asiascape vistas

Techno-Culture, New Politics, and Philosophy in East Asia

Asiascape Vistas is a forum for discussion about the many and various dimensions of cyberculture found in or originating from East Asia. Its focus is on the interplay between these media and questions of politics & philosophy. Contributions are from the academic collective responsible for the core project, but other contributions will also be considered by that collective.
If you wish to contribute to Asiacape Vistas, please send an email using the form on the contact page.

Event announcement: New States and Societies in the Past and in the Future

The LIAS State & Society Network invites you to an exciting event on Thursday 12 June 2014, entitled New States and Societies in the Past and in the Future, with 6 PhD student presenters and 2 distinguished keynote speakers on topics ranging from garbage to church hierarchy and from Babylon to future imagination.

What can we learn from past and future states and societies today? Why should we care about their struggles, wars and transitions? What do they tell us about ours? The network’s spring event aims to address these questions by bringing together two distinguished scholars who work on the past and on the future with students from the network “State and Society” within the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.


My State and Society (12:45 – 15: 00, Lipsius 307)
PhD students of the network give brief presentations of the states and societies they work on.

Renate Dekker-- The Social Integration of a New Church Hierarchy in Late Antique Western Thebes
Valantino Pamolango-- The Old and New Celebes (Sulawesi) - Indonesia
Martin Roth -- The State of Play
Aditi Mukherjee-- Negotiating Space: Refuge Colonies and the Indian State
Yun-An Olivia Dung -- Garbage Matters: Recycling and Wasting in Taiwanese Society
Sarthak Bagchi-- State and Society in India: a Journey from sammaan (Respect) to saamaan (Material Aspect)

Keynotes (15:30 – 18:00, Klein Auditorium, Academiegebouw)
We relocate to the Klein Auditorium of the Academiegebouw for the keynote lectures by our guest speakers. The session will be introduced and chaired by Erik-Jan Zürcher (LIAS).

Seth Richardson (Chicago) -- The Many Falls of Babylon: Anticipation, Reception and Mesopotamian State Collapse
Babylon in its day, like Rome, held a symbolic position as both the site of state collapse and as an “eternal” city.  This apparent paradox created an historical echo chamber which was productive of Mesopotamian notions of civic fragility and resilience for more than a millennium. I will try to grapple with not only the retrospective claims of reception histories of Babylon’s collapse(s), but their particular relationship to prospective evocations of state collapse in Mesopotamian thought: when is anticipation precipitation, and how?

Adam Roberts (Royal Holloway) -- Clerisies, Science Fiction and the Future of Society
In this lecture, Adam Roberts will talk about the way the two halves of his intellectual and creative life came together: science fictional thought-experiments about how society might be structured and 19th-century conceptions of 'the state' and political thinking.

Drinks (18:30 – 19:30, Grote Beer)
Please join us for drinks and further discussions in De Grote Beer, Rembrandtstraat 27.

We hope to see many of you on the 12th, for the network’s first spring event!

Martin Roth, Tero Alstola, Renate Dekker, Eftychia Milona, Daniel Soliman, Bastian Still, Caroline Waerzeggers and Erik-Jan Zürcher