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Texas Asia Conference 2015: Beyond the Spectacular and the Mundane

The University of Texas at Austin Center for East Asian Studies will host the Texas Asia Conference 2015: Beyond the Spectacular and the Mundane. In what is becoming a biennial tradition, the conference, which is a space to present graduate research work centered on Asia as a regional focus, will be held on 2nd and 3rd of October (Friday and Saturday) 2015.

October 2, 2015 8:00am to October 3, 2015 4:00pm

As researchers engaged with various aspects and regions of Asia, how do we approach questions of scale? How do we draw boundaries around our research subjects: texts, people, languages, histories, etc.? How can we avoid the division of our subject along easy disciplinary lines? How do we measure the scale of what we are looking at——how far out must we extend our knowledge beyond our research focus in order for the boundaries of that focus to be meaningfully drawn? When what is local and specific is in a dynamic and entangled relationship with what is global and transnational, how do we choose to zoom in or out? How do we become attuned to the infra-ordinary? How do we grasp the affects and effects of the everyday that are neither ordinary nor spectacular?

Keynote speakers:

Paola Iovene is an Associate Professor in Chinese Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. Her work focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century Chinese literature and film. Her book Tales of Futures Past:  Literature and Anticipation in Contemporary China (Stanford University Press, 2014), explores the ways in which normative visions and intimate feelings about the future have shaped literary institutions, editorial practices, and diverse genres and texts (science fiction, children’s literature, experimental fiction; environmental literature) in socialist and postsocialist China. 

Svati P. Shah is an Associate Professor in the department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her book Street  Corner Secrets: Sex Work and Migration in the City of Mumbai (Duke University Press, 2014), is an ethnography of sexual commerce and migration among women working in Mumbai's informal sectors. Her current research focuses on queer and trans movements and the politics of class in India.

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