Our Annual Themes

2013-2014: Asia and the City

In 2013-14, BUCSA’s theme was “Asia and the City.” Asia has seen the earliest examples of urbanization in the world, and yet Asian cities today struggle to maintain their historical identities, while modernizing at a neck-breaking speed, largely following Western models. More than 60 percent of Asian populations today live in cities, and the six largest urban agglomerations in the world  (between 35 and 24 million inhabitants each) are all in Asia: Tokyo, Guangzhou, Jakarta, Shanghai, Seoul, and Delhi.

The challenges and opportunities of urbanism in Asia are staggering, and yet exciting. Population migration from rural to urban areas, pollution, and excessive use of natural resources strain existing infrastructures, the traditional urban fabric, and local social compacts, forcing political leaders and urban planners to find new technical and social solutions. Historic preservation of old districts and yearning for futuristic architecture need to be balanced in a daily struggle of diverging interests. Cities are also the sites where most cultural production happens, where old and new identities are made and remade every day, where new forms of sociability are invented combining millennial traditions with global trends.  Presentations by architects and urban planners, documentary screenings, workshops in collaboration with other BU centers, musical and cultural events, and more, form our year-long thread, illuminating the multifaceted aspects of this important topic. Please check our Archived Events section to follow our “ASIA AND THE CITY” activities, as well as many other events!

2012-2013: Young Asia

In 2012-13, BUCSA’s theme was “Young Asia.” Asia is the cradle of some of the world’s most ancient civilizations. Yet it also is, for the most part, a young continent in terms of its current demographics. Asian societies face new challenges and opportunities unheard of in human history. Understanding how Asian young people create new subcultures; tackle political, economic, and environmental plight; and continuously reinvent their relationship with tradition, with previous generations, and with global phenomena, is a way to keep track of the pulsating life of this continent. Talks, documentary screenings, a movie festival, musical events, and more, form our year-long thread, illuminating the multifaceted aspects of this important topic. Please check our Archived Events section to see our “YOUNG ASIA” activities, as well as many other events from 2012-2013!