Masterclasses for PhD students and Early Career Academics
Saturday, 13 August 2016

This event is being run in conjunction with the workshop Intimate Connections: Everyday Experiences of Inter-Asia Ties (11-12 August, 2016)

Dr Chika Watanabe, University of Manchester
Dr Dredge Käng, University of California San Diego

Deadline for applications: 31 JULY 2016 (see below)

Humanities Research Centre,
AD Hope Building,
Australian National University,
Canberra, ACT

We are pleased to offer two master classes with outstanding scholars working on the concerns of intimacy within and between Asian contexts. Note that participation is limited to 5 additional students per masterclass (along with the 12 participants from the Intimate Connections workshop). All participants will be required to complete readings and come prepared to discuss their own research in the context of the concepts introduced. Open to all PhD students working in the humanities and social sciences, as well as early career academics. Students and scholars who are not at the Australian National University are also encouraged to apply, but will need to cover travel expenses. See application details at the bottom of this announcement.

Dr Chika Watanabe, University of Manchester

Economics, development, activism

A traditional framework for understanding intimacy has been its opposition to calculative economic logic, instrumentalism, and the public sphere. But recent studies have shown how these realms are, in fact, mutually constitutive. Based on participants’ own work, in this master class we will explore how a focus on intimate realms can help us advance understandings of phenomena such as global capitalism, development, humanitarianism, and activism. In particular, we will discuss how studying the intimate nature of these processes can illuminate on inter-Asian connections, and vice versa. The aim of the master class is to experiment with new ways that we can understand intimacy as a productive analytic to understand economics, development, and activism, beyond easy conclusions that these phenomena have intimate dimensions. Specifi cally, we will explore: how can a focus on inter-Asian ties shed new light on how we understand intimacies in the public sphere? We will also play with nonfi ction free-writing exercises to discuss how, as scholars, we can write intimacy.

Chika Watanabe is a permanent Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. Her research and teaching interests revolve around issues of development, humanitarianism, NGOs, religion and secularity, ethics and morality, and disasters. She has published articles in journals such as Cultural Anthropology and American Anthropologist, and contributed chapters in edited volumes. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Muddy Labor: Nonreligion and the Moral Imaginations of a Japanese NGO in Myanmar

Dr Dredge Käng, University of California San Diego

The New Anthropology of Love What is love and what forms of relationships count as love?

Romantic love is universal but particularly structured. That is, love is a widespread feature among social groups but practiced in distinct ways shaped by culture, history, and political economy. Love is also a site of contested legitimacy, for individuals, dyads, groups, and civilizations. In this master class, we focus on contemporary inter-Asian cases in relationship to contemporary theory on love, including Gidden’s “pure relationship” idealizing sexual and emotional equality among intimate partners in “modern” societies and Povinelli’s settler colonial governance of love through normative coupledom. In particular, we will examine how political economy shapes desires and consider how gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation reinforce or undermine relationship trajectories, status hierarchies, and life opportunities.

Dredge Byung’chu Kang (PhD, MPH Emory University) is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California San Diego. His research focuses on the intersections of queer and trans studies, critical race theory, and inter-Asian regionalism. He has published in journals such as GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies (2011), Asian Studies Review (2012), and Transgender Studies Quarterly (2014). His current project explores the impact of the Korean Wave and Cool Japan on the performance of Thai gender, sexuality, and race as well as queer Thai infl uence on other Southeast Asian nations such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

Application details

Please send your application to Benjamin Hegarty ( and Shiori Shakuto ( by 31 JULY 2016.
Note that registration is required for this event. Please include the following information in your email application.
> Name > Position > Discipline/faculty > 200 word statement of interest


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