Transnational Asia Research Initiative


Grand challenges today in politics, economics, social justice, immigration, armed conflicts, and environment are creating an overlapping effect between the Asian and the global, making it necessary that the existing framework for Asian Studies be re-crafted. Intensifying flows of people, goods, ideas, and culture within Asia and between Asia and the rest of the world are calling for a new approach to Asia from a transnational and transhistorical perspective. Needless to say, national boundaries continue to exist, and concerns over sovereignty and nationalism often result in immense human and environmental disasters. At the same time, we now live in an age where human movements across national borders are happening in an unprecedented scale, delivering new conflict, new tragedy, and new anxieties, but also new knowledge, new forms of life, and new communities. The Chao Center’s new research initiative, the Transnational Asia Research Initiative (TARI), aims to address this complexity, working across multiple disciplines and methodologies.


TARI consists of a team of postdoctoral research fellows residing at the Chao Center. Fellows are expected to engage in their own research aimed at elevating and deepening their understanding of a specialized area, while simultaneously pursuing a common theme and knowledge on transnational Asia. Such themes/projects will be inter-disciplinarily generated and traverse a broad terrain—both time and space—concerning Asia and the world. The TARI fellows will actively build a research community through close interactions with other comparable units on Rice campus.

2016 - Present:

Brianne Donaldson, Bhagwaan Mahavir/Chao Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Jain Studies

Han Sang Kim, Annette and Hugh Gragg Postdoctoral Fellow in Transnational Asian Studies

Sandeep Ray, Henry Luce Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Southeast Asian Studies

2016 - 2017:

Bhavani Arabandi, Annette and Hugh Gragg Postdoctoral Fellow in Transnational Asian Studies               

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