Pacific Asia Cultural Studies Forum (PACSF) began in July 1997 when the first PACSF conference was organised at University of Essex. The conference was organised as a result of the initiatives taken by Ted Motohashi (Tokyo Metropolitan University) and the student body at Essex, as well as the institutional support of University of Essex (esp. Tony Woodiwiss and Peter Hulme). The conference was a one-day affair, with Naoki Sakai (Cornell University) and Kuan-Hsing Chen (National Tsing Hua University) as plenary speakers, and comprised 8 workshops given mostly by PhD students. This was an eye-opening experience for many of us working on issues related to 'Pacific Asia' vis-a-vis British Cultural Studies, for it gave us the opportunity to realise that there was something a bit more 'collective' about the issues we had, until then, been grappling with individually. As a result of this conference, the PhD participants of the first conference decided to organise a second conference.

From the beginning, the ethos of the project was such that the geography of PACSF should be of a 'travelling' kind. That is to say, we wanted to make PACSF as non-institutional as possible, or as multi-institutional as possible. With this in mind, the second conference took place at Goldsmiths College. The second conference was organised by the collective efforts of students working in United Kingdom, with the institutional support of Goldsmiths College, and especially that of David Morley, who served as our guardian and advisor. The conference was a two-day affair. Ben-Huat Chua (National University of Singapore), Ien Ang (University of Western Sydney) and Hae-joang Cho (Yonsei University) were invited as plenary speakers. Stuart Hall, David Morley and Paul Gilroy took part in the conference as panelists, and the 12 workshops were organised around themes related to the conference, which we called, 'Globalising Cultural Studies?' As the question mark indicates, it has always been part of our stance to question how and in what way British Cultural Studies theories may be applied to analysing issues outside of the British or European experiences.

In July 1999, the third annual PACSF conference, 'Dislocating the West and the Rest' was organised. Myung-jin Park (Seoul National University) and Rey Chow (University of California) were invited to speak, and Paul Gilroy and Scott Lash were our panellists.

Until now, the activities of PACSF have been delimited to organising annual conferences and fortnightly seminars. However, after considering its aims and objectives, the PACSF members felt it was time to re-invent the forum to make it 'travel' more. As a result, we decided to set up an internet space where we can carry on the academic discussions on the net and exchange ideas and advise. We hope you will enjoy, and find this space fruitful.
 
 

See also: PACSF History