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Work Report 2018 for the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies

Administration and organsation

During 2018 the Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies was engaged in preparations for the organizational move to the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology where it from 1 January 2019 is a section at the Department of History. This organizational change required the adoption of new directives for the Centre although its mandate to be an interdisciplinary institution that serves as a hub for scholars and students interested in the region remains unchanged (see directives posted on the Centre website). The Centre will during 2019 get a new advisory board that will include two representatives from other faculties as well as one external expert with the aim to support the Centre’s strategic and cross-faculty work. It was also decided that from 1 January 2019, the Asia Library, established in 1999 and run by the Centre between 2006-2018, is to be managed by the Libraries of the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology. The Asia Library however remains on the same premises as the Centre. Through a coordinating group, the Centre also maintains an influence of the development of the library and its collections.

Events and workshops/conferences at the Centre

In 2018, the Centre organized 13 guest lectures (two with funding from the Academy of Korean Studies), two film screenings with Chinese filmmakers (funded with external funding from the Carl-Fredrik Lyngby donation for sinology), and one film screening with an American filmmaker. In addition a book launch of Marina Svensson’s co-edited book on heritage issues in China was held at the Centre.
In January, the Centre organised a three-day conference Assessing 40 Years of Reform and Opening in China with funding from the Birgit Rausing Language Foundation and partly from the Digital China project (Swedish Research Council funded project). It included speakers from China, Hong Kong, Australia, France, and the UK, as well as speakers from the Centre and other departments at Lund University. In November, the Centre organized a half-day event celebrating 150 years of diplomatic relations between Sweden and Japan with speakers from Sweden and Japan. It was funded with money from USV. In December, a one-day conference on China’s influence in South-East Asia was arranged with scholars from the US, France, and Thailand. It was funded by money from Sandblom’s donations and USV.

Networking and participation at other events in Lund

The Centre took part in the Lund University’s sustainability week in April, co-sponsoring a film screening with a discussion lead by Nicholas Loubere. In September, the Centre co-organized an event on China’s digital development with the Foreign Policy Association with speakers from Canada, Germany, the UK, and the Centre. The event was sponsored by the Digital China project (funded by the Swedish Research Council).
A networking event for researchers at Lund University working on East and South-East Asia was arranged in December with the purpose to inform other researchers about the Centre’s organizational changes and plans for the future. At the meeting current challenges and ethical issues facing researchers working on the region were also discussed.
Paul O’Shea and Nicholas Loubere have together with scholars at other departments been involved in developing two separate research proposals for a Pufendorf application (submitted in January 2019).

Swedish, nordic, and international networking

During the year the Centre has worked to strengthen its Swedish, Nordic and international networks within the Asian studies field. In April, Monica Lindberg Falk, Paul O’Shea and Marina Svensson took part in the event, What is in it for Sweden? Toward a Shared Agenda for Swedish East Asia Research, arranged by the Institute for Security and Development and Gothenburg University. In May Professor Prasjenit Duara, Duke University, and vice-president of the Association of Asian Studies, was invited to give a talk at the Centre. Researchers also had the opportunity to discuss Asian studies and the future of area studies with him. In 2018, the Centre became a member of the European Alliance of Asian Studies and Marina Svensson attended two of its meetings as well as put together a panel on its behalf for the International Covenant on Asian Studies (ICAS) to be held in Leiden in July 2019. Nicholas Loubere put together another panel with representatives from open access journals for the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) to be held in Denver in March 2019. In addition, Marina Svensson served as the chair of the NIAS NNC Council during 2018 and took part in council meetings and the NIAS board meeting.


Visiting fellows

During 2018, the Centre hosted several visiting scholars. They include Associate Professor Erik Mobrand, Seoul National University (funded by the Centre), who spent 1,5 months at the Centre and also gave some lectures, and professor Lu Jixia, China Agricultural University, who spent a month at the Centre (Centre received funding from the Birgit Rausing Language Foundation). In addition, lecturer Sun Lixin, Ningbo Normal University, spent the fall semester at the Centre, whereas assistant professor Seo-Young Cho, Philipps-University of Marburg in German, spent one month at the Centre (both on their own funding).

In 2018, the Centre also began a new project encouraging Ph.D. students from primarily Sweden and the Nordic countries to come to the Centre as visiting fellows for 1-2 months. The Centre provided office space whereas the students funded their travel and accommodation. During the fall two Ph.D. students, Otso Haru from Helsinki University, respectively Alvin Yang from Universität Kassel, visited the Centre for a month each and gave a research seminar or lecture.

Research projects and funding

During the year individual researchers were active in different smaller and larger research projects. The large research project, Digital China, with altogether seven researchers based at the Centre, other departments in Lund, and in Stockholm, and funded by the Swedish Research Council, ended in November and academic and financial reports were submitted. A couple of new research projects with external funding were started during the year. They include: a three year research project on civil society in Cambodia and Indonesia (Astrid Norén Nilsson) with funding from the Swedish Research Council; a three year international post doc research project on big Data in China (Darcy Pan) funded by the Swedish Research Council; and a one year research project on Korean public diplomacy (Paul O’Shea) funded by the Korea Foundation.

Scholars at the Centre (Roger Greatrex, Monica Lindberg Falk, Nicholas Loubere, Astrid Norén Nilsson and Marina Svensson) received a total of around 410 000 SEK for travel, conferences, visiting scholars and research from different foundations at Lund University. The Centre has also applied to STINT for a grant to strengthen research and education activities with South Korean scholars (results to be announced in January 2019). In addition, two researchers received funding for two new research projects that will run 2019-2021: Annika Pissin on agriculture in China and Sweden (funded by Formas and with project leader Professor Erik Clark at the department of cultural geography) and Stefan Brehm on procurement and human rights in Asia (funded by Konkurrensverket).


Research outputs

Researchers at the Centre published a total of eleven journal articles, six book chapters, two edited books, five articles in the media, one working paper, and several blogs. In addition, Nicholas Loubere continued as one of the editors of the online journal Made in China. Monica Lindberg Falk served as one of the editors the book series Gendering Asia, NIAS Press, whereas other researchers served on editorial and advisory boards of different journals.


Conference participation

Researchers at the Centre took part in a range of international conferences. These include some of the larger annual or bi- annual conferences such as the European Association of Chinese Studies.

Participation in university committees, professional associations, and other contributions to the academic community

Several among the staff are active in different professional networks and associations. Monica Lindberg Falk serves as board member of EuroSEAS, European Association for Southeast Asian Studies. Nicholas Loubere was elected as board member of the the European Association of Chinese Studies in 2018, he also since 2017 serves s board member of the Nordic Association of Chinese Studies. Marina Svensson served as USV representative in the Lund University research committee. She is also a member of the NIAS NNC Council and served as its chair during 2018, as well as is a member of the NIAS board. Marina was examiner in a Ph.D. committee in history at Växjö University in March. She wrote a background paper entitled Challenges for China Research and State of the Field in Europe: Lessons for Sweden for report by deputy vice-chancellor Sylvia Schwaag Serger, Sverige och Kina — stärkt samverkan för en hållbar framtid.



In the fall of 2018, 20 new students began the Centre’s Master programme in Asian studies. In October, the Centre organised its second alumni event bringing three alumni back to Lund to discuss with current students their experience as students and careers after graduation. In July Nicholas Loubere co-organised the second Made in China summer school in Florence and Stefan Brehm and Marina Svensson also participated as teachers in the summer school (the participation was funded by special funding from USV). In February, Marina Svensson and Paul O’Shea visited Waseda University and the master students during the fieldwork course in February in order to follow-up and get to know the new management there.


During 2018, the library purchased books for 132 000 SEK in order to further strengthen its collections (the total cost for books, journals and databases was circa 200 000 SEK). Carina Enestarre and Mia Nilsson visited the Asia library in Leiden in connection with the South-East Asian Librarian Network meeting in July. During the year work on the Kampuchea collection resulted in a full list of available materials (… kampuchea-collection ).


During the year, the Centre published six newsletters and also increased its social media presence through opening an Instagram account.

Financial report

In addition to individual research funding mentioned above, the Centre applied for and received 217 000 SEK from USV for organizing guest lectures, holding workshops, organising an alumni event, and taking part in a summer school etc. The Centre also applied for and received 130 000 SEK from the Academy for Korean Studies for a series of lectures on contemporary Korean society during the academic year 2018/2019.
The financial result for 2018 shows a positive result of 1 547 000 SEK (on finances see separate full report).