Research Lines

The Shaping Asia initiative employs a transcultural methodology across three research lines: Public Cultures: Socio-spatial Transformations, Knowledge Production & Circulation, and Governance & Governmentality. These themes are sufficiently open for incorporating a broad range of topics while allowing for continuity in the quest to understand the dynamic unfolding of Asian societies and cultures. Grasping connectivities as well as engaging in comparisons and collaborations will be essential for furthering research in these topical lines.

Urban Futurities

Cultural practices both give shape and are shaped by spatial dimensions in everyday and ritual life-worlds. Various forms of cultural production (i.e. art, literature, and media) allow for the circulation of ideas and concepts. This theme line places such productions in the context of socio-political practices in the Asian context… Read More

Knowledge Production and Circulation

Knowledge production and circulation emerges from a complex web of interactions. Flows of knowledge bind intricately with notions of access/restriction, local/global, and translation, among others. The theme line examines the dynamics of knowledge in the sphere in which it takes shape… Read More

Governance and Governmentality

Governance encompasses the process that constitutes the dynamic between formal political structures and the societal forces that test their limits. Governmentality refers to those participatory governing practices that perpetuate or deny societal values and norms, simultaneously sculpting the terms of subjection. The theme line attempts to peel back the myriad layers of conflict and negotiations that underlie societal divisions, inclusions, and exclusions… Read More












Cooperation Partners


Bielefeld University

Heidelberg Center for Transcultural Studies

Institut für Sinologie, Universität Heidelberg

Institut für Ethnologie, Universität Leipzig

Institute of Asian and African Studies