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London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum

London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum 

Drafted by Ted Motohashi

0.Contextual Histories
In June 1997, Ted Motohashi, then a visiting fellow at University of Essex, organized a postgraduate conference at Essex on the theme of “Pacific Asia Cultural Studies”, with the help from people like Stuart Hall, Catherine Hall, Peter Hulme, Paul Gilroy, Kuan-hsing Chen and Naoki Sakai.  After that conference, in which a number of postgraduate students coming to London from Asian countries or those researching subjects related to Asia who are interested in Cultural Studies in various ways participated, there arose a voluntary network of students/lecturers who thought that a continuation of the “bottom-up” initiatives materialized in that conference would be vital in reinvigorating cultural studies in London.  Since then, several postgraduate students including Hiroki Ogasawara (now at Kobe University, Japan) took leads in organizing regular, biweekly or monthly, seminars and annual international conferences mostly at Goldsmiths College.  That network was later succeeded and developed by Chris Berry of Goldsmiths and others until very recently.  Ted Motohashi, now affiliated with Birkbeck College until March 2012 as a visiting professor, would like to carry these heritages and incentives into future during his stay in London.  

1.Institutional Basis
"London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum (LAPCSF)", as I propose it to be called should be set up at the Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice, Birkbeck College, London, as its base camp for further climbing, as it were, with the support from Birkbeck’s Media and Cultural Studies Department, although this forum by definition being a cross London network of people who share common interests and incentives could occasionally have seminars/meetings at some other venues.

2.Overall Aims and Themes 

We aim to provide those postgraduate students across London who are interested in Cultural Studies with opportunities of developing their own research topics and working their fellow students in a friendly and cooperative environment through presenting their own papers and attending the workshops.

Blanket themes for the Forum should include:

“Transition and transformation of cultural studies”
“Cultural studies in contention”
“Discrepancy in cultural studies in the digital age”;
“Towards the reformulation of cultural studies”

3.Basic Formats of the Forum
(1)Regular, perhaps monthly, seminars, starting in September 2010, consisting of 1 keynote speech, 2 postgraduate papers on related themes, and a guest commentator, all planned, programmed by the LACSF Organising Committee .

(2)An international postgraduate conference of moderate size in November 2011.

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