Duke's global centers & initiatives

Global Asia Initiative

Mission Statement

The Global Asia Initiative (GAI) at Duke has its origins in the efforts by groups across the world to articulate a new paradigm that looks at Asian nations, cultures, and civilizations in terms of their connections, interactions, and interdependencies in both historical and geographical space. The motive for such an exploration derives from contemporary research that exposes the entangled relations between countries in East, Southeast, South and West Asia not only in contemporary affairs, but also in the distant past.

Summary of 2021-2022 Programs

The events at GAI during the spring semester 2022 continued on the theme of environmental history particularly as it dealt with climate related events historically and up to the present. GAI and Franklin Humanities Institute co-sponsored a lecture on January 20 by Nicola Di Cosmo entitled ‘Writing Climate into the History of Steppe Empires: Insights from Case Studies’ on zoom with a large number of attendees from Duke and beyond. The event was also relevant to students in Duara’s graduate seminar on Global Connections.  On Feb 18-19, GAI sponsored a two-day workshop on ‘The Hydrologic Cycle and Historical Societies’ a major event with sixteen speakers, several of who were leading experts on the multiple roles of water –such as monsoons, humidity, ice floes, irrigation, inundation, dams—in its vertical and hydro-cyclical dimensions in human society and life. A subsequent seminar by Ruth Mostern on April 14, ‘Long Environmental History of the Loess Plateau: Conflict, Extraction and Intensification Between Biomes’ in China, co-sponsored by GAI and APSI, continued the hydrological theme with the long durée interaction of the Yellow River and Chinese society, told from the perspective of the river’s history.  This was conducted as a hybrid event at JHF. Duara, Director of GAI worked closely with post-doctoral fellow, Yuan Chen on these projects and they jointly submitted a report on the Hydrological Cycle workshop, https://sites.duke.edu/watercycleworkshop/workshopreport/ . In addition, GAI and Wednesdays at the Center at DUCIGS also sponsored ‘How Hong Kong Reached Cruising Altitude as an Aviation and Economic Nexus’ by Prof John Wong (Hong Kong University). 

2021-2022 Notable Programs

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