Book Launch: The Lives of Cold War Afro-Asianism

07 Oct 2022 04.30 PM - 06.00 PM Meeting Room 3 Alumni, Current Students, Industry/Academic Partners, Prospective Students, Public
Organised by:
Taomo ZHOU

The Afro-Asianism of the early Cold War has long remained buried under the narrative of Bandung, homogenising and subverting the different visions of post-colonial worldmaking that co-existed alongside the Bandung project. This book turns the lens on these other visions, and the transnational interactions which emerged from various other gatherings of the 1950s and 1960s that existed beyond the realm of high diplomacy, while blurring the lines between state and non-state projects. It examines how Afro-Asianism was lived by activists, intellectuals, cultural figures - particularly women - as well as political leaders in building a post-imperial world. As a whole, this collection of essays examines the diversity of Afro-Asian ideals that emerged through such movements, untangling the personal relationships, political competition, racial hierarchies, and solidarities that shaped them. By visualising political Afro-Asianism and its proponents as a living network, a fuller picture of decolonization and the Cold War is brought into view. 

This is a hybrid event.

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Dr. Su Lin Lewis is Associate Professor in Modern Global History at the University of Bristol.  She works on the social history of globalisation, including cosmopolitan port-cities, transnational activist movements, and post-colonial internationalism, with a focus on modern Southeast Asia.  Her monograph, Cities in Motion: Urban Life and Cosmopolitanism in Southeast Asia 1920-1940 (Cambridge University Press, 2016) won the Urban History Association’s Prize for Best Book (Non-North America) for 2015-16. She co-led an AHRC-funded research network on 'Afro-Asian Networks in the Early Cold War' and is currently an AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellow investigating Socialist Internationalism in the Afro-Asian World.  

Dr. Carolien Stolte is Assistant Professor of Modern History at the Institute for History of Leiden University. Her research focuses on the international history of South Asia. Her current project, entitled “Southern Crossings: Indian activists and the Afro-Asian moment in the early Cold War,” is funded by the Dutch Research Council. Stolte is chief editor of the book series Global Connections: Routes and Roots (Leiden University Press). She co-led the Afro-Asian Networks project with Su Lin Lewis, which highlighted the multiple modes of internationalism by which Asian and African actors navigated and subverted the power dynamics of the early Cold War. She was a Niels Stensen Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University (2014-2015). 



Chien-Wen Kung is an Assistant Professor of History at the National University of Singapore and the author of Diasporic Cold Warriors: Nationalist China, Anticommunism, and the Philippine Chinese, 1930s-1970s (Cornell University Press, 2022). His research straddles the fields of Chinese migration and diaspora, the Cold War and decolonization in Southeast Asia, and modern China and Taiwan in the world. With the support of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Fellowship from the Singapore Ministry of Education, he is currently working on a history of cultural interactions between Singapore, China, and Taiwan in the 1970s and 1980s.