[URBANTH-L]FUNDING: SSRC Inter-Asian Connections

Angela Jancius jancius at ohio.edu
Wed Aug 1 13:50:17 EDT 2007


Inter-Referencing Asia: Urban Experiments Workshop

We invite submissions of abstracts for an SSRC-sponsored workshop 
"Inter-Referencing Asia: Urban Development and the Art of being Global." 
Successful applicants will be invited to participate in the workshop to be 
held in Dubai, next February. See the following announcement.

Best wishes,
Aihwa Ong (aihwaong at berkeley.edu) and Ananya Roy (ananya at berkeley.edu)

DUBAI, UAE, FEBRUARY 21-24, 2008

WORKSHOP DIRECTORS: Aihwa Ong (aihwaong at berkeley.edu) and Ananya Roy 
(ananya at berkeley.edu) University of California, Berkeley

The 21st century will be an urban century and more significant, it will be a 
century of Asian urbanization.  The growth of Asian cities prompts the need 
for a research agenda that pays careful attention to the processes and forms 
of urbanism that are forming at such sites.  The analytical framework of 
"global cities," which is in currency, fails to capture the role of Asian 
cities as "worlding" nodes: those that create global connections and global 
regimes of value.  In particular, it fails to notice the ways in which Asian 
cities produce global urbanism through experiments of inter-referencing 
whereby urban elites borrow, copy, and articulate city-making across 
national borders.  In the dynamic context of such inter-Asian aspirations, 
Dubai, Singapore, and Shanghai emerge as "models" while aspiring cities 
undertake slum demolitions, invest in premium urban infrastructure, woo 
investors through special economic zones, deploy high-style architecture to 
create an urban brand, and compete for professionals in the bid to create 
world-class economies.  Such a production of space has profound implications 
for the future of Asian cities: to whom will the city belong? What will be 
the relationship between cities and citizenship?

We propose a workshop that focuses on the urban experiment that is the Asian 
city.  We invite paper proposals that address the following issues:
1) The "worlding" role of Asian cities in the age of late capitalism with a 
particular emphasis on the inter-city borrowings, linkages, and competitions 
that drive globalization across Asia.  How is such inter-referencing driven 
by elite actors, by the state, and by the circulation of professionals and 
managers?  What are the aesthetic icons and symbols associated with Asian 
urban aspirations?  In other words, what is the "art of being global" that 
is being cultivated at the site of the Asian city?

2) The types of displacements that are emerging in such Asian cities, 
ranging from the flows of labor that service the success and prosperity of 
cities to the displacement being engendered by the development of enclave 
urbanism.  What are the social and political limits of such displacements? 
How is the politics of displacement mediated by civil society actors that 
operate both within and across particular Asian cities?  What are the forms 
of urban mobilization that are coalescing around the modality of 

The sheer political ambition of their urban experimentations suggests a 
focus on the United Emirates, India, China, and Southeast Asia, but not 
exclusively.  We invite scholars from anthropology, urban planning, 
architecture, sociology, geography, and cultural studies, as well as civil 
society actors, cultural producers, and professionals who are directly 
engaged in projects of inter-Asia city-making. Paper submissions can be 
focused on a single city or can be comparative and transnational in nature. 
Our workshop will foster interactions that can lead to collaborations, 
resulting in a new field of Inter-Asian Urban Studies.  We plan an edited 
volume that will be the first study of this new South-South urban 
renaissance and the worlding ambitions of Asian cities.


Applications are due on Friday, September 14, 2007.  They must be submitted 
directly to SSRC.  For more information, see 

Selection decisions will be announced on October 19, 2007. Accepted 
participants are required to submit a 20-25 page research paper by January 
14, 2008.

The SSRC will make every effort to subsidize the travel and accommodation 
costs associated with attending the conference, and we will issue a formal 
announcement about availability and levels of financial assistance for 
individual participants in the coming months. In the meantime, prospective 
participants are encouraged to seek out alternative sources of funding that 
may be available from their home institutions or other agencies. For 
additional inquiries, please contact the SSRC at < 
mailto:intl_collaboration at ssrc.org>intl_collaboration at ssrc.org. 

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