Conference Programme and Schedule

We are pleased to announce publication of the full conference schedule.

Click here to download the schedule.

Click here for the book of abstracts.

Conference Venue

The conference will take place at Abden House, which is located a short walk from the main George Square campus of the University of Edinburgh. Click here for the location on Google Maps.

Conference Registration

Please follow this link for conference registration.

We offer discounts for early registration and research students. Early registration ends 30th June 2019. Registration will close 1st August 2019.

Please note, the registration page will ask you to accept cookies. You must do so before progressing with registration.


The University of Edinburgh offers accommodation to meet a range of budgets and requirements.

Follow this link to find out more and to book.

Keynote Speakers

Alexander Bukh is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations. Alexander was born in Moscow, grew up in Israel and spent over 20 years living in Asia (mainly Japan but also Thailand and Korea) before moving to New Zealand in 2012. Prior to his current appointment at Victoria University, he was an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Tsukuba University, Japan. Alexander’s work focuses on Japan's national identity and foreign policy. His first monograph examined the role of Russia in Japan's identity and foreign policy. Alexander's current research focuses on territorial disputes in Northeast Asia. This project seeks to explore the role of civil society groups engaged in territorial dispute related activism in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in shaping their respective state's foreign policies.

Heonik Kwon is currently a Senior Research fellow at Trinity College in the University of Cambridge. Prior to his current appointment, Prof. Kwon taught at the London School of Economics and Edinburgh University. Prof. Kwon’s scholarship is primarily based in his training as an anthropologist, but his work has far-reaching implications for such disciplines history, sociology and political science. His doctoral research investigated hunter-gatherer societies in northern Sakhalin, and his subsequent research has looked at how people deal with the war and memory in Vietnam and the Koreas. This work uses ethnographic techniques to look at the rituals that war’s survivors use to deal with the aftermath of violence and loss. He has also done innovative work on the Cold War, subverting the grand ideological narrative that is familiar in the West and taking the perspective of the postcolonial nations, where local conditions led to a much different experience. He has also collaborated on work involving the role that art has played in sustaining the dynastic politics of North Korea. Prof. Kwon is a prolific writer with several prize-winning books to his credit, including After the Massacre: Commemoration and Consolation in Ha My and My Lai, for which he was awarded the 2008 Clifford Geertz prize, and Ghosts of War in Vietnam for which he received the 2009 George McT. Kahin Book Prize.

Jessica Batke is a Senior Editor at ChinaFile. She is an expert on China’s domestic political and social affairs, and served as the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research Analyst for nearly eight years prior to joining ChinaFile. In 2016, she was a Visiting Academic Fellow at MERICS in Berlin, where she published papers on Chinese leadership politics and created databases to catalogue hard-to-find, high-level Chinese policy documents and details about policy advisory groups. 


Film screening

5 September at 6pm

50 George Square

In the evening of 5th September we will be screening the documentary film This Island is Ours, produced by Nils Clauss and our keynote speaker Alexander Bukh.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Alexander.

Due to limited capacity in the Screening Room we have set up a booking system for the film screening. Click here to reserve your place now.

Ethics Workshop for PhD Students

We will provide a workshop for PhD candidates on dealing with ethical issues in research design and in the field. The workshop will be led by Dr Mark McLeister (University of Edinburgh).

Roundtable on Climate Change and Researching East Asia

This roundtable will bring together scholars working on projects on climate change in different parts of the region, as well as those working on environmental and sustainability issues, to think about how research on this region needs to adapt in the face of climate change. Should we be assessing the carbon footprint of the research we do? If so, how might this change our choices of what to study and how? Might such action contribute to addressing broader global inequalities in knowledge production? How does methodological nationalism obscure the relationships between action to address climate change in one region (e.g. Europe) and another (e.g. East Asia)? How are our research agendas shaped by, or in tension with, the competing national rhetorics and climate realities? How much is climate change-related research focused on problematising or stigmatising a climate issue as opposed to solving it? How do the structural conditions of research careers relating to research on this region—such as priorities in research funding, evaluation of research activities, schedules and location of conferences—contribute to obscuring such questions and possible solutions?

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