ADI Conference 2018 – University of Copenhagen

Transition and Disruption in Asia

10th Annual ADI Conference
Asian Dynamics Initiative 

Since the launch of the Asian Dynamics Initiative at the Universtity of Copenhagen in 2008, the ADI annual conference has become a well-established event in Asian Studies internationally. With the conference in 2018 we wish to continue this tradition.

With the spectacular rise of China and India, it is only natural that these populous new superpowers dominate scholarly and media attention, while other regions in Asia are foregrounded only in exceptional moments of  environmental, political or economic crisis. Yet the latter, too, confirm the need to conceive of Asia as a site of accelerated change. This principle also applies to the pre-modern period, in spite of the fact that Eurocentric observers preferred to conceptualize this vast space as a permanently stagnant region. Global historians nowadays argue for considering Asia not as a discrete continent, but as an integral part of the Eurasian landmass, which has always experienced diverse processes of change, including episodes of disruption and crisis. While phases of transition are conventionally identified with positive change and a measure of predictability, disruption has more negative connotations, since it is assumed to increase unpredictability. Yet both can be conceived in terms of opportunities for transformation and applied fruitfully to grasp the complex dynamics of what has been dubbed the "Asian century".

Keynote addresses on this overall topic will be given by three distinguished scholars:  

Dr Faisal Devji, University Reader in Modern South Asian History, Director, St Antony's College Asian Studies Centre, University of Oxford

Professor Dr Hermann Kreutzmann, Chair of Human Geography, Department of Geography, Freie Universität Berlin

Professor Ran Wei, Gonzales Brothers Professor of Journalism, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, College of Information and Communications, University of South Carolina

The conference will also feature panels, workshops and roundtables on a wide range of themes.