EDDA – Center of Excellence and RIKK – Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference at the University of Iceland, NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, and the Gendering Asia Network have issues a first call for papers for the upcoming conference A Multitude of Encounters with Asia – Gender Perspectives to be held at the University of Iceland 13-15 October 2014. The deadline to submit abstracts is 1 June 2014.

One of the great challenges in increased relations with Asia through business, culture, life biographies, historical relations as well as ITC networks is to make the importance of gender visible. Encounters have become increasingly, mutually interrelated and perhaps even dependent in multiple ways. Economically encounters are wide-ranging with financial decisions made in one part of the world affecting the real lives of many in the other part of the world. In the political sphere the need for enhancing mutual understanding and tolerance grows every day. How can we understand these multiple links, interactions and encounters and how are they gendered? Some encounters are vividly obvious and others are less prominently visible, or perhaps consciously or unconsciously made obscure. How is what knowledge of encounters being produced by whom and for what purposes?

This conference on macro and micro level encounters with Asia, including encounters between Asia and the Nordic countries, takes the traveling of theories, concepts, ideas, practices, products and people as its starting point and asks
1) how gender and gender relations play into, create, and are created in the course of a multitude of encounters
2) how transnational feminism has produced knowledge in the context of globalization

This year’s NNC conference has sprung out of the activity of the Gendering Asia Network – a research group in the Nordic region that has been dealing with the following questions:
• What are the implications of conceptualizing and analyzing gender/Asia?
• How do we become aware of, identify and conceptualize the invisible workings of gender norms and power relations as they manifest themselves in all fields of Asia – politics, economics, culture and society as such?

These basic questions also underlie the conference focus on encounters with Asia.

Keynote Speakers
The following speakers will inspire our proceedings:
• Kathy Davis, Senior Research Fellow, Sociology, VU University, Amsterdam
• Mary E. John, Senior Fellow, Centre for Women’s Development Studies, New Delhi
• Wil Burghoorn, Senior Lecturer, Social Anthropology, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg

More Keynote speakers TBA

Papers on encounters with Asia from a gender perspective are invited on topics such as for instance:

• Families in flux
• Gendered mobility in Asia
• Intra-action and communication
• Travelling theory and cultural translation
• Experiencing technology – intra-active construction of identity and the body
• Politics of memory/disasters, trauma and recovery
• Literary relations and the post-colonial
• Asia and the Arctic relations
• Japan and the Nordic in focus
• Chinese Confucian culture constructions
• Asia in the Nordic – Nordic in Asia
• Emotions in Asia-Europe Encounters
• Nordic studies of gender/Asia
• Other topics are also welcome


Special session on Travelling Theory and Cultural Translation
A special session on ‘Travelling theory and cultural translation’ is being convened by Professor Min Dongchao, Shanghai University, who is currently EU Marie Curie guest professor at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies.

Transnational feminism has challenged Eurocentric, colonialist perspectives of knowledge production that have disregarded local knowledge. Focusing on how feminism has flowed around the world, scholars of transnational feminism have argued that knowledge production takes place through multiple related contexts. These contexts acknowledge the roles played by, and the interaction between, different localities in the process of globalization, and that flows of knowledge generate different meanings in different places. From this analytical perspective, feminisms in different places not only reflect, but are also active and explicit participants in processes of globalization, engaging with and producing cross-border cultural, political, and economic flows.

Research has shown that gender theory has flowed far more easily from North to South or from West to East, particularly from the US to other parts of the world, whereas flows in other directions are practically non-existent. There are many ‘invisible’ discursive trajectories that link the development of gender theories and movements in the world that have so far been ignored. This panel will focus on the role of hidden sets of power relations involved in these processes of theory travelling and cultural translation.

Paper abstracts for the session are welcome.

Conference participation, including participation in the special session, is open to scholars and doctoral candidates in the social sciences and humanities. We encourage contributions with emphasis on interdisciplinary perspectives. It is possible for a limited number of participants to attend the conference without presenting a paper, or to attend only the keynote speeches.

Conference Fee and Accommodation:
The conference fee for paper presenters is 250 Euro, which includes reception, conference dinner and lunches as well as accommodation. If you wish to attend the conference without presenting a paper the conference fee is 100 Euro and does not include reception, conference dinner and lunches. Accommodation will be provided at a hotel near the conference site. More information will follow on the conference website soon.

International researchers working on Asia in any social science and humanities discipline are invited to submit abstracts for papers. Each abstract should not exceed 300 words.

• 1 June 2014: Deadline for submitting abstract (maximum 300 words)
• 11 August 2014: Acceptance of abstracts by Academic Committee
• 22 September 2014: Deadline for submitting the full paper and paying the conference fee

Abstracts and full papers should be submitted via the conference website where all practical information about the conference also is available:



PhD Course – Doing gender/Asia studies
The conference will be combined with a PhD course where doctoral candidates will present and discuss their research projects with senior researchers as well as with fellow doctoral candidates.

This PhD course will focus on the methodology of gender studies – that is the study of the toolboxes of gender/Asia studies. Taking the questions, problems, dilemmas and decisions of the individual research project as the point of departure the focus will be on clarifying processes of knowledge production.

The course can be taken as a 7.5 ECTS credit course (to be approved by the individual student’s home university/institution). To receive the credits, doctoral students must attend the conference on October 13-14, the PhD course on October 16-17, submit and present a paper (10-12 pages) which draws on the course readings, and give comments to a fellow PhD student’s paper.

Guidelines for paper preparation and a reading list for the PhD course will be available by mid-August.

Doctoral candidates are also encouraged to present a paper at the conference. This paper may not be similar to the methodology paper prepared for the PhD course. Students wishing to present a paper at the conference and to attend the PhD course must submit two abstracts. The abstract for the PhD course should provide a short description of the topic of the PhD dissertation.

Fee and Accommodation PhD Course
The fee for the conference and PhD course is 350 Euro, which includes conference fee, reception, lunches and dinner (according to the programme) and accommodation. Accommodation is provided for 5 nights from 13 to 17 October. More information on this will follow on the conference website shortly.

For further information please contact
• Katrine Herold, Project Coordinator, NIAS, Katrine.herold@nias.ku.dk, or
• Rakel Adolphsdóttir, Project Manager, RIKK – Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference, University of Iceland, rakela@hi.is

Or go to the conference website