The 11th International Convention of Asian Scholars
Organized by the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) and co-organized by the University of Leiden and the GIS Asie (Groupement d'intérêt scientifique - Études asiatiques), the ICAS 11 welcomed more than 2,000 scholars worldwide from 15 to 19 July 2019 in the Netherlands. Taking multi-disciplinary approaches to study Asia and involving scholars and experts from different sectors and regions, this Convention has acted as a platform for more than 500 panels, with research projects ranging from history and linguistics to sociology and media studies, relating to Asia. The sessions were categorized in 17 themes, including « Society and Identity », « Migration and Diasporas » and « Media, Communication, Digitalization ».
I have organized a panel on « Migration Experiences, Voices and Representations Through Time and Space » with three other Taiwanese PhD students studying in different parts of the world. My paper entitled « Multiethnic public sphere and participatory media production: the example of Taiwan’s immigration community » has discussed how this participatory culture within media production is possible. Based on a dozen interviews carried out for my thesis, I have analyzed the empowerment initiatives that make immigrants’ participation within media production process possible. Having attracted nearly 15 participants from the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, China and Taiwan, this panel has been largely enriched by an inspiring discussion during QA session. The dialogue and the networking brought by the panel will likely lead to constructive and creative academic collaborations with other scholars in the future.
In addition to the panel we organized, I have also volunteered to chair two more panel sessions, « Migration, Diaspora and Cultural Citizenship II » and « Media, Identities and Social Transformation in Asia I ». The former made an in-depth exploration of the different strategies and processes in the construction of the senses of belonging within four considered diasporic communities; the latter discussed the formation of representations, emotions and identities through the lens of European films, Singaporean TV productions and Santal Music Videos in India. Chairing panels has given me a precious experience not only on valuing others’ works and time-controlling, but also on creating a space to a more interactive and vivid discussion for all the panelists and participants.
Thanks to the participation to the ICAS 11, I have not only been able to enrich my networking with scholars in the field of Media, Migration and Cultural studies around the world, but also to gain an opportunity, through valuable exchanges and discussions with other participants, to rethink the development and orientation of my thesis and other projects that are to come.