The Academy of Mobility and Humanities (AMH), Konkuk University, arranged the Asia Mobility Humanities Network (AMHN) launch event on the 14th February 2019. AMHN is the first professional mobility research network for scholars and researches centered on Asia. AMHN aims to advance and enlarge the mobility research in Asia by promoting interdisciplinary research and academic exchange amongst scholars who are interested in mobility studies.
At the beginning of the event, Professor Inseop Shin, the director of the AMH, gave a welcome speech to the audience. The director first expressed his sincere gratitude to every guest who traveled abroad for this special occasion.
The director introduced John Urry’s mobility conceptualization and spoke about the existing professional mobility research networks around the world. The director signified the importance of network by highlighting how AMHN will provide opportunities to go beyond the views of western mobility scholars, extend the academic idea of co-evolutionary mobility studies, uniting with humanities and social sciences through teaching, and sharing mobility research across Asian regions.
Next, we heard speeches from Professors Peter Adey, Maria Luisia T. Reyes, and Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi. Each adviser gave a speech reminding us of contributions of past mobility scholars and their visions for the future.
Professor Peter Adey, from Royal Holloway University of London, recalled John Urry’s "new mobility paradigm" and the proceeding work of Mimi Sheller and Tim Cresswell. Professor Adey briefly spoke about Evacuation Mobility which are the concepts and practices of mobilities during emergencies or natural disaster situations. He expressed his delight at the establishment of an innovative research network in Asia which will help to produce different aspects of mobility studies.
Professor Maria Luisia T. Reyes, from the University of Santo Tomas, explained the meaning of ‘humane’ relating to mobilities from a humanities perspective. She stated that becoming "humane" encompassed not only geographical movement but also the movement of emotion and behavior. Professor Reyes further suggested that moving from "humanity" to be more ‘humane’ is linked with education, research, publication and networking. As well as extending her best wishes to AMHN, Professor Reyes encouraged scholars to be mindful of this concept when conducting humanities-related research.
Dr. Yasuko Hassall Kobayashi , from Osaka University Japan, stated that mobilities/migration studies from humanities perspectives is becoming essential especially in the East Asian region. She shared her experience of visiting the United States to learn about safeguarding measures for ethnically diverse populations in natural disasters.
Dr Kobayashi shared how she realized that the city government tried to connect with communities after acknowledging the importance of community resilience which originated from their refugee/mobilities experience. She further expressed that AMHN will be a guide to many facing challenges in the area of mobility and migration studies.
After our three honorable speakers, the audience watched a short congratulation message video from our overseas advisory board members who could not make it to the event.
Next, AMH Professor Jinhyoung Lee shared an opening report about AMHN. Professor Lee statted the goals of the network, which include: international outreach, colloquiums and education, and much more.
The AMH and AMHN were extremely honored to meet our guests who are committed to widening participation in the "new mobilities paradigm." It was a special moment for us all , where we explored the potential of interdisciplinary mobility studies, collaborating with humanities and social sciences.