ASIAN STUDIES CENTRE (SSD)
The Asian Studies Centre was founded in 1982, as the successor to the Far East Centre (established in 1954) at St Antony's College. Like its predecessor, the Asian Studies Centre is primarily a co-ordinating organisation which exists to bring together specialists from a wide variety of different disciplines.
The Centre predominantly covers South, Southeast and East Asia. The Asian Studies Centre works closely with scholars in the Oriental Institute, the Oxford China Centre, the South Asian Studies Programme and the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies. It is a forum for supporting activities through which scholars from across the University and beyond discuss thematic topics of comparative and of regional interest.
The Asian Studies Centre was host to the Taiwan Studies Programme from 2010 to 2015 and the Programme in Modern Burmese Studies which was active until 2018. It currently hosts the South Asian Seminar Series and the Southeast Asia Seminar Series. It also supports a variety of other country-specific and/or thematic seminar series, workshops, conferences, lectures and activities, which vary from term to term and year to year. These have included the Art of Independence: Visions of the Future India and Pakistan, with the Ashmolean Museum and the Courtauld Institute of Art, the South China Sea Workshop and the Burma Studies Conference in 2018.
The centre hosts the annual Chun-tu Hsueh Distinguished Lecture on an aspect of Modern China these have included: Alastair Iain Johnston (Havard) – How New and Assertive is China’s Assertiveness, Deborah Davis (Yale) Post Socialist Marriage in Contemporary China, Zhiyuan Cui (Tsinghua) – Chinese Reform in Light of the James Meade’s Liberal Socialism, Evan Medeirous – Asia’s Changing Strategic Dynamics and the Implications for China’s Rise and US-China Relations, Peter Nolan (Cambridge) – China and the West: Crossroads of Globalisation, Jane Duckett (Glasgow) – International Influences on Domestic Policy-Making in China, Shaun Breslin (Warwick) – The Power to change Minds? China’s rise and ideational alternatives.
The Asian Studies Centre is keen to support comparative research on Asia, and research on regional themes, to encourage debate and dialogue within the diverse student body across the University. To facilitate communications, the Centre issues a weekly round-up of Asian studies events and notices.
The Asian Studies Centre administers the Wai Seng Senior Research Scholarship which provides two years of support every two years for a DPhil student working in the field of Asia-Pacific studies. Current and previous holders have been:
- Seokwoo Lee (DPhil Law 2000) Thesis title: International Law and the Resolution of Territorial Disputes over Islands in East Asia
- John Ciorciari (DPhil International Relations, 2002) Thesis title: Alliance Theory and the International Politics of Southeast Asia during the Post-Cold War Era.
- Daniel Koldyk (DPhil Politics, 2004) Thesis title: 'From coercion to cooperation: Inclusion and grassroots political change in urban China'
- Maria Repnikova (DPhil Politics, 2007) Thesis title: 'Limited Political Liberalisation in Authoritarian Regimes: Critical Journalists and the State in China
- Julian Gruin (DPhil International Relations, 2010) Thesis title: Communists Constructing Capitalism: Socio-Economic Uncertainty, Communist Party Rule and China's Financial Development, 1990-2008.
- Xi (Sisi) Hu (DPhil Geography and Environment, 2014) Thesis title: A temporal and spatial analysis of China’s infrastructure and economic vulnerability to climate change impacts.