Meaghan Morris in Cultural Studies in Asia

Main Article Content

Chua Beng Huat


Meaghan has been part of the Inter-Asia Cultural Studies project from the very beginning— she was at the founding conferences, organised by Chen Kuan-Hsing, in National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, between 1992 and 1995. The two conferences bore the title of ‘Trajectories: Towards a New Internationalist Cultural Studies’ and ‘Trajectories II: A New Internationalist Cultural Studies’, respectively. According to Kuan-Hsing, he was motivated by historical changes in Asia, from postwar decolonisation to post-Cold War in late 1980s, marked locally in Taiwan with the lifting of martial law in 1987. This was also the period of the rise of Asia within global capitalism, beginning with Japan, followed by the so-called ‘Tiger’ or ‘Dragon’ economies of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore via the export-oriented industrialisation. The industrialisation model was subsequently picked up by China and the other Southeast Asian countries. The conferences certainly lived up to their promise of being international, with presenters from first and third world locations, and the core concerns were very much grounded in the historical conjuncture of Asia at the end of the twentieth century. One evening during the second conference, while the edited volume for selected papers were being prepared for publication, Rebecca Barton, the editor for the book project at Routledge, brought up the idea of an Asian cultural studies journal. In a hotel room in Taiwan, with Meaghan, the late Jeannie Martin, Kuan-Hsing and myself from the conference and Rebecca, the plan for Inter-Asia Cultural Studies was hatched. It was decided that Kuan-hsing and I would be the co-executive editors, supported by a relatively large editorial collective drawn across Asia and Australia.

Article Details

The Meaghan Morris Festival
Author Biography

Chua Beng Huat, National University of Singapore

Chua Beng-Huat is Professor, Urban Studies Program, Yale-NUS College and Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore. He is founding co-executive editor of 'Inter-Asia Cultural Studies' journal.