ICRS at the AAS-in-Asia Conference 2024

27 June 2024

In collaboration with the Association for Asian Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada will host the 2024 AAS-in-Asia Conference from July 9-11 in Yogyakarta. With around 1,000 people, this is a must-attend event for researchers both inside and outside of Asia.

The theme of the conference is "Global Asias," which offers a fresh perspective on history, theory, and methodology while examining the diversity, complexity, and dynamics of Asia in relation to both its obvious and hidden links with other parts of the world and with Asia itself from antiquity to the present. The AAS-in-Asia Conference is held in Indonesia, where pluralism lives in its history, constitution, culture, languages, religions, and physical geography. The city of Yogyakarta will be well suited for our intellectual and cultural exchange in global Asia.

Asia has been a worldwide crossroads for politics, trade, migration, religions, the arts, and material cultures throughout history. Asia has played a more significant role in the global flow of ideas, people, and materials in the modern era, particularly in the last century. This can be seen in the influence of the Japanese auto industry, the rise of K-pop, the internationalization of Bollywood films, the political clout of Southeast Asia, and China's New Silk Road Initiative.

A new dynamic is emerging in Asia as a result of the migration of diasporas from other continents. "Asia" is commonly referred to as a homogeneous entity in discussions of these phenomena, yet it has always been extremely diverse, complicated, and flexible. Twenty-first-century concerns include the democratic crisis, the effects of the neoliberal global order, the problematic and affirmative advancements in digital technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI), and the growing environmental disaster. Innovative approaches that throw new light on Asia as an idea, a method, and a framework are necessary at this specific historical crossroads.

The Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies (ICRS) will play a significant role in the conference. Dr. Zainal Abidin Bagir, the director of ICRS, will be the keynote speaker of the conference. His presentation will discuss the issue of legal restrictions on freedom and the decolonization of human rights, arguing for a people-centric approach to rights and social harmony. It will highlight the importance of Asian experiences in the global conversation, promoting equal conversations and diverse perspectives. Associate Director, Fatimah Husein, will speak at a session titled, “The Study of Islam in Indonesia.” Jessy Ismoyo (ICRS alumna) and Anna Amalia (current ICRS student) will give papers in the session, “Transformations in Gender, Morality, and Media in Contemporary South and Southeast Asia.”

As part of the collaboration, ICRS will host a side event for the conference on July 8, 2024, at the Graduate School of Universitas Gadjah Mada. The event is a public talk with the theme “The Future of the Study of Religion in Indonesia: Opportunities and Challenges." The invited speakers are Greg Fealy (Australian National University), Robert Hefner (Boston University), Nelly van Doorn-Harder (Wake Forest University), and Lena Larsen (University of Oslo). The event will include dinner and performance from 5:30-8:00 p.m. If you will be in Yogya, please join us (RSVP here:

And, finally, if you’ll be joining AAS-in-Asia, stop by our exhibition booth to learn more about ICRS from current students and staff.