Asia and Africa in Transition
University of Copenhagen | 21–23 October 2020
In 2020, the annual ADI conference and the annual NNC conference will join forces with a number of globally oriented networks and centres at the University of Copenhagen.
The organisers are:
- Asian Dynamics Initiative
- NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
- School of Global Health
- Sustainability Science Centre
- UCPH Global Development
Linkages between Asia and Africa have a transformative impact across the globe in areas ranging from economic development, health care, climate to politics and entertainment. This conference places Asia-Africa engagement as a focal point but also explores the diverse transitions that are occurring within each continent.
Asia and Africa, with a population of 4.6 billion and 1.3 billion respectively, represent about 80 percent of the world’s population. Not only have both continents experienced population booms in the last few decades, but they also have access to a wealth of natural resources and represent immense ecological and biological variety, opening up future potentialities. Africa and Asia in transition are creating new imaginaries and leveraging new possibilities, and the linkages between the two are leading to change that ripples across the globe.
Several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia have experienced spectacular economic growth over the past few decades. They generate new global markets and opportunities, reshape trade and flows, and create innovative models of investment. At the same time, each continent has experienced shifts in poverty levels, massive wealth accumulation and increasing inequality, all of which raises questions about sustainable and equitable growth and redistribution.
In the last fifty years, these regions have also been sites of political revolutions and transitions. After decolonization, countries of the African continent have experienced democracy in some cases, dictatorship and repressive governments in others. Political revolution in Asia brought the rise of the Communist Party in some places like China and Vietnam, while regimes collapsed in other countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Korea. These shifts have been accompanied by changing political configurations, and escalating tensions at borders and in disputed territories, making the two continents central to global diplomacy, security and governance.
Political changes, along with economic growth, climate change, demand for resources and food security, changes in disease burden and health care needs, as well as demographic shifts, including an aging population and migration going across the two continents are all driving transitions. They are remaking trade routes, building new infrastructure, creating new public-private models of investment, new types of bilateral, regional and global governance, and setting new standards. Some parts of Asia and Africa are in the forefront of technological change, as they leapfrog previous leaders and drive forward solutions to global challenges. The synergy gained from linkages between the two continents has decentered our existing political, social and economic order.
The interconnects across Asia and Africa generate clashes of identities, beliefs and ideologies far beyond their own regions, reclaiming and re-contextualizing the past, remaking the present, and reimaging the future. The histories of nation-states in the post-colonial era, overlaid by transnational shifts in technology, economics and the physical landscape, have seen profound changes and contestation in literature, art, and subjectivity. This is reflected in complex developments in modes of expression and performance that have taken place in the novel, poetry, cinema, music, aesthetics, ethics, and other forms of daily life.
The conference will focus on the multiple forms of linkages and engagements occurring between Asia and Africa in an increasingly multi-polar world. Besides keynote speeches, it will feature a range of panels and roundtables across disciplines, temporalities and themes in the study of Asian and African dynamics.
- Panels with paper presentations are open for abstract submission.
- Debate panels are closed for submissions. Invited panels of experts, NGOs, researchers or other stakeholders will respond to key questions and cases on the topic. The audience will be invited to join the discussion.
Overview of all panels can be found here.
All panels are open to the public.
We invite abstracts for paper presentations addressing one of the panels listed here.
Your submission should include:
- Name, affiliation, short bio
- Abstract including title (up to 250 words)
- Intended panel
We also invite full panel proposals on Asia – Africa related themes. Your submission should include:
- Name, affiliation and contact details of convener/contact person
- Title and description of panel (up to 250 words)
- Name and affiliation of 3-4 presenters in the panel, title of their presentations and abstracts (each up to 250 words)
We have extended the deadline to 1 June 2020
Proposals should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the event that we receive more proposals than we can accommodate, the organisers and conveners will decide among the submitted proposals.
Notification of acceptance: mid-June 2020
Registration will open at a later stage.
19-20 October 2020 │ University of Copenhagen
NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Asian Dynamics Initiative
In connection with the Asia and Africa in Transition conference from 21-23 October, we will hold an intensive workshop for a limited number of PhD students on Monday and Tuesday, 19 and 20 October 2020.
The aim of this PhD workshop is to bring together promising doctoral students from a broad range of disciplines focusing on a diverse range of Asia related topics, including but not limited to the themes of the conference itself. We especially encourage PhD students from the Nordic region to apply.
The students present their research proposal or a key chapter from their thesis to all other participants. A panel of senior scholars will provide constructive feedback on the submissions.
Paper session format
5 minute introduction by student, followed by 3 discussants (2 faculty discussants and 1 student participant, up to 5 minutes each), total 20 minutes structured discussion.
This will be followed by 25 minutes of general discussion for each presentation.
- Duncan McCargo, Director, NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, Professor of Political Science, University of Copenhagen
- May Tan-Mullins, Professor, The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
- More TBA
Doctoral students accepted for the PhD workshop can apply for funding to support travel and/or accommodation expenses. Reimbursements will be carried out after the PhD workshop has taken place.
Applying for the workshop
Applications for the PhD workshop should be submitted to email@example.com no later than 31 July and include:
- cover letter
- 1 page CV
- project description of max 1000 words
- letter of recommendation from the supervisor
- budget (if you require funding for travel and/or accommodation)
Prior to the workshop, students are expected to submit a paper of 6000-10000 words.
- A draft chapter or section from the PhD thesis
- An elaborated thesis proposal including research questions, chapter outline and a discussion of methods and analytical challenges
Readings and requirements for receiving 3 ECTS (to be approved by the individual student’s home university/institution):
- Active participation in the PhD workshop 19-20 October
This includes submitting and presenting a paper (6000-10000 words), reading the other participants’ papers, and giving comments on a fellow PhD student’s paper.
- Readings (200 pages)
- Attendance at the conference Asia and Africa in Transition, 21-23 October
- 31 July: Deadline for submitting application
- 15 August: Notification of acceptance by organising committee
- 1 October: Deadline for submitting paper
For further information, please contact Katrine Herold, Project Coordinator, NIAS, firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian Dynamics Initiative
- Ayo Wahlberg, Anthropology
- Marie Yoshida, ADI
- Oscar Salemink, Anthropology
- Peter Marcus Kristensen, Political Science
- Sarah Swider, Sociology
NIAS - Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
- Duncan McCargo, NIAS
- Katrine Herold, NIAS
School of Global Health
- Bjørg Elverkjær, Global Health
- Flemming Konradsen, Global Health
- Morten M Nørulf, Global Health
Sustainability Science Centre
- Bjørk Atladottir, Sustainability Science
- Stig Jensen, Africa Studies
- Casper Wichmann, ThinkChina
- Jørgen Delman, China Studies
- Mikkel Bunkenborg, China Studies
- Wen Xiang, Environmental Law
UCPH Global Development
- Andreas Christensen, Global Development
- Anja Hansen, Science
- Torben Birch-Thomsen, Geography
Information regarding registration, venue etc will follow in due course.