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University of Bonn, Germany, September 22-23, 2016

The 5th International Crossroads Asia conference will provide a platform for sharing and discussing conceptual and methodological innovations in AS research that transcend traditional disciplinary approaches. Among the questions to be addressed are: How do globalisation, digitalisation, urbanisation and migration challenge concepts of ‘areas’? How does space intersect with a sense of belonging, and how do these constellations shift through time? How can AS account for the Anthropocene? How can AS contribute to overcoming epistemic hegemonies, ethnocentrism and 'othering'?

Find more information here.



The following contributions have been published recently:


Contemporary - South Asia Special issue on Jammu and Kashmir – Boundaries and Movements

edited by Martin Sökefeld




Mapping Transition in the Pamirs. Changing Human-Environmental Landscapes

by Hermann Kreutzmann and Teiji Watanabe (Eds.) 




Agricultural Knowledge and Knowledge Systems in Post-Soviet Societies

by Anna-Katharina Hornidge, Anastasiya Shtaltovna, Conrad Schetter (Eds.)




Mobilizing Religion: Networks and Mobility

by Stephan Conermann and Elena Smolarz (eds.)


Pamirian Crossroads. Kirghiz and Wakhi of High Asia

by Hermann Kreutzmann


Spaces of Conflict in Everyday Life. Perspectives across Asia

by Martin Sökefeld (ed.)


Geographien der Gewalt. Kriege, Konflikte und die Ordnung des Raumes im 21. Jahrhundert

by Benedikt Korf & Conrad Schetter






Crossroads Studies: From Spatial Containers to Studying the Mobile


The research network Crossroads Asia, funded by the BMBF, started off in March 2011 with the aim to question 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 underlying assumption—can no longer justify a division of the world in territorially fixed ‘areas’, defined by certain character traits to be found on the ‘inside’, but instead demands concepts of ‘area’ that take these dynamisms into account. For doing so, the network chose a novel approach with Norbert Elias’ figurations at its conceptual centre. After three years of largely empirical, ethnographic research, the network has indulged in a process of bringing the different empirical insights on the role of mobilities and immobilities in the spatialities of everyday life together by discussing the conceptual, methodological, and epistemological research outcomes and lessons they offer for conventional area studies approaches. This text offers a brief summary and overview, hoping to invite other interested scholars into the debate.

The whole article, which was published in Middle East - Topics & Arguments (META), can be read here