Calls for Papers: January 7, 2014

Knowing Your Enemies: Intention Assessment and the Prospect of East Asian Security
June 23-24, 2014
Erlangen, Germany
Will history repeat the great conflicts of the twentieth century? Can mankind overcome the circularity of the anarchical international system? In the foundation of the science of international politics lies this utmost fear that civilizations will be fated to face a future of mass war and destruction. It is this dreadful version of the future that drives the commitment of International Relations to grasping the coming trends in world politics in a meticulous search for the systematic features of the past. Uncertainty has played a central role in the prophesies foretold by International Relations theories. Much of the debate between Realism and Liberalism concerns the chance that states can reduce their uncertainty about the intentions of Others to a level that no longer prevents widespread international cooperation. Constructivists have furthered this conversation by questioning the materialistic nature of international anarchy, the source of uncertainty from which positivists derive the picture of world politics as a recurrent, zero-sum game. These perspectives entail quite different perceptions of the collective fate of nations, and evoke contrasting senses of freedom with which national leaders could maneuver in the face of external constraints. Despite the strong emphasis on structure among mainstream IR theories, little attention has been paid to agent-based theorization of uncertainty, particularly how states assess one anothers intentions. The aim of this workshop is to advance scholarly understanding of intention assessment, the central component of how states cope with uncertainty and the future. In addition, under the general mission of the International Consortium for Research in the Humanities (IKGF), our project is also committed to fostering a constructive exchange between Social Science and Humanities with respect to research strategies towards the ultimate question of coping with the future in high politics. In terms of theoretical contribution, this workshop will examine and compare different perspectives on conceptualizing and measuring intention assessment in foreign policy opinion and decision-making. Empirically, the workshop will focus on East Asia, particularly the dynamics between China and the other great power players in the region since the early twentieth century. Given that the rise of China in recent years has already displayed certain destabilizing effect on the regional order, this workshop will contribute to the scholarly as well as policy discussions concerning diplomatic communication, strategic deterrence, and order maintenance in East Asia. The scope of the workshop includes: ·Theoretical approaches to intention assessment in international politics (rational choice theory, constructivism, psychology etc.; ·The methodology of using and analyzing various data associated with the judgment of intentions by political elites and experts. ·Historical cases of how states, particularly China and other Asia-Pacific players, assess each another's strategic intention. The project is open to all periods of analysis since the early twentieth century. However, preference may be given to studies falling within one of the following periods or themes: the inter-War years, the Cold War, Sino- Japanese relations around the First World War, the Sino-Soviet alliance and split, the Sino-US rapprochement, and the great power relations in the Asia-Pacific region after the Cold War. Proposals from applicants with a background of international relations or diplomatic history are particularly encouraged.  Submissions in the form of a 350-word (max.) abstract (in English) should be sent to Mingde Wang at the Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg: For any queries or for further information, please send an email to the same address. Abstract submission deadline: January 20. Notification of acceptance: February 7. Successful applicants will receive full funding for travel costs.

Cute Studies, a special issue of the East Asian Journal of Popular Culture
Cuteness has a global reach: it is an affective response; an aesthetic category; a performative act of self-expression; and an immensely popular form of consumption. This themed issue of the East Asian Journal of Popular Culture is intended to launch the new, interdisciplinary, transnational academic field of Cute Studies. Possible topics for papers include the following (Note: a specific focus on the geographical region of East Asia is not required of submissions): Cute Cultures of East Asia; Cute Commodities and Consumers of Cute: Structure vs. Agency; Cuteness and Gender; The Science of Cute; Cute Histories; Practitioners of Cute; Cuteness and Race; Queering Cute; Cuteness and Disability; The Cuteness of Animals/Zoomorphic Cute; The Dark Side of Cute (the grotesque, violence, pedophilia, etc.); Digital Cute (social media, memes, etc.). The deadline for submissions to this special issue of EAJPC is: 15 April, 2014. Please submit papers to:

More than Madmen and Vermillion Birds: The Role of the Hinterland in Chinese Visions of Empire.
European Association for Chinese Studies, 20th Conference
Braga/Coimbra, Portugal, 22-26 July 2014
The Hinterland (outback) has always been a part of the figurative inventory of Chinese literature and thought: As a place where demoted officials mingle with barbarians (or crocodiles); where the proverbial Madman of Chu challenges the wisdom of the sage from the Chinese heartlands; or as a source of strange plants, animals, or men (eunuchs) to reach capital and court. As a transitional or liminal zone, the Hinterland exerted a formative influence on the imagined communities of scholars, officials, and generals, be it even as a negative foil: migrs from the North preserved their vision of Chinese culture by keeping aloof of the Southern Hinterland during the first period of division (220/ 317-589 AD). Some scholars argue that, well into the imperial era, Chinese culture only existed as pockets of urban and lowland sedentary economy, leaving the slopes and hilltops to not yet or semi-sinicised groups. Following the centuries-old biases of Chinese literature and historiography, which favoured the Central Plain and its capitals in Shaanxi and Henan, scholars focused on exiled officials yearning for a triumphant return to the capital, to fall again under the gaze of the emperor as the universes centre of gravity. Was the idea of the Hinterland informed solely by notions of isolation and remoteness or did it, even by its sheer elusiveness, spark off positive influxes on the Chinese Reichsidee during the Middle Ages (approximately from the end of the Han to the end of the Tang and Five Dynasties, 220=960)? Paper contributions are welcome from all sub-fields of Sinology/Chinese Studies and neighbouring disciplines (e.g., history, archaeology, philosophy) that address the ideological role of the rural periphery in state formation in the Middle Ages in its broadest sense. Please send your abstract (not more than 250 words), with a short introduction of yourself and your academic background. For more information on the conference, visit

Bundan Snark: Writing and Fighting in Modern Japan Workshop Conference
University of Iowa, May 10-11, 2014
This workshop conference, which will result in an edited volume, will examine key instances in modern Japanese literary history (nineteenth through twenty-first centuries) in which personal arguments changed the face of the literary establishment (bundan) by pushing one author or faction to the periphery in favor of another. Among other questions, we will explore how elegant, scathing authorial attacks, often published in magazines or otherwise aired in public--what we are calling "snark"--affect literary genres and rhetoric. We argue that fights have had as much, if not more, influence in defining Japanese literature as alliances. Although the term "bundan" is often taken to have a specific definition, to indicate the control of Japanese letters by various coteries and factions in the prewar period, the word has always been amorphous and continues to be used in a looser sense to indicate the Japanese literary establishment in general. For good reason, we argue: although the Japanese publishing industry is one of the largest in the world, the terms under which one achieves literary recognition—through prizes, book contracts, and other forms--continue to be surprisingly personal. Writers today continue to gain access to publication through contacts with literary circles and the good offices of literary mentors. Traditional histories of modern Japanese literature have emphasized the groups that have held sway in turn: the aesthetes of the Shirakaba School, the politically engaged rabble-rousers of the proletariat movement, the autobiographical writers of the Third Generation of Postwar Writers, and so on. We seek to restore an understanding of the maelstrom of literary-history-as-it-was-lived by approaching the faults that conventional narrative elides: the moments at which coteries were formed or fell to pieces, literary movements were yet inchoate or recently fallen by the wayside, and individual ambitions collided, sending those involved in separate directions. Time and again, we find, decisions that have serious consequences for the trajectory of culture are based in seemingly petty spats and shallow disagreements between individuals. Some literary fights may be genuinely petty, but our project focuses on disagreements with deeper subtexts, in which political and aesthetic schisms that cannot be voiced openly are papered over with the personal. Snark is a way of approaching individual opinions and voices that are taken for granted or dismissed by standard accounts of larger cultural shifts. We invite proposals on a range of fights between authors, factions, editors, publishers, and prize committees that accentuate the personal inherent within wider literary politics. Participants will make 30-minute presentations in a forum open to the public and must commit to submitting expanded written versions (6,000-8,000 words) within 6 months for an edited volume. Thanks to the generosity of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Iowa, some funding will be available to subsidize travel costs. Please email a 250-word abstract and current C.V. to Kendall Heitzman ( and Alisa Freedman ( by January 15, 2014.

Changing Vistas: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Asia Pacific
The Masters of Arts Asia Pacific Policy Studies (MAAPPS) Program at the University of British Columbia in collaboration with the University of Washington will be hosting the third annual UBC/UW graduate student conference on Asian studies. The conference will be held from April 10th - 12th , 2014, at the UBC Vancouver campus in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The UBC/UW conference is designed to provide an interdisciplinary forum for graduate students to compare methodologies and discuss current research on the Asia Pacific region. Conference participants can interact, network, and collaborate with peers from different institutions and across a wide range of academic disciplines. In addition to highlighting completed research projects, the UBC/UW conference will serve as an opportunity to develop works in progress. Alongside more traditional research presentations, there will also be a roundtable discussion aimed at tackling methodological and thematic challenges. Currently enrolled graduate students interested in presenting their work and/or participating in the roundtable discussion are welcomed to do so according to the following guidelines. The conference organizers ask that all applicants: a. be currently enrolled in a graduate/postgraduate studies program; b. submit abstracts focused on issues relevant to the Asia-Pacific region; c. limit abstracts to a maximum of 300 words; d. include a short personal biography (100 word limit) along with their abstracts. Abstracts must be received by January 15th, 2014. The conference organizers will respond to all applicants by mid February regarding the status of their abstracts/ presentations. For general inquiries concerning the conference, please contact: For abstract submissions as well as submission inquiries, please contact:

The Tenth NAJS Conference on the Study of Contemporary Japanese Society
March 20-21, 2014, Helsinki, Finland
You are most welcome to the Tenth Annual NAJS Conference. The conference will take place at the University of Helsinki. We invite paper proposals on a broad set of topics related to Japanese society and culture, past and present, including politics and international relations, economy and business, sociology and anthropology, popular culture, literature, religion, and art. Registration forms and more information about the conference can be found on the NAJS website: Please read the guide for participation (also on the website) before registering and sending your abstract. Deadline for abstracts: January 31, 2014. Deadline for full papers: March 10, 2014. Please submit abstracts and papers to: You will be notified if your abstract has been accepted by February 10, 2014.

International Conference: New European Research on Contemporary China
July 2-4, 2014, Beijing (Delegation of the European Union to China)
Deadline for submission: 15 February 2014
Contact: Ms. Miriam Yang,
This conference aims to bring together doctoral candidates, post-doctoral researchers and recent PhDs based in China, either European nationals or affiliated with European research institutions, in order to produce an overview of the emerging problematics in Chinese studies. The focus of the conference is on contemporary China, in a multi-disciplinary social science perspective. Along with the growing exchanges between China and Europe, the number of European doctoral candidates and recent PhDs in humanities and social sciences doing research in and studying China has increased; many young Chinese scholars also choose to bring their expertise on contemporary China to European academic institutions. They all represent the future of European research on contemporary China. The main purpose of this Conference held for the second time in Beijing is to provide a forum for these young researchers at the European level and in China. The success of the first edition held in 2012 which gathered 50 young researchers from 15 countries (selected among 130 applicants) confirmed the necessity to provide such a forum for reflection and discussion. The Conference will be an occasion to facilitate exchanges on common research subjects, compare perspectives and methodologies, and promote interdisciplinary dialogue. By providing a space for debate and reflection, the Conference intends to contribute to the emergence of more diverse theoretical approaches on the subject. It will enable the participants not only to expand their network and broaden their horizon, but also to take part in the construction of European research networks and promote China-Europe dialogue. The Conference is designed for doctoral candidates and recent PhDs in humanities and social sciences currently in China or planning to be in China in the summer of 2014, either European nationals or affiliated with a European university or research institute, regardless of nationality. Among the different disciplines that will be considered: anthropology, law, economics, geography, history, literature, international relations, political sciences and sociology. Registration details and schedule: A paper title and abstract (up to 20 lines) in English is to be sent by 15 February 2014 to Ms. Miriam Yang: The selected participants will be notified by 15 April 2014. The final papers (up to 8000 words) should be sent by 31 May 2014. Selected papers may be published in the journal China Perspectives/ Perspectives chinoises. For more information:

The Fourth Asian Conference on Cultural Studies: Borderlands of Becoming, Belonging and Sharing
29 May - 1 June 2014
The International Academic Forum in conjunction with its global partners, including the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia, is proud to announce the Fourth Asian Conference on Cultural Studies, to be held from May 29-June 1, at the Rihga Royal Hotel and the adjoining Osaka International Conference Center. The aim of this conference theme is to open up discussion, critical reflection and analysis about emerging social, political and cultural identities that are formed at the intersection of multiple and multi-sited belongings and their expression and about the possibility of making them shared across differences. Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted by February 1 2014. All abstracts will be blind reviewed by a voluntary team, and authors will usually be notified of the decision of the reviewers within two weeks of submission. Those who submit near the February deadline will receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection by February 15 2014. All accepted authors may have their full paper published in the online conference proceedings. Full text submission is due by July 1 2014. The deadline for full conference payment for all presenters is May 1 2014. For the details, please visit:

The Future with/of Anthropologies

The Japanese Society of Cultural Anthropology (JASCA) Conference & IUAES Inter-Congress 2014
Chiba City, Tokyo. 15th-18th May 2014.
Today cyberspace is a reason for concern in most religious communities. In the last few years, both orthodox and less orthodox religious groups and communities seem to have acknowledged that the development of the Internet cannot be ignored, trivialized or kept away from religious communities. The discussion has therefore moved to more general questions on the degree to which true believers are allowed to get involved with the Internet and cyber space and on how to make it more relevant to their religious beliefs and duties. In this panel we tackle with new phenomenon of cyberpilgrimage (pilgrimage mediated by digital media) in contemporary religions. The field of cyberpilgrimage, primarily from the viewpoint of religious and theology studies, is new topic in digital anthropology and anthropological pilgrimage studies. However, the new phenomenon seems to be a key to deconstruct and rethink former concept of pilgrimage in various reasons; lack of physical journey, general availability of access to sacred area and so on. Thus, the presenters in this panel explore dynamics of cyberpilgrimage in terms of pilgrimage studies. All submission should be made online on the official website of the conference: