Concealing Agents: Intentional Processes of Invisibilization in Modern Asian History

02 avril 2023 par Admin IAO
Conférence Internationale

27-28 April 2023
Room D8 006 – ENS de Lyon

Organizing institutions:
Institut d’Asie Orientale
Bonn Center for Dependency and Slavery Studies
Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions

Contact: Mònica Ginés Blasi

Scholars from the humanities and social sciences have repeatedly faced the challenge of writing history beyond the constraints and frameworks set through grand narratives and established historiographies. This conference addresses intentional processes of concealment and self-concealment with a focus on the history of Asian bondage, coercion and dependency, as this often implies unearthing and giving voice to self-concealed and invisibilized actors.

Bringing together international specialists on bondage and coercion in modern Asian history, this conference aims at furthering our understanding of how grand narratives are forged, while, simultaneously, bringing to light the potential of concealed agents to challenge these narratives.


Thursday 27

9.00-9.30 – Welcoming address: Béatrice Jaluzot, (Director of the IAO) and Mònica Ginés Blasi (IAO)

9.30-10.00 – Keynote speaker: Lisa Hellman (Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS, and Department of History, Lund University), Scales of concealment: Reflections on Asian practices, and practices on Asia

Panel I – 10.00-13.00 – Power and invisibilization

Chair and discussant: Kanako Takeda (IAO)

Christine Mae Sarito (University of Bonn—BCDSS), Invisibilising Yŏak in Public Space: A Focus on the Reign of Chosŏn Dynasty’s King Chungjong (1506-1544)

Marina Torres (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven), New light on invisible agents: collection of abandoned Chinese girls in Southeast Asia in the 18th century

Carles Brasó Broggi (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Malnutrition, sickness and the disappearance of young Chinese conscripts. The reports of the Medical Relief Corps in China’s war with Japan’s, 1942-1943

10.45-11.15 – Coffee break

11.15-13.00 – Discussant and open panel discussion

13.00-14.30 – Lunch break

Panel II – 14.30-17.30 – Self-concealment

Chair and discussant: Jérémy Jammes  (IAO)

Subin Nam (University of Bonn—BCDSS), The Forgotten Agent: Focusing on the ‘comfort woman’ Bae Bong-gi and her faded history

Bastiaan Nugteren (Utrecht University), Out of sight, out of mind: self-concealment and invisibilization of Chinese labor migrants in Dutch and British colonial Southeast Asia, c. 1870-1914

Emma Kalb (University of Bonn—BCDSS), Reading Along an Imperial Archive: Trajectories of Erasure of Slavery and the Enslaved in Mughal Sources

15.15-15.45 – Coffee break

15.45-17.30 – Discussant and open panel discussion

 Friday 28

Panel III – 9.30-12.45 – Archives and narratives

Chair and discussant: Claude Chevaleyre (IAO)

Ritesh Kumar Jaiswal (University of Delhi), Doubly Shadowed: The Kangany and Maistry systems of Indian migration to Ceylon, Malaya, and Burma

Mrinalini Luthra and Charles Jeurgens (Universiteit van Amsterdam), Towards an Accessibility of Care

Manuel Pavón-Belizón (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya), Chinese Women Intellectuals, Silence and Translation

10.15-10.45 Coffee break

10.45-12.45 – Discussant and open panel discussion

12.45-14.15 – Lunch break

Panel IV – 14.15-18.00 – Roundtable and free discussion

14.15-14.30 – Introduction: Mònica Ginés-Blasi

14.30-16.00 Round table and free discussion

Moderator: Pierre-Emmanuel Bachelet (IAO)


Lisa Hellman (Lund University)
Philippe Rygiel (ENS)
Sylvie Demurger (IAO)
Martin Dusinberre (University of Zurich)
Michael Zeuske (University of Bonn—BCDSS)

16.00-16.30 Coffee break


Stephan Conermann (University of Bonn—BCDSS)

17.00-18.00 – Final free discussion and conclusion