Two Day Online Workshop – WWII in the Asia-Pacific: Border Crossing Mobilities

I am very excited to be giving the keynote talk for the WWII in the Asia-Pacific: Border Crossing Mobilities two day online workshop on July 18th and 19th 2022.

For a detailed schedule of presenters and talks see the workshop website.

The Workshop is free and open to the public. Please register here 


 prior to the conference.

Image 1: Australian War Memorial, Ref # 123045Image 2: Smiling female teenager, NHK “After the War”,Image 3: Australian War Memorial, Ref # 016462


This workshop focuses on international mobilities and migration as a way
to understand the impacts of WWII across the Asia-Pacific region.
Crises, including war, famine, natural disasters, political upheavals
(such as revolution), epidemics and pandemics, create human mobilities
and migration on a large scale. WWII was no exception. Charles Tilly
describes World War II as “one of the greatest demographic whirlwinds to
sweep the earth” (Tilly 2006). This demographic whirlwind also swept
through the battlefields of the Asia Pacific region. While there is
substantial research on war mobilities in the European context
(deportees, expellees, refugees, etc.), much less is documented about
similar experiences in Asia and the Pacific, despite ample cases of such
mobilities (forced labourers, POWs, evacuees, etc.).

This disparity likely results from two factors. First, war histories tend to
be researched within a paradigm of national history at the expense of
inter-regional war mobilities. Second, international migration studies
(IMS) have paid scarce attention to war migration/mobilities in Asia.
This workshop will challenge dominant paradigms in both war histories
and IMS and enrich various social histories of war.

By identifying various types of war mobilities and migration, the
transnational connections or disconnections resulting from them, and the
manifested outcomes of these mobilities, this workshop aims to present
complex histories of World War II and to shift familiar ways of
understanding this war, and the empires and (changing) borders that have
often defined it.

 Workshop Conveners    

 Dr. Christine de Matos (The University of Notre Dame Australia)

 Dr. Rowena Ward       (University of Wollongoong, Australia)

 A/Professor Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi       (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)

Keynote Speaker 

Associate Professor Kirsten L. Ziomek

Director of Asian Studies, Department of History, Adelphi
University, USA


Workshop Contact: Dr Laura Clark at
This workshop is funded by the Institute of Humanities, Human and Social
Science, Ritsumeikan University and an Event Grant for the 2021 round
from the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA).

Using Format