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Lecture series

The summer term 2022 Shaping Asia lecture series Shaping Asia: Sites of Knowledge successfully concluded on the 24th of June 2022. The participating lecturers were Prof. Dr. Vineeta Sinha, Prof. Dr. Christoph Antweiler, Prof. Dr. Czarina Saloma-Akpedonu, Prof. Dr. Joachim Kurtz and Prof. Dr. Dhruv Raina.

For further information, visit the lectures' webpage.

Henriette Herz Scouting Programme

Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) have been appointed as Scout in the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Henriette Herz Scouting Programme. Scouts aim is to identify excellent junior researchers abroad. The focus is on researchers whose academic record qualifies them to be granted a Humboldt Research Fellowship. After formal approval, the fellowships will be granted directly, i.e. an application is not necessary. Fellows receive a scholarship for 24 months (extension is possible) and can also bring family members along.

Visiting scholar

Dr. Bisidsha Chaudhuri will be visiting Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology in Halle (Saale) during May-June 2022 to work on her ideas on digital governance and the everyday state in India.

Dr. Bidisha Chaudhuri is an Associate Professor in the domain of IT and Society at International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB), India. She completed her PhD from the South Asia Institute at the Heidelberg University, Germany. The title of her doctoral thesis was Hybridising (e) Governance in India: The Interplay of Politics, Technology and Culture. Her current research interest includes information systems for sustainable development, politics of data and algorithms, political economy of digital identity and sociology of work and automation and AI ethics.


Within the Shaping Asia project Pathways to Professionalization of Asian Muslim Women, Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs (Humboldt University of Berlin) gave a lecture under the title Connecting Religion, Gender, and Profession: Muslim Women in South and Southeast Asia.

Date and time were 30 May 2022, 18 - 20 c.t.

The poster is accessible from here.


Dr. Arne Harms will present a paper “The Coast as Crumble Zone: Urban Liquefication, Fortification and Sacrifice” at the Workshop Tangled Coastal Connections: Ethical Tensions in Materialities and Imaginaries, LMU Munich, taking place on Jan 20th and 21st, 2022.


The Humanities Center at The University of Tokyo (Komaba) held a second seminar in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Riho Isaka (Tokyo University) and Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) – within the DFG-funded project Shaping Asia: Knowledge Production and Circulation – on the 10th of December 2021.

Visiting Professor position

The Department of Development studies at Vienna University are seeking to fill the position of Visiting Professor in the field of development research from a cultural theory perspective. Deadline for applications is on 16.12.2021.

Advertisement online and as PDF.


The conference Reconfiguring Labour and Welfare in Emerging Economies of the Global South will be held between the 7th and 8th of December 2021.

The convenors are Prof. Dr. Minh Nguyen, Dr. Jake Lin, Ngoc Minh Luong, and Yueran Tian–all at Bielefeld University.

For the programme and registration, please consult their website.

Doctoral positions

At Fulda University of Applied Sciences, 8 positions for doctoral candidates in the Faculty of Social and Cultural Sciences are available as of 1.1.2022. The positions are at a rate of 65% and initially for a period of three years, with the option of extension.

Deadline: 06.12.2021

Fur further information, please check their call in PDF format here.

Southeast Asian Studies at Freiburg University

The interdisciplinary group Southeast Asian Studies at Freiburg University kindly invites Shaping Asia Network members to consult their regularly updated homepage.

South Asia Regional Working Group of the Deutsche Gesellschafts für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie (DGSKA)

The South Asia Regional Working Group of the Deutsche Gesellschafts für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie (DGSKA) has elected a new spokesperson—Dr. Philipp Zehmisch (Universität Heidelberg)—and two second spokespersons—Dr. Markus Schleiter (Universität Münster) and Dr. Éva-Rozália Hölzle (Bielefeld University).

The Working Group invites all those who are interested to join the association. Also, non DGSKA members can join the group!

If you are interested to join the group, please write an email to

Call for papers

The conference Myanmar: One Year After the Coup will be held between the 18th and 19th of February 2022. The organisers are calling for interested parties to send them relevant papers.

Paper abstracts (no more than 300 words) shall be e-mailed to by 10 December 2021.

For detailed information, please consult their brochure by clicking here.


Shaping Asia Network quarterly newsletter, September 2021. Downloadable from here.

Workshop report

Click to zoom in

workshop title: Religious knowledge, women and Muslim professionalism

Date & time: Thursday the 26th & Friday the 27th of August 2021, 9 am to 1 pm

Convenors: Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs, Prof. Dr. Manja Stephan-Emmrich and Dr. Faiza Muhammad Din

Host institutions: Transregional Southeast Asian & Transregional Central Asian Studies at the Institute of Asian & African Studies (IAAW), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Workshop report: Download from here.


Dr. Arne Harms is co-organizing together with Dr. Lukas Ley a panel during the 4S Conference (Society for Social Study of Science), held in Toronto and online between 6-9 October 2021.

Panel title: Coastalization: Thinking Global Relations from the Coast.

Date: 6 October 2021.


Urban transformation and Placemaking: Fostering Learning from South Asia and Germany” presents

Upcoming and last workshop: Walking the City with Prof Dr Christiane Brosius & Prof Dr Tarini Bedi

Date: 2nd October, 2021

Time: Saturday : Chicago: 8am – Heidelberg: 3pm – Delhi: 6.30 – Kathmandu: 6.45 / Zoom 

For more information, please visit

Post-doctoral position

Minh Nguyen, Professor of Social Anthropology at Bielefeld University, and her team are looking for a colleague specialised in social policy analysis to join their ERC-funded project, Welfare for Migrant Factory Workers in China and Vietnam. Attached you will find the call for applications in German and English. I would be grateful if you could forward it to suitable candidates.

Application deadline: August 20th, 2021


When knowledge moves with humans: Travel, mobility, and media in Asia

Date & Time: September 17, 2021  11:00 - 12:30 (Germany)/ 18:00 -19:30 (Japan)


Claudia Derichs (Humboldt University Berlin) 

'Muslim Women in Asia: Virtual Mobility, Gender, and Religious Knowledge'

Emi Goto (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, ILCAA) 

'Theology of Actresses: Hijab, Feminism, and Islam in Egypt'


Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (University of Bielefeld)

Riho Isaka (The University of Tokyo) 

Host: The University of Tokyo Humanities Center

For more details, please look at the following website. If you would like to attend the seminar, please register through the same website by 15 September 2021.

Online Forum—Decolonising Knowledge

The research group  Shaping Asia: Knowledge Production and Circulation will organise two online discussion events entitled  Decolonising Knowledge.

The first forum will take place on the 19th July 2021 at 11:20 a.m. (CEST) and will be held by Dhruv Raina (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (Bielefeld University).

The second forum convened by  Veronika Kusumaryati (Georgetown University), Thomas Stodulka (Freie Universität Berlin), and Ferdiansyah Thajib (KUNCI, Indonesia) will take place on the 15th July 2021 at 4 p.m. (CEST).

For the programme, abstracts, and Zoom registrations please consult this webpage.


Title: Emerge! Countering Pandemic Somnambulism through Connectivities, Comparisons, and Collaborations

Convenors: Thomas Stodulka, Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka, and Éva Rozália Hölzle

Date: 2nd of July from 8 am to 12 pm CEST (Berlin time)

For the programme, abstracts, and Zoom registrations please consult this page.

Lecture Series

The 2021 colloqium series Understanding Asia: Bridging Margins is a joint cooperation of four working groups (WG Missbach; WG Nguyen; WG Pfaff and WG Vasilache) of the Faculty of Sociology, Bielefeld University. For information and registration, please check the colloquium's programme.


Kickoff event of the newly funded project:  De:link // Re:link - Local perspectives on transregional (dis-)entanglements

Date: 25th June 2021, 13:00-16:00 Berlin time (20:00-23:00 Kyoto time)

For the programme and registration, please check their poster


When: Friday, 21 May 2021, 12.00-13.30 CET
Where: Online, the zoom-link will be sent to registered participants one day in advance
Registration: please register here.

Organisers: Arne Harms and Lukas Ley. The programme will follow in due time.


Shaping Asia Workshop  Coastal Futures - Life between and at the edges of the sea is now scheduled as follows: 3 and 4 June.

Postponement announcement

We regret to inform you that our first Decolonising Knowledge discussion on 19 May 2021 titled "Decolonising higher education in India: Comparisons, Connectivites, Collaborations" had to be postponed due to unexpected personal problems of one of our discussants.

Original Event Date: May 19, 2022.
Postponement announcement Date: may 11, 2022.
New Event Date: Monday, 19. July 2021, 11:30 a.m (CEST).


The Fudan-European Centre for China Studies opens with a seminar on May 18, 2021 9:00 AM–12:15 PM, Oslo. The centre is hosted at the University of Oslo.
To seminar's program is doanloadable from here.
You are very much welcome to join. For registration, please click here.

Online Book Talk

We cordially invite you to the upcoming online Book Talk by Dr. Merav Shohet (Boston University), who will discuss her new book: Silence and Sacrifice: Family Stories of Care and the Limits of Love in Vietnam (University of California Press, April 2021). This engaging ethnographic monograph makes a powerful contribution to psychological, medical and linguistic anthropology and Vietnam studies.

Book Launch

The book Refugees and Religion: Ethnographic studies of global trajectories (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021) is going to be launched and discussed by its editors and contributors (including our network member Dr. Tam Ngo) on the 30th of April, 2021. You can find more info on the book here.

For registration, please visit this webpage.

Round Table

Coup and Uprising in Myanmar: Background and Perspective – a round table addressing the current political situation in Myanmar. The organisers from Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin cordially invite everyone, who is interested. For further information, download the flyer from here.


Transnational Asian Studies: Implementing an Agenda for Our Times by Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs. The keynote opens the Biennial DGA conference, hosted by AREA Ruhr (online) Transnational Asian Studies titled Multi-Level Dynamics of Identity Formation and Institution Building

Date: March 10, 2021.

For the abstract and further details, please consult this webpage.


Shaping Asia Network quarterly newsletter, December 2020. Downloadable from here.

Lecture Series

Understanding Asia: Negotiating the Social in Collective Constellations
Colloquium Series for the academic semester 2020/2021 organised by the Working Group Social Anthropology (Bielefeld University). For information and registration, kindly check the colloquium's programme.


Knowledge on the Move: Connectivities, Frontiers, Translations
9-10 January 2021, Tokyo
International Workshop within the "Knowledge Production and Circulation" Network
Coordinators: Prof. Dr. Claudia Derichs and Prof. Dr. Riho Isaka
For more information please see the workshop programme

Journal issues

Two issues of International Quarterly for Asian Studies are now available through open access: Urban Poetics and Politics in Asia Part I (2019) and II (2020)


Shaping Asia Network quarterly newsletter, October 2020. Downloadable from here.


Round table

The “Shaping Asia” network, coordinated by Prof. Christiane Brosius jointly with Prof. Dr. Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (Bielefeld), hosted a roundtable during ICAS 11. The roundtable “Shaping Asia: Connectivities, Comparisons, Collaborations between Asia and Europe” explored the challenges of Asia-centered research in Europe.

Date: 16 July 2019.

For the programme and further details, visit this webpage.


Entangled Comparisons. Grounding Research on Asia – Expanding Research Methodologies, Bielefeld University.

Date: 5-7 September 2019.

A workshop report is downloadable from here.


Shaping Asia: Connectivities, Comparisons, Collaborations, Bielefeld University.

Date: 6 - 7 February 2018.

Convenors: Prof. Dr. Joanna Pfaff-Czarnecka (Bielefeld, Ger), Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius (Heidelberg, Ger).


The initiating Network Workshop was held at Heidelberg University in May 2017

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