University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Inter-referencing Asia

26 February 2014 (16:00-17:30)

The Institute of Asia and Pacific Studies is pleased to invite you to this public lecture presented by Professor Chua Beng Huat, National University of Singapore.

About the lecture

With the rise of Asia, Asian countries are looking to each other for lessons of best practices rather than to Euro-America as in the past. In the academic world, unfortunately, still too much time is spent either trying to fit Asia into concepts derived from the West or to 'de-imperialised' knowledge production in Asia. Using the West as a single point of reference inevitably placed Asia and the West in hierarchical relations, substantively and temporally, leaving Asia always in the position of 'catching up' with the West. To take analysis of contemporary Asia beyond these not particularly productive exercises, academics should follow the footstep of practitioners and use studies of different Asian locations as points of reference. The relatively coeval development trajectories of rising Asia provides a framework for comparison that is more equal than hierarchical, generating new insights into the Asian condition. Examples will be drawn from political economic developments in contemporary Southeast Asia.

Speaker biography

Chua Beng Huat is concurrently, Provost Chair Professor, Head of Department of Sociology and Research Leader, Cultural Studies in Asia Research Cluster, Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore. He has held visiting professorships at universities in US, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany and Australia, including the Inaugural Distinguished Visiting Scholar Fellowship at Carolina Asia Centre, University of North Carolina, USA. His research interests include comparative politics in Southeast Asia, urban and housing studies, consumerism and East Asia pop culture. His publications include: as author, Communitarian Ideology and Democracy in Singapore, Political Legitimacy and Housing: Stakeholding in Singapore, Life is Not Complete without Shopping and Structure, Audience and Soft Power in East Asian Pop Culture; as editor, Consumption in Asia: lifestyles and identities, Communitarian Politics in Asia and Elections as Popular Culture in Asia. He is founding co-executive editor of the journal, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.