Event — IIAS 30

Celebrating 30 Years of IIAS

On October 13, 2023, the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) commemorates its 30th anniversary. Join us for a festive day of cultural performances, interactive workshops, engaged discussions, and delicious foods!

We will also celebrate our anniversary with an open conversation on October 12: Decolonizing Area Studies.

For three decades, IIAS has challenged conventional approaches to knowledge production and sought practical alternatives that involve a vast network of partners around the world, both within and beyond academia. Through the spirit of collaboration, mutual institutional support, and critical analysis, IIAS promotes humanistic and social scientific research through its various platforms, from conferences to The Newsletter, from book publications to public lectures, from research fellowships to intensive graduate workshops. We also work with cultural and educational institutions to organize outreach activities to promote a greater public understanding of contemporary Asia. As we reflect on the past 30 years and look towards the future, we invite the university community and broader public to celebrate with us. Stay for as long as you’d like, or just drop in to say hello!

Join us for a festive day of open conversation sessions, cultural performances, interactive workshops, engaged discussions and delicious foods.


Opening Remarks by Prof. Hester Bijl, Rector Magnificus of Leiden University and Prof. Philippe Peycam, Director IIAS

IIAS's International Collaboration Initiatives Advancing teaching and research on ‘Asia in Global Context’
The original mandate of IIAS to facilitate international collaborations has a long genealogy in Leiden.
Since its inception in 1993, IIAS has functioned as a mediating space within the university to forge an internationally grounded, expanded Asian Studies. Since the past decade we have taken our institutional role even more self-consciously to build and sustain a number of trans-regional networks in the field and method of Asian Studies.
This Roundtable brings together our international collaboration initiatives together to share and discuss for the first time how IIAS is advancing teaching and research on Asia in Global Context for a wider audience.

Participate in an inspirational session with our IIAS fellows

  • Velizar Sadovski 
    Sanskrit: The Old Indic Language and Literature from the “Oral Poetry” of the Vedas up to the present day. Historical dimensions, geographical diffusion, cultural impact
  • Nisha Rayaroth
    Using a plethora of archival documents and oral interviews, my book, Jumbos and Jumping Devils: A Social History of Indian Circus looks at this performance industry from a Global South perspective
  • Wen Huang
    Cultural Heritage Preservation Encounters Tourism Development on the Eastern Fringe of the Tibetan Plateau
    Wen Huang will explore the intricate relationship between cultural heritage preservation and tourism development in the unique context of the eastern fringe of the Tibetan plateau
  • Soheb Niazi, Zahra Hussain, Aditya Kiran Kakati and Laura  Erber
    A conversation on knowledge production in relation to Asian studies within the fellowship programme 



  • Meet our colleagues and get inspired by the various IIAS activities and programmes
  • Enjoy live performances of Bengali and Javanese singers, Igorot (Northern Philippines) dancers and music from South-West Asia
  • Participate in a workshop of tea pairing, manga drawing, linocut printing, origami, batik or yoga
  • Taste different Asian appetizers and (bubble)tea.