“Asia Literacy” in Practice


Monash Asia Institute
Date: Thursday, 12 June 2014
Venue: H.B39 (at Basement of Building H), Monash University Caulfield Campus

The importance of “Asia literacy” has been widely discussed in Australia since the 1990s and was given renewed emphasis in the 2012 White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century. The Asia Education Foundation has been working hard to implement the cross-curriculum priority of “Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia” at Australian schools. But what Asia literacy really means and how it can be cultivated are not easy questions. In the academy and in Australian public culture, concerns have been raised about the risk of reproducing essentialist views that turn “Asian cultures” into stereotypes. Many have also criticized the promotion of Asia literacy as being too market-driven.

These criticisms help us to focus attention on what we mean by “Asia” and what forms of engagement with Asia are occurring in Australia. This one-day symposium seeks to highlight the experiences of people who have been involved in practicing “Asia literacy” through their work in such fields as secondary and university education, business, craft art, activism and media. Through the various experiences of invited speakers, this one-day event seeks to provide participants with a wealth of informed perspectives on and critical insights into engaging with “Asia”.

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