Professor Ien Ang - 'Can Australia’s Engagement with Asia be Smart?' RUPC workshop

Monday, November 30, 2015 14:30 - 17:00

Research Unit in Public Cultures workshop

Australia's relationship with Asia has long been recognised as an important policy issue, but it has acquired renewed urgency as the so-called 'rise of Asia' gains momentum. Distinguished Professor Ien Ang from the Institute for Culture and Society (Western Sydney University) has recently completed a significant research project (with Yasmin Tambiah and Phillip Mar) entitled Smart Engagement with Asia: Leveraging Language, Research and Culture (2015).

The report, commissioned by the Australian Council for Learned Academies (ACOLA) as part of its 'Securing Australia's Future' program, focuses on three areas of engagement: the facilitative role of multilingualism in the context of English language dominance, the significance of research collaboration in building stronger transnational links across the region, and the crucial importance of deepening cultural relations to overcome the long history of culturally distant relationships between Australia and its neighbouring countries. The report argues that smart engagement with Asia requires going beyond short-termism, opportunism and focus on economic benefit, and working towards nurturing wide-ranging, long-term, and mutually beneficial relations, based on the principle of reciprocity. It also highlights the important role played by diasporas (Asians in Australia, as well as Australians in Asia) in strengthening Australia-Asia relations.

This workshop will give an overview of the key findings of the report, and give insight into the research process, guided by the following questions: what does interdisciplinarity mean in this context? And how can one make some meaningful statements within the limitations of the genre of 'evidence-based research to support policy development'?


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G03 Evans Theatre, Richard Berry (Building 160)