Leiden Anthropology of Asia Network created
Last week, the 'Leiden Anthropology of Asia Network' was created, based on the network event 'Leiden Anthropology of and in Asia' on 8 December 2021. During this event, it became clear that next to events oriented towards peer-level academic interaction, there is an urgent need for a better institutional presence of the Anthropology of Asia within Leiden University.
Leiden Anthropology of and in Asia
“Thank you, for getting us all together! I really enjoyed it and look forward to more. We concluded [in our breakout group] that we would really welcome the sense of community it could bring!” This was the response of one of the participants to the ‘Leiden Anthropology of and in Asia’ online network event, which was organized on December 8th by the Research Cluster Asia of the Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (The RC Asia is one of the five Research Clusters of the Institute CADS).
We titled the meeting Anthropology ‘of Asia’, because of our research in the region, and ‘in Asia’, because of our collaborations with academic colleagues spread out across the rapidly growing number of academic institutions who are part of the global disciplinary field. With more than 30 registrations, there was a clear demand for the network event. Spread out across departments and institutes such as Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology (CADS), the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) the Van Vollenhoven Institute (VVI) and the International Institute for Asia Studies (IIAS), ‘Anthropology of Asia’ has a solid presence at Leiden University.
Need for a better institutional presence of the Anthropology of Asia within Leiden University
The network event was held on the zoom platform, and after a short plenary introduction, the participants joined one of five breakout groups. Triggered by pitches of each of the participants to such a group, participants than gave input to what questions and challenges the network should address. Here, it became clear that next to events oriented towards peer level academic interaction, there is also an urgent need for a better institutional presence of the Anthropology of Asia within Leiden University. Until fairly recently, the Leiden profile area Asian Modernities and Traditions allowed for organizing high profile lectures and workshops as well as stimulating new research initiatives, but with its demise such a platform is dearly lacking. Participants to the network meeting felt that there is a real and dire need to once again create an institution wide initiative that can increase the impact of the important contributions Leiden University can make with respect to the Anthropology of Asia globally. This event, we feel, offers a great starting point for reinvigorating these connections and foregrounding the wealth of disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise on Asia in Leiden.
Would you like to join the network? Please contact the CADS Research Cluster Asia! To be continued!