Yale InterAsia Events

May 28-29, 2021: InterAsia Water(s)Graduate Conference 

About the conferenceInterAsia Waters Poster

Waters, flowing, falling or contained as rain, river, tides and wells, have long shaped connections and disconnections across Asia. As they continue to make and remake lives in a world of climate change and economic development, the ‘InterAsia Water(s) Graduate Conference’ at Yale University brings together qualitative and humanistic approaches to the study of water in Asia. Drawing on, but going beyond, policy-oriented debates on water scarcity and security, this conference aims to bring together rich emerging scholarship on water and waterscapes from different perspectives: biophysical, cultural, historical, and political. We begin with the premise that water is a critical natural resource that sustains and animates life. But we also attend to the myriad ways in which water mediates, reveals, and nurtures social processes such as mobility and immobility, cultural relationships and meanings, as well as political contestations and negotiations. The conference will draw attention to how past and present waters are created and experienced — and future waters imagined and constructed — in and across Asian and interAsian regions. We move from the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea towards the estuarine creeks and inlets of the Bay of Bengal and intertidal ecologies of the Gulf of Kutch, into the tank-based irrigated fields of Tamil Nadu and the wide floodplains of the Mekong, the Nile and the Ganga, the narrow straits of the Bab el-Mandeb and the Bocca Tigris, the glaciers of the Himalayas and the Pamirs, the drained remnants of the Aral Sea, the piped systems of Yokohama and Mumbai, and other watery spaces. We invite scholars and practitioners from around the world working across disciplines such as anthropology, art history, environmental studies, geography, history, law, linguistics, literature, philosophy, science and technology studies, sociology, and urban studies. Therefore, the conference will be a pluralistic interdisciplinary platform to examine and appreciate Asian waters in their various forms from a range of angles.

Conference format

The conference will be conducted online over two days on May 28th-29th, 2021 (between 8:30am-12:30pm ET). Panels will be grouped thematically by the organizing team. Each panel will comprise three or four 15-minute presentations each. Selected papers will be pre-circulated amongst the finalized panelists and the faculty member from Yale University chairing the panel. An additional 30-45 minutes will be provided per panel for overall comments by the faculty chair and for taking questions and comments from the live audience. In this way, the conference will not only create a space for interaction between scholars interested in water in Asia, it will also provide emerging and early-career scholars with the opportunity to receive feedback on their work from senior scholars at Yale. The conference will be inaugurated with a keynote talk by a noted scholar, who has made significant contributions to the study of Asian and InterAsian waters, broadly construed.

Participate / Attend

The conference will be held on May 28th and 29th, 2021 (tentatively between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm ET). Further details will be announced subsequently.

Others who wish to attend (but not present) at the conference may also register their interest on this Google form (link). There will be no participation fee for attendees or for presenters.

For more details, please visit: https://campuspress.yale.edu/interasiawaters2021/

Note: This conference is generously supported by the Yale InterAsia Initiative and the Councils on South Asian StudiesSoutheast Asia Studies, and East Asian Studies at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University.

Please go to the conference website for more details and updates.


<P4/12 Lambourn posterast Events> 

April 12, 2021. 12:00PM: Professor Elizabeth Lambourn (South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, De Montfort University)

Sweet water on the sea route to China. Forgotten technologies of mobility in the Indian Ocean world.


3/29/21 Ahmed lecture poster


March 29, 2021  5:30PM
Professor Manan Ahmed (History, Columbia University)

An Intellectual Geography of Hindustan




March 15, 2021  5:30PM3/15/21 Nair lecture poster
Professor Shankar Nair (Religious Studies, University of Virginia)

The World in One Word: A Confluence of Global Scholarly Networks in a Mughal Translation from Sanskrit




3/1/21 Khazeni lecture poster


March 1, 2021  5:30PM
Professor Arash Khazeni (History, Pomona College)

The City and the Wilderness: Indo-Persian Encounters in Southeast Asia



Friday, November 20 and Saturday, November 21

Itinerant People and Moving Objects Across Islamic Asia

Monday, November 30 5:30PM

Poster 11/30/20 Professor Nancy UmYALE INTERASIA ONLINE LECTURE
Advance registration required

Connecting People, Places, and Things: Itineraries of Chinese Porcelain in around the Arabian Peninsula

Professor Nancy Um (SUNY Binghamton)

Click on the lecture date above for more details.

Monday, November 2, 2020  5:30 PM

Lecture poster for November 2 Professor Isabel Huacuja Alonso

Advance registration required

“Where are you? Call out to me”: The All India Radio Urdu Service’s Letters of Longing

Professor Isabel Huacuja Alonso (CSU San Bernardino)

Please click on lecture date above for more details.

Monday, October 26, 2020  5:30 PM

Advance registration required
Lecture Poster Professor Paige Johnson October 26 5:30 PM
Performing Waria: Genre as a Technology for Shaping Transgender Identity in Indonesia
Professor Paige Johnson (Columbia University)

Please click on lecture date above for more details.


Monday, February 3, 2020 


Social Bonds and Service in Persianate Asia:
Love, Friendship, and the Problem of Hierarchy
Poster for Mana Kia Lecture "Social Bonds and Service in Persianate Asia". On February 3, 2020 4:00 PM, 10 Sachem Street Room 212
Venue: 10 Sachem Street, Room 212
Professor Mana Kia
Associate Professor, MESAAS, Columbia University

Politically and social significant forms of companionship undergirded early modern Persianate societies across Central, South and West Asia, forms shared because they were interwoven with the broader transregional circulation of texts, people and ideas. Persianate polities cohered around hierarchically structured social bonds linking individuals and groups marked by dissimilar origins, religious affiliations, social locations, occupational groupings, and claims to power. Because of the way the political grew out of the social, in times of political devolution or collapse, social bonds could stabilize localities, maintain regional linkages and provide continuity and coherence in unstable times. This talk specifically explores the language and practices of social bonds, according to their broader and longer histories, in the midst of shifting political structures in 18th-century Hindustan, a site of transregional traffic. To realize and render these relations legible required the production and exchange of images, compositions, books, and objects, as well as particular bodily practices. Scrutinizing the ways hierarchical relations of service and patronage were spoken in terms of love and friendship calls into question analytic assumptions about the significance of freedom and consent in social relationships, as well as blurs historical distinctions between family and others. Beyond historicizing unhelpfully modern understandings of servitude and freedom, the individual and social difference, the understanding that many of our textual and material sources were products of bonded relations and their intimate practices suggests new ways of receiving and thinking with them.


September 13-14, 2019Poster for Writing Workshop

Death and Life of Nature in Asian Cities II
10 Sachem Street, Room 105 (Department of Anthropology)

This invitation-only workshop is to convene a select group of collaborators, who are based in North America, the United Kingdom, and in Asia, to synthesize the work we have done so far and to prepare the next publication in our series of books. This book will join our previous two volumes to further the interdisciplinary work of the Ecologies of Urbanism in Asia series. In this workshop, participants will revisit their revised papers with the aim to finalize them for publication through a discussion to elicit their contributions to the ecologies of urbanism framework and their insight into the decay and regeneration of urban infrastructure and experience across Asia.


May 5, 2019
InterAsia Spring 2019 Workshop ScheduleYALE INTER-ASIA WORKSHOP
Mediators at the Edges of Empire
10 Sachem Street, Room 105 (Department of Anthropology)

This one-day workshop examined 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.


September 21-23, 2018Wood Age in Asia details
Wood Age in Asia: Connection and Comparison in Forest History
10 Sachem Street, Room 105  (Department of Anthropology)
Organizers: Bradley Camp Davis, Brian Lander, John S. Lee, Ian M. Miller, Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan

Please click WOOD AGE IN ASIA for more details.

Supported by a grant from the American Council of Learned Societies Program on Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange and additional funding from the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Memorial Fund. With additional funding from CEAS, SASC and SEAS area studies Councils at the MacMillan Center, Agrarian Studies, and InterAsia Connections program, and the Department of Anthropology at Yale University.

This conference will bring together scholars of South, Southeast, and East Asia for a discussion framed by the concept of a “wood age.” We will consider both the centrality of wood to material life in the premodern world and the changes brought by the industrialization of the forest. Using perspectives from social and cultural history; archeology and paleoecology; and the histories of art, architecture, science, and medicine, this conference will address the wide range of ways that people interacted with woodlands. These dialogues will help move forest history beyond the early focus on deforestation while offering an environmental critique of Asian history and correcting the current Eurocentric bias of forest history.

The conference will feature panels on the interactions between forests, wood, and six critical topics in Asian contexts: changing landscapes and patterns of land-use; the relationship between states and forests; knowledge regimes and ritual practices; colonialism and nationalism; borderlands and frontiers; and the link between governing institutions and specific sylvan species. Three distinguished scholars have been invited to frame our dialogues through an introductory address and keynote panel. We will conclude with a roundtable of experts to further comment on the implications of this research for other regions and disciplines. Altogether, we hope the conference will not only bring together interdisciplinary scholarship on Asian forests but also reexamine and recontextualize the basic concepts, terms, and records that form the basis of forest history, to establish the contexts for cross-cultural and diachronic comparisons.​

Friday, September 21, 2018
2:30     Opening Comments
3:00-4:45 Panel 1 – Land and Landscape
5:00 – 6:45 Panel 2 – States and Forests

Saturday, September 22, 2018
9:00 – 10:45 Panel 3 –Knowledge and Ritual
11:00 – 12:45 Panel 4 – Colony and Nation
2:15 – 4:00 Panel 5 – Wooded Borderlands
4:30-6:00 Keynote Session

Sunday, September 23, 2018
9:00 – 10:45 Panel 6 – States and Species
11:00 – 12:30 Roundtable Discussion
2:00 Closing Remarks

Please click WOOD AGE IN ASIA for more details.


May 11, 2018 9:45 am to 6:00 pm
Migratory Justice: Legal Diasporas, Political Violence and the Making of New Legal Orders in Asia and Africa
Organizer: Professor Rohit De

Panel I: Geographies of Law
Laurie Wood (Florida State University), “Archipelago of Justice: Law in France’s Early Modern Empire”
Bhavani Raman (University of Toronto), “At Land’s End: Postwar Tamil Imaginaries across the Bay of Bengal, 1945-1970”
Misha Mink Roth (Johns Hopkins) “Indian Merchant Networks and Colonial Law in Central Kenya, 1914-1938”
Renisa Mawani (University of British Columbia), Queen of the Sea”

Panel II: People of Law
Samuel Fury Childs Daly (Duke), “Martial Law on the Move: Nigerian and Ghanian Judges in East Africa in the 1970s”
Kalyani Ramnath (Princeton/Harvard), South Asia’s Other Partitions”
Rohit De (Yale), “Writing Legal Lives: Kenya, India, Malaysia”

Panel III: Deploying Law
Fei-Hsien Wang (Indiana University), “Playing the Nation Game: Reclaiming European Properties in Post-World War II China”
Elizabeth Thornberry (Johns Hopkins) “Law in Service of the State and Law Against the State in 20th Century South Africa”
Cindy Ewing “Arab-Asian Solidarity, Strategies of Constitutional Decolonization and the Former Italian Colonies, 1947-1953”


Friday, March 9, 2018 12:30 PM-5:00 PM
Graduate Student Planning Workshop
Connected Histories of Freedom in the Long 20th Century
Location: Department of Anthropology, 10 Sachem Room 105
Student Organizer: Zaib un Nisa Aziz and Charlotte Kiechel

This day long planning workshop seeks to examine the histories of emancipatory projects in the long 20th century; to lay the foundations of a future conference on the same theme.

Please click for CALL FOR PAPERS


November 3, 2017
Entanglements with Nature: Environmental Humanities in Asia
Friday, November 3, 2017 3:00 PM
Whitney Humanities Center Room 208

Panelists: Prasenjit Duara (History, Duke); Kathleen Morrison (Anthropology, UPenn); Karen Thornber (Comparative Literature, Harvard)
Moderator: Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan (Anthropology, Yale)

October 26, 2017
Invited plenary workshop
October 26, 2017 10:00 AM-2:oo PM
10 Sachem Street, Room 118
Organizer: Ian Miller


September 8, 2017
Lecture by award-winning visiting artist, Tiffany Chung
remapping history: the unwanted population

A lecture by Tiffany Chung
Friday, September 8, 2017 4:00 PM
Department of Anthropology
10 Sachem Street, Room 105

Tiffany Chung will discuss her recent work, which engages with issues of migration, displacement, and spatial and socio-political transformation across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Hosted by the Yale Inter-Asia Connections Program


September 26, 2017  4:00-5:30 PM
Environmental Humanities in Asia Inaugural Event
Hidden in Plain Sight: Madagascar and the Indian Ocean World

Speaker: Professor Alison Richard (Franklin Murray Professor of Anthropology Emerita, Senior Research Scientist, Yale University)

Location: Department of Anthropology, 10 Sachem St.

A light reception will follow the talk and discussion at 5:30 PM

Co-hosted by the Yale Inter-Asia Connections Program and Department of Anthropology at Yale, in coordination with the Yale Environmental Humanities Initiative


Yale InterAsia Connections Workshop and Photo Exhibit 2017

Photo Exhibit (April 10-May 30, 2017)
Anthropocene: Coastal Societies of the Bay of Bengal
Curator: Dr. Debojyoti Das (Postdoctoral Fellow)

In this series of beautiful pictures taken in the coastal belt of India and Bangladesh, Debojyoti Das takes you on a abstract, colorful journey to make you look at mundane, everyday item through the eyes of a dreamy child.


Invited Workshop
Connected Landscapes: The Alternative Understanding of Asian Societies, History and Ecology
Saturday, May 6, 2017 (8:30AM–4:30PM)
Venue: 10 Sachem Street, Room 105
Convener: Debojyoti Das (Postdoctoral Fellow)

This workshop proposes to describe Asia as dynamic and connected space through historical, geographical, economic, cultural, religious and more recently ecological formations stretching across West Asia through Eurasia, South Asia and Southeast to Far East Asia. The aim of the workshop is to explore how Asian societies have communicated and engaged with one another in their endeavor to create a connected socio-cultural and historical milieu.

InterAsia Civil-Military Relationship Workshop 2017

June 2, 2017 (9:00 AM-5:30 PM)
Invited Workshop: Friends, foes, or accomplices? Civil-military relations in spaces of surveillance across Asia
(Organizer: Sahana Gosh, PhD Candidate)


Yale InterAsia Connections Conference 2016
Friday, February 27, 2016 

InterAsia Workshop:  By Invitation Only
Less than a State, More than a Colony: Protectorates and Semicolonialisms in Comparison
Saturday, February 13, 2016Feb13Poster
Convener: James Pickett (Postdoctoral Associate, Yale InterAsia)

This event will devote a single afternoon to the discussion of pre-circulated papers. Sections of the workshop will focus on several thematically-related papers at a time, with scholars from the Yale community and other workshop participants commentating.

By invitation only.  Please e-mail inter.asia@yale.edu if you are interested.

InterAsia Occasional Speaker Series: Discussion Forum
Between Anarchy and the Police State: Geopolitics and International Development in Central AsiaJan27Poster
Wednesday, January 27, 2016 4:30-6:00 PM
Luce Hall, Room 203
Thomas Barfield (Boston University) author of Afghanistan: A Political and Cultural History
Eric McGlinchey (George Mason University) author of Chaos, Violence, Dynasty: Politics and Islam in Central Asia
Jennifer Murtazashvili (University of Pittsburgh) author of Informal Order and the State in Afghanistan
Artemy Kalinovsky, author of A Long Goodbye: The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan

InterAsia Occasional Speaker Series:
Jeffrey Sahadeo (Carleton University, Department of Political Science)
From (Cauc)Asians to Blacks: Racism and Postcolonialism in the Soviet Union and Russia in Comparative Perspective
Friday, December 10, 2015 4:30-6:00 PM Luce Hall, Room 202
(Sponsored by the Yale InterAsia Initiative and the South Asian Studies Council)

InterAsia Occasional Speaker Series:
Sunil Amrith (Harvard University, Department of History)
South Asia’s Coastal Frontiers: Writing Inter-Asians Environmental History
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 4:30-6:00 PM Luce Hall, Room 203
(Sponsored by the Yale InterAsia Initiative)

Islam in Asia: Roundtable Discussion

Wednesday, May 13, 2015  3:30-5:00 PM      Luce Hall, Room 202
(Sponsored by the Yale InterAsia Initiative and the South Asian Studies Council)

This roundtable discussion brings together an interdisciplinary group of scholars for a conversation about new research on Islam in Asia. The majority of the world’s Muslims live in Asia, but research and teaching on Islam often focuses more narrowly on the Middle East. The panel instead discusses approaches to Islam that emphasize its links to wider Asian contexts, extending from Central Asia, to the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China.  By bringing together a group of scholars working on different regions and from varied disciplinary perspectives, the panel explores how Islamic practices have been entangled with wider trans-Asian circuits of mobility and exchange.

Participants: Fahad Bishara (Department of History, College of William and Mary), Rohit De (Department of History, Yale University), Narges Erami (Department of Anthropology, Yale University), Iza Hussin (Faculty of Politics and International Studies, Cambridge University), and Julia Stephens (Department of History, Yale University)

Spring 2015 Symposium: Traveling Agents, Connecting Currents
April 17, 2015   1:00-7:00 PM         HGS217A
(Co-sponsored by the Yale Council on East Asian Studies, the South Asian Studies Council at Yale, and the Yale Council on Southeast Asian Studies)

Participants: Krishnendu Ray (New York University) and Anand Yang (University of Washington).  Also Dorian Carli-Jones and Melissa Lefkowitz (Directors of “China Remix).

Cities, Towns, and the Places of Nature: Ecologies of Urbanism in Asia 
February 2015
A co-sponsored three-day book workshop and student presentation.
Organized by: Professor Kalyanakrishnan Sivaramakrishnan (Yale University) and Professor Anne Rademacher (New York University).

Fall 2013 Video Screening and Lectures:  Pan-Asian Pop!
Video Screening – November 7, 2013  8:00-9:00 PM  10 Sachem Street Room 105
Lecture – November 9, 2013   12:00-5:00 PM  10 Sachem Street Room 105
(Sponsored by the Yale Inter-Asia Initiative and the Council on East Asian Studies)

We will start with video screenings to kick off a series of lectures by Ashish Chadha (University of Rhode Island), Ian Condry (MIT), and Tiantian Zheng (SUNY Cortland), followed by a panel discussion.