The Newsletter 87 Autumn 2020

The ICAS Book Prize 2021

Sonja Zweegers

Alongside the astonishing number of submissions for ICAS 12, we have also been observing another record-breaking interest in the ICAS Book Prize (IBP). Each year the number of titles rise!

The IBP was originally launched to bring a focus to academic publications on Asia; to increase their worldwide visibility, and to encourage a further interest in the world of Asian Studies. Organised every two years, together with the ICAS conference, the IBP has grown from a small experiment, to one of the largest book prizes of its kind. Along the way, we expanded to include, in addition to the English Book and Dissertation prizes, prizes for publications in Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

The English language edition is the most mature, and naturally receives a substantially larger number of submissions. But the other language editions, still in their infancy, are proving to be worthy contenders. Each language edition has its own secretariat and sponsor. The intention is to create sustainable and lasting partnerships with secretariats and sponsors who make the prize ‘their own’. You can find all details on their respective pages online:

This year we have added yet one more prize to the group. Organised and sponsored by the Society for Hong Kong Studies (SHKS), the newest addition to the ICAS Book Prize family is the IBP for Best Article on Global Hong Kong Studies. According to the prize’s description, scholarly articles in any social science or humanity discipline are eligible as long as they take Hong Kong as the primary subject of inquiry. SHKS particularly welcomes articles that place Hong Kong in global, comparative and theoretical perspectives. Although an entirely new format for us, we find this to be a timely and exciting category. We have no doubt it will attract a large number of article submissions in the coming months.

We feel strongly that the various language editions can grow into substantial Book Prizes, just as the English edition has done. For that to happen we encourage our readers to take part, spread the news, motivate colleagues and peers to submit their publications! Winners receive not only substantial cash prizes, but also invaluable exposure and credibility, and potentially a trip to the winners’ stage at the ICAS conference. Please join us in strengthening and developing the various IBP language editions, as you have successfully done in the past for the English instalment.

We look forward to seeing you all in August 2021, whether at the live opening of ICAS 12 in Kyoto, or online in our ICAS 12 virtual environment.

Sonja Zweegers, Secretary of the IBP English language edition and Editor of The Newsletter 



The deadline to submit your books or dissertations to the English language edition of the IBP has passed. However, you are still able to take part in the other language editions.

The deadlines are:
1 Dec 2020: French language edition
1 Feb 2021: Chinese, German, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish/Portuguese language editions
1 Feb 2021: Hong Kong article prize

Go to for the guidelines

  • Create an account here
  • Log in to your account
  • Select ‘your’ language
  • Click on the button ‘Submit publication’
  • Fill in the form and click on ‘Save’
  • The secretariat will follow up per email with instructions for shipping hard copies

Questions can be sent to or to the relevant language secretariat (find contact details online).