Asia Institute Tasmania

The Asia Institute Tasmania is an organisation that will foster engagement with the Asian region by the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian community. It will build professional and institutional relationships with Asia, develop expertise and understanding of Asia, and promote new research activities.

Established in a partnership with the State Government of Tasmania, the Asia Institute Tasmania traverses not just academic boundaries within the university, but engages with the whole Tasmanian community.

Announcements


25 May | Public Lecture

Abuse of Power and the Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Malaysia
Professor James Chin and Professor Peter Boyce AO, University of Tasmania 

Malaysia is in the midst of one of the biggest financial corruption scandals in its history. In most parliamentary systems derived from Westminster the Parliament would enjoy some capacity to keep the executive accountable in such circumstances but, in Malaysia, Parliament has been rendered impotent at almost every turn. The Opposition leader is again in jail on a sodomy charge and the dominant Malay political party, UMNO, has allowed its leader to treat the ground-rules of parliamentary democracy with contempt. Malaysia's future as a democracy is now being called into question.

James Chin is Director of the University of Tasmania's Asia Institute. He has published several books on Malaysian politics and governance, including influential assessments of recent prime ministers.

Peter Boyce AO is an Adjunct Professor in the University of Tasmania's Politics and International Relations Program. His interest in Malaysian affairs spans more than fifty years, and in December 2015 he was guest speaker at a conference in Kuala Lumpur hosted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Foundation.

This is a joint event with the Tasmanian branch of Australian Institute of International Affairs.

When        Wednesday 25 May 2016, 5.30 -7.00 pm

Where       Room 346 in the Humanities Bldg, Sandy Bay, University of Tasmania

Register here


27 May | Public Lecture

Buddhist Philosophy: Resilience, Equanimity and Mindfulness
Dr Sonam Thakchoe, Senior Lecturer,  School of Humanities, University of Tasmania

Life, as we know it, swings like a pendulum between rise and fall, success and failure, gain and loss, honour and contempt, praise and blame, happiness and sorrow, delight and despair, satisfaction and disappointment, hope and fear. These mighty existential forces toss us up and down making it hard for us to sustain a foothold for respite. Can we expect to gain footing on the crest of these existential waves? Building a fortress or a safe-haven amidst this ever-restless ocean of existence may only be an illusion. But Buddhism claims that there is something, which we can do about it. It suggests our "resilience" as a means to making our life more meaningful. But there is a heavy price tag we need to pay. We need to cultivate and sustain two important cognitive skills: equanimity and mindfulness for which we are asked to undertake rigorous self-interrogative exercises.

In this talk Dr Sonam Thakchoe will seek to explore Buddhist philosophy of mindfulness and equanimity and discuss how reflective and self-interrogative meditative strategies are applied as means by which we cultivate these two cognitive skills. He will argue that it is from these two cognitive skills takes birth our resilience which enables us inner strength and courage to confidently face life's vicissitudes and successfully overcome the challenges however insurmountable they may first appear, and thus it empowers us to lead a meaningful life.

When          Friday 27 May 2016, 5.30 pm

Where      Stanley Burbury Lecture Theatre, University Centre, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay

This lecture will also be recorded on Livestream.

Register here 


31 May | Public Lecture

'Dancing with the Dragon: Doing Business with China' - Understanding Cultural Nuances
Dr Mona Chung, Cross Cultural Consultant

Since 2007, China has become Australia's largest trading partner.  The signing of ChaFTA on December the 20th 2014 has laid the foundation for even more trade and investment opportunities with China especially in agriculture and food.  However doing business with China is not an easy task, for China is a unique market and its business culture is distinctly different from the rest of the world.  This lecture will address the fundamental challenges of doing business with Chinese – the cultural difference and its impact.  It will focus on the essential elements of negotiation and communication with Chinese.  It will provide insight into:

  • Recent developments relevant to the expansion of China as an emerging superpower within the global economy.
  • Contemporary business cases across different sectors, highlighting commonalities and differences in how various businesses approach working with Chinese markets and consumers.
  • Overcoming misunderstandings with China in business dealings.
  • The new world with China as the dragon dancing in the centre of the stage with rotating dancing partners

When          Tuesday 31 May 2016, 5.30 pm

Where      Harvard Room 1, Centenary Building, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay

Register here 


Previous Events 

13 May | Public Lecture

Reconstructing Japanese Food: Gender, Representation and Global Consumption
Dr Katsu Suganuma, Lecturer, School of Humanities, University of Tasmania

Through aggressive campaigning by the Japanese government, 'washoku' (Japanese cuisine), was recently registered as UNESCO's intangible cultural heritage. Other Japanese food such as 'wagyu', 'ramen' and 'sushi' are well known to non-Japanese audience.  Where is this branding of Japanese food culture heading? What type of Japanese national identity does it aspire to (re)construct?

Dr Katsuhiko Suganuma is a Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. His area of expertise includes queer studies and cultural studies. He has extensively written on Japanese popular cultures through a lens of gender, sexuality, and food. He is a co-editor of a recent book, Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan (University Press of Mississippi, 2015).


27 April | Public Lecture

Buddhist Philosophy: Resilience, Equanimity and Mindfulness
Dr Sonam Thakchoe, Senior Lecturer,  Philosophy, University of Tasmania  

Life, as we know it, swings like a pendulum between rise and fall, success and failure, gain and loss, honour and contempt, praise and blame, happiness and sorrow, delight and despair, satisfaction and disappointment, hope and fear. These mighty existential forces toss us up and down making it hard for us to sustain a foothold for respite. Can we expect to gain footing on the crest of these existential waves? Building a fortress or a safe-haven amidst this ever-restless ocean of existence may only be an illusion. But Buddhism claims that there is something, which we can do about it. It suggests our "resilience" as a means to making our life more meaningful. But there is a heavy price tag we need to pay. We need to cultivate and sustain two important cognitive skills: equanimity and mindfulness for which we are asked to undertake rigorous self-interrogative exercises.


When         Wednesday 27 April 2015, 5.30 pm

Where       Lecture Theatre 181, Tasmanian Academy of the Arts, Inveresk, Launceston.


19 April | Public Lecture
 
Rohingya Genocide:  International Complicity in Burma's Brutal Domestic Violence
Dr Nancy Hudson-Rodd, Human Geographer, Edith Cowan Universtiy 

For centuries, the Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority of approximately one million people, have lived in Rakhine State, Myanmar. A culturally and ethnically recognisable group, the Rohingya have been subjected to systematic discrimination including population control, severe restrictions on their physical movements, forced labour, denial of access to health care and education, and expulsion at different times since 1978. The military regime erased them from the country's 135 nationally recognised ethnic groups and stripped them of their limited citizenship in 1982. 

Interested in this lecture? This lecture can be accessed from livestream icon 



23 March | Public Lecture

"Be the Change You Want to See in the World":  Youth Social Action in India
Professor Craig Jeffrey, Director, Australia India Institute 

Over the past ten years there has been a remarkable rise in the number of social movements in which young people try to 'prefigure' the world that they want to exist: so-called 'prefigurative politics'. In addition, at the ground level, the idea of "being the change you want to see in the world" and using this to try to change aspects of society, is quite ubiquitous. The topic will draw on long-term ethnographic fieldwork among youth in north India.

In this presentation,Professor Craig Jeffrey, Director of the Australia India will ask the audience to reflect on instances in which they think that 'being the change' has been effective or ineffective with a view to opening up a wide ranging discussion of youth and prefigurative action. 

This address was held on Wednesday 23 March 2016. 


16 March | Public Lecture

Japanese Culture as seen from the Perspective of Miyazaki Hayao's Princess Mononoke
Professor Kenji Sano, Kanagawa University, Japan

In this discussion of Princess Mononoke, one of the most famous anime by Japanese master animator, Miyazaki Hayao, Japanese folklore studies researcher, Professor Kenji Sano, will consider how Miyazaki draws on various Japanese traditions and ways of life to represent the battle between humans and the natural environment depicted in this very popular film.

Professor Kenji Sano is the Dean of the Graduate School of History and Folklore Studies based at Kanagawa University, Yokohama, Japan.  This lecture will be interpreted by Mr Simon John, International Center, Kanagawa University.

This address was held on Wednesday 16 March 2016.



2 March 2016 | Public Lecture

How does he eat the hole of a donut?  Food in Haruki Murakami's fiction
Presented by Dr Chikako Nihei, Yamaguchi University, Japan.

Spaghetti, pizza, sandwiches, beer, doughnuts — my advice is don't read Murakami when you have skipped lunch. His stories are replete with food and his protagonists are almost always cooking men or somebody who is fussy about what he eats. Chikako Nihei will talk about the role of food in Murakami's work as a way to enhance our pleasure of reading his stories.

Interested in this lecture? This lecture can be accessed from livestream icon



25 February 2016 | Public Lecture

Korea and Australia - the opportunities from the Korean Australian Free Trade Agreement and the security position in the Korean Peninsula
His Excellency Ambassador Bong-hyun Kim, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of South Korea to Australia 

The special relationship of our two countries has seen trade lift in 2012 to over $32 billion USD annually against a backdrop of trusted commercial dealings and the sharing of a close friendship and a shared culture. The new trade agreement will benefit greatly free trade in products for which Tasmania can be proud and professional services which are amongst the nation's finest, including educational exchange.  The new trade agreement opens up Korea for new significantly more trade with guaranteed access and a tariff regime which will progressively benefit exporters in both directions.  All this at a time when security tensions are a matter of global concern.

This address was held on Thursday 25 February, 2016.


25 February 2016 | Public Lecture

China's financial markets – a peek beneath the surface
Professor Christine Wong, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Melbourne 

China's stock market correction and currency devaluations in June-August last year rattled global markets, and this jitteriness has continued into 2016. Chinese leaders from President Xi Jinping on down have continued to insist that China's growth slowdown is normal and expected, as China has reached middle income and is rebalancing from an investment-led economy to one based more on innovation on the supply side and consumption on the demand side. The 13th Five Year Plan, approved in 2015 to cover the second half of this decade, set a five-year economic growth target at 6.5%. Newspaper headlines around the world, though, reflect widespread scepticism to these pronouncements, with many analysts and investors fearing that the slowdown in China will be sharp and prolonged, with implications for the rest of the world.
 
Christine Wong will discuss the recent developments in the Chinese economy, and draw on her study of China's fiscal federalism and governance structure to present a stark picture of the difficulties faced by the government in steering a safe passage through the current difficulties.

Interested in this lecture? This lecture can be accessed from livestream icon

 
24 February 2016 | Public Lecture

Teaching English in a Chinese University – using China Jiliang University as an example
Presented by Fan Xingxing, China Jilian University, China.

This lecture will discuss the difficulties and process of teaching English to English language majors in China Jiliang University (CJLU).  The presentation will discuss the hurdles faced by Chinese students in trying to achieve a proficient standard in English.  Also discussed will be the process of cooperating with foreign universities to improve the standard of English in Chinese, and the issues relating to the adoption of English as the preferred foreign language by Chinese students.

This address was held on Wednesday 24 February 2016.


18 February 2016 | Public Lecture and Book Launch

An event supported by the Asia Institute

India and Australia:  Glimpses through a Diplomat's Diary
High Commissioner of India, Navdeep Suri 

For his first public address in Tasmania, Mr Suri will provide a unique and personal insight into the range of activities pursued in his life, as he works to strengthen ties between India and Australia.

This event will also see the launch of 'The Idea of Australia in Indian Media' by Jane Rankin-Reid.

This is a joint event with the Australia India Institute, University of Melbourne. 

Interested in this lecture? This lecture can be accessed from livestream icon



16 February 2016 | Public Lecture

Opportunities for Tasmania and the China market in the CHAFTA era - Building on the Sister State Relationship with Fujian
Australian Consul-General to Guangzhou, Mr Dominic Trindade

The 2014 visit by President Xi Jinping of China to Hobart was not only a significant milestone for the state of Tasmania, but a vindication of the three decade long investment in its sister state relationship with Fujian province. With the opening up of markets and investment opportunities through the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement – a question for Tasmania is how it continues to build on the success of the Fujian relationship and what it needs to consider going forward in its China engagement. Australian Consul-General to Guangzhou Dominic Trindade will address these and other questions as part of an event hosted by the University of Tasmania's Asia Institute.

Interested in this lecture? This lecture can be accessed fromlivestream icon

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