As a continent lying to the east of Europe, Asia has been malleable to different spatial and temporal imaginations and politics. Recent scholarship has highlighted how the seemingly self-contained regional configurations of West and Central Asia, South and Southeast Asia, and East Asia carved by the Area Studies paradigm reflect changing (geo)political and economic interests than historical or cultural roots.
This volume advances the question as to what Asia is, and as to whether there existed one or many Asia(s). It seeks to explore Asian societies as interconnected formations through trajectories/networks of circulation of people, ideas, and objects in the longue durée. Moving beyond the divides of Area Studies scholarship and the arbitrary borders set by late colonial empires and the rise of post-colonial nation-states, this volume maps critically the configuration of contact zones in which mobile bodies, minds, and cultures interact to foster new images, identities, and imaginations of Asia.