AMT Phase 2 Projects

AMT Phase 2 Funded Projects

The University’s Executive Board (College van Bestuur) has decided to continue the Leiden University profile area Asian Modernities and Traditions for another four years 2015-2018. AMT2 commits itself to achieve by 2018 demonstrable results in enhancing the visibility of Asian research both within and outside the academic world, strengthened cooperation between Leiden faculties and institutes in terms of research, impact (valorisation) and teaching, the attraction of new grants or gifts for Asia research, impact activities and teaching, and the development of new courses in Asia studies, especially at the postgraduate (MA and PhD) level.

The total funding for 2015-2018 will be €1 million. In addition to some smaller funding programmes, the bulk (up to 850k) of AMT2 funding will be allocated competitively to teams of 2-5 Asia researchers in Leiden, who will be given a budget of €100-150k to develop a field of Asia research and teaching in the course of a 2-3 year period.

Our key criteria in selecting large grant proposals are:
1) develops a field or approach to an aspect of Asian studies that broadens or extends currently existing expertise, research and teaching in Leiden;
2) involves and develops long-term cooperation between two or more institutes or faculties in Leiden;
3) increases the visibility and impact of Asian studies in Leiden.

Based on the applications received for the first and second rounds, five projects received funding. These projects are listed below. We will evaluate the performance and impact of the large grant projects anually.

The globalised politics of connectivity and governance in the South-to-West Asian Migration Corridor

Gulf countries host nearly 21 percent of global labour migrants and a majority of South Asian migrant workers depart to the Gulf region. Despite the global significance of the South-to-West Asia migration corridor, it receives limited attention in scholarship. To address this gap, Crystal Ennis and Nicolas Blarel examine the process through which expatriates across South and West Asian countries become increasingly active in migration governance and diplomacy. Migration governance has increased in complexity and plays out at multiple levels - domestic, regional, and global. New technologies and increased connectivity provide new opportunities for individual actors and collectives to be active in the migration governance milieu. This project analyses the interdependent roles between two levels of actors: South Asian migrants in the Gulf who increasingly take advantage of globalised levels of governance and in their home-state to improve their living conditions; and home states in South Asia which are concurrently integrating the welfare of migrants in their foreign policies toward the Gulf and using migrants as a tool of diplomacy. This project evaluates the long-term effects for global governance of the increasing political embeddedness and connectedness between migration and domestic and foreign affairs across migration corridors.

The project is research-driven, opening a new area of inquiry in Asian Studies at Leiden, and teaching focused with an emphasis on creating cross-faculty learning opportunities. Over a two-year period, this project will develop long-term cooperation between LIAS and Political Science, and open a dialogue on research on Asian regions often studied in isolation.  In addition to facilitating this research agenda, the project will create a shared graduate seminar, fund a Research MA position, organise and host an interdisciplinary, international workshop at Leiden bringing together experts from outside and within the regions under examination, and produce a series of academic and outreach materials.  

Project duration: 1 February 2017 - 31 January 2019

The project is hosted by the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS).

The project coordinators are: Dr. C.A. Ennis and Dr. N.R.J.B. Blarel.

CANAME (Critical Approaches to New Asian Media Ecologies)

CANAME develops the theme of digital Asia to investigate the processes of “mutual shaping” between Asian societies and digital technologies and the ways the digital enables new understandings of Asian languages, cultures and societies.

CANAME is designed to achieve three primary goals: 1) the integration of research at Leiden University on the cultural, socio-economic, and political dimensions of different information regimes in Asia past and present; 2) pilot work for a linked digital research infrastructure for the study of Asia, starting with modern and classical East Asian languages, and; 3) the design of graduate teaching that incorporates both critical theory and computational methods to pursue the study of the digital in an Asian context.

The project provides a focal point for research, grant development and teaching on a topic that has, until now, involved multiple scattered and ad-hoc collaborations around the university. CANAME aims to integrate research on Asian media ecologies by empirically studying the culture and politics of contemporary social media and Internet use throughout the Asian region. It further aims to further develop ongoing digital humanities projects such as and and contribute towards a virtual research environment for East Asian languages with international collaborators including universities, libraries, and content providers in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Bringing together expertise from the Institute for Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology (CA-DS), the Leiden University Institute for Area Studies (LIAS), and the Leiden University Centre for Digital Humanities (LUCDH), CANAME aims to extend cooperation with those working on digital Asian cultural studies at Leiden and beyond. We will invite prominent figures in the field of digital Asian cultural studies for week-long visits and host a workshop for local and international collaborators.

Project duration: 1 February 2017 - 31 January 2019

The project is hosted by the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS).

The main project applicant is Professor Hilde De Weerdt

The co-applicants are Dr. Bart Barendregt and Dr. Florian Schneider.

Central Asia

The purpose of the project is to establish Central Asian Studies at Leiden University. Central Asia is a region with fluid borders stretching into present-day Afghanistan, Russia, China, Mongolia, Iran and the Caucasus; a premodern highway of global interaction and today increasingly important as a centre stage of geopolitical interests. At present, Central Asia is marginally represented within the Faculty of Humanities (Area Studies, History, Linguistics) and the Faculty of Social Sciences (Political Sciences). Although individual researchers work on Central Asia, the region as a whole is largely absent from BA and MA teaching. Furthermore, only few researchers have structural academic embedding within the Leiden institutes despite the fact that Leiden offers a unique environment for Central Asian research and education since major languages and disciplines relevant to Central Asia are being taught here. Within the Leiden Institute for Area Studies, the study of Central Asia is important as it embodies a now ‘missing link’ between Asian Studies and Middle Eastern Studies in both a historical and a contemporary perspective.

Throughout two years (Feb 2015-Feb 2017), the project will create a platform for the study of Central Asia in its broadest sense, by uniting and consolidating existing expertise and initiating new international collaboration resulting in joint applications for research funding. Key issues are cultural space, identity formation, geopolitics and heritage. As part of the project a coordinating post-doc position was created, new course modules on Central Asia will be developed, and a series of outreach events will be organized (guest lectures, books discussions, exhibition, conference).

Project duration: 1 February 2015 - 31 December 2018

The project is hosted by the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS).

The main project applicant is Dr. G.R. (Gabrielle) van den Berg

The post-doc coordinator is Dr. E.G. (Elena) Paskaleva 

For current initiatives and events, please view the new Central Asia website

Postcolonial Displacements: Migration, Narratives and Place-making in South Asia

Postcolonial Displacements: Migration, Narratives and Place-making in South Asia, funded under the AMT ‘Large Grant’ scheme, introduces the new research theme of ‘displacement and place-making’ in South Asian Studies and Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University. The project aims at bringing together multi-disciplinary research expertise, teaching modules and outreach initiatives to expand academic involvement with South Asia at Leiden University and in the Netherlands.

Key questions
Postcolonial Dis-placements explores the multiple ways in which migration in South Asia contributes to the imagining, questioning, subverting and reframing of territories, nations and communities. The project focuses on the contested fringes of the politically divided South Asian subcontinent, across historical and contemporary socio-political contexts, the project asks:

- How do people in South Asia engage, resist and support the arbitrary borders that divide, define and delineate the states of the subcontinent?

- How are cultural imaginations, narratives, and claim-makings shaped by histories, memories and experiences of mobility and migration? 

The project explores displacement, in the context of South Asia’s fraught history of partition, through two core sub-themes: Mobility on the Margins and Migrations, Memories, Representations.

Postcolonial Displacements intends to generate new theoretical perspectives, invite multi-disciplinary dialogues, and a rethinking of the area-concept across institutions within the university.

Project duration: 1 September 2015 - 1 September 2018

The project is hosted by the Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS).

The project coordinators are: Dr. Sanjukta Sunderason and Dr. Erik de Maaker

For current initiatives and events, please view the new Postcolonial Displacements website.

Law and Governance in China

As a field of scholarship law and governance in China has developed rapidly during the past decade, simultaneously with the Chinese legal system itself. Presently this system is at a crossroad as it faces the difficult task of accommodating China’s transition from a lower middle ‐ income to an upper middle ‐ income country. Yet, in Europe the number of scholars studying Chinese law and government from a socio ‐ legal approach is limited, despite the scientific and societal import of such studies. Even an eminent continental centre of Chinese studies, Leiden University currently dispenses with an expert in this field.

The project will create a post ‐ doc position for law and governance in China, as a lead ‐ up to a permanent position. This position will:
1) reinforce Leiden’s profile as a centre of studies on China;
2) reinforce Leiden’s profile in studies of law and governance in non ‐ western countries;
3) provide in the need for teaching law and governance in China;
4) support Leiden University’s co ‐ operation with Chinese universities in the field of law and governance.

The major tasks of the post‐doc will be to conduct research on the development of rule of law and access to justice in China, notably regarding the protection of citizens against the state, and to develop a large, comparative research grant proposal regarding this subject in Asia. The theme of protecting citizens against the state has become a central issue in China and many other Asian countries with the rise of an increasingly vocal middle class and the need for the government to deal with the injustices accompanying the rise of the market economy. It includes such topics as administrative litigation, petitioning, administrative review, constitutional rights development, and outside of China Ombudsmen, National Human Rights Institutions etc. The theme links up with ongoing research at Leiden University about Indonesia, which will aid the development of the comparative research grant proposal.

Project duration: 1 September 2015 - 1 September 2017

The project is hosted by the VVI Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Development

The project coordinators are: Professor Frank Pieke and Professor Jan Michiel Otto

Last Modified: 05-10-2017