2014 Summer School

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The 2014 Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society (IACSS) Summer School 

“Introduction to Modern Asian Thought” 

 Date: July 1-15, 2014


Acceptance list

Application link

Language of Instruction: English


Course Design:

The 3rd Biannual Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Society (IACSS) Summer School, in collaboration with the Modern Asian Thought project initiated by Inter-Asia School, will be held in Hsinchu, Taiwan in July 1-15, 2014. It brings together faculty and students from different background to engage with in-depth learning and discussion on key issues in “Modern Asian Thought.” 

For the past two decades or so, the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies movement has produced a body of work concerned more immediately with the contemporary problematics. As the project moves along, we have begun to strongly feel that the most difficult part of the present conditions of knowledge on a deeper level is really a result of the entire modern history; and without reference to the works of earlier generations of intellectuals who responded to different moments of crisis, we have not only lost the sense of historical configurations but also failed to realize that some of the problematics opened up by them in different conjunctures are still with us today. We will therefore need to go back to earlier sources of thought to shed light on the present.

The main part of the course is composed of four units: “national cultures” mediates through Tagore and Lu Xun to analyze the conditions of the colonized nation in the early context of colonialism and imperialism; “Gandhism and Maoism” looks at the two political leaders’ truncated relation with popular thought before and after national independence; “Asia as Method” pinpoints the shifting concerns of the mode of knowledge from Takeuchi Yoshimi to Mizoguchi Yuzo; and “Division and its overcoming” questions the shaping and the lingering of the Cold War division system in the postcolonial configuration of the Asia region, as formulated in the work of Paik Nak-chung and Chen Yingzhen.

The purpose of the course design is to track these selected sets of issues addressed by thinkers who have either shaped our present mode of thought or set the agenda with which diverse intellectual works have been in dialogues throughout 20th Century, even until today. Moreover, the problematics formulated at specific moments resonate with others across national spaces and across generations. We believe these are important sources of thought for students of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies to continuously grapple with, to connect and reconnect with diverse lines of thought developed in Asia, in order to reground ourselves.

In light of the main course and as an integral part of the design, a workshop on the contemporary debate on “corruption” and “neo-liberalism and globalization” will also be organized. The course will end with the 2014 Annual Lecture of the Modern Asian Thought Project to be delivered by Prof. Ashis Nandy.

Core Course: Introduction to Modern Asian Thought. An eight-day core course consisting of 4 units of key issues and concepts in modern Asian thought introduced to students through taught classrooms and in-depth group discussions.

MAT Annual Lecture: featuring Prof. Ashis Nandy

Workshop: A two-day workshop addressing specific research topics on contemporary debates.

Field trips: Trips in and around the city, addressing local movements and development in a city where the “Science Park” is located.

Students’ Presentation: Students will present their own research work.

Final report/paper: Students will finish and hand in their final paper on the last day of the school.


Students registered in post-graduate degree programs are all eligible for applying to the Summer School. There are 40 seats, and students will be selected based on their applications. Students registered at universities participating in the Consortium of Inter Asia Cultural Studies Institutions and Inter-Asia School will be given priority consideration. All applications need to be accompanied by a recommendation letter from the teacher/ supervisor from the student’s home institution.

Deadline of application: Dec. 15, 2013

Announcement of acceptance: Feb. 15, 2014

Confirmation of participation: April 15, 2014 

Application link   

Host: International Master’s program in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, University System of Taiwan(IACS-UST), International Institute for Cultural Studies, University System of Taiwan (IICS-UST)

Organizers: IICS-UST; Center for Asia-Pacific/Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan; Center for Asia-Pacific/Cultural Studies, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, Inter-Asia School; Graduate Institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan.

Co-organizer: Consortium of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies Institutions; Institute for East Asian Studies, Sung Kung Hoe University.