The Weatherhead East Asian Institute’s (WEAI) Asia in Action initiative is a dynamic showcase of scholarly work, artistic endeavors, and political action related to East and Southeast Asia that do not fall neatly into an academic paradigm. Asia in Action highlights the work and experiences of groundbreaking professionals, including writers, designers, artists, and activists working in East and Southeast Asia, and explores topics that are pressing and timely in our rapidly changing world. Through events programming, support for interdisciplinary research, and collaborative projects, we hope the initiative will strengthen our ties to the community and shine a spotlight on individuals and groups whose work might have traditionally been overlooked by academia, but whose narratives of action can enrich our understanding of Asia.
In a webinar held on December 7, 2022, entitled "Migrant Workers Rights in Singapore: Advocacy, Legal Frameworks and Prospects for Change," Debbie Fordyce, president of Transient Workers Council Too, laid out the structural regime and history of how migrants come to work in Singapore. Also speaking at the event, Laavanya Kathiravelu, Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological University, focused on the impact of COVID-19 and the everyday lives of migrant men as well as Singaporeans’ views on migrant workers.
In a panel discussion on "Women, Modernity, and Sustainable Fashion in Contemporary Vietnam," fashion designer Vu Thao, FIT's museum director Valerie Steele, and Professors Dorothy Ko, Hazel Clarke, and John Phan addressed the intersection of fashion with sustainability, social justice, and economic change.
In an interdisciplinary discussion on December 2 titled “Open Science: Sino-US Collaboration in an Age of Surveillance,” panelists drew from personal experience and professional expertise, from the fields of science, law, and journalism, to consider the implications of the US government's counter-espionage policies for academia.
Asia in Action Scholars
Asia in Action Artist in Residence and film director
Asia in Action Events
Asia in Action: Migrant Worker Rights in Singapore: Advocacy, Legal Frameworks and Prospects for Change
Clinical Health Justice: Mental Health Equity and Cultural Intersectionality in the Age of #AsianHate, Transphobia, Racism, and Model Minority
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