AAWH 5th Congress  

Asia and the Globe: Connecting the Past with the Present

12-13 October 2022
India International Centre
New Delhi, India

A Message from a Member of Executive BoardA Message from Member of the Asian Association of World Historians (AAWH)

Laichen%20in%20Sichuan_edited.jpg

            Due to covid-19, the 5th conference of the AAWH has been postponed for two years. Through the continuous efforts of the AAWH president Professor Akita, the board members, and especially the host institution JNU, this belated meeting will finally take place in October 2022 in New Delhi! The pandemic has cost many lives in the world, affected the world economy and people’s life in many ways, and reduced travelling and face-to-face meetings, etc. But the setback can only be temporary, life moves on. Just as the English saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Despite the delay of this conference, the pandemic has crystalized the use of virtual meeting all over the world, for school classes, business meetings, academic conferences and seminars, and even telework has become a trend. This is why the board of the AAWH has decided to make the JNU conference a hybrid one, encouraging participants to attend either in person or virtually. Hence, for those who cannot participate face-to-face in New Delhi, you are more than welcome to organize panels or present individual papers online. History of the past two years has demonstrated that both in-person and online have merits and demerits, and a combination of them should become a regular format for future conferences. Regardless which way you prefer, I encourage you to apply for this important conference!

              Meanwhile, I’d like to speak a few words about promoting World/Global History in Asia. Some countries in Asia have achieved more than others in terms of teaching and research in World/Global History, some “Center of Global History” are established, some books and journals are published, but overall Asia needs to make many more efforts in this regard. Talking about and efforts towards World/Global History have become trendy among Asian scholars, but important and influential research is still rare. Among many things that should be done, two things are super vital in my mind: offering regular classes at universities and organizing occasional (summer or winter) seminars (rotating among different Asian countries) in World/Global History. In these, theories, methodologies and approaches of World/Global History will be taught, thus to train students and scholars to practice World/Global History. If these keep on going, more and more scholars armed with fundamental skills and expertise in undertaking World/Global History will be trained and “Asian” World/Global History can shrink the gap with its “Western” counterpart.

              To be sure, there are many more ways to promote World/Global History in Asia, and organizing and participating the AAWH conference is another vitally important one. Therefore, I one more time encourage members of the AAWH to apply and participate in the 5th conference in New Delhi!

Prof. SUN Laichen

Professor of History at California State University,

Fullerton

Board Member of the Asian Association of World History