New Project: International Relations in Premodern East Asia (14th-19th Centuries)

This may be of interest to those working on Philology, Cultural Studies/Identity, and other related disciplines.
Call for Papers on “International Relations in Premodern East Asia,
14th-19th Centuries”

“One Asia Project” at The University of British Columbia
Project Director: Professor Nam-lin Hur

International relations in premodern East Asia were multidimensional, intersecting, and multilayered. The conventional framework of understanding, which has been represented by the tributary/investiture system or a system of controlled trade, is far short of being able to capture the complex flows of people, ideas/thoughts, goods/material objects, institutions, and emotions that constituted the fabric of border-crossing interactions between China, Korea, Japan, and other ethnic/political entities in the region. The current state of East Asian studies begs for a new paradigm of understanding that should be articulated through collaborative cross-border research and a multidisciplinary approach.

The “One Asia Project,” which Professor Nam-lin Hur at the University of British Columbia (UBC) will direct for three years (August 2015-July 2018), seeks papers for collaborative research and group discussion. The goal of this research project is to promote an open cross-border dialogue beyond single-country specialization and, eventually, to publish edited volumes that will hopefully offer a new approach to international relations in premodern East Asia. This call for papers is open to anyone interested in participating in this project which has a set of expectations and will offer modest compensations.

Research themes

· Any aspect(s) of international relations involving at least two countries/political or ethnic entities in the East Asian region (including Vietnam) pertaining to the period between the 14th to 19th centuries.
· Possible subjects include (but are not limited to) diplomacy, trade and commerce, port cities, smuggling, piracy, war, diaspora, labor migration, missionary work, cultural transmission/exchange, acculturation, shipwrecks and castaways, intermarriage, human trafficking, flow of ideas and emotions, alien settlements, border conflicts, pilgrimage, foreign experiences, border-crossing travel, foreign policy debates, perceptions of the other, collective identity, forms of ethnocentrism, or similar themes.


· An original research paper offering a new perspective on international relations in premodern East Asia.
· A critical review of the extant scholarship, a case study, an innovative theoretical/methodological discussion, an introduction of new data, or any potential contribution to the project.
· A paper in English of a length of 8,000 to 12,000 words.

Proposal deadlines

· A proposal in English should include a paper title, a short description of about 300 words, contact information (name, affiliation, mailing address, email address, telephone number).
· Deadline for the first-year (August 2015-July 2016) project: December 1, 2014.
· Deadline for the second-year (August 2016-July 2017) project: December 1, 2015.
· Deadline for the third-year (August 2017-July 2018) project: December 1, 2016.

Full paper deadlines

. June 1, 2015 for the first-year (August 2015-July 2016) project.
. June 1, 2016 for the second-year (August 2016-July 2017) project.
. June 1, 2017 for the third-year (August 2017-July 2018) project.

· Please note that without submitting a proposal in advance, a full paper could be submitted as long as it fulfills the expectations listed above.
· It is understood that, by submitting a full paper, the author of the paper consents that the “One Asia Project” retains the right of first refusal regarding publication.
· Deadline for a final version of the paper: within three months after the workshop (see (3) below).

How and where to submit proposals and papers

As email attachments, to Mr. Tae Yeon Eom, project assistant, at

Accepted papers

· Notice of acceptance: July 1 prior to each project period.
· Those whose papers are accepted will be expected to conduct the following three functions at UBC:

(1) A lecture (for 45 minutes), which is followed by a Q & A session (for 30 minutes) for undergraduate students, scheduled on a Thursday in the fall semester of the project period;
(2) A public lecture and discussion (for two hours) for graduate students and scholars scheduled on the following day (Friday) of (1); and
(3) Participation in a two-day workshop to be held in April or May of the project period.


· Full coverage of travel and accommodation for up to four nights at UBC each for (1) (2) and (3).
· Honoraria of CAD$1,500 for (1), (2), and CAD$500 for (3).

For questions/inquiries, please contact:
Nam-lin Hur, Project Director,
Tae Yeon Eom, Project Assistant,

From Professor Nam-lin Hur, Asian Studies, University of British Columbia


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