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The Fifth Asian Conference on Asian Studies 2015


Art Center of Kobe, Kobe, Japan

Thursday, May 28 - Sunday, May 31, 2015

Abstract Submission Deadline: April 1, 2015

Registration Deadline for Presenters: May 1, 2015


Publish before a global audience. Present in a supportive environment. Network and create new relationships. Hear the latest research. Experience Japan. Join a global academic community.

This international and interdisciplinary conference will again bring together a range of academics and practitioners to discuss new directions of research and discovery in Asian Studies. As with IAFOR’s other events, ACAS2015 will afford the opportunity for renewing old acquaintances, making new contacts, and networking across higher education and beyond.

The Asian Conference on Asian Studies will again be held alongside the Asian Conference on Cultural Studies. Registration for either conference will allow attendees to attend sessions in the other.




ACAS2015 Conference Themes:

Theme 1: “Human Rights, Justice, Media and Culture”

Human rights praxis and ideas of justice are now core fields of investigation for cultural studies, media studies and Asian studies scholars. One example of this is how cultural research into the convergence of new media with everyday life, has brought into relief the growing significance of how struggles for freedom and justice are enabled by flows of social media. Various communities and peoples are now enabled to make claims for social recognition within human rights frameworks and language like never before.

Cultural studies as a discipline is specifically attuned to studying questions of human rights and justice. As a field it is connected to human rights discourse and praxis through its ethical foundations and ‘activating knowledge’ as Stuart Hall once put it. One of the essential motivations of cultural studies scholars is to focus on the struggles evident in structures and institutions of power, representation, identity and subjectivity. This is undertaken with specific attention to power and its manifestation and negotiation in the cultural arena of everyday life.

As a consequence, cultural studies researchers investigate ideas of justice and agency in compelling and innovative ways. They see agency, for example, as being implicated in the formation of moral, legal, political and ethical frameworks that are experienced in everyday lives, and which can be seen explicitly in the media. As cultural studies/human rights scholar John Erni notes, ‘cultural studies has long been attentive to the complex interpenetrations of power, agency, and the social imaginary.’

A central aim of this conference is to examine ideas of ‘justice’ and ‘human rights¹ in relation to media and cultural production. The hope is to enable useful exchange, connection and dialogue around the praxis of human rights and to clarify the implications of how cultural transformation and the media are closely connected to social and political change in the everyday life of individuals, communities and nations.

Theme 2: “Power”

Power as a commodity has challenged the minds of social scientists and philosophers while its exercise has always fascinated historians. From classical thinkers’ works such as Aristotle’s Politka or Machiavelli’s Il Principe through modern figures who manipulate power in the media, like Silvio Berlusconi or Rupert Murdoch, to the vast networks that support major heads of state, power has been a necessity to some or like an aphrodisiac to others. The dynamics of power and its associations with wealth and status now shape the contemporary world more visibly than ever. It is a research challenge to all fields of the social sciences to offer some explanation of its magnetism and its mechanisms. We expect this theme to excite a number of stimulating research paths, and look forward to their outcomes as we gather in Osaka in 2015.




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IAFOR Asian Studies Conference Videos



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ACAS2015 Conference Chairs



Professor Baden Offord

ACAS2015 Conference Co-Chair

Director and Professor of Cultural Studies and Human Rights, Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia. Vice President-International, Cultural Studies Association of Australasia.

Baden Offord is an internationally recognized specialist in human rights, sexuality and culture. In 2012 he was a sponsored speaker, invited by the European External Action Service and the European Commission, together with the Human Rights and Democracy Network and Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation to the 14th EU-NGO Human Rights Forum in Brussels where he spoke on ASEAN and sexual justice issues. In the same year he conducted a three-week lecture tour of Japan sponsored by the Australian Prime Minister’s Educational Assistance Funds post the Great Eastern Tohoku Earthquake in 2011.

Among his publications are the books Homosexual Rights as Human Rights: Activism in Indonesia, Singapore and Australia (2003), Activating Human Rights (co-edited with Elizabeth Porter, 2006), Activating Human Rights Education (co-edited with Christopher Newell, 2008), and Activating Human Rights and Peace: Theories, Practices, Contexts (co-edited with Bee Chen Goh and Rob Garbutt, 2012). His most recent co-authored publication in the field of Australian Cultural Studies is titled Inside Australian Culture: Legacies of Enlightenment Values (with Kerruish, Garbutt, Wessell and Pavlovic, 2014), which is a collaborative work with the Indian cultural theorist Ashis Nandy. His latest chapter, ‘Queer activist intersections in Southeast Asia: human rights and cultural studies,’ appears in Ways of Knowing About Human Rights in Asia (ed. Vera Mackie, London, Routledge, 2015).

He has held visiting positions at The University of Barcelona, La Trobe University, the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University and Rajghat Education Centre, Varanasi. In 2010-2011 he held the Chair (Visiting Professor) in Australian Studies, Centre for Pacific Studies and American Studies, The University of Tokyo. In Japan he has given lectures and research seminars at Chuo, Otemon Gakuin, Sophia, Tohoku and Keio Universities.

Prior to his appointment at Curtin University, he was Professor of Cultural Studies and Human Rights at Southern Cross University, where he was a faculty member from 1999-2014.


Dr Thomas French

Dr. Thomas French

ACAS2015 Conference Co-Chair

Ritsumeikan University, Japan

Thomas French is a graduate of London, Durham and Southampton Universities. His research specialisms include modern Japanese History, East Asian International Relations and Japanese Politics. He is currently Associate Professor in the Faculty of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan, and as a Research Coordinator for the United Kingdom Defence Forum.



ACAS2015 Featured Speakers


Gerard Goggin

Professor Gerard Goggin

ACAS2015 Featured Speaker

University of Sydney, Australia

Gerard Goggin is Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor of Media and Communications, the University of Sydney. He is widely published on digital technology, with books including Routledge Companion to Global Internet Histories (2016; with Mark McLelland), Routledge Companion to Mobile Media (with Larissa Hjorth), Technologies and the Media (2013), Global Mobile Media (2011), Cell Phone Culture (2006), and the co-edited collections Locative Media (2014), Mobile Technology and Place (2012), Internationalizing Internet Studies (2009), and Mobile Technology.


Professor John Erni Hong Kong Baptist University

Professor John Erni

ACAS2015 Featured Speaker

Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

John Nguyet Erni (PhD – Illinois; MA – Oregon; LL.M. – HKU) is Chair Professor in Humanities and Head of the Department of Humanities & Creative Writing at Hong Kong Baptist University. He also serves as Adjunct Professor at the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, after having served as Head of that Department in 2010-13. Previously, he taught at the City University of Hong Kong, as well as the University of New Hampshire and the University of Wisconsin in the U.S. An elected Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of the Humanities, he has published widely on international and Asia-based cultural studies, human rights legal criticism, Chinese consumption of transnational culture, gender and sexuality in media culture, youth popular consumption in Hong Kong and Asia, and critical public health.


Professor Angela Wong Wai Ching

Professor Angela Wong Wai Ching

ACAS2015 Featured Speaker

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Angela Wong Wai Ching received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. She teaches at the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, serves as the Deputy Chair of the Department and a Director of the MA Programme in Intercultural Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has engaged deeply in the development of the Gender Studies Programme, headed the Graduate Division of Gender Studies and is presently the Co-Director of Gender Research Centre of the University. Her research interests include: gender and sexuality, religious fundamentalism and Asian culture, women in Islam, Buddhism, Daoism and Christianity, and postcolonialism and religions in Hong Kong.


View all Keynote Speakers, Featured Speakers and Conference Chairs



IAFOR Publishing Opportunities




The IAFOR Journal of Asian Studies is an editorially independent, peer reviewed journal associated with ACAS. A small number of papers from the conference proceedings are selected by the journal editor and associate editor. Articles may also be submitted directly by contacting the appropriate editor. These open access journals, which conform to the highest academic standards, reflect the interdisciplinary and international nature of our conferences and are organized thematically. All processes are peer blind reviewed.



Conference Proceedings

If your abstract is accepted and you have registered for the conference, you are encouraged to submit a full paper for inclusion in the official conference proceedings published on the website. Final papers should be uploaded through the submissions system. Please ensure that your paper is ready to go to press by the submission deadline.


Eye Magazine - Issue 3 - Spring 2014

Eye Magazine

Eye Magazine is the International Academic Forum’s own in-house e-magazine publication. Through Eye magazine, we hope to enlighten you to various views and opinions of our contributors, many of whom have presented full research papers at our various conferences in Asia, Europe and North America.



IAFOR University & Institutional Partners


The International Academic Forum works with our partner institutions to encourage the best in international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research at this conference.

We work with senior administrators and professors to develop programs which are timely, thought-provoking and academically rigorous. This global partnership alliance allows our interdisciplinary conferences are backed by some of the world’s foremost institutions of learning. Read more about our partners.

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