Statement on the TAAF Grant Read

2025 Summer Institute: “The Institutional Forms of Global Asias”

Penn State and the Global Asias Initiative

Deadline: January 17, 2025

Penn State University and the Global Asias Initiative invites applicants for its annual Global Asias Summer Institute, to be held July 28- August 1, 2025. SI2025, co-directed by Tina Chen and Charlotte D. Eubanks, will focus on the ways in which Global Asias as method and scholarly praxis both challenges and reimagines the institutional forms of academia.

During SI2025, Institute participants will spend a week reading and thinking about the possibilities and limits of Global Asias praxis and working in teams to conceptualize and build new institutional forms around Global Asias research and pedagogy. Particularly generative work will be considered for publication in an Asia Shorts volume planned in conjunction.

On the theme:

We see Global Asias as an invitation to build things differently.

Since 2015, the award-winning journal Verge and the Global Asias Initiative have been exploring how Global Asias knowledge production can reshape the academic landscape. Our work over the past decade has shown us that Global Asias is more than an opportunity to question the institutional structures that historically disarticulate area studies from ethnic studies and diaspora studies. Global Asias is also an opportunity to build new structures. As Tina Chen argues, Global Asias can be provocatively approached as an alien form, “forms of writing and professional enactment that 1) engage the genres in which they are working speculatively, 2) leverage the conceptual possibilities of generic frictions to create structural dissonance, 3) challenge the distinctions that disarticulate research, teaching, and service orientations, 4) embrace the synergistic possibilities of cross-pollinating epistemologies and practices across institutional taxonomies of scholarly labor, and 5) support the formation of new assemblages of scholarly labor whose value isn’t overdetermined by existing institutional definitions of teaching, research, and service.”

Embracing Global Asias’ disruptive energies and collaborative ethos thus enables us to imagine alternative approaches to the building of orthodox bureaucratic forms. Such forms might include programs, centers, and departments. Embracing disruption also enables us to undertake conventional genres of academic knowledge production (research essays, monographs, book series, edited collections) in ways that remake the institution of higher education. And finally, Global Asias as a cooperative venture encourages us to experiment with unconventional forms of scholarship (what Verge has pioneered as convergences, non-traditional genres of academic writing that are collaborative, polyvocal, and structurally dissonant). These distinct efforts are all fundamentally institutional in nature and there is great potential in thinking more systematically about the ways in which Global Asias manifests in and works to remake the institutional forms of academic life.

This summer institute will focus on generating new programmatic, curricular, and collaborative possibilities and/or utilizing existing institutional units in new and innovative ways. With the increasing interest in creating new institutional possibilities around Global Asias, how might we seize this opportunity to re-engineer the processes and dynamics of institutionalization? Put differently: making Global Asias institutionally legible does not necessarily require us to create it to fit existing bureaucratic forms but might instead be an occasion where the alienness and dissonance that are inherent in Global Asias could be deployed to imagine institutional forms anew—by questioning the genres of academic labor, embracing trans-institutional partnership in ways that keep knowledge practices unconsolidated, and experimenting with inter-departmental collaborative ventures that actively work against ossifying scholarly praxis.

Taking our own injunctions against ossification to heart, we embrace a novel approach to this Summer Institute, which has historically operated to mentor early-career scholars. Still keeping mentorship squarely in mind, this year we invite applications from teams (of 2-4) who are interested in building new institutional forms around Global Asias. These teams can be comprised of colleagues from a single university; they can also draw together colleagues from different institutions interested in developing a new program or institutional opportunity. We welcome teams that are capaciously imagined and diversely constituted.

We’re open to creative approaches, innovative thinking, and critical exploration. How can we use Global Asias to rethink, reimagine, and remake the institutional forms that govern academic life?

Application Process:

Penn State will cover housing and meals for all participants.

To apply, please send the following documents to [email protected] by January 17, 2025.

All items must be sent as a single PDF file and each team must designate a contact person.

  1. A proposal of 1500 words outlining the institutional project that the team wants to build which makes explicit the ways in which Global Asias is being used to create an alternative approach to the building of orthodox bureaucratic forms;
  2. Brief (250 word) bios of all team members;
  3. A current c.v. (no longer than 2 pp)from each team member; and
  4. A provisional work plan, including a timeline, for your proposed project (2 pp).

Decisions will be made by end of February.

Inquiries regarding the Summer Institute may be directed to GAI director Tina Chen ([email protected]).