AAS-in-ASIA Conference. Asia in Notion:Beyond Borders and Boundaries / 24-27 June, 2017 / Seoul, Korea

Special Roundtable

Home Program Special Roundtable

Special Roundtable Session

To inspire dynamic and intellectually stimulating conversations, there are four special roundtable sessions scheduled to be held during the 2017 AAS-in-ASIA Conference, in which renowned scholars from the diverse fields of Asian Studies will participate in and lead the discussions. While the schedule for each session is currently provided, classroom numbers will be announced when the room assignments are finalized.

* Please note that the sessions are listed in the order of its scheduled time and date.

Special Roundtable 1

June 24th, 16:10-18:00
LG-POSCO Hall(Supex Hall, 4F)

Towards an Asian Community

Speaking directly to the theme of "Asia in Motion: Beyond Borders and Boundaries," this roundtable invites eight scholars to join in a renewed and focused conversation on the idea of an Asian Community. Over the course of the twentieth century, various versions of transnational community have been put forward and experimented. Discussing this development from diverse disciplinary vantage points, the Roundtable will attempt to unpack the overused but substantially under-operationalized term of Asian community in contemporary historical perspective while paying close attention to the diverse ways in which nations in the region, especially those of East Asia, experienced the Cold War era of the second half of the twentieth century. As we enter the third decade of the post-Cold War world, it is evident that the alliance system of the Cold War years still affects current or formative regional institutions and groups. Why would that still be the case? What is impeding the efforts for regional integration in Asia? Why are some countries leading the process, moreover, whilst others like Taiwan, North Korea, Papua New Guinea or Bangladesh etc are kept out of regionalization projects? Are these projects only the prerogative of rich nations and powerful states? The Roundtable will interrogate the role and resilience of the institution of the nation-state in relation to regionalization and the construction of an Asian Community. The discussion will carefully consider the wider context of contemporary world history and global currents. It will also consider the emergence of local-populist and often nationalist secessionist movements, and the related new challenges against the prospect of Asian Community today. 



  • Heonik KWON (University of Cambridge)
  • Victor TEO (University of Hong Kong & Harvard-Yenching Institute)
  • Hajimu MASUDA (National University of Singapore)
  • Avram AGOV (Langara College)
  • Hakjae KIM (Seoul National University)


  • Carol GLUCK (Columbia University)
  • Mark SELDEN (Cornell University)
  • PAIK Nak-chung (Seoul National University & Changbi Quarterly)

Special Roundtable 2

June 25th, 11:10-13:00
LG-POSCO Hall(Supex Hall, 4F)

Globalizing Japanese Studies beyond Borders and Boundaries

At the Japan Foundation Special Roundtable "Bridging Japanese Studies between the U.S. and Asia" of the AAS-in-Asia Kyoto 2016, the scholars of Japanese studies from the U.S. and Southeast Asia examined the current state of academic exchange and collaboration among scholars of Japanese studies in the U.S., Japan and Southeast Asia, and discussed ways of further development of mutually beneficial collaboration among these regions. Based on the previous roundtable in 2016, the Japan Foundation additionally invites scholars from South Korea and Japan for the 2017 conference. Five scholars of Japanese studies from Asia and the U.S. will share the current priorities and challenges in each country, and seek efficient solutions to collective scholarship through collaborative projects and exchanges beyond regions.
This discussion will address the following topics: How different are the historical developments of Japanese Studies by country? What are hindrances to the distribution of knowledge beyond borders and/or disciplines? How involved are existing scholarly networks in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and between the US and Asia? How can they work together to nurture future generations?

* Sponsored by Japan Foundation


  • Karl Ian Cheng CHUA (Ateneo de Manila University)
  • Shion KONO (Sophia University)
  • Christine R. YANO (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
  • JIN Chang Soo (The Sejong Institute)
  • JUNG Byeong-Ho (Korea University)

Special Roundtable 3

June 25th, 14:00-15:50
LG-POSCO Hall(Supex Hall, 4F)

The Coming East Asian Olympic Games:
What PyeongChang 2018, Tokyo 2020, and Beijing/Zhangjiakou 2022
Tell Us about East Asia's Place in the World

Starting with Korea, three consecutive Olympic Games will be hosted in East Asia (PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, Tokyo 2020 Summer Games, and Beijing/Zhangjiakou 2022 Winter Games). With the 2014 Winter Games having been held in Russia and the 2016 Summer Games in Brazil, the Olympic Games have exited the traditional Western sports powers for at least one decade. The shift away from the Western centers has sparked debates about whether this unprecedented historical development means that the West is in decline and whether East Asia, in particular, is taking over as the epicenter of the world order. The three upcoming East Asian Olympics provide a unique, focused field in which to assess the place of East Asia in globalization. This roundtable will assess the degree to which international sport and the Olympic Games provide peaceful means of facilitating East Asia's incorporation into the global system. The participants will discuss issues such as the following: Is the history of the Olympic Games and international sport entering a new stage that will be less Western-dominated? What was the impact of the flows of people and culture that occurred between East Asia and other world regions via the previous East Asian Olympic Games (Tokyo 1964, Seoul 1988, Beijing 2008), and what lessons do they offer about the social and cultural impacts that may accompany the coming Olympics? Does the hosting of sport mega-events indicate shifts in political and economic power, or does it produce symbolism with little practical effect? In addressing these questions, the panelists draw on regional expertise in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese sports and Olympic Games, as well as on research about the global migration of elite athletes and the institutions that underpin international sport.


  • Niko BESNIER (University of Amsterdam)
  • Susan BROWNELL (University of Missouri-St. Louis)
  • John MACALOON (University of Chicago)
  • RU Xiuying (Capital University of Physical Education and Sport)
  • Hisashi SANADA (University of Tsukuba)
  • KANG Shin-Pyo (Korea University)

Special Roundtable 4

June 26th, 16:10-18:00
LG-POSCO Hall(Supex Hall, 4F)

Korean Studies Past, Present, and Future:
Moving Beyond Boundaries Towards Multi-Disciplinary, Transnational, and Alternative Approaches

This special roundtable will examine the evolution of Korean Studies from multi-generational, transnational, and cross/multi-disciplinary perspectives to understand the historical evolution of Korean Studies and discuss the possibilities for the future. Korean Studies abroad has made dramatic progress over the last 50 years. Beginning as a rather culturally essentialist-oriented branch of "area studies," early research was often influenced by modernization theory or produced in response to Korean nationalist scholarship, which was in turn a reaction to Japanese colonial scholarship. Over time, Korean Studies scholarship became less critical of Korean nationalist scholarship and more engaged by focusing on the complicated nature of modernization and development. In search of alternatives to modernization theory, if not an outright rejection of the modernization meta-narrative, recent scholars have begun to deconstruct and challenge formerly accepted notions of modernity, nationalism, and identity to name a few. Today, scholars look at a much wider range of issues within Korean Studies implementing broad perspectives and approaches: the problematic and entangled aspects of the colonial period and relationship between the metropole and the colony; the complex geopolitics in East Asia centering on Korea that has affected its modern economy, politics, and society; the transnational characteristics of ideologies and institutions that reach far beyond the political borders of the nation-state. Not only will this roundtable discuss the history and development of Korean Studies abroad by including the insights of renowned scholars in the field, but will also consider the future direction for Korean Studies by engaging with current scholars who have demonstrated their ability to move beyond traditional borders and boundaries of scholarship and incorporate multi-disciplinary, transnational, and alternative approaches.

* Sponsored by Korea Foundation


  • Martina DEUCHLER (SOAS)
  • Gi-Wook SHIN (Stanford University)
  • Theodore HUGHES (Columbia University)
  • Chikako KASHIWAZAKI (Keio University)
  • Ju Hui Judy Han​ (University of Toronto)
  • Leighanne YUH (Korea University)