News and Upcoming Events

InterAsia Initiative Co-Sponsored Conference
An interdisciplinary conference organized by Yale University’s International History Workshop

Connected Histories: Decolonization and the 20th Century

April 26-27, 2019
10 Sachem Street, Room 105

In the past few years, the project of writing global history has become increasingly celebrated. Many historians argue for the utility and indeed necessity of globalizing history. Others are concerned of what a global optic can occlude.
This conference invites senior and emerging scholars to interrogate what the “global turn” can offer to histories of decolonization and anti-colonial thought in the twentieth century. This would involve moving beyond the direct connections between colony and metropole and to think about other connected and conceptual geographies and terrains. We understand decolonization to encompass not only the formal transference of powers, but also the larger processes by which individuals and societies confronted the legacy and violence of empire – in political memory, intellectual thought, and public history.


Yale InterAsia Workshop: Mediators at the Edges of Empire

May 5, 2019
10 Sachem Street, Room 105

This one-day workshop will examine the role of mediators in the making and unmaking of power, be it political, economic, or environmental, in various borderlands across InterAsian spaces. Bringing together interdisciplinary perspectives, the conveners consider the role of intermediaries, border-crossers, go-betweens, and middlemen in the frictional zones between polities, where state authority begins to break down. We conceptualize these zones geographically between state territories, topographically between the lowlands of economic elites and the highlands of the political opposition, and epistemologically between knowledge systems. Through ethnographic and historical attention to the instruments of translation and bureaucratic mechanisms of flows, we hope to address the following questions: How do views from the edges of empire reorient our understanding of the center? How are terms between newcomers and natives, imperialists and indigenes navigated, negotiated, and ultimately compromised on the ground? What experimental configurations of power then emerge as a result? The conveners seek to build a comparative framework and common vocabulary in order to analyze how mediators facilitate, obstruct, and reinvent dynamics of connection and disconnection in these spaces. In doing so, they aim to trace some of the patterns in which empires are reconstituted and transformed at their edges.

Space is limited. Please contact if you are interested in attending this workshop.



Yale InterAsia Initiative

The InterAsia Initiative is a collaborative multi-institutional group that aims to shift paradigms of how Asia is conceptualized by promoting collaborative research, scholarly networking, and public policy connections.

The InterAsia Initiative is an effort between Yale and six other universities and think tanks around the world, established to create a new paradigm that takes Asia as an interlinked set of formations stretching from the East and Southeast Asia, to South Asia, Eurasia and the Middle East. Pushing inquiries beyond nation-states, land-based demarcations, imperial zones, and cultural boundaries, the Initiative promotes research and conversations that address transregional connections. For critical moments of interaction, we include historical and contemporary periods.


Principal Investigators at Yale University

Professor Helen Siu (Department of Anthropology, MacMillan Center)

“We are working to reveal and depict Asia as an interlinked set of formations stretching from the Middle East through Eurasia, Central Asia, and South Asia to Southeast Asia and East Asia.” This approach, she notes, necessitates deep collaboration among social scientists and humanists. (

Professor Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan (Department of Anthropology, MacMillan Center)

“The InterAsia Initiative will highlight the shifting regional dynamics by mapping the changing shape of emerging sub-regions, as well as the emergence of new narratives on ‘who defines Asia through time’.”  (

In addition to Yale University, the main members of the InterAsia Initiative include the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the National University of Singapore (NUS), the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (HKIHSS) at the University of Hong Kong, Göttingen University (Germany), the Arab Council for the Social Sciences (Lebanon), and Koç University (Turkey).

With renewed support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York from Fall 2015, we have been continuing to foster a young generation of researchers that will continue to find new and creative ways to carry out InterAsia research and teaching.