Contemplating the Rise of Asian Cities

Spring 2016 Workshop Schedule [printable pdf version]

Spring 2016 Workshop Abstracts [printable pdf version]

Click on photo to see more images by Tram Luong.Click on photo to see more images by Tram Luong.

The program for Contemplating the Rise of Asian Cities consists of three afternoon workshops, held on the first Monday of each month over the course of the Spring 2016 Academic Semester. Each workshop will focus on a single theme, and will highlight the interdisciplinary work of three invited speakers from the humanities and the humanistic social-sciences. Each workshop will include perspectives from East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia. Each speaker will present twenty minutes papers, followed by a seminar-style discussion with the audience. The discussion will be designed to maximize audience interaction, and will be moderated by a members of the Yale faculty involved in the study of Asian cities.

All three afternoon workshops will be held in Room 208, Whitney Humanities Center, 53 Wall Street. [Link to Map]

Workshops will begin at 3:30 pm.

Workshops will be followed by extended discussion. Refreshments and snacks will be served.

At the end of the semester, on May 9th, a special symposium, discussion, and plenary session will engage Yale faculty and students from across the university in an extended discussion of Asian Cities. That final event will be held at the Greenberg Conference Center and will begin at 4:30 pm.


Build, Dwell, Live [Monday, February 1, 2016, 3:30 p.m. @ Whitney Humanities Center, room 208]
Asian-Cities-Build-5[printable PDF of poster]
How does the supposed rise of the Asian city impact the ways in which people live? What are the effects on built space and living environments? Alongside spectacles of modernity, what other less spectacular forms of dwelling have emerged in Asian cities both historical and contemporary?


  • Michael Herzfeld (Harvard University) on urban conflict in Bangkok
  • Qin Shao (College of New Jersey) on the remains of a lost Shanghai house.
  • Lisa Mitchell (U. Pennsylvania) on collective political assembly in South Asian urban nodes

moderated by Erik Harms

Imagine, Conceive, Represent [Monday, March 7, 2016, 3:30 p.m. @ Whitney Humanities Center, room 208]
[printable PDF of poster]

Asian-Cities-Imagine-1How does the supposed rise of the Asian city interact with forms of human creativity? How do visual artists, writers, and other represent the rising city? How does the rising city itself spur new imaginative practices?

  • Max Hirsh (University of Hong Kong) on informal uses of urban megaprojects in China
  • Martina Nguyen (Baruch College) on humor in colonial Hanoi
  • Anand Taneja (Vanderbilt U) on spirits and governmental amnesia in post-colonial Delhi

moderated by K. Sivaramakrishnan


Move, Connect, Exchange [Monday, April 4, 2016, 3:30 p.m. @ Whitney Humanities Center, room 208]

Asian-Cities-Move-1How do people move within and among new Asian metropolises? What are the connections between these rising cities? What kinds of exchanges (both economic and socio-cultural) do they facilitate?

  • Tulasi Srinivas (Emerson College) on the perils of growth in Bangalore
  • Pamela Corey (SOAS) on globalization and contemporary art in Southeast Asian cities
  • Eric Tagliacozzo (Cornell) on the history and evolution of Southeast Asian cities

moderated by Helen Siu

Contemplating the Rise of Asian Cities: Workshop and Plenary Session [Monday, May 9, 2016, 4:30 p.m. @ Greenberg Conference Center]

This final session invites workshop participants and interested Yale scholars and affiliates to come together for an open conversation about new directions in the study of Asian cities at Yale. The evening will include two plenary talks by distinguished scholars of Asian and global urbanism, as well as ample time for conversation and discussion over dinner.

Plenary speakers:

moderated by Helen Siu, K. Sivaramakrishnan, and Erik Harms

The initiative on Contemplating the Rise of Asian Cities is generously sponsored by The Whitney Humanities Center at Yale. Additional funding and support has been provided by the Council on East Asian Studies, the Council on South Asian Studies and the Council on Southeast Asian Studies, with additional support from the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale.

Register for the workshop

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