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Celebrating 30 Years of IIAS

Friday 13 October 2023
International Institute for Asian Studies
Rapenburg 59

On 13 October 2023, the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) commemorates its 30th anniversary. Join us for a festive day of cultural performances, interactive workshops, engaged discussions, and delicious foods!

For three decades, IIAS has challenged conventional approaches to knowledge production and sought practical alternatives that involve a vast network of partners around the world, both within and beyond academia. Through the spirit of collaboration, mutual institutional support, and critical analysis, IIAS promotes humanistic and social scientific research through its various platforms, from conferences to The Newsletter, from book publications to public lectures, from research fellowships to intensive graduate workshops. We also work with cultural and educational institutions to organize outreach activities to promote a greater public understanding of contemporary Asia. As we reflect on the past 30 years and look towards the future, we invite the university community and broader public to celebrate with us. Stay for as long as you’d like, or just drop in to say hello!

Join us for a festive day of open conversation sessions, cultural performances, interactive workshops, engaged discussions and delicious foods.


Opening Remarks by Prof. Hester Bijl, Rector Magnificus of Leiden University and Prof. Philippe Peycam, Director IIAS

Join an engaged discussion with our programme coordinators, Aarti Kawlra (Humanities Across Borders), Elena Paskaleva (Asian Heritages Cluster), Paul Rabé and Rita Padawangi (Asian Cities Cluster) and Stacey Links (Africa-Asia)

Participate in an inspirational session with our IIAS fellows

  • Velizar Sadovski 
    Sanskrit: The Old Indic Language and Literature from the “Oral Poetry” of the Vedas up to the present day. Historical dimensions, geographical diffusion, cultural impact
  • Nisha Rayaroth
    Using a plethora of archival documents and oral interviews, my book, Jumbos and Jumping Devils: A Social History of Indian Circus looks at this performance industry from a Global South perspective
  • Wen Huang
    Cultural Heritage Preservation Encounters Tourism Development on the Eastern Fringe of the Tibetan Plateau
    Wen Huang will explore the intricate relationship between cultural heritage preservation and tourism development in the unique context of the eastern fringe of the Tibetan plateau
  • Soheb NiaziZahra Hussain and Laura  Erber
    A conversation on knowledge production in relation to Asian studies within the fellowship programme 



  • Meet our colleagues and get inspired by the various IIAS activities and programmes
  • Enjoy live performances of Indian and Javanese singers and Philippine dancers
  • Participate in a workshop of tea pairing, manga drawing, lithography, origami, batik or yoga
  • Taste different Asian appetizers and (bubble)tea.


Feel free to join our party whenever you like. Registration is not required, but we'd like to get an idea who is coming when. Please let us know via the IIAS website.

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