Call for Papers on “International Relations in Premodern East Asia, 14th-19th Centuries”

“One Asia Project” at The University of British Columbia

Project Director: Professor Nam-lin Hur

International relations in premodern East Asia were multidimensional, intersecting, and multilayered. The conventional framework of understanding, which has been represented by the tributary/investiture system or a system of controlled trade, is far short of being able to capture the complex flows of people, ideas/thoughts, goods/material objects, institutions, and emotions that constituted the fabric of border-crossing interactions between China, Korea, Japan, and other ethnic/political entities in the region. The current state of East Asian studies begs for a new paradigm of understanding that should be articulated through collaborative cross-border research and a multidisciplinary approach.

The “One Asia Project,” which Professor Nam-lin Hur at the University of British Columbia (UBC) will direct for three years (August 2015-July 2018), seeks papers for collaborative research and group discussion. The goal of this research project is to promote an open cross-border dialogue beyond single-country specialization and, eventually, to publish edited volumes that will hopefully offer a new approach to international relations in premodern East Asia. This call for papers is open to anyone interested in participating in this project which has a set of expectations and will offer modest compensations.

Research themes

 Any aspect(s) of international relations involving at least two countries/political or ethnic entities in the East Asian region (including Vietnam) pertaining to the period between the 14th to 19thcenturies.

Possible subjects include (but are not limited to) diplomacy, trade and commerce, port cities, smuggling, piracy, war, diaspora, labor migration, missionary work, cultural transmission/exchange, acculturation, shipwrecks and castaways, intermarriage, human trafficking, flow of ideas and emotions, alien settlements, border conflicts, pilgrimage, foreign experiences, border-crossing travel, foreign policy debates, perceptions of the other, collective identity, forms of ethnocentrism, or similar themes.




  • An original research paper offering a new perspective on international relations in premodern East Asia.
  • A critical review of the extant scholarship, a case study, an innovative theoretical/methodological discussion, an introduction of new data, or any potential contribution to the project.
  • A paper in English of a length of 8,000 to 12,000 words.


 Proposal deadlines


  • A proposal in English should include a paper title, a short description of about 300 words, contact information (name, affiliation, mailing address, email address, telephone number).
  • Deadline for the first-year (August 2015-July 2016) project: December 1, 2014.
  • Deadline for the second-year (August 2016-July 2017) project: December 1, 2015.
  • Deadline for the third-year (August 2017-July 2018) project: December 1, 2016.


Full paper deadlines


. June 1, 2015 for the first-year (August 2015-July 2016) project.

. June 1, 2016 for the second-year (August 2016-July 2017) project.

. June 1, 2017 for the third-year (August 2017-July 2018) project.


  • Please note that without submitting a proposal in advance, a full paper could be submitted as long as it fulfills the expectations listed above.
  • It is understood that, by submitting a full paper, the author of the paper consents that the “One Asia Project” retains the right of first refusal regarding publication.
  • Deadline for a final version of the paper: within three months after the workshop (see (3) below).


How and where to submit proposals and papers


As email attachments, to Mr. Tae Yeon Eom, project assistant,


Accepted papers


  • Notice of acceptance: July 1 prior to each project period.
  • Those whose papers are accepted will be expected to conduct the following three functions at UBC:


(1) A lecture (for 45 minutes), which is followed by a Q & A session (for 30 minutes) for undergraduate students, scheduled on a Thursday in the fall semester of the project period;

(2) A public lecture and discussion (for two hours) for graduate students and scholars scheduled on the following day (Friday) of (1); and

(3) Participation in a two-day workshop to be held in April or May of the project period.




  • Full coverage of travel and accommodation for up to four nights at UBC each for (1) (2) and (3).
  • Honoraria of CAD$1,500 for (1), (2), and CAD$500 for (3).


For questions/inquiries, please contact:

Nam-lin Hur, Project Director,

Tae Yeon Eom, Project Assistant,

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