Asian Futures, Old and New
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In this keynote address to the York Centre for Asian Research’s (YCAR) 2013 international graduate student conference, Tania Murray Li tackled a number of entrenched ideas about “Asia” as the shining future, which underpin the “new” discourses motivating and shaping many contemporary engagements with and analyses of the region. Her reflections on the implications for Asian studies of this “old” often orientalist discourse in the guise of the “new,” contributed to the conference’s theme, (Re) Constructions: Researching and Rethinking Asia. It also sparked the kind of critical, multidisciplinary discussion envisioned by the organizers, which aimed to rethink what it means to study Asia and Asian diaspora, especially by reconstructing existing conceptual frameworks.