Australian Society for Asian Humanities

Promoting Asian Studies in Australia since 1956
We promote the knowledge of Asia in Australia and provide a venue for scholars to present their work to their peers and others interested in Asia. We regularly run lectures, discussions and exhibitions to encourage the study of Asian history and culture.

Journal of the Society for Asian Humanities (JOSAH)

JOSAH: The Journal of the Society for Asian Humanities (formally the Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia (JOSA)) has been published continuously since 1960 and is the longest-running journal on Asia in Australia. Digital copies of JOSAH can be purchased through INFORMIT. Printed copies are available through the Sydney University Press.

Become a member

For membership inquiries, contact the treasurer, Dr Ying (Eagle) Zhang (

Our people


The Oriental Society of Australia holds a lunchtimes seminar series.

Please join our mailing list to be notified of upcoming seminars.

You can find details about our seminars at the SOPHI events calendar page.

When: Thursday 4 November, 6pm
Where: Online (Zoom)

Asia in Australia: History on the Streets

Speaker: Professor Emerita Vera Mackie (University of Wollongong)

There has been a shift from seeing 'Asia' as a separate geographical entity to a recognition of the mutually imbricated histories of Australia and Asia and a consciousness of the continued presence of Asian and Asian-Australian communities within the boundaries of the nation-state. How would this history look if we took the streets as our starting point? What are the traces of this history on the streets of the city?

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When: Thursday 29 October 2020, 6pm
Where: Online (Zoom)

“The bones of our mothers”: Coal, climate and resistance in a Chhattisgarh District

Speaker: Professor Devleena Ghosh (University of Technology Sydney)

In recent years, Adivasis in Chhattisgarh have been resisting the encroachment of their lands and forests by various mining corporations. Such developments have subsumed forest dwellers’ rights to the necessities of resource extraction and caused the displacement and loss of land and livelihoods. This presentation examines the historical status of forest dwelling Adivasis and the appropriation of their lands, first by colonial rulers in the 19th century and then by postcolonial governments.

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From Orientalism to Inter-Asia Referencing: Reflections on Asian Studies in Australia

Speaker: Professor Adrian Vickers (Professor of Southeast Asia, University of Sydney)

This lecture examined the wider issues governing Asian Studies in Australia, moving from colonial Orientalism to Inter-Asia Referencing and the Cold War underpinnings of the field. Drawing on ‘Asia as Method’ and the writings of Chua Beng Huat, Professor Vickers asks what might constitute an Asian-oriented understanding of Asia.

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