Theme of the Conference
The concept of "Asia" has been repeatedly criticized for its Eurocentric origins, placing an inconsistent imaginary geographical and conceptual division onto the vast regions inhabited by populations of the diverse "Eastern other." Despite the criticism, "Asia" has been envisioned and utilized at different historical junctures within "Asia" as political entities, socio-cultural identities, fictional ideals, social spaces and functional enterprises. "Asians" and their place and experiences within "Asia" and the modern world have been and continue to be redefined, producing diverse and often contradicting results.

This international conference will examine the formative problems and issues of "Asia" and "Asians" through an interdisciplinary analysis of gender and health.

From the turbulent global power relations of the late nineteenth century to the twenty-first century, "Asians" had visceral, gendered experiences of colonialism, imperialism, decolonization, and constructions and practices of traditions, modernity, nationalism, religion, class, race, and identity—all of which affected human health, and the ways "Asians" imagined their body and health, in life and in death.

Health regimes and technologies mediated and regulated bodily experiences in emerging states and their colonies, often with a "civilizing" mission to escape the "Asian" body. Knowledge transfer and translated from new systems of health care was conducted in various sites, including family, school, and other modern institutions, with new groups of professionals laying claim to superior knowledge in face of the new "traditional medicine." Selectively using fears of Malthusian population growth, eugenics and "family planning" provided the new vocabulary to understand biological reproduction. National education system, established with the formation of new nation-states, taught health as patriotism, and modern wage labor, where workers en masse became ill in factories, gave birth to industrial hygiene. Bioethical and other narratives cannot keep up with the speed of new medical technologies and their developments, as human bodies are commercialized and rendered "natural" through material interventions. All such processes, and others, contribute to questioning "Asia" and the bodies of "Asians."

Three broad topics have been identified as potential panels: 1. Civilizing Asian Bodies; 2. Knowing Healthcare Practice; and 3. Reproductive Technologies.

Civilizing Asian Bodies aims to address one of the key terms used by Asian countries to self-orientalize. Yet "civilizing" was and is a historically specific process, with "civilization" being a moving target. In the push towards "civilization", how did the new nation-states of Asia "civilize" their people? How was gendering positioned in various "Asian" civilizing strategies? How do these diverse and often contradictory activities contribute to the making of a gendered Asian body/Asian bodies, or not? How did they contextualize each nation-state into the region? Colonial/postcolonial bodies?

Knowing Health Care Practice refers to the agents of distributing/transferring knowledge in modern medical and health institutions as well as in the family. With the extension/invasion of knowledge into multiple sites (including the "home", hospitals, workplace, schools etc.), who were/are the agents of "care", and what are the gendered/racial/class divisions of roles in the specialization/professionalization of Asian "care"?

Reproductive Technologies refers to the technologies that mediate, regulate, and form the way "reproduction" is understood, both biologically and socio-culturally. The interaction/intersection of new and traditional technologies with different religious or ideological regimes synthesize into gendered and culturally-specific acts—what are the commonalities /differences within the imagined "Asia" at different historical junctures, and how is "Asia" thus defined and problematized?