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4th Crossroads Asia Conference "Crossroads Studies: Mobilities, Immobilities and the Issue of Positionality for Rethinking Area Studies" to be held November 27-28, 2014 in Bonn

The Crossroads Asia network hosts an international conference at Universitätsforum Bonn, Heussallee 18-24

The research network Crossroads Asia: Conflict, Migration, Development, funded by the Area Studies Initiative of the German Ministry of Education and Research since March 2011, questions the validity of the conventional ‘world regions’ of Central and South Asia as defining bases for Area Studies as conceptualized, organized and taught at German universities. The increasing mobility of people, goods and ideas along Asia’s crossroads – so the network's assumption – does not justify a division of the world in territorially fixed ‘areas’, defined by certain character traits to be found on the ‘inside’, but instead demands for concepts that take these dynamisms into account. The network chose Norbert Elias’ concept of figurations to generate knowledge transgressing conventional areas and brought together researchers trained in Central, South Asian and Iranian Studies with geographers, political scientists, sociologists, linguists and social anthropologists.

The conference on ‘Crossroads Studies’ as research programme will bring together the empirical research conducted by the network members with empirical, conceptual and methodological debates on the rethinking of Area Studies – from Asia just as much as from other parts of the world. It is the explicit aim to identify several empirically based common lines of thought and emic patterns of defining socio-cultural and physical spaces relevant for the rethinking of disciplinary constructs of those, namely for Area Studies. 

Please download the conference flyer along with the programme here. We welcome your registration before November 20th, 2014 via crossroads(at)uni-bonn.de. Unfortunately we are not able to provide any financial assistance to conference participants. If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Nelli Nokkala.



Anna-Katharina Hornidge takes her experience as coordinator of Crossroads Asia to a new level as Director of the Department of Political and Cultural Change at the Center for Development Research (ZEF), University of Bonn.

In a recent interview after a month in her new position, she expressed her visions for ZEF. Her conviction that "qualitative and quantitative social science research requires local language skills and cultural expertise", but that ZEF also needs "strong conceptual and methodological groundings" in order to "put research on different themes, in different world regions, and on different scales into stronger interaction", reflects insights gained during the first phase of Crossroads Asia. You can read the full interview here.



Katja Mielke & Anna-Katharina Hornidge (2014): "Crossroads Studies: From Spatial Containers to Interactions in Differentiated Spatialities. 'Area Studies'-Discussion paper of the Research Network Crossroads Asia.

Fore more information about Crossroads Studies and Crossroads Asia's Area Studies Debate see also Rethinking Area Studies




Kompetenznetzwerk Crossroads Asia

Das Kompetenznetzwerk Crossroads Asia verfolgt einen neuartigen regionalwissenschaftlichen Ansatz, der wissenschaftliche Forschung zu thematisch begründeten "Figurationen" in den Vordergrund stellt. Der geographische Untersuchungsraum dieses Kompetenznetzwerks, der bislang in den Regionalstudien nicht als solcher definiert wurde, reicht vom östlichen Iran bis Westchina und vom Aralsee bis nach Nordindien. Wir bezeichnen diesen Untersuchungsraum hier als Crossroads Asia.

Crossroads Asia (klicken zum Vergrößern)