore be available soon. 

Waves of Upheaval in Myanmar is the first comprehensive account of the multifaceted processes of gendered transformation that took place in Myanmar between 2011 and 2021. It offers a deeper understanding of the current political situation following the 2021 military coup and the ways in which the country’s political landscape might continue to be reshaped. 

▶ Read more about the book and stay updated on the sale announcement on the NIAS Press website. 

To the book

New Review

Giuseppe Bolotta's book Belittled Citizens. The Cultural Politics of Childhood on Bangkok's Margins (NIAS Press 2021) was reviewed by in the Anthropological Forum
Irina Savu Cristea & Thomas Stodulka from Freie Universitaet Berlin write: 

"Throughout his book, Bolotta skilfully challenges Western-centric conceptualisations of childhood, which hint to innocence, apoliticism, vulnerability, or victimhood (in the case of humanitarian and children’s rights discourses). The book is a careful and convincing deconstruction of Western (psychological and theoretical) essentialism on definitions of the self (15), and what it means and feels like to live as a child at the urban margins of Bangkok. 
The book is a captivating read and an impressive tool to think with for scholars with interests in and beyond Southeast Asia." 

Read the full review here. 

To the book


Whale Gods and Sea Goddesses: Notes on Intra-Asian Comparison

Open Lecture

Lund University is happy to invite to this open lecture with Dr Aike P. Rots, Associate Professor in Japan Studies at Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo. The talk will be based on Rots' comparative study of ritual transformation and environmental action in different parts of Asia and beyond. 

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 16.00  - 17.30 (CET), 3 November 2022
Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University 

20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party: What it Means for Europe


The Insitute for Security and Development Policy welcomes to this webinar in which Dr. Luke Patey and Dr. Torbjörn Lodén will discuss the 20th National Congress in China and its influence in Europe.

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 11.00  - 13.00 (CET) 4 November 2022
Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) and Yokosuka Council on Asia-Pacific Studies (YCAPS)

Writing Back Across the Pacific: Taiwanese American Writer Shawna Yang Ryan

Digital lecture

The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Stockholm University welcomes to a lecture by Prof. Dr. Irmy Schweiger, Stockholm University. The lecture is part of the Digital lecture series - TAIWAN’s literary and visual cultures. This lecture will discuss Taiwanese American writer Shawna Yang Ryan and her literary work Green Island (2016), which centers around the 28 February 1947 Incident.

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 10.00 - 12.00 (CET), 7 November 2022
Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Stockholm University

Historicizing Taiwan's Role in Global Health: From Colonial Period to Post-Covid Times

Open lecture


Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki invites to this talk by historian of medicine, Harry Yi-Jui Wu in which he offers different perspectives to reappraise Taiwan’s role in the history of global health against the backdrop of disorganized world order and the tortuous East Asian geopolitics.

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 09.15  - 10.45 (CET), 7 November 2022
Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki

India Files: Denmark – India in the 21st century

India Files Lecture


The Asian Dynamics Initiative at the University of Copenhagen resumes the India Files series with conversations about the present and future prospects of the India-Denmark bilateral relations.

ADI will provide food, so please register before arrival. Registration is open until Friday the 4th, 12:00.

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 11.00  - 13.00 (CET), 9 November 2022
Organizer: Asian Dynamics Initiative, University of Copenhagen

A World Safe for Autocracy?

Public lecture


The Faculty of Social Science, ThinkChina and the Centre for Military Studies at the University of Copenhagen invites to this talk by Professor Jessica Chen Weiss, moderated by professor Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen, Dean at the Faculty of Social Science, where they will discuss questions like what does China want, and where are U.S.-China tensions headed? 

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 14.15  - 15.45 (CET), 10 November 2022
Organizer: The 
Faculty of Social Science, ThinkChina and the Centre for Military Studies, University of Copenhagen

It depends: Unpicking the development impacts of migration in Asia



Asianettverket welcomes to a seminar on development impacts of migration in Asia, and how we can make sense of them, with professor Jonathan Rigg (University of Bristol). The seminar explores why migration ‘optimists’ and ‘pessimists’ find such rich empirical pickings in the mobility landscapes of Asia. 

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 08.30  - 10.00 (CET), 11 November 2022
Asianettverket, University of Oslo

Christianity on the Taiwanese Gezaixi Stage: Why “Halleluja”?

Open Lecture


China Studies at the University of Helsinki welcomes to a lecture by Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney, Josh Stenberg on Taiwanese productions, known as “gospel” gezaixi, considering a conscious effort on the part of Taiwanese Protestants to eliminate the barrier still presumed between Christianity and “local culture.” 

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 11.15  - 12.45 (CET), 11 November 2022
Chinese Studies at the University of Helsinki

Full-day seminar on China

Full-day seminar


The Norwegian Taiwanese Friendship Association, Norwegian Uyghur Committee, the Green Party, the Green List, the Hong Kong Committee in Norway and the Norwegian Tibet Committee welcome to a full-day public seminar at Chateau Neuf in Oslo, with keynote speeches, panel debates and screening of the documentary “The Hong Konger”.

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 08.30 - 19.50 (CET), 12 November 2022
The Norwegian Taiwanese Friendship Association, Norwegian Uyghur Committee, the Green Party, the Green List, the Hong Kong Committee in Norway and the Norwegian Tibet Committee

The Social Credit System in China



The Finnish China Law Center invites to an online seminar on the topic of ‘The Social Credit System in China ‘. The event is part of the Center’s new mini seminar series on topical issues of Chinese law.

Find more information on the event here.

Time and date: 13.15  - 14.45 (CET), 17 November 2022
Organizer: Finnish China Law Center


CfA: FECCS Grants for Researchers Working on China Related Topics

 The Fudan-European Centre for China Studies

From the 7th of September 2022, the Fudan-European Centre for China Studies (FECCS) will offer small grants to support researchers working on China-related topics from Nordic, Chinese and other European universities in building up research networks, in producing high-quality research in collaboration with Fudan University scholars, and in undertaking substantive fieldwork in relevant subject areas. 

Read more about the call here.

Deadline: Open-ended deadline 
Fudan-European Centre for China Studies

Find even more events and calls on!
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