Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, also known as the Movements project (IACSM), has been a transborder collective undertaking to confront Inter-Asia cultural politics since its inauguration in 2000.
At that time, a pervasive rhetoric of the“rise of Asia” has come to mean more than the concentrated flow of capital into and out of the region. It has come to constitute a structure of feeling that is ubiquitous yet ambiguously felt throughout Asia. Historically, this feeling of the “rise of Asia” is complicated by the region’s colonial past. While Asia’s position in the global system has and will continue to fl uctuate, there is a need to question and critique the rhetorical unities of both the “rise” and of “Asia.” Wealth and resources are unevenly distributed and there is no cultural or linguistic unity in this imaginary space called Asia. No matter whether there are common experiences shared by sub-regional histories, there has been an urgent need for forging links across these sub-regions. Hence,“Inter-Asia”cultural studies movements.
In the past 22 years, in addition to journal publication, IACSM has built a Society to run bi-annual conferences, and a Consortium of Institutions to organize summer school and publish Readers. The politico-economic transformations across the region in the Post/Cold War era have engendered both new social movements and critical cultural studies as forces of decolonization. These forces have given rise to alternative modes of thought and knowledge production, and we have also become part of these intellectual movement network for regional interactions and beyond.
Covid-19 is now one of the symptoms for the radical transformation of the world. It is at such a critical conjuncture that IACSM will publish 6 issues a year in response to the increasing demands. The aim has been to shift existing sites of identification and multiply alternative frames of reference: it is committed to publishing work not only out of “Asia” but also other coordinates such as the “third world” and beyond. To continue this line of work, we form an action team (see http://www.inter-asia.org/), and the agenda is to further the links or even to create institutions and groups inside and outside universities to supports projects such as grounded global studies, action research, and to discover new mode of thought to move across state/national/sub-regional divisions, scholarship and activism, modes/forms of thought, and rigid identity politics of any form. Perhaps, by doing so, the world can be more properly explained and re-build anew.