Call for papers: Conference on “Constructions of Race and Racism in East Asia: East-West Perspectives”

Munich, 12th – 14th Sep 2012
Deadline: 15th Aug 2012

We welcome papers for a conference on Constructions of Race and Racism in East Asia, which will be held at the University of the Armed Forces, Munich, Germany from September 12 to 14, 2012.
This conference follows an earlier book project entitled “Race and Racism in Modern East Asia: Western Constructions and Eastern Reactions” (Brill, 2012).

In that project, about half of the participantssurveyed and examined the roots of racial constructions of East Asians (principally, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans)

in the West and their manifestations during the last 150 years, whereas the other half focused upon the characteristics of local racial constructions and indigenous racism in modern East Asia, with particular attention to the manifestations of racial thought and racism as the result of the ethnic encounter during Japanese colonialism.  

During the coming conference, we would like to examine the following topics in the context of East Asia:

  • Sources of modern racism – the interplay between indigenous and foreign perspectives

  • The link between nationalism and racism

  • Racial theories in a transnational perspective

  • The impact of racial thought on mutual images

  • Gender and racial thought


We welcome submissions that deal with these issues and similar questions from scholars working within history, anthropology, literature, linguistics, cultural studies, political science and related disciplines. The organizers plan to create an edited volume out of the conference papers.

To that end, please send your proposed titles, institutional affiliation (and year of study, in the case of doctoral students), and abstracts of 200-300 words as a Word attachment to the organizers by 25 February 2012. Successful participants will be informed by late March 2012 and will be expected to submit their conference papers for discussion by 15 August 2012. Any questions on the theme of the conference should be sent to

Walter Demel and Rotem Kowner

To support the participation of scholars from around the world, we can offer hotel accommodation and board and may be able to offer travel assistance to a limited number of participants.

Kind regards and Happy New Year,

Walter Demel (University of the Armed Forces, Munich) and Rotem Kowner (University of Haifa, Israel), January 2012

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