XMUM International Seminar Explores Frontiers of Asian Knowledge


The International Seminar on Creating Knowledge in Asia: Opportunities and Challenges, held at Xiamen University Malaysia on April 28, 2024, concluded successfully.

Organized by XMUM's Department of English Language and Literature in collaboration with the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Asia West East Institute (Asia WE), the seminar featured a diverse lineup of speakers who engaged in stimulating discussions on pressing issues in knowledge production and decolonization within the Asian context.

It aimed to provide a platform for scholars and practitioners to exchange ideas, challenge dominant narratives, and envision more inclusive and diverse approaches to knowledge creation in the Asian context.

The seminar commenced with welcoming speeches from Assoc. Prof. Zhang Ying, Vice-President of XMUM; Prof. Farid Alatas from NUS; and Assoc. Prof. Song Jiayang, Head of the Department of English Language and Literature at XMUM. These addresses set the stage for thought-provoking discussions on various facets of knowledge production in Asia.


Assoc. Prof. Zhang Ying


Prof. Farid Alatas

Three keynote speakers were invited to share their research findings. Prof. Sharmani Patricia Gabriel from the University of Malaya captivated the audience with her address titled Orientalism, Reverse Orientalism, and Knowledge Production in Asia, setting the tone for the seminar’s discussions.

Prof. Arjuna Parakrama from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, gave a speech titled The Extra-Linguistic Value of English in the Globalized Production, Consumption, and Validation of Creativity as Knowledge, critically examining the intricate dynamics of linguistic power and its implications for global knowledge production.

In the address The Decolonization of Knowledge: Meaning and Varieties, Prof. Syed Farid Alatas from NUS provided a comprehensive overview of coloniality and Eurocentrism in knowledge creation, urging for a deeper understanding of these phenomena to facilitate meaningful decolonization efforts in the humanities and social sciences.

Throughout the event, scholars from 12 institutions around the world - such as University of Cambridge, Waseda University, New York University Shanghai, the National University of Singapore, the University of Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Xiamen University Malaysia - presented on a variety of topics, including linguistic hegemony, racial dynamics in Malaysian society, cultural fluidity, political theory, and educational policies, as well as critical paradigms.

As the seminar drew to a close, participants expressed their gratitude to the organizers, speakers, and attendees for their contributions to this enriching intellectual dialogue. The event concluded with a renewed commitment to advancing decolonial practices and fostering equitable knowledge production processes across Asia.


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