A bi-monthly update on Asia-related events in the Nordic Region
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Webinar series launch

The Thailand Social Science Seminar Series (TS4) 

Sponsored by us, the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), as well as the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC), and the New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN), this virtual seminar series brings together social science experts from across the globe to discuss pressing issues facing Thailand. In addition to providing in-depth scholarly analysis of social issues in Thailand, this series will foster new opportunities for networking between those working in Thailand and around the world.

Join us in the second week of each month on Zoom to hear from the world's best experts on Thailand!

Read more about the TS4 webinar here and find the inaugural event below.

Of Harems and Eunuchs: Theravada Buddhist Courts of Mainland Southeast Asia in Comparative Perspective

TS4 Webinar

For the inaugural TS4 webinar, we are delighted to host Professor Katherine A. Bowie (University of Wisconsin-Madison) to delve into the complex world of harems in the Theravada Buddhist courts of mainland Southeast Asia.

Unlike Europe, Asian courts were characterized by the presence of harems whose members ranged from empresses to eunuchs. Once the focus of prurient interests, recent scholarship on harems has increasingly highlighted their complex roles in ensuring the continuation of dynasties over time and forming political linkages, both within and across empires. These studies have typically focused on specific courts. However a comparative perspective reveals that the structure of harems varied widely and that its members were embedded in very different networks of power.

Read more about the TS4 webinar here

Time and date: 4pm, Thursday September 16th 2021 
Please register here.

Organizers: The Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS), the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre (SSEAC) and the New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN)

Periyar on Freedom and Caste

In this guest lecture, organised by the research group “Global challenges, politics and organisation”, Marie Curie research fellow Dr Karthick Ram ManoharanUniversity of Wolverhampton gives an introduction to Periyar's political thought. 

Read more about the event here.

Time and date: 3pm-4pm (CET), Thursday August 26th 2021
Please register for the event here
Organizer: Høgskolen i Molde

China’s Economy: Challenges Created by the Reform Era

China’s economic reforms have caused rapid growth for a period of forty years. The Chinese Communist Party’s gradualist approach to reform was not inevitable. In this seminar, the following questions will be asked: What were the alternative routes and why were they abandoned? What new obstacles for further Chinese economic development may change its future course? 
Read more about the event here.
Time and date: 3pm - 4.30pm (CET), Wednesday September 1st, 2021
Please register here.
Organizer: University of Oslo

Life with nature – Japanske opplevelser

Experience this art project with photographer Lisa K. Bakke and her working partners, including several Japanese artists at the Botanical Gardens in Bergen. 

Note that the installation will be entirely in Norwegian.

Read more here.

Time and date: 12am - 3pm (CET), Sunday September 12th, 2021
No registration required.
The University of Bergen

Urbanization in precarious times: critiquing development in "transitional" Myanmar

The Stockholm Center for Global Asia is hosting a webinar with Stephen Campbell, School of Social Science at Nanyang Technological University Singapore on the current situation and developments in Myanmar. 

Read more here.

Time and date: 1pm - 2.30pm (CET), Monday September 13th, 2021
Please register here
Stockholm Center for Global Asia


Reading recommendation

We highly recommend Afghanistan Beyond the Fog of War: Persistent Failure of a Rentier State, by Michael Fredholm, published in 2018.

This extensive work, gives in-depth knowledge and background of what is unfolding in Afghanistan. This work explores dynamics seldom covered in other studies of Afghanistan, including conflict between state-imposed pashtunization and multiple local/ethnic identities, likewise contradictions between the clericalism and secularism deployed in the nation-building process. It explores the largely overlooked ebb and flow of institutional development in Afghanistan, at all levels, in the context of international interest in the country, with special attention to Soviet and US/Coalition strategies and their effects. It also focuses on the power of patronage relations in establishing and retaining control in Afghanistan, and how the extension of such relations to the international level transformed Afghanistan into a rentier state that struggles to unite its people.

This timely book is available for purchase on NIAS Press' website.

Michael Fredholm is currently working on an article to be published on our website soon.

Available soon

To those of you who have been waiting to read Thai Politics in Translation (Connors & Ukrist), we have good news. The index and proofreading are finished; within a week or two, the book will be at the printers


Stay updated on NIAS Press' website.

New Review

We have received a new review for Olivia Killias’ book Follow the Maid: Domestic Worker Migration in and from Indonesia. Published in the Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas writes:

"Follow the Maid extends the literature on
migrant domestic work as its rich description of
their outmigration from Indonesia captures how
this movement is a gender and class disciplining


CfA: PhD position - Buddhist pilgrimage in the Anthropocene

The Center for Contemporary Buddhist Studies at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen, invites applications for a 3-year PhD-scholarship on the topic of Buddhist pilgrimage in the Anthropocene. The scholarship is fully funded for three years and will be filled on February 1, 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Read more about the position here

Deadline: Wednesday September 1st, 2021

Organizer: The University of Copenhagen

CfA: PhD position with interest in current social, political, and economic developments of China

The Chair for Contemporary China Studies at Heidelberg University invites applications for the position of a PhD student (f/m/d) with an interest in current social, political, and economic developments of China. The position starts on 1 October 2021 and is limited for the period of three years. Remuneration is in accordance with TV-L E 13.

Read more about the position here.

Deadline: Wednesday September 8th, 2021
Organizer: University of Heidelberg


CfP: 6th International Conference Buddhism & Nordland: When Buddha Came to Ultima Thule 


The The 6th International Conference Buddhism and Nordland will be held on 19-20 November 2021 in Sweden to enhance the academic study of Buddhism in Sweden. The conference wishes to connect Nordic scholars who are dealing with Buddhism, and encourage them to start/expand their research on Buddhism to Northern Europe conference is open to proposals for contributions on Buddhist history, philosophy, texts as well for proposals on any Buddhism related theme.

Read more about the call here.

Deadline: Wednesday September 15th, 2021 
Organizer: Marju Broder

CfP: Migration Methodologies: Challenges, Innovations and Conceptual Implications for Asian Migrations 


Migration flows of unprecedented volume and complexity within, as well as in and out of Asia have become one of the main drivers of contemporary social change in the region. The Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore is inviting papers that focus on innovative methodological approaches while drawing on substantive findings relevant to “Asian migrations” (broadly defined to refer to migration flows within, as well as in and out of Asia) in order to grapple with the challenges and possibilities in conducting migration research.

Read more about the call here.

Deadline: Wednesday September 15th, 2021 
Organizer: Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore

CfP: Forging Theoretical Agendas in the Study of Chinese Voluntary Associations


The Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore is inviting papers that focus on Chinese voluntary associations (CVAS). Scholars are invited to leverage their respective disciplinary and empirical expertise to forge theoretical agendas in the study of CVAS.

Read more about the call here.

Deadline: Wednesday, September 15th, 2021 
Organizer: Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore


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, ASIANETTVERKET and Forum for Asian Studies. 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.
Find even more events and calls on!
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