• Roundtable

ICAS 11: Roundtable: Curricular Choices Sessions 1 & 2: Africa-Asia Interferences (International Relations, Postcolonial Conditions, Nationalisms) and the Stakes Involved

19 July 2019

About the International Convention of Asia Scholars 11

The 11th International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) is the most inclusive international gathering in the field of Asian Studies. ICAS attracts participants from over 75 countries to engage in global dialogues on Asia that transcend boundaries between academic disciplines and geographic areas. The meeting place for the eleventh edition of ICAS is Leiden, the Netherlands. The historic city of Leiden is home to one of the oldest universities, Leiden University, and several of the most renowned Asia research centers. Leiden University will be the main host of ICAS 11, partnering with the city, research institutions and museums, who share equally rich Asian and global connections.

Events will include: panels and roundtable discussions, keynote speeches, craft exhibitions, a film and documentary festival and the second Asian Studies Book Fair. With all these activities ICAS is contributing to the decentering of Asian Studies by including more ‘Asian voices’ while successfully convening a global space in which Asia scholars and social and cultural actors from the whole world can directly interact. Participate at ICAS 11 and enjoy the multitude of networking opportunities, possibilities to share your research and to meet with publishers.

ICAS 11 will be held at the Law Faculty Building and Lipsius Building of Leiden University from 16-19 July 2019. It will be organized by the International Institute for Asian Studies, Leiden University and GIS Asie (French Academic Network for Asian Studies). More than 2000 Asia specialists and representatives of civil society are expected to attend.

For complete schedule, visit - http:// https://www.eventscribe.com/2019/ICAS11/agenda.asp?pfp=FullSchedule

“Global South”, “Return of third-worldism”, “Asian-African win-win partnerships” have become fashionable nowadays, with a plethora of commemorations to celebrate the pages of a history of connections at the margins. At the political and academic levels, major agreements and summits attest to the desire to open up to globalization with a “new axis of knowledge”. To be sure, this strong mutual interest hides significant contradictions in the legacy and modality in the inventions and constructions of the Africa-Asia axis. The sites of investigations underlying the round table will enable us to highlight these divergences in their specific forms of heritage, their institutional anchoring and political-ideological orientations. 

This Roundtable aims to put in perspective the dimension of interferences (international relations, postcolonial conditions, nationalisms) in African-Asian relations and in the ways they are imbricated in their ongoing construction in lived experience. To what extent do both the fascination with the West and Orientalist overtones, for instance, influence the African perceptions of Asia on the one, and Asian views of Africa on the other – if they do at all? 

Significantly, we will look at the implication of these interferences in the potential curricular choices we make and the stake that could be involved. The round table participants will explore Africa-Asia in popular media, fragments from artistic creation as well as literary and film production. It will pay special attention to colonial and postcolonial archives of authorized texts and manuscripts retracing the long history of Africa-Asia routes. The historiographies of contemporary systems of production of knowledge, of the political economy of institutions and those of the States will not be left out of this inquiry. 

The round table will follow in the step of the University of Gaston Berger, Saint-Louis panel “Building from the Margins” at the IIAS conference on Asia-Africa held in September, 2018 at Dar es Salaam that aimed at creating a Centre for African and Asian Studies in Senegal. We hope to have discussions that will contribute toward producing critically informed curricula for the Center. 

The round table will be bilingual, in French and English. 


Session 1:

Roundtable Convenor(s)

Abdourahmane Seck, University of Gaston Berger, Senegal

Roundtable Chair(s)

Nira Wickramasinghe, Leiden University, Netherlands


Mayke Kaag, African Studies Centre Leiden, Netherlands

Itty Abraham, National University of Singpore (NUS), Singapore

Shobana Shankar, Faculty Affiliate, Africana Studies, United Kingdom

Tharaphi Than, Northern Illinois University, United States

Surya Suryadi, Leiden University, Netherlands

Shine Choi, Massey University, New Zealand

Philippe Peycam, Leiden University, Netherlands


Session 2: 

Roundtable Convenor(s)

Philippe Peycam, International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands

Roundtable Chair(s)

Abdourahmane Seck, University of Gaston Berger, Senegal


Oussouby Sacko, Kyoto Seika University, Japan

Aarti Kawlra, International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS), Netherlands

Webby Kalikiti, University of Zambia, Zambia

Patrice Corréa, Université Gaston Berger, Senegal

Godwin Murunga, CODESRIA, Senegal

Françoise Vergès, Chair of Global South(s) at Collège d'études mondiales in Paris, France

Katherine Ewing, Columbia University, United States


14:45 -16: 30 and 17:00-18:45


Lipsius 228
Leiden University
2311 EZ Leiden