The Transnational in Asian Art: Historical and Contemporary Contexts around Migration, Diaspora, Mobility and Cultural Flows

Date: 28 September 2017

Venue: Centre for European Studies, Australian National University and National Portrait Gallery, Canberra

Conveners: Caroline Turner, Jacqueline Lo, Elly Kent, Alex Burchmore (ANU)

Lead speaker: Emeritus Professor Margo Machida (University of Connecticut)

The Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University Canberra is issuing a call to PhD scholars who would like to participate and present short papers on their thesis research, in an intensive one day Workshop on 28 September 2017 focussed on The Transnational in Asian Art.


Art in Asia has long responded to transnational contexts. The relatively recent delineation of national boundaries, and their permeation through globally imagined online communities, are layered over longstanding currents of migration, familial ties, trade, cultural, religious and educational exchange, war and colonisation. This palimpsest of mobility is a well-spring of creativity for many artists interested in the political, personal, social and geographical impacts of the transnational in relation to Asia.


The Workshop complements a one day invitation only interdisciplinary Symposium on 29 September at ANU on Asian Diasporas/ TransPacific Contexts and Global Art with participation from leading experts from North America, Asia and the Pacific working on Asia and diaspora studies in a number of disciplines. Those selected to present papers at the Graduate Workshop will be invited to also attend the Symposium. While the Symposium focusses on contemporary art the Graduate Workshop is open to papers discussing our theme of The Transnational in Asian Art in both historical and contemporary contexts. The Graduate Workshop will include an event at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra addressing issues of the transnational in Australian and global art. The Workshop also encompasses the issues raised in the 2017 theme of the Humanities Research Centre (HRC) ANU The Question of the Stranger. In relation to that theme Head of the HRC Professor William Christie has stated ‘it is precisely because we are everyday forging more and more global connections with peoples once geographically distant and culturally alienated that we need to engage with the question of the stranger as it continues to inform human thought and feeling and their critical and creative expression’.

The Workshop will be led by Professor Margo Machida, University of Connecticut, a renowned expert on Asian American art and is convened by Dr Caroline Turner, Professor Jacqueline Lo, Dr Elly Kent and Alex Burchmore at ANU


Some travel funding is available to interstate PhD students presenting papers in the Workshop from a generous grant from the Asian Studies Association of Australia.
Papers selected for the Graduate Workshop will be short presentations of 15 minutes to allow significant time for discussion. Please send a short abstract of approximately 300 words by 9 July.

Enquiries regarding the Workshop and travel funding should be sent to

The Workshop is sponsored by the Asian Studies Association of Australia and organised by the Humanities Research Centre, Australian National University.