Established in 2014, the Centre for Asian and African studies acts predominantly as a co-ordinating body to bring together specialists in a wide variety of disciplines.
Geographically, the Centre mainly covers the Middle East, Africa, East and Southeast Asia. It serves as a forum for academic interaction through thematic seminars, workshops, conferences, lectures, etc. that enable scholars to discuss and debate topics of comparative character as well as of regional importance.
The Centre is thus eager to support both comparative and regional research on Asia and Africa and aims to promote dialogue within the student body of the Department of Asian and African Studies and across the University in general. The CAAS focuses on Asia and Africa as objects of knowledge in the broadest sense, from aspects of mythology to geopolitical issues. The Centre's programming therefore addresses an array of contemporary approaches, blending theoretical and empirical research, cross-national methods and pioneering analysis.
In 2014 – 2016 the main research theme of the Centre is“Minority vs Majority in the Historical and Cultural Continuum of Asia and Africa”.
The CAAS core faculty consists of scholars for whom Asia and Africa are a key region of study. They are members of the Department of Asian and African studies at National Research University Higher School of Economics.
The Centre welcomes opportunities to develop collaborations with academics and institutions specialising in Asia and Africa elsewhere in Russia and globally.
On January 21-22, an international seminar «The Syrian and Middle East Regional Order: Russian, Syrian and Turkish Perspectives» was held in Saint-Petersburg, where Russian, Turkish and Syrian experts in Middle East took part. The event was organized by Laboratory for Monitoring risks of social and political destabilization (HSE), Center of Asian and African Studies (HSE SPB), Department of Asian and African Studies of (HSE SPB), in collaboration with two leading Middle Eastern research centers - OMRAN Center for Strategic Studies (Istanbul) и Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) (Ankara). After the last year’s meeting in Istanbul, this was the second meeting of experts from three countries in such format.
On the 5th of October Center of Asian and African Studies together with Department of Asian and African Studies of NRU HSE St. Petersburg held an international symposium on research of Russian-Japanese relationship named “Russian-Japanese relationship based on Russian and Japanese archive materials”.
International conference «Minorities and conflicts: Asian and African countries in modern world» was held
On 9-10 of October Center of Asian and African Studies together with Department of Asian and African Studies of NRU HSE, St. Petersburg held an international scientific conference on problems of studying minorities - «Minorities and conflicts: Asian and African countries in modern world». Besides Russian researchers from St. Petersburg and Moscow, researchers and experts from Sothern Africa, Turkey, Iran, Armenia and Southern Korea took part in the conference.
In August of 2015 employees of CAAS N.V. Grigoreva and E.O. Starikova together with Vietnamese researchers Nguyen Van Khang (Vietnamese Institute of Linguistic Research) and Tran Tri Doi (Vietnamese National University, Hanoi) took part in a field research of Muong dialects and folklore in Ba Vi District (Vietnam). As a result of International contest held together with Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (VASS), this expeditionary project was supported by RHSF.
International Scientific Conference "Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World"
On October 9-10, 2015 the Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg will host the international scientific conference “Minorities and Conflicts: Asian and African States in the Modern World”. The organizers of the conference are the Centre for Asian and African Studies and the Department of Asian and African Studies at the Higher School of Economics – St. Petersburg.
14-15th of May 2015 the international conference “Education and Global Cities: Perspectives of BRICS” took place in St. Petersburg bringing together leading foreign and Russian experts in the field of education. In the framework of this conference the Center of Asian and African Studies and the Department of Asian and African Studies co-organized the round table “Education Trends in the Context of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity”, which focused on the challenges of education in multiethnic states with a special emphasis on the BRICS countries.
Within the framework of the conference "Education and Global Cities: Prospects of BRICS" the Department of Asian and African Studies of Higher School of Economics - St. Petersburg and the Centre for Asian and African Studies will host a round table under the working title " Education Trends in the Context of Cultural and Ethnic Diversity" on the 15th of May.
The Higher School of Economics - St. Petersburg and the Vietnam Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS, http://www.vicas.org.vn) have entered into a cooperation agreement. The document was initiated by the Center for Asian and African Studies in December 2013, when the Vietnam Institute delegation visited the St. Petersburg campus for the first time, and took a few months to prepare until being signed on June 27, 2014.