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.


20 July | Public Lecture

Indonesia:  Opportunities for Australia
Presented by Mr Paul Grigson, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia

With its history of Austronesian, Hindu-Malayan, Islamic and Dutch influences, 21st Century Indonesia is one of the most interesting and diverse countries in the world. With its rich natural resources, its population of 250 million people (the world's largest Muslim democracy) and its close geographical proximity, Indonesia is an important strategic partner for Australia and the South East Asian region as a whole. In this public lecture, Mr Paul Grigson, Australia's Ambassador to Indonesia will look at the state of the relationship and the opportunities for Australia in the coming years

This event is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australian Institute for International Affairs (Tasmania) and the Asia Institute Tasmania.

  • Wednesday 20 July 2016, 12.15 - 1.30 pm
  • Alan Bray Room, Staff Club, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay campus, Dobson Road

Register here

26 July | Public Lecture 

Taiwan, memories of violence, and the end of developmentalism in Asia
Presented by Dr Mark Harrison, Senior Lecturer, School of Humanitites

In the late 1950s, Taiwan became a prototype for the neoliberal developmentalist state, through a set of policies and governance concepts intended to achieve economic development and modernisation.

Like sites of neoliberalism elsewhere, in Taiwan this policy regime was intertwined with local conditions. Taiwan was a right-wing military dictatorship aligned with the US against Chinese and international Communism before transitioning to democracy in the late 1980s. The success of Taiwan's economic and political development presented a exemplar for a globally-institutionalised policy and political regime that has come to travel under many names - neoliberalism, globalisation, economic rationalism, reform, the Washington Consensus, and others. 

Today, however, Taiwan has begun uncovering other, very painful, truths about its development story. The Taiwanese have begun retelling their story not as one of successful Asian development and modernisation but as one of political, social and emotional violence. This is Taiwan's expression of the global dissolution of neoliberalism exemplified by new left and right-wing counter-politics around the world.

This presentation describes Taiwan's development story, its reassessment of it today, and asks whether Taiwan offers lessons to the rest of the world at the end of the global neoliberal consensus. 

  • Tuesday 26 July 2016, 5.30 - 6.30 pm
  • Rm 210, Level 2, School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, University of Tasmania, Sandy Bay.

Register here

4 August | Book Launch 

Mapping Chinese Rangoon
Place and Nation among the Sino-Burmese
Dr Jayde Lin Roberts 

Mapping Chinese Rangoon is both an intimate exploration of the Sino-Burmese, people of Chinese descent who identify with and choose to remain in Burma/Myanmar, and an illumination of twenty-first-century Burma during its emergence from decades of military-imposed isolation. This spatial ethnography examines how the Sino-Burmese have lived in between states, cognizant of the insecurity in their unclear political status but aware of the social and economic possibilities in this gray zone between two oppressive regimes.

The book will be launched by Dr Andrew Selth, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Griffith Asia Institute at Griffith University, Brisbane, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs at ANU. He holds a PhD in Asian studies from Griffith University, and degrees in history and international relations from ANU. Dr Selth has been studying international security issues and Asian affairs for over 40 years, as a professional diplomat, strategic intelligence analyst and research scholar.

This event is presented by the Institute for the Study of Social Change and the Asia Institute Tasmania. 

  • Thursday 4 August 2016, 5.30pm to 6.30pm (launch and refreshments)
  • Law 132 Seminar Room, Faculty of Law Building, Sandy Bay Campus 
  • RSVP to by Monday 1 August

5 August |  Seminar Series

Burma/Myanmar:  A Conversation
Dr Andrew Selth and Dr Jayde Lin Roberts 

After decades of being off the map, Myanmar also known as Burma has gained increasing international attention since 2010/11. However, how does one interpret the often polemical news and documentaries that present fragments of its context or history and are designed to attract maximum hits or increase ratings? Is this so-called latecomer to globalisation and democratisation indeed the untapped market, an unspoiled tourist destination or the site of egregious human rights abuses? How should we read these representations? Join us for a conversation about Burma/Myanmar where the two names of the country present the potential of a conversation within itself.

This conversation will be led by Dr Andrew Selth, former diplomat to Burma and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Griffith Asia Institute and the Australian National University and Dr Jayde Lin Roberts, 2016-17 Fulbright Scholar and lecturer in Asian Languages and Studies whose monograph, Mapping Chinese Rangoon: Place and Nation among the Sino-Burmese was published in June 2016.

This free forum is presented by the Institute for the Study of Social Change and the Asia Institute Tasmania. All welcome.

  • Friday 5 August 2016, 1.00pm to 2.00pm
  • Law 132 Seminar Room, Faculty of Law Building, Sandy Bay Campus
  • Contact -

The Asia Institute Tasmania is interested in Asia-related expertise and connections within the university and beyond.

Colleagues and members of the community are encouraged to register for the Asia Institute mailing list.

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