South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Fall 2015

Texas Asia Conference 2015

Beyond the Spectacular and the Mundane

Friday October 2 - Saturday October 3, 2015

8:00 AM - 8:00 PM

Julius Glickman Conference Center, CLA Building, UT Austin Campus

TAC logo

In what is becoming a biennial tradition, the conference, which is a space to present graduate research work centered on Asia as a regional focus, will be held on 2nd and 3rd of October (Friday and Saturday) 2015. We hope to make this an unhurried and truly useful academic space, where there is time to reflect on the ideas presented and for the visiting scholars to interact with one another and with graduate scholars and faculty at UT, whose researches are concerned with aspects of Asia, approaching them from various disciplinary perspectives. Our theme this year is “Beyond the Spectacular and the Mundane.”

As researchers engaged with various aspects and regions of Asia, how do we approach questions of scale? How do we draw boundaries around our research subjects: texts, people, languages, histories, etc.? How can we avoid the division of our subject along easy disciplinary lines? How do we measure the scale of what we are looking at——how far out must we extend our knowledge beyond our research focus in order for the boundaries of that focus to be meaningfully drawn? When what is local and specific is in a dynamic and entangled relationship with what is global and transnational, how do we choose to zoom in or out? How do we become attuned to the infra-ordinary? How do we grasp the affects and effects of the everyday that are neither ordinary nor spectacular?

Keynote speakers:

Friday, October 2, 4:30pm: "The Infra-Ordinary in Chinese Documentary"

Paola Iovene is Associate Professor in Chinese Literature, East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago. Her work focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century Chinese literature and film. Her book Tales of Futures Past:  Literature and Anticipation in Contemporary China (Stanford University Press, 2014), explores the ways in which normative visions and intimate feelings about the future have shaped literary institutions, editorial practices, and diverse genres and texts (science fiction, children’s literature, experimental fiction; environmental literature) in socialist and postsocialist China. 

Saturday, October 3, 1:45pm: "Materializing Sexuality: Calibrating Neoliberalism, Nativism, and Class in Asian Sexuality Studies"

Svati P. Shah is Associate Professor in the department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her book Street  Corner Secrets: Sex Work and Migration in the City of Mumbai (Duke University Press, 2014), is an ethnography of sexual commerce and migration among women working in Mumbai's informal sectors. Her current research focuses on queer and trans movements and the politics of class in India.

Click HERE to view the conference schedule


South Asia Institute
Thomas Ralph Professor in Asian Studies
Office of the Dean, College of Liberal Arts
Center for Asian American Studies
Center for East Asian Studies
Department of Anthropology - Smith Centennial Chair
Humanities Institute - Sterling Clark Holloway Centennial Lectureship in Liberal Arts
Chinese Studies Endowment
Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift Japan Endowment
POSCO Korean Studies Endowment 
Program in Comparative Literature