Call for Applications: Training Program on “New Approaches in Asia-Pacific Studies”

Call For Applications

We are pleased to announce a call for applications for an Advanced Training Program on:

New Approaches in Asia-Pacific Historical and Contemporary Studies

Co-sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute and Waseda University’s Global Asia Research Center
Held at Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan from June 25 — July 5, 2018
Application Deadline: May 8, 2018

Program Description
Faculty Profiles
Application form 

Program Introduction

This advanced training program will explore new approaches in the thriving field of Asia-Pacific history and contemporary relations. It will give early career scholars a chance to hear from leading scholars, and present their own work to a select group of peers as well as the program instructors. Fields such as Pacific history, transnational history of Asia, and studies of the contemporary Asia-Pacific region have developed significantly in recent decades, in Asia,  North America and Europe. This reflects the force of globalization, the rise of the Asia-Pacific region in political, economic, military and cultural realms, and an increased scholarly interest in trans-national and trans-oceanic studies.  One particular intellectual inspiration has come from the energy of Atlantic studies, focusing on the history of the political economy and socio-cultural systems in the Atlantic region.

In this context, our training program invites applications from advanced graduate students and recent PhDs holding postdoctoral or junior faculty positions with backgrounds in history and other social sciences, who are conducting research on the Asia Pacific region. Applicants can be from Japan, the Asia-Pacific region, or elsewhere in the world. 

Program instructors are all scholars who have made important contributions in various fields of Asia-Pacific history or contemporary studies.  Instructors include those who are rethinking the modern and contemporary history of the Asia Pacific region from transnational or global perspectives and those who are constructing a new narrative of Pacific history stimulated by innovations in Atlantic history. Some instructors will focus on the history of intra-Asian economic exchange; their work has contributed both to historical study and to analysis of contemporary global supply chains.  Other program faculty will focus on the mobility of people within the Asia-Pacific region and the concomitant transmission of knowledge and information.  The program will also address vexing problems of conflict resolution and historical reconciliation in the Asia Pacific, from a comparative, interregional perspective.

Lectures by scholars studying the Asia Pacific in these various fields will make clear the diversity of themes and methods of historical and social science research taking place today. In addition to mapping past accomplishments, the training program will highlight the range of future visions and pathways, which the participants will likely explore in their ongoing work. Over the course of the program, trainees will spend some time in smaller groups with similar intellectual interests, and will engage in discussion with peers and the program faculty. Each group will work toward organizing their discussions into a working paper or papers. 

Trainees will be expected to submit a short research proposal based on their doctoral dissertation or current/future research plans, and toward the end of the program they will be asked to make a presentation and lead a discussion of that work. Faculty members from the host institution, Waseda University, will participate as commentators/facilitators during the presentations.

The program will function as an incubator for the trainees to become future leaders in historical and contemporary studies of the Asia-Pacific region. Our goal is to promote a network among the program participants that will be of mutual benefit over many years. The Harvard-Yenching Institute hopes to offer fellowships that will enable a small number of outstanding trainees from Asian countries and institutions to visit the Harvard-Yenching Institute for a one-year research stay during the 2019-20 academic year or a subsequent year.  

Program Structure

The program will run for 10 days and have three components:

  1. Lectures & discussion led by invited faculty from Japan and other countries
  2. Group work focusing on themes based on applicants’ research interests on Asian Pacific studies and facilitated by program faculty
  3. Paper presentation & discussion advised by faculty members from Waseda University.  

Application and Admission:

This program will invite scholars from all over the world to join the discussion on the topics above mentioned. Through an open competitive admission process, we will select around 20 young faculty, post-doctoral fellows and doctoral students. The program will provide meals and accommodation during the 10-day training sessions. Trainees need to cover transportation on their own.

Application and Admission Procedures:

  1. Applicants should submit an application form and supporting documents (a list of English publications, a sample English article, and English research plan) via email no later than Monday, May 8, 2018. Two recommendation letters should be sent via e-mail (to by the referees (identical to the referees named in the application form) before the allocation deadline as well.
  2. Waseda University Global Asia Research Center and the Harvard-Yenching Institute will review all applications, and admission notices will be sent out via email by May 11, 2018.
  3. Applicants are expected to reply with confirmation of attendance within 10 days of receiving the admission notice. Failure to confirm will be considered a decision not to attend and admission may be offered to alternate candidates. A confirmation of attendance will be taken as a promise to attend the entire workshop and obey all the rules and regulations of the program.
  4. The program application contact email address is Please submit your application directly to this email address.