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Conflict and Justice: Precarious Bodies in Inter-Asia Societies 
Winter Camp Workshop
Hsinchu, Taiwan
January 16-20, 2017 ​

2017 Winter Camp


The International Institute for Cultural Studies (IICS) at National Chiao Tung University (NCTU), Taiwan, in collaboration with the Taiwan Experience Education Program (TEEP) of the Ministry of Education (Taiwan), and the IICS Transnational Network for Critical Inter-Asia Cultural Studies from the University System of Taiwan (UST), invites paper proposals for presentation and participation in the Winter Camp Workshop “Conflict and Justice: Precarious Bodies in Inter-Asia Societies.”

The Winter Camp Workshop will take place on the campus of NCTU in Hsinchu, Taiwan, from January 16 through January 20, 2017.

Hosted by Joyce C.H. Liu (NCTU), with the collaboration of UST colleagues, particularly Andy Chih-Ming Wang (Academia Sinica/NCTU), Kean-Fung Guan (NTHU), Amie Parry (NCU), and Ya-Chung Chuang (NCTU), the workshop will address the theme of “Conflict and Justice: Precarious Bodies in Inter-Asia Societies,” with the following four seminar topics:
(1) Nationalism, Migration, and Precarious Belongings in Inter-Asia Societies
(2) Social Movements, Contestation, and Political Change in Asia
(3) Neoliberalism, Globalization and Corruption in Inter-Asia Societies
(4) The Question of Nature and Environmental Justice in the age of neoliberalism

We invite graduate students and junior scholars to share with us their works on the above listed topics.Applications from all disciplines are welcome.

This Winter Camp Workshop will feature small group seminars led by leading scholars, daily keynote lectures and roundtables, as well as field trips to local cities. Participants are expected to give a 20-minute presentation on their work, to comment on the papers of their fellow seminar participants, and to contribute to the general dialogue of the winter camp workshop.
Prospective applicants should apply online at, indicating 1) their preferences of the seminar topic(s), with 2) proposals that include a title, a 500-word abstract, and a short C.V. (2 pages), and 3) names and emails of two referees.

Proposals should address problematics of “Conflict and Justice: Precarious Bodies in Inter-Asia Societies”in their fields of work, referring to one or two seminar topics, and should establish any links between the proposal and broader global, historical, and especially interdisciplinary approaches and questions.

To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by October 21, 2016.

Notifications of acceptance will be announced by mid-November, 2016 at the IICS website.  Full papers will be expected by January 9, 2017, so as to circulate your papers among your seminar group members.

Registration fee is USD $150. Accommodation and some meals are included.

Financial aid will be given to outstanding research proposals.

Seminar Topics

1. Nationalism, Migration, and Precarious Belongings in Inter-Asia Societies

As the world is once again troubled by refugee crises, terrorist attacks, and territorial disputes, it seems that despite the advocation for a cosmopolitan future, nationalism remains a powerful force that still shapes the world in significant ways by (re-)creating identities and affiliations and generating affect of inclusion and exclusion. The ever-increasing migration and globalization penetrated national borders and rearticulated national feelings with precarious belongings, enhanced and complicated by diasporic connections, colonial memories, and the difficulties of assimilation. Asia, in particular, is a region of states where inter-Asian migration, enabled and disrupted by the history of colonialism, capitalist globalization, and political conflicts, has rendered the nation both politically distinct and culturally malleable. The rise of “alien residents” in Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong has led to anti-foreign campaigns that are ethnically targeted, as articulated through both nativist dispossession and right-wing nationalist sentiment. The disputes over maritime territories in the South China Sea, furthermore, have resulted in not only protest movements in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia but also the 2014 anti-Chinese riot in Vietnam. They also paved the road for U.S. intervention in the region, turning the regional conflict into a contest between global superpowers. Similarly, the dispute over the Diaoyutai/Senkaku Islands since the 1970s has finally led the Chinese citizens to respond with street protests, boycott campaigns, and even outright violence in 2012. Meanwhile, the anti-China protests in Taiwan and Hong Kong of late also emerged as nationalist campaigns seeking to shape Taiwanese and Hong Kong identities as distinctly non-Chinese, aspiring for a future of independence. These incidents invariably show that nationalism is real, active, and dangerous, acting on the feeling of precariousness; it is generative of love as much as hate, and reflective of the precariousness of imagined communities that are once believed to be solid, pure, and unchanging. Therefore, we invite graduate students and junior scholars to come to share with us your research and thoughts on how to understand the affective power that nationalism, xenophobia and neo-racism still commands and its effects in the region and beyond.

2. Social Movements, Contestation, and Political Change in Asia

Asia is no stranger to social movements and contentious politics. Contestation and mass mobilization in Asia since the nineteenth century relate to both support for and opposition to modernity in the region, a dynamic that helped shape the polities and societies of the region. The resulting social movements and political mobilization played key roles in fostering everything from revolution and military expansion to anti-colonialism, nationalism, authoritarianism, and political liberalization across Asia. The effects of these movements and the contention around them were felt from Japan through continental Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and across mainland as well as maritime Southeast Asia over the course of the twentieth century. Similarly drawing from indigenous ideas and developments as well as influences from elsewhere, a more recent wave of social movements and contentious politics has been taking place in Asia. This trend is evident in places that experienced mass protest over the past decade, such as South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Malaysia. The force of comparable and related social movements may be less immediately obvious in other areas of the region but no less important. Social movements and contentious politics in Asia during the twenty-first century raises conceptual and empirical issues that this session seeks to address.  Some key questions include: What can contemporary social movements draw from each other as well as developments elsewhere in the world both at present and from the past? Why do social movements and contentious politics gain more traction in some parts of Asia and what is driving this phenomenon? How do economic changes such as globalization, social transformation such as migration and growing inequality affect the current wave of social movements in Asia? What roles do changes in governance, political participation, new technologies, and religion play in these developments? What may be the consequences that follow from this recent wave of social movements in Asia? We invite submissions exploring these and related topics.

3. Neoliberalism, Globalization and Corruption in Inter-Asia Societies


The invisibility of market governance (as exploitative, non-transparent, imperialist power deployment) is a general characteristic of neoliberalism; its invisibility is arguably exacerbated in post-authoritarian states, especially those formed in a regional Cold War liberalism. The state occupies a paradoxical position within which when seen as benign it is asked to provide more protectionist policing, while it the same time, as the language of neoliberalism gains political effectivity (a separate issue from policy implementation), the state increasingly joins vulnerable populations as a target for corruption charges (Hill et al). An important body of work on corruption and neoliberalism has emerged in South Asia. Partha Chatterjee, drawing on Laclau, has emphasized that one effect of the use of corruption as a political charge is to demarcate clear boundaries between the political and the people, creating a depoliticized and purified notion of the people. Other South Asian work on corruption covers a range of positions and grounds, from a critique of corruption as scapegoating neoliberal discourse aimed at the purportedly old-fashioned state (Patnaik) to corruption as a neoliberal tool aimed at vulnerable populations seen as culprits because of the invisibility of market governance and state support of that governance (Sengupta). Drawing on this work, Hsing-wen Chang and Wing-Kwong Wong have theorized “organic corruption” to allow an understanding of it as a concept and structural phenomenon. This recent work on corruption as a neoliberal discourse is emerging as part of or in relation to a larger reexamination of (post) developmental and (post) Cold War liberal and illiberal democratic states (Chua), regional cultures, and affects. Recent large-scale social movements are equally part of this process; such movements mobilized around democratic rights and transparent procedure have made it possible to open up a regional forum for critical thought on the concept of democracy itself and its associated terms, such as sovereignty, autonomy, rights, transparency, and of course corruption. In addition to theoretical texts, students can also explore the ways the concepts related to democracy and corruption are represented in cultural texts.  We welcome graduate students and junior scholars to contribute their research and thoughts on the question of neoliberalism, globalization, and corruption in Inter-Asia Societies.

4. The Question of Nature and Environmental Justice in the Age of Neoliberalism

The recent global environmental crisis has driven scholars to examine the question of nature and environmental justice in very different ways. Ranging from global warming and loss of biodiversity to deforestation and pollution, the global environmental ills have raised questions about the position of human being in the universe of what is called “nature.” We will especially examine the region’s precariousness after a sequence of environmental catastrophes, including the nuclear incident in Fukushima, Japan, earthquake disasters in Japan, Taiwan, and China, and the tsunami fiascos in Japan and Southeast Asian countries.  This seminar will focus on how we can engage with the representations of nature in this age of the Anthropocene, when the exploitive way of human intervention in nature is being questioned. Instead, a new way of thinking upon environmentalism arises, seeking to overcome the dichotomy of culture and nature. Nature is no longer a domain outside human world but extended and mutable environment that accommodates human and non-human beings, both striving to stay alive.  This environmentalism of life thus provides alternative viewpoints to examine and challenge the mainstream dominant developmental discourse that highlights exclusionist accumulation. We invite graduate students and junior scholars to come to share with us your research and thoughts on how to understand a possible world of multi-species co-existence on the basis of the reinterpretation of the relationship between culture and nature.

Seminar Topics
Featured Speakers & Seminars Coordinators

劉紀蕙 Joyce C.H. Liu

Chair, Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
Director, University System of Taiwan, Taiwan

     Dr. Joyce C.H. Liu is Professor of Critical Theory, Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature in the Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies, Chiao Tung University, Taiwan. She is currently the Chair of the Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies that she founded in 2002. She is also the director of the International Institute for Cultural Studies of the University System of Taiwan, a network system connecting four distinguished research-oriented universities in Taiwan, including National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing-Hua University, National Central University and National Yang Ming University. She serves as the chief editor of the only journal of cultural studies in Taiwan, Routers: A Journal of Cultural Studies, since 2011. Dr. Liu’s works concentrate on the question of aesthetics, ethics, and politics, ranging from Marx, Freud, Lacan, to contemporary critical theories as well as Chinese political thoughts. She has been a critic of East-Asian modernity, particularly through re-reading the Chinese intellectual history of the twentieth century. She has published five books, edited 13 books, translated 2 theoretical books, and more than 70 journal and book articles. Her representative works include The Topology of Psyche: The Post-1895 Reconfiguration of Ethics (2011), The Perverted Heart: The Psychic Forms of Modernity (2004), as well as Orphan, Goddess, and the Writing of the Negative: The Performance of Our Symptoms (2000), that composed a trilogy of China-Taiwan modernity.

酒井直樹 Naoki Sakai

Departments of Comparative Literature and Asian Studies, Cornell University, USA

     Dr. Naoki Sakai has published in a number of languages in the fields of comparative literature, intellectual history, translation studies, the studies of racism and nationalism, and the histories of semiotic and literary multitude - speech, writing, corporeal expressions, calligraphic regimes, and phonographic traditions. His publications include: Translation and Subjectivity, Voices of the Past, and The Stillbirth of the Japanese as a Language and as an Ethnos. He has led the project of TRACES, a multilingual series in four languages – Spanish, Korean, Chinese, English, and Japanese - whose editorial office is located at Cornell, and served as its founding senior editor (1996 - 2004). In addition to TRACES, Naoki Sakai serves as a member of the following editorial boards, positions - Asia cultures critique (in the United States), Post-colonial studies (in Britain), Tamkang Review (in Taiwan), and ASPECTS (South Korea).

白瑞梅 Amie Elizabeth Parry

Department of English,National Central University, Taiwan

     Dr. Amie Elizabeth Parry teaches in the English Department of National Central University, where she is a core member of the Center for the Study of Sexualities. Her books include Interventions into Modernist Cultures: Poetry from Beyond the Empty Screen, which received the Book Award in Literary Studies from the Association for Asian American Studies in 2009, and Penumbrae Query Shadow: Queer Reading Tactics (in Chinese), jointly written with Naifei Ding and Jen-peng Liu after ten years of collective research projects. She has also published articles in East Asia Cultures Critique, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, and Wenshan Review.

莊雅仲 Ya-Chung Chuang

Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan

     Dr. Ya-Chung Chuang is a cultural anthropologist and Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. His research interests include democratization, social movements, national identity, and urban culture. His recent publications include Democracy on Trial: Social Movements and Cultural Politics in Postauthoritarian Taiwan (Chinese University Press, 2013).

王智明 Chih-Ming Wang

Institute of European and American Studies and
Graduate Institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan

     Dr. Ya-Chung Chuang is a cultural anthropologist and Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. His research interests include democratization, social movements, national identity, and urban culture. His recent publications include Democracy on Trial: Social Movements and Cultural Politics in Postauthoritarian Taiwan (Chinese University Press, 2013).

顏健富 Kean-Fung Guan

Department of Chinese Literature, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan

     Dr. Kean-Fung Guan, Associate Professor in Department of Chinese Literature, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. The field of research focuses on modern fiction, involving in world imagination, Utopian vision, adventure, new geographical vision and concept theory . His current study is on the African Imagination in Literature in the Late Qing Dynasty. The writings contain Revolution, Enlightenment, lyric: Chinese Modern Literary and Cultural Studies Xuesi record and From the "body" to "World" ── late Qing fiction new concept map, and several of his articles are published in first-grade periodicals.

譚迪詩 Daisy Dic Sze Tam

Department of Humanities and Creative Writing, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

     Daisy Tam is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing at the Hong Kong Baptist University. She has a background in Comparative Literature and holds a PhD in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, London. Alongside her main research on urban food studies where she develops theoretical and technical approaches to collective action on surplus food rescue in Hong Kong, she is also involved in a local migrant issues. In her capacity as a researcher and a board member of a local NGO, she leads research and development in the organisation and advocates for better working environment for migrant workers. In both roles,she strives to promote social equality and channels her work to build a fairer more equitable society.
     Her recent publications include “Towards a Parasitic Ethics” in Theory, Culture and Society London: Sage 2016 (33: 4) p103-126. “Little Manila: The Other Central of Hong Kong” in Messy Urbanism Hong Kong: University of Hong Kong Press (2016) p119-135

莊嘉穎 Ja-Ian Chong

Department of Political Science, National University of Singapore, Singapore

     Dr. Ja-Ian Chong’s research interests focus on security, external intervention, sovereignty, nationalism, international and domestic political institutions, politics of hegemony and domination, major power rivalry, international relations and politics of the Asia-Pacific, Chinese foreign policy, U.S.-China relations, Chinese politics, political liberalisation and foreign and security policy, and alliance politics.
     Dr. Chong is currently working on two projects. The first examines how responses to power transition by non-leading states aggregate to affect the acuteness of competition among leading states. He looks empirically at East Asia following World War II, after the Vietnam War, and after the end of the Cold War. The second seeks to address why newly post-authoritarian polities undertake policies that increase tensions with major security partners even when these polities continue to have pressing security concerns. Major cases he examines include Taiwan, South Korea, and the Philippines.
     Chong's single authored book, External Intervention and the Politics of State Formation: China, Indonesia, Thailand--1893-1952 (Cambridge University Press, 2012) received the 2013-2014 Best Book Award from the International Security Studies Section of the International Studies Association. He has also published in journals such as International Security, the European Journal of International Relations, Security Studies, China Quarterly, Twentieth Century China, among others.

朱翹瑋 Kiu-wai Chu

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland

     Dr. Kiu-wai Chu research focuses on contemporary cinema and art in China, broader East and Southeast Asia, ecocriticism and environmental humanities. His work has appeared in transnational ecocinema; animated landscapes: history, form and Function; ecomedia: key issues and elsewhere.

張馨文 Hsing-Wen Chang

PhD candidate at Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore (CSCS), India

     Hsing-Wen Chang, Taiwanese national, is a PhD candidate at Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore (CSCS), India. She used to work with a leprosy colony in Taipei in their struggles against the eviction under coercive development project. Her research interests focus on political experience, translation studies and psychoanalysis. Her ongoing PhD dissertation titles "Democracy and Zhu-Ti-Xing (Subjectivity): Investigating the Interface between Politics and the Aporia of Becoming-Oneself in Taiwan".

Ian Rowen

Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica

     Dr. Ian Rowen is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology at Academia Sinica and holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado, Boulder. His research, supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, the US National Science Foundation, and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, has focused on the political and cultural geography of tourism, protest, and transitional justice. A participant-observer in the 2014 Taiwan Sunflower and Hong Kong Umbrella Movements, he has published about East Asian politics, social movements, and tourism in The Journal of Asian Studies, Annals of the American Association of Geographers, Annals of Tourism Research, Asian Anthropology, 考古人類學 Journal of Archaeology and Anthropology, the BBC, The Guardian, 自由時報 Liberty Times, and has a research article forthcoming in the International Journal of Transitional Justice. 

Sudarat Musikawong

Associate professor of sociology and Director of International Studies at Siena College in Albany, New York.

     Dr. Musikawong's research examines two forms of justice: historical justice in the public sphere in Thailand (regarding past state violence) and Thai migrant worker justice. She positions her investigations within cultural-political sociology and ethnographic research.
Dr. Musikawong's work connects macro-socio-economic historical conditions, social political national circumstances, migration, and cultural production. Her long-term research goals are to develop methodologies and theoretical frameworks that provide connections between these often-divergent research agendas between the social sciences and humanities.
     Her work has been presented at policy-oriented conferences and published in English language journals. Most recently, she has two practitioner publications, one with an Asian American Policy-oriented journal (AAPI-Nexus) and the other with a Thailand based journal (Asian Review). The second article focused on codification of the levels of labor trafficking for policy makers, advocates, and government officials. These practitioner publications are part of her next long-term project, titled Invisible Citizenship: Trafficking in Thai Migrant Workers Lives. It is a five-year project based on fieldwork comparing Thai migrant workers strategies toward "justice" ---labor, residency, and human rights in the United States, South Korea, and Taiwan. Her goals are focused on building theoretical depth utilizing ethnography and extended case method as a way of constructing theories about migrant justice, invisible labor, citizenship, and visible national belonging through various worker education and media production practices.


     Sudarat Musikawong, “Thai Venture Capitalism: React, Connect, Trace,” Until Today: Spectres for the International Hotel; Book Chapter Contribution, edited by tammy ko robinson & Jerome Reyes.
     Sudarat Musikawong and Panida Rzonca, “Debt Bondage Scales of Intensity: Thai Overseas Agricultural Workers in the United States,”Asian Review, special issue edited by Supang Chantavanich (Institute of Asian Studies, Chulalongkorn University, forthcoming 2017).

Douglas Anton Kammen

Department of Southeast Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

     Dr. Kammen first became interested in Southeast Asia in 1983, when he had the opportunity to spend a summer in Solo, Central Java. At the time he heard a few guarded remarks about dead bodies left in the streets, but had no idea that the state was carrying out a campaign extra-judicial executions known as the ‘Mysterious Killings.’ As a student at Cornell University, a number of superb teachers encouraged his interest in Indonesia and provided an example of what excellence in teaching and scholarship are all about. After completing his PhD, Douglas Kammen taught in the Department of Political Science at Canterbury University (1998-2000), was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Universitas Hasanuddin in Makassar (2000-2001), and then taught at the Universidade Nacional Timor Lorosae in Dili (2001-2003). His research interests include labour and social movements, military politics, and popular political thinking.

Philip Jau Ding 

BPAC leader

     Philip Jau Ding has been doing is campaigning against the constructions of mega dams in Sarawak especially in Baram which is his birthplace. His State Government and SEB (Sarawak Energy Berhad) are planning to build many dams in his beautiful state of Sarawak including Baram dam. If they succeed to build these dams, there will be devastating effects on the peoples, rivers and their eco-system, the forest, biodiversity, environment and on and on it goes. Nature will be destroyed! The beautiful State of Sarawak will lose its natural beauties forever! He doesn't want this to happen.
For the past few years, He has been actively doing roadshows, organizing workshops, protests, demonstrations, etc. in our efforts to convince his government that their plans to build so many destructive and diabolical dams are bad. They also sent letters, memorandums and petitions to the State and Federal governments.

Featured Speakers & Seminars Coordinators






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