Reflection on knowledge production, circulation, and distribution across Asia as well as in and between epistemic communities is informed first by this line’s quest to grasp and to do justice to the magnitude of forms and modalities of knowledge production, the synergies and clashes between knowledge communities, as well as the im/possibilities of translation between the different realms of knowledge.
Second, it is driven by the acknowledgment of the importance actors (policy-makers, private persons, civil society members) allot to knowledge production, dissemination, and to the use of knowledge for different reasons and purposes – hence the connectivities created through the circulation of knowledge. Third, the sphere of knowledge is shaped through comparing in significant ways. Furthermore, collaborations are becoming an important vehicle in the processes of knowledge production, while being themselves an interesting object of inquirey and conceptualisation.
One important line of inquiry this workshop and program is expected to put in motion will be academic self-reflexivity while expanding and challenging our tools for generating knowledge on Asian societies and cultures. Given the magnitude and diversity of epistemic cultures, careful observations will be needed on the forms of exchange and on the challenges to modalities of participative knowledge generation and dialogue. Among the “burning issues” to be explored are interfaces between knowing and ignorance, local knowledge and learning as well as the dynamics within knowledge hierarchies.
Currently, Asia witnesses a striking expansion of its knowledge societies (necessarily in plural) with those involved engaging with and facing stiff competition (often based upon comparison) within Asia as well as globally. As the policies and efforts governing the knowledge production and dissemination have been gaining momentum throughout Asia, these result in changing balances and shifts between centres and peripheries. These dynamics unfold through different kinds of connectivities, comparisons, as well as collaborations within Asia and beyond.