Melbourne Symposium: Inter-Asia Cultural Research Methods – 12 September 2014

A Half-Day Symposium
Inter-Asia Cultural Research Methods
Friday 12 September 2014
1-3pm, Linkway (4th Floor, John Medley Building)
The University of Melbourne, Parkville


Since the late 1990s, the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies project has emerged to become an intellectual movement and a transborder collective that attempts to contribute to the integration of an imagined Asia at the level of knowledge production. It formulates ‘Asia as method’ as an alternative approach to the West-oriented singularity in order to multiply frames of references and sites of identification. In this half-day symposium, leading scholars will discuss their involvement with the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies project, and showcase the ‘inter-Asia’ cultural research methods in their work.


Daniel P.S. Goh (National University of Singapore) (Faculty of Arts Visiting Scholar, University of Melbourne)

Comparative Cultural and Urban Research: History, Heritage and Re-urbanisation in Three Asian Cities.

Melani Budianta (University of Indonesia)

Cultural Studies and Inter-Southeast Asian Cultural Flow

Fran Martin (University of Melbourne)

Inter-Asia Cultural Research and Transborder Collaborations


Respondent: Jini Kim Watson (New York University)

Chair: Audrey Yue (University of Melbourne)

Hosted by: Asian Cultural Research Network; Research Unit in Public Cultures; The Faculty of Arts Indonesia Initiative; School of Culture and Communication, Faculty of Arts, The University of Melbourne. Convened by Associate Professor Audrey Yue.

This event is free. Refreshments will be served. For catering purposes, please RSVP to Charmaine Monteiro ( by Wednesday 10 September 2014.

Welcome Morning Tea for Professor Guoqi Xu, the University of Hong Kong

You are invited to attend a Welcome Morning Tea for Professor Guoqi Xu, from the University of Hong Kong, who has recently joined the History program as a Faculty of Arts Asia Scholar. The Morning Tea will take place on Wednesday 27 August at 10.00am in the Seventh Floor Staff Common Room, Arts West. If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP to Hannah Loney at <> by Monday 25 August for catering purposes. If anyone is able to bake a cake for the occasion this would be much appreciated – please let Hannah know in advance.

Professor Xu will be based at the University of Melbourne for one month per year over the next three years, and will make an important contribution to the teaching of our program. He is a distinguished historian of Chinese and global history, WW1 and Asia, as well as Sino-foreign (and especially US) relations. He has published extensively in these fields. His current research projects explore ideas of “China and Chineseness”, and Asia and the Great War (under contract for Oxford University Press).

Kind regards,

Hannah Loney
For Professor Kate Darian-Smith, Chair, History

New Research in Southeast Asian Studies Workshop

A postgraduate workshop, “New Research in Southeast Asian Studies”, will be held on Friday 22 August, 10.30am-12.30pm, Venue TBA, followed by lunch.

The workshop is hosted by the Asia History Hub and the Indonesia Forum at the University of Melbourne. It will be held in conjunction with the visit of Professor Bambang Purwanto from Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, who will be coming to visit the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies from 11-30 August 2014 as part of the Faculty of Arts Indonesia Initiative. Professor Purwanto is an historian of Indonesia focusing on Indonesian historiography and the history of slavery, medicine and heritage.

The Workshop will focus on critical engagement with new research in Southeast Asian Studies and will include presentations by four current PhD candidates at the University of Melbourne:

Jason Sze Chieh Ng (School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, Faculty of Arts) – ‘Emerging Perspectives on the Malayan Emergency’

Sunsanee McDonnell (Asia Institute, Faculty of Arts) – ‘New Research in Southeast Asian Borderlands’

Aninda Moezier (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning) – Spatial Organization and Gender Relations in Minangkabau, Indonesia

Hani Yulindrasari (Gender Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences) – Negotiating Masculinity: Lived Experience of Male Teachers in Indonesian Early Childhood Education

 The presenters will each recommend two recent scholarly publications for the group to read beforehand (to be distributed on Friday 15 August) and will provide a brief introduction/presentation, followed by a roundtable discussion. The workshop will be focused on creating critical discussion amongst postgraduate students.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Hannah Loney at by Friday 8 August 2014.

Morning tea welcome for Asia scholars

Asia History Hub is holding a morning tea to welcome Dr Simon Creak, historian of Southeast Asia (Laos), and Associate Professor Peidong Sun, Fudan University, Partner Investigator on an ARC Discovery Project and visiting the School for a month.  All welcome.  Time: 10.30 a.m.  Venue: Arts West, 7th Floor tearoom. Tuesday 29 July 2014.

‘Who will marry my daughter? Shanghai Parental Match-Making Corner and the Zhiqing Generation’

Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies

Seminar on Thursday 31 July 2014

 Presented by Associate Professor Peidong Sun

Department of History, Fudan University


“Who will marry my daughter? Shanghai Parental Match-Making Corner and the Zhiqing Generation

Chaired by Professor Christine Wong

This seminar explores the parental Matchmaking Corner in Shanghai, where many parents, who had been sent down to the countryside for re-education in their teens during the Maoist years, locate prospects for their children. Based on participant observation and interviews, it reveals a complicated picture of parental matchmaking practices and new expectations of marriage from the parents’ perspectives, as well as parental concerns, anxieties, and frustrations about the marriage market in a changing urban environment.


Venue:       Room 321, Level 3, Sidney Myer Asia Centre, The University of Melbourne

Date:          Thursday 31 July 2014

Time:          5.30pm to 7.00pm



To register and for further information please contact Fiona Ross at

A/Prof Nicolas Tackett, “The Geography of Power in Late Tang China”

The Geography of Power in Late Tang China

A/Prof. Nicolas Tackett

History Department, University of California Berkeley

Tuesday 29th July, 1.00pm – 2.15pm, Room 143 Old Arts

One of the most significant issues in the history of China and indeed in the history of the world, is how and why the power of the great aristocratic families of the Tang era (618-907AD) whose roots ran back as far as the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), came to an end. After the Tang, the elites of China would be made up of a mixture of military men and scholars whose status came from their educational distinction, a shift which some historians have seen as marking the birth of the modern world.

Nicolas Tackett of the University of California Berkeley makes a major contribution to our understanding of this crucial historical shift through his pathbreaking work on the huge corpus of funerary inscriptions produced for members of the Tang elites (both men and women), whose spatial distribution he maps using GIS (Geographic Information Systems).  This work, which has just appeared as a book published by Harvard University Press, is perhaps the most significant contribution to our understanding of the medieval Chinese upper classes since Robert Hymes’ 1986 study of the elites of the Song dynasty, and one of the most important additions to our knowledge of patterns of social power in medieval China since the work of Naito Torajiro and Chen Yinke in the first half of the 20th century.

Faculty of Arts Indonesia Initiative

The Faculty of Arts Indonesia Initiative is a three year visiting scholar program which aims to further enhance teaching and research relationships with colleagues in Indonesia. The initiative, led by Dr Kate McGregor, Dr Edwin Jurriens and Professor Thomas Reuter will fund three visiting scholars per year for three years from Indonesian universities and will provide opportunities for increased engagement.

In Semester 2, 2014, the following scholars will visit the University:

  • Professor Bambang Purwanto, Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, who is an historian of Indonesia focusing on Indonesian historiography and the history of slavery, medicine and heritage.  He will visit from 11-30 August and will be hosted by SHAPS.
  • Professor Melani Budianta, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, who is a literature expert with broad research interests covering gender, ethnicity, history and popular culture. She is also a participant in the Australian Awards Fellowships Program on Reconciliation and Cultural Recovery, will visit from 1 September-5 October, and will be hosted by the Asia Institute.
  • Dr Dewi Jayanti, Udayana University, Bali, who is trained in architecture and anthropology. Her research expertise covers tourism, heritage, sustainability, architecture, Indonesian diaspora and visual culture. She will visit from 25 September-15 October and will be hosted by the Asia Institute.