Area Studies, Disziplinen und Regionen

  • Claudia Derichs (Autor/in)


Turning 50 years of age allows for a retrospective look at the German Association for Asian Studies’ (DGA) trajectory over the last few decades. The article addresses the issue of Asia as the focal area for members of the DGA, the relationship between Area Studies and other (Social Science) disciplines, and the structural contexts to which both the DGA and its member community of scholars have adjusted their work — both willingly but also at times unwillingly too, because political conditions afforded a particular response. Through reflecting on Asia as an “entity” of scholarly endeavor, but also as a part of the globe having particular unique features and traits, the article discusses how Asian Area Studies have developed over time and to what extent the exercise of scholarly analysis has been shaped by changing paradigms such as the demand to “study with” people in Asia instead of performing the “study of” them. The DGA has been affected by such trends as well. On the whole, the assessment of the past five decades is a mixed and critical one, leading to the conclusion that the DGA can, in future, set the agenda for research on Asia that is both open to new perspectives and capable of integrating the ever more diverse community that its members make up.


Area Studies, disciplines, Asia, DGA