The 11th Asian Conference on Asian Studies (ACAS2021)


  • Geoffrey Beattie
    Geoffrey Beattie
    Edge Hill University, United Kingdom
  • Clementina Cardoso
    Clementina Cardoso
    CIHRC Research and Development, Hong Kong
  • Hing Chao
    Hing Chao
    Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, Hong Kong
  • Bradley J. Hamm
    Bradley J. Hamm
    Northwestern University, United States
  • Sean O’Connell
    Sean O’Connell
    Nanzan University, Japan
  • Anoma van der Veere
    Anoma van der Veere
    Leiden University, Netherlands

Join us online for ACAS2021!

June 03-05, 2021 | Held online from Tokyo, Japan

ACAS is organised by IAFOR in association with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in Osaka University, Japan.

Special Announcement: ACAS2021 will be held Online

Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, IAFOR has made the decision to hold ACAS2021 entirely online via Zoom.

View the Conference Programme

Held in partnership with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, this international conference encourages academics and scholars to meet and exchange ideas and views in a forum stimulating respectful dialogue. This event will afford an exceptional opportunity for renewing old acquaintances, making new contacts, networking, and facilitating partnerships across national and disciplinary borders.

Since its founding in 2009, IAFOR has brought people and ideas together in a variety of events and platforms to promote and celebrate interdisciplinary study, and underline its importance. Over the past year we have engaged in many cross-sectoral projects, including those with universities (the University of Barcelona, Hofstra University, UCL, University of Belgrade and Moscow State University), a think tank (the East-West Center), as well as collaborative projects with the United Nations in New York, and here, with the Government of Japan through the Prime Minister’s office.

With the IAFOR Research Centre, we have engaged in a number of interdisciplinary initiatives we believe will have an important impact on domestic and international public policy conversations. It is through conferences like these that we expand our network and partners, and we have no doubt that ACAS2021 will offer a remarkable opportunity for the sharing of research and best practice, and for the meeting of people and ideas.

The 11th Asian Conference on Asian Studies (ACAS2021) will be held alongside The 11th Asian Conference on Cultural Studies (ACCS2021).

– The ACAS2021 Organising Committee

Sue Ballyn, University of Barcelona, Spain
Joseph Haldane, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR), Japan
Donald E. Hall, University of Rochester, USA
Baden Offord, Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia & Cultural Studies Association of Australasia
Seiko Yasumoto, University of Sydney, Australia

Key Information
  • Location & Venue: Held online from Tokyo, Japan
  • Dates: Thursday, June 03, 2021 ​to Saturday, June 05, 2021
  • Early Bird Abstract Submission Deadline: January 13, 2021*
  • Final Abstract Submission Deadline: March 17, 2021
  • Registration Deadline for Presenters: April 22, 2021

*Submit early to take advantage of the discounted registration rates. Learn more about our registration options.

Our Response to the Ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic

Present, Publish, Participate On-site or Online

Continued excellence in service, wherever you are

Our commitment to you; academics, scholars and educators around the world, is to continue to run conferences where and how possible, but in the full knowledge that in these unprecedented and changing times, we must engage as much as is possible online, allowing those who choose not to travel, or who cannot travel, opportunities to present, publish and participate online.


Given the uncertainties surrounding travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, and related and evolving government responses, we understand that potential delegates’ plans may be subject to change beyond their control, and indeed many people may not be able to travel to our conferences. We will be as flexible as we can our side to allow delegates to switch registration types between “on-site” and “online” depending on their circumstances, up until one month before the conference, so that you can be assured that whatever your situation, you can still present, publish and participate.

Special Themes and Areas of Focus

Authors have the optional opportunity of identifying whether their paper addresses either the 2021–2022 IAFOR Special Theme and/or one of the ongoing IAFOR Special Areas of Focus.

IAFOR 2021–2022 Special Theme: “Resilience”

Resilience is the ability to resist being affected, or to recover readily from setback and adversity, and the past year has been one of enormous turbulence and upheaval. Nobody has been left untouched by the impact of the global pandemic, and great change has been forced upon us all.

COVID-19 has underlined the extent to which we suffer together as one, but also how the experience of a global pandemic has been very different and unequal. This has had a woeful impact on the already marginalised and dispossessed, further evidencing that countries are not equal in their ability to provide for and protect their people. The pandemic has also created questionable narratives and false dichotomies in approaches to finding solutions to the myriad problems that COVID-19 has either caused or exacerbated.

Humans can be by turn extraordinarily delicate, and remarkably resilient and we are now living through and witnessing an extraordinary period of history. However, as with any period of great change, there is a window of opportunity that follows where one has the chance to enact and bring about change for the better. The pandemic has also allowed many of us the space to rethink our relationship with both ourselves and those immediately around us, but also with the wider world. This is a crisis both global and local, both shared and individual.

That time to rethink and reimagine is now as we attempt to regroup and rebuild. We need to build back, but do so in a way that is better, stronger and fairer. Forged by adversity, we have the opportunity to follow divergent paths towards a future that we help create, and where, to borrow Heaney, hope and history may rhyme.

IAFOR Special Areas of Focus

In line with its organisational mission, IAFOR encourages, facilitates and nurtures interdisciplinary research, with an emphasis on international and intercultural perspectives. Current areas of focus of the organisation include the following ongoing collaborative programmes and initiatives.

Innovation and Value

The Innovation and Value Initiative is housed at the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, Japan. It was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, in a special collaborative UN/IAFOR session at the Third Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum 2018) on June 6, 2018, and has included various conferences and seminars, including the October 2018 IAFOR Global Innovation & Value Summit (GIVS), organised in partnership with the Wall Street Journal. This theme invites reflections at the intersection of innovation and value as they relate to the conference areas of study. For more information about the Innovation and Value Initiative, click here.

The Silk Road

The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative is an ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative that uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges. The initiative is a collaborative endeavour which includes the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University (Japan), Belgrade University (Serbia) and The École Normale Supérieure (France). This theme encourages submissions on Silk Road Studies and international cooperation in general as they relate to the conference areas of study. For more information about the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, click here.


“Inspiring Global Research Collaborations”

Founded in 2009, The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) is a politically independent non-partisan and non-profit interdisciplinary think tank, conference organiser and publisher dedicated to encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating intercultural awareness and promoting international exchange, principally through educational interaction and academic research. Based in Japan, its main administrative office is in Nagoya, and its research centre is in the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), a graduate school of Osaka University. IAFOR runs research programs and events in Asia, Europe and North America in partnership with universities and think tanks, and has also worked on a number of multi-sector cooperative programs and events, including collaborations with the United Nations and the Government of Japan. Read more about IAFOR.

International | Intercultural | Interdisciplinary

Geoffrey Beattie
Edge Hill University, United Kingdom


Geoffrey Beattie is Professor of Psychology at Edge Hill University, UK. Previously, he was Professor of Psychology at the University of Manchester, UK, as well as a Professorial Research Fellow at the university’s Sustainable Consumption Institute. He has also been Visiting Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. He received his PhD from Trinity College, University of Cambridge, UK, and is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (BPS), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has also been President of the Psychology Section of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He has published over 100 articles in academic journals, including Nature and Nature Climate Change and was awarded the Spearman Medal by the BPS for “published psychological research of outstanding merit”, and the Mouton d’Or for the best research paper in semiotics.

He is the author of twenty six books with various Chinese, Taiwanese, Brazilian, Italian, Finnish and German editions. We Are the People: Journeys Through the Heart of Protestant Ulster (Heinemann) and The Corner Boys (Victor Gollancz) were both shortlisted for the Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize; On the Ropes: Boxing as a Way of Life (Victor Gollancz) was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year; Trophy Hunting: A Psychological Perspective (Routledge) was shortlisted for a Taylor & Francis Outstanding Book and Digital Product Award in the Outstanding Professional Category in 2019.

He has presented a number of television programmes in the UK on BBC1’s Life’s Too Short and Family SOS’, Channel 4’s Dump Your Mates in Four Days, and UKTV’s The Farm of Fussy Eaters. He was also the resident on-screen psychologist for Big Brother for eleven series on Channel 4 in the UK specialising in body language and social behaviour. His latest book Selfless: A Psychologist’s Journey through Identity and Social Class (Routledge) was reviewed by Professor Marcel Danesi from the University of Toronto, Canada who wrote: “What is the Self? How is it related to consciousness? This dilemma has entertained some of the greatest minds of human history. This book contributes in a significant way to that history, written by one of today’s great thinkers, Geoffrey Beattie. In this unique book, Beattie brings us into his own world of Self-construction. We thus come away understanding what psychology should really be....It is required reading by anyone interested in understanding what consciousness is and how it emerges throughout the life cycle.”

Featured Interview (2021) | Selfless: Journeys through Identity and Social Class
Clementina Cardoso
CIHRC Research and Development, Hong Kong


Clementina Cardoso is the Director of CIHRC Research and Development. Prior to this she was at the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy of the University of London Birkbeck College where she taught courses on Local Government, Public Policy and Management.

Dr Cardoso completed her PhD at LSE and held positions at University College London Institute of Education where she researched, taught and advised MA and PhD students and coordinated training for overseas civil servants and researchers. She has also been a European Commission Research Fellow, LSE, an Associate Fellow at the University of Lisbon and an Honorary Fellow at the University of Bristol Faculty of Social Sciences and Law; and held Visiting positions at the Universities of Lisbon, Louvain and has been Guest Professor on the MA and PhD programmes of, amongst others, the University of S. Paulo, Brazil. She has also been a keynote speaker at the European Parliament and at conferences.

She works within the tradition of British Government and Policy Studies, across the Social Sciences disciplines and uses comparative methodologies.

As a grant holder, she produced research sponsored by the National Science, Research and Technology Council of Portugal and the European Commission on comparative central government policy and political and economic philosophies; comparative methodologies; market-oriented policies, funding and financial management; the involvement of commercial organisations in service provision and management and partnership governance. She has served on Editorial Boards of Academic Journals; lived in Portugal, the United States, England and Hong Kong; is fluent in English, Portuguese and French, reads and speaks Spanish and Italian, has beginners knowledge of Chinese and starters knowledge of Japanese.

Dr Cardoso has an interest in the History, Culture, Philosophy and the Arts of China and Japan.

Featured Interview (2021) | Sino-japanese Relations: History, Martial Culture, Cross-cultural Exchanges and Inter-disciplinary Research
Hing Chao
Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, Hong Kong


Pursuing a cross-sector career, Hing Chao has been active in arts and culture, heritage and education, as well as international shipping over the past two decades. In the business sector, he has been at the forefront of thought leadership for maritime development within the Greater Bay Area, being also the founder of the Greater Bay Area Maritime Forum, the deputy chairman of the China Sub-committee of the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, and a trustee of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum.

In the arts and culture sector, Hing is widely known for his pioneering and wide-ranging work on martial arts, including the creation of “Hong Kong Martial Arts Living Archive”, the largest martial arts archive in the world, which he co-founded with Prof. Jeffrey Shaw (City University of Hong Kong) and Prof. Sarah Kenderdine (EPFL). He has also created several ground-breaking martial art exhibitions, most recently “Way of the Sword: Warrior Traditions in China and Italy” (2021). Since founding Hong Kong Culture Festival in 2015, he has been driving innovation in cross-disciplinary artistic partnerships – involving martial arts, dance, music, and new media arts – in Hong Kong.

He has also made significant contributions to the research and revival of endangered nomadic hunter-gatherer cultures in Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang province, through the activities of Orochen Foundation (which he founded in 2004). Its efforts include creating the most comprehensive Orochen music archive, “Orochen Cultural Preservation Project” (in partnerships with China National Museum of Ethnology), as well as preserving community oral history among North Tungusic groups in Hulunbuir.

He is the executive chairman of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, the executive director of International Guoshu Association and Institute of Chinese Martial Studies, the founder of Hong Kong Culture Festival, and the founder of International Martial Studies Conference.

Featured Interview (2021) | Sino-japanese Relations: History, Martial Culture, Cross-cultural Exchanges and Inter-disciplinary Research
Bradley J. Hamm
Northwestern University, United States


Bradley J. Hamm is a full professor at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, USA, serving as the dean from 2012 to 2018, where he oversaw Medill's programs in Chicago, Washington, DC, and San Francisco in addition to its home campus in Evanston. Previously, he was Dean of the Indiana University School of Journalism in Bloomington and Indianapolis, USA.

Hamm's PhD is in mass communication research from the University of North Carolina, USA. He received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina, USA, and an undergraduate degree from Catawba College in North Carolina, USA.

He also served as the interim dean and associate dean of the School of Communications at Elon University in North Carolina, USA. Hamm has taught in study abroad programs in Japan, China and the United Kingdom and started his career as a newspaper reporter. His teaching and research interests are in journalism history and media theory, particularly agenda setting theory.

He served as a trustee for the Poynter Institute and is a judge for the Scripps Howard National Journalism Awards. He served as an independent, non-executive member of the Board of Directors for Next Digital media company of Hong Kong and Taiwan from 2015 to 2018.

Keynote Presentation (2021) | The Case of Jimmy Lai & The Rapid Loss of Freedom in Hong Kong
Sean O’Connell
Nanzan University, Japan


Sean O’Connell is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Policy Studies, Nanzan University, Japan where he teaches courses in intercultural business analysis, Japanese-English interpreting and intercultural workplace communication skills. He earned his PhD in Intercultural Communication in 2011 from the University of Queensland, Australia, and his current research interests include intercultural workplace communication, high-performance culture facilitation, and multicultural studies curriculum design.

Keynote Presentation (2021): Intercultural Strategies in High-Performance Environments: Observations from the Rugby World Cup 2019
Anoma van der Veere
Leiden University, Netherlands


Anoma Phichai van der Veere is a Researcher of Modern Asia within the Leiden Asia Centre at Leiden University, a Researcher of Labour Policy at the International Institute of Social History (IISG) at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and a Research Fellow at the IAFOR Research Center at the Osaka School of International Public Policy. He is currently based at Osaka University, Japan, and has published on health and labour policy, sports, technology, and human rights in Asia and Europe, and is the editor of the forthcoming volume Public Health in Asia during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Global Health Governance, Migrant Labour, and International Health Crises at Amsterdam University Press, a joint publication by the Leiden Asia Centre, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, and the IAFOR Research Center. His latest publications include: Japan’s Fragmented Response: Technology, Governance, and COVID-19 (Leiden Asia Centre, 2020), The Tokyo Paralympic Superhero: Manga and Narratives of Disability in Japan (Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 2020), and The Technological Utopia: Mimamori Care and Family Separation in Japan (AsiaScape: Digital Asia, 2019). He is currently the principal investigator in the Road to Tokyo 2020 project, funded by the Leiden Asia Centre, about local policymaking in disability sports in Tokyo in the run-up to the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Featured Interview (2021) | Doomed to Happen? The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games
A message from the IAFOR Board of Directors on the impact of COVID-19 on our activities.