CFP ICAS AAS, Honolulu 2011 – Asian border-crossing mobilities: On the road to (self)development

Special Joint Conference of the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) and Association for Asian Studies (AAS) – 70 years of Asian Studies
Honolulu, Hawaii, 31 March–3 April 2011

PANEL – Asian border-crossing mobilities: On the road to (self)development

Pál Nyíri (Free University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands):
Noel B. Salazar (University of Leuven, Belgium):
Biao Xiang (University of Oxford, UK)

Panel abstract
Various forms of geographical mobility have long been linked to self-improvement. Today, boundary-crossing travels in particular are widely accepted as a desirable (not to say normative) path towards success, be it educational or scientific (student, faculty or staff exchange), occupational and financial (work experience abroad), religious (pilgrimage), or higher social status (tourism or lifestyle migration). Mobility is also often framed as serving the development of the places one travels to, or their people. Volunteers, missionaries, investors, doctors, teachers, engineers and “responsible tourists” all claim to be contributing to this noble goal. While cross-border mobilities in Asia have been associated with self-betterment since colonial times, mobility as the betterment of others, traditionally a preserve of the First and the now-defunct Second World, is becoming an increasingly common discourse, accompanying an expanding practice and span of mobilities. The ranks of Asian investors, missionaries, volunteers and eco-minded tourists abroad are growing rapidly and adding to the ranks of workers and students. Sometimes, a combination of entrepreneurial zeal and religious devotion coalesces into a discourse of mission that appears to parallel “the white man’s burden” from a century ago. This panel explores how voluntary mobility has become linked with various forms of self-improvement and the development of others – economic, social, cultural, environmental or soteriological – across Asian societies. Where do the currently dominant imaginaries of success-through-mobility and help-through-migration come from and which mechanisms and institutional regimes ensure their circulation? How are other- and self-improvement linked, and in which situations do both come into conflict?

Submission of abstracts:
Apart from contact details, paper proposers are asked to supply a paper title and a 250-word abstract.
Deadline for receipt of all proposals is 1 August 2010

General information on the conference:
- No individual is to be on the formal program of the conference in more than one session
- The Program Committee will expect strict compliance with the December 2 deadline for participant registration

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact either of the panel conveners.

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