Fifty Years of Nordic Scholarship on Asia
Geir Helgesen and Gerald Jackson (eds)
• A smorgasbord of writing on Asia from the Nordic region.
• Celebrates 50 years of publishing at NIAS.
Contact between Asia and the Nordic countries goes back at least 500 years. Scholarly interest and exchange between the two regions took time to develop, however; for many years Nordic scholars were more focused on the Biblical world than on the Far East or Subcontinent. The explosion in academic learning from the 1960s dramatically changed this picture and by the end of the decade Asia was studied at more than 100 institutions scattered across the Nordic region. In response, an institute was established now known as NIAS, tasked to support and provide focus to this fragmented scholarly environment. The institute opened its doors in 1968.
An integral part of NIAS’s work in the past five decades has been to encourage publication of Nordic Asia scholarship. Since 1968, about 500 different works have been published out of the institute. A few had a huge international impact (deciphering the inscriptions of the Indus Valley Civilization was a major linguistic and historical breakthrough, for instance) while other works have had impressive political/societal effects. Indeed, as a whole, it is agreed that the publishing work carried out at NIAS over the decades has boosted the global profile of Nordic scholarship on Asia beyond all expectations.
In celebration of 50 years of publishing at NIAS, this volume offers a selection of Nordic writing on Asia. The excerpts span the decades and the myriad fields within Asian Studies, with context and relevance offered by commentaries from present-day scholars. Readers from all areas and disciplines will find much to tempt them in this smorgasbord of Asia learning.
Geir Helgesen, cultural sociologist and Director of NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, is a long time Korea observer who has travelled extensively in both parts of Korea, organized track two dialogues between North Korea and the Nordic countries, and maintains a global network of colleagues.