Universiteit Leiden

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Leiden University continues support for Asian Modernities and Traditions

The University’s Executive Board (College van Bestuur) has decided to continue the Leiden University profile area Asian Modernities and Traditions for another four years, from 2015 to 2018. By 2018, AMT2 commits itself to achieve demonstrable results in enhancing the visibility of Asian research both within and outside the academic world, strengthened cooperation between Leiden faculties and institutes in terms of research, impact (valorisation) and teaching, the attraction of new grants or gifts for Asia research, impact activities and teaching, and the development of new courses in Asia studies, especially at the postgraduate (MA and PhD) level.

Whether it is through continuing economic growth in Southeast Asia, growing interstate tensions in East Asia, the international popularity of East Asian culture, or the rapidly increasing and far-reaching interactions with Asian stakeholders in Europe, Asia remains highly important and highly visible. AMT2 will initiate and facilitate research projects, disseminate knowledge on and engage with Asia in its many dimensions, regions, periods and qualities. The core emphasis on innovative research & teaching and the crossing of institutional and disciplinary boundaries, aided by well-implemented auxiliary schemes will enhance the visibility and impact of Asian research and teaching in Leiden.

The plurality of Asia is reflected in the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary reach of AMT2 initiatives and objectives. Excellent research is encouraged and finds concrete expression in stronger institutional ties across the university. Research is made visible through a proactive impact strategy and is translated into innovative graduate teaching. Imagine for instance radically innovative research, outreach and teaching on Asian heritage studies by researchers in anthropology, East Asian Studies, archaeology and the IIAS. Or a cross-institute and interregional project on Central Asia that yields impactful research, media exposure and the creation of a Central Asian Studies curriculum. Or a project on East Asian law and citizenship that brings together the Van Vollenhoven Institute and LIAS for research and teaching on the legal systems and culture in Japan, Korea and China.

Ground-breaking research projects are important. They attract extra funding and graduate students. AMT2 will facilitate both. The conspicuous growth of graduate students in Asian Studies in Leiden will be consolidated by directly linking these research projects to new teaching initiatives and strengthened by offering stipends to excellent students. The plurality of methods, regions and periods in these research projects will make possible a greater involvement of the wider Asia research community in Leiden, also leading to a greater strategic impact of AMT2 funding.

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