Lake and Mountains in East Asia

Global Research Workshops

The Stanford Global Studies Division (SGS) provides grants for Global Research Workshops to support the sharing of research across fields and national boundaries that advances our understanding of the world. These grants are made possible by the generous support of Chelsea and Scott Kohler.

2023-24 Global Research Workshop recipients:

Computing Asia: The Past, Present, and Future of the Digital
Lead organizer: Thomas S. Mullaney

This workshop proposes to examine the past, present, and future of computing and new media in Asia—both an examination of computing and new media itself, as well as a critical exploration of the field of "Digital Humanities" as it is unfolding within Asian Studies.

As chronicled in the more familiar Euro-American context, the emergence and proliferation of digital computing and its technological descendants played a critical role in transforming the social, political, cultural, and economic fabric of western Europe and the United States. By comparison, scholars know far less about how such technological artifacts and systems shaped, and were shaped by, historical and cultural experiences in East, South, Southeast, and Inner Asia.

The workshop series will examine emergent and disruptive new modes of epistemic, legal, and even theological authority that formed in connection with the global rise of computation and new media. We will also examine the ways in which computing and new media were radically reconceptualized in the process of their "translation" from Euro-American centers of design to Asian centers of uptake, modification, and reimagination.

Transregional Diasporas: Reconceptualizing Global Labor Flows Through the Lens of Bihar
Lead organizer: Usha Iyer

According to a 2019 United Nations report, the Indian diaspora is the world's largest diaspora, with a population of 17.5 million. A major part of this diaspora traces its origins to a region of the Indian subcontinent that is now known as Bihar. By tracing transregional diasporas from Bihar, our workshop aims to illuminate a less-examined story of labor, forced and voluntary migration through various stages of racial capitalism, and community identity and resilience. This is a story that traverses various scales - of regional and global, rural and urban - and a rich range of historical, cultural, economic, and political narratives. It is also an area of study that intersects with the book projects of the three faculty members proposing the workshop.

By inviting a range of speakers through the year, the Transregional Diasporas workshop series will bring multi-cited, multi-disciplinary attention to the experience and impact of Bihari diaspora communities within South Asia and around the world. Speakers will include scholars, filmmakers, and artists who study the Bihari diaspora within India and in a staggering range of global locations including Indian Ocean indenture diasporas in Fiji and Mauritius, Caribbean indenture diasporas in Trinidad, Guyana, Suriname, and their “double diasporas” in North America, the UK and the Netherlands, as well as Bihari migrants in the Middle East. Across these locations, caste, gender, and religion will serve as the nodes of focus for this workshop.

French Speaking Worlds: Then & Now
Lead organizer: Fatoumata Seck

This series examines histories, literatures, and cultures of the French-speaking world from the 16th century to the 21st century. Interdisciplinary and transoceanic, these discussions will focus on themes that are central to the making of the French-speaking world such as revolution, colonialism, decolonization, material culture, the literary marketplace, the circulation of knowledge, political philosophy, and globalization. Using case studies from the French-speaking world, our speakers will examine how race, class, gender, sexuality, and social practices intersect with historical processes that bring about the ideas and practices that structure the worlds we inhabit.

Law & Literature in the Global South
Lead organizers: Hector Hoyos and Joe Wagner

We aspire to open further spaces for discussion constellating around Law and Literature in the Global South. Building off successful events from AY2021-2022 and AY2022-2023, we will continue expanding the Law and Humanities critical paradigm. Our workshop has consistently engaged with works from and in the South as a spatial and temporal category and site of theory production. In this way, we oppose the de facto affirmation of the hegemony of US-European academic milieus, working with and beyond conversations of legal and cultural practices in/from the Global North. This workshop series focuses on practitioners whose work speaks to global concerns and sparks innovative discussions, as evinced by our previous sessions.

Global Approaches to Sacred Spaces
Lead organizer: Bissera Pentcheva

This series shines a spotlight on the diverse instantiations of sacred space across time and geographies and addresses its many-layered contestations. In the past, sacred space was considered an insulated place of the metaphysical. A renewed engagement with the concept reveals that these are sites of cultural production that have an immediate effect on the outside world and politics. Sacred Spaces and their constituent factors are active in producing identity, memory, sensual experience, and knowledge that tie together the spiritual with the social.

Sacred spaces can encompass theories of post-humanisms, especially in culturally related landscapes, topographies, and cosmologies that initiate the sacred from outside of the anthropocentric. World heritage programs, conservation, and political negotiations factor in the life of sacred sites, challenging us to consider both the material shells and the intangible aspects of cultural production. In some extreme cases, sacred spaces have completely transformed through desacralization, desecration, and resacralization. Time tends to adhere to them, enabling a long durée of ancient, medieval, colonial, modern, and post-colonial. The study of sacred spaces demands global and interdisciplinary approaches. Transformative methodologies and practices, both traditional and innovative, include archaeology, archaeoacoustics, archeoastronomy, architecture, art history, artists and practitioners, music, anthropology, cult and community, digital and film media, design, engineering, geography, history, literature, poetry, sociology and cultural heritage and human rights.