Director’s Note

Tansen Sen
Director, Center for Global Asia, NYU Shanghai

Each year in late August, the Center’s academic calendar starts with its annual conference. The 2018 annual conference focused on Eurasian connections, with eleven panels and a keynote address by Professor Morris Rossabi. The annual conference also offered an opportunity for the faculty from NYU and NYU Abu Dhabi who are involved in the Henry Luce Foundation project on Port Cities’ Environments in Global Asia to come to Shanghai to plan collaborative research and schedule joint events for the fall and spring semesters. 

The connections between the three campuses of NYU’s Global Network University have especially blossomed this year. CGA sent faculty to both NYU and NYUAD to give research presentations and to build continuing possibilities for collaboration. 

One of the key events planned for the fall 2018 semester was the “Distinguished Henry Luce Foundation Lecture” delivered on 11 October 2018 by Professor Eric Tagliacozzo. Professor Tagliacozzo’s lecture focused on the impact of the spice trade on world history. He explained how the demand for spices from India and Indonesia connected different regions of the world and triggered the beginning of the imperial age through European state-making projects. 

Between September and December 2018, the Center organized five lectures and jointly hosted an International Symposium on Water Heritage in Asia. The latter event was co-organized with the International Institute of Asian Studies (Leiden), the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, and Fudan University. Dean Maria Montoya delivered the keynote address, entitled “Controlling Water through Nature,” for the Symposium. 

In January 2019, the Center organized the first Workshop on Methods in India China Studies. Emerging from a collaboration with the Harvard Yenching Institute, the India China Institute (New School), Peking University, the Yenching Academy, and the Institute of Chinese Studies (Delhi), the event focused on training graduate students in the field of India China Studies. Subsequent workshops will take place in Delhi and Cambridge (MA). 

In the fall semester, the Center also welcomed several new fellows and visiting scholars, including Dr Elke Papelitzky as the CGA Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Pan Weilin as the Fudan–NYUSH Joint Postdoctoral Fellow, and Vidhya Raveendranathan as the Doctoral Fellow. These fellows joined other postdoctoral fellows in the Global Perspectives on Society program to jointly organize and participate in the Second Annual CGA–GPS Young Scholars Symposium in April 2019. 

The Center is continuing its work on several database projects and in the coming months will start contributing to the Journal of Indian Ocean World Studies co-edited with faculty from McGill University. During the coming months, the Center plans to develop its publication agenda as part of its objective to become a research and knowledge hub for Asian Studies.



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