Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

Other Asianisms: Defining Asia in the Twentieth Century

Saturday, July 7
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Gulmohar, First Floor

Due to the Japanese government's official support of the concept during World War II, historians often dismissed ‘pan-Asianism’ as a tool of imperialism. However, in the twenty-first century, this understanding has given way to more nuanced readings of wartime and prewar discourse on Asian regionalization. This panel investigates 'other Asianisms,' considering Indian, Chinese, and Japanese elite and civil society discussions of Asian solidarity. Beginning in the interwar period, increased access to international travel allowed for new connections, as intellectuals journeyed to other countries to establish networks of solidarity against Western imperialism and continually redefined ‘Asia’ throughout the century.


 Craig Smith examines the formation of these networks through a study of Indian intellectuals working in Shanghai in the 1920s, showing the possibilities for Sino-Indian cooperation provided by China’s foreign concessions. Torsten Weber discusses the 1926 and 1927 Asian Nations’ Conferences in Nagasaki and Shanghai, showing how participants reconfigured spacial understandings of Asia at these meetings. Qinghe Cui shows how wartime historians redefined China’s historic internal regional relations due to the war with Japan and new realities in East Asia. Brij Tankha considers Hotta Yoshie’s writings on pan-Asianism in the 1940s and 1950s, showing his alternative to the dominant discourse of pan-Asianism based on reactive nationalism. Els van Dongen examines the influence of increased mobility and the economic rise of Asia on the discourse of Confucian capitalism in the 1980s and 1990s.

Craig A. Smith

Australian National University, Australia

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Torsten Weber

DIJ German Institute for Japanese Studies, Japan

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Craig A. Smith

Australian National University, Australia

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Craig A. Smith

Australian National University, Australia

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Torsten Weber

DIJ German Institute for Japanese Studies, Japan

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Qinghe Cui

Fudan University, China

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Brij Tankha

University of Delhi, India

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Els van Dongen

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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