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Work Report 2019 for the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies

Administration and organsation

In January 2019 the Centre for East and Southeast Asian Studies moved to the Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology (HT) and became a section at the Department of History. During 2019, the Centre thus became incorporated into a new organisation, which required some adjustment regarding institutional and financial set-up. The Centre now has an advisory board consisting of representatives from the Centre, including student representatives, the head of the History Department, two representatives from other faculties, and one external expert. The advisory board’s main role is to help develop the Centre and strengthen its cross-faculty and interdisciplinary work. The institutional board of the History Department makes decisions regarding course plans, budget and other matters. During the year the Centre has together with the other divisions at the department been involved in self-evaluation of research as part of RQ20.


Staff changes

With the transfer to HT the Asia Library, although still at the premises of the Centre, is now being managed by the HT libraries, and librarians Carina Enestarre and Mia Nilsson have been formally employed at the HT libraries. In January a new economist, Alice Chen, began working at the Centre, and in March, associate professor Monica Lindberg Falk retired. In the spring the Centre announced a postdoctoral fellowship in Japanese and/or Korean studies. The chosen candidate later got another position and a new call will be made in 2020. In the fall, the Centre and the Human Rights Division applied for and got faculty funding for a postdoctoral fellow in human rights in East and South-East Asia. The position was announced in December 2019 and the candidate will begin in September 2020.

Events and workshops/conferences

In 2019, the Centre organized 16 guest lectures (five with funding from the Academy of Korean Studies) and four film scre- enings. In addition two photo exhibitions were held.
In April, the Centre co-organised a three-day workshop on Chinese media in Berlin together with the China Media Project with funding from the Birgit Rausing Language Foundation and German funders. In April the Centre also organised a one-day event on academic freedom in China with both Swedish and international participants. In September, the Centre organized an event on photography with three speakers, a Chinese photographer (funded by the Birgit Rausing foundation), a museum official and photographer and a professor of anthropology from Lund. In November, the Centre together with the HT libraries celebrated the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Asia Library. In December, the Centre co-organized a conference and Ph.D. workshop with the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies. The conference gathered some 80 participants including 17 Ph.D. candidates from the Nordic countries, Europe, Asia, Australia and the US.

Networking and participation at other events in Lund

In September, the Centre co-organized an event on the protests in Hong Kong and in November a panel debate on develop- ments in Xinjiang with the Foreign Policy Association.

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. Nicholas Loubere put together a panel with representatives from open access journals for the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) that was held in Denver in March, and Marina Svensson put together a panel on behalf of the European Alliance of Asian Studies on academic freedom in Asia for the International Covenant on Asian Studies (ICAS) held in Leiden in July. Astrid Norén Nilsson was elected member of the European Association of European Studies. In addition, Marina Svensson served as Swedish representative of the NIAS NNC Council.

Visiting fellows at the Centre

During 2019, the Centre hosted several visiting scholars and Ph.D students from one week up to one month each, and in one case six months. They include: Fang Kecheng, currently Chinese University Hong Kong; Ren Juan, CASS; Lisa Zhang, Heidelberg University; Mark Philip Stadler, Copenhagen University; Saba Joshi, Copenhagen University; May Zuleika Salo, School of Law and Governance, University of Asia and the Pacific; Kees Krul, Delft University of Technology; Patrik Andersson, Roskilde University, and Kong Tao, Peking University.

Research projects and output

During the year individual researchers were active in different smaller and larger research projects. Researchers at the Centre published a total of five journal articles, eight book chapters, two edited books, one monograph, and five articles in the media.

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

Researchers at the Centre took part in a range of international conferences. Marina Svensson served in two Ph.D. committees in Lund and was the external examiner for a Ph.D. thesis at Murdoch University, in addition to serving as reviewer for profes- sorships in Copenhagen University, Vienna University and Aarhus University.


In the fall of 2019, 25 new students began the Centre’s Master programme in Asian studies. During the year the Centre began its first BA level course, with two more planned for 2020, as well as established an internship course. The Centre also had its Ph.D. programme in East and South-East Asian Studies approved with start date September 2020. Two Ph.D. positions will be announced in February 2020. In November, the Centre organised its third alumni event bringing three alumni back to Lund to discuss with current students their experience as students and their careers after graduation.


During the year, the Centre published five newsletters and also maintained its social media presence on mainly Facebook and Instagram. It also produced a short film introducing the master’s programme as part of its marketing efforts.


Financial report

The financial result for 2019 shows a surplus of around 4 million SEK, although 1,2 million is earmarked for Ph.D. positions. The surplus is due to several factors, including parental leave, sick leave, and a delay in hiring of a postdoctoral fellow.