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© Shaping Asia

Current Projects

Infrastructure and the Remaking of Asia

Investment in new infrastructures contributes significantly to the current rapid transformation of Asia. This thematic line of the Shaping Asia networking initiative studies the recursive processes by which new investments shape the social texture of Asian societies and visa-versa.

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Knowledge Production and Circulation

The network of scholars involved in the project ‘Shaping Asia: Knowledge Production and Circulation’ understands Asia to be a region in which (post)colonial domination and the manifold ways in which it has been questioned and scrutinised are linked to the very nature of knowledge production and circulation – as it seeks, at the same time, to grasp how Asia is shaped in this process. 

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Nitrate Cities

Nitrate Cities seeks to investigate urban transformations in South Asia through embodied spectatorial practices and identity politics around cinema. The project proposes to examine the way spectators alter their lived urban environment through peaceful as well as agitational activities. I invoke the nitrate materiality of celluloid, which once made film stock highly unstable and combustible, as a metaphor for local sensitivities that have existed for as long as filmmaking in the South Asian region. Liable to hurt and offense, these sensitivities are predominantly connected to religious beliefs, caste-class identities and historically constituted inter-community dynamics. Yet, at the same time cinema has spawned its own fan-communities, idiosyncratically soaking themselves in a collective leisure. The implications of film sensitivities mediated by intercommunity contestations and religion-based identification are immense both for film theory and South Asian studies, given that the region is the largest producer of films in the entire world.

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Urban Transformations

Together with colleagues from Kathmandu University’s Centre for Art and Design – Sujan Chitrakar - and with Delhi’s School of Planning and Architecture – Arunava Dasgupta from the Department of Urban Design – Shaping Asia-co-speaker Prof. Dr. Christiane Brosius has been granted funding that will allow for an inter- and transdisciplinary exchange of students, faculty, museums and non-governmental institutions around the topic of Urban transformation and placemaking: Fostering Learning from South Asia and Germany.

For more information clicke here.

Women's Pathways to Professionalization in Muslim Asia: Reconfiguring Religious Knowledge, Gender, and Connectivity

This project addresses the contemporary religion-profession nexus in Asia’s Muslim societies from the vantage point of vocational professionalization through religious knowledge. While empirically obvious, theoretical and conceptual clarity pertaining to this nexus is lacking. The project intends to bring forward exactly this. It links empirical observations of applied religious knowledge and the conceptualization of professionalization, examined through case studies from Southeast and Central Asia. 

For more information click here.

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