Verge: Studies in Global Asias showcases scholarship on “Asian” topics from across the humanities and humanistic social sciences, while recognizing that the changing scope of “Asia” as a concept and method is today an object of vital critical concern. Responding to the ways in which large-scale social, cultural, and economic concepts like the world, the globe, or the universal (not to mention East Asian cousins like tianxia or datong) are reshaping the ways we think about the present, the past and the future, the journal publishes scholarship that occupies and enlarges the proximities among disciplinary and historical fields, from the ancient to the modern periods.
One of our main goals at Verge is to provide a critical space to think through the productive relations and generative discontinuities between Asian Studies and Asian American Studies. While, in many ways, these two fields have traditionally defined themselves in opposition to one another, with the former focused on an area-studies, nationally and politically oriented approach, and the latter emphasizing epistemological categories, including ethnicity and citizenship, that drew mainly on the history of the United States, the past decade has seen a series of rapprochements in which, for instance, categories “belonging” to Asian American Studies (ethnicity, race, diaspora) have been applied with increasing success to studies of Asia. For example Asian Studies has responded to the postnational turn in the humanities and social sciences by becoming increasingly open to rethinking its national and regional insularities, and to work that pushes, often literally, on the boundaries of Asia as both a place and a concept. At the same time, Asian American Studies has become increasingly aware of the ongoing importance of Asia to the Asian American experience, and thus more open to work that is transnational or multi-lingual, as well as to forms of scholarship that challenge the US-centrism of concepts governing the Asian diaspora.
Verge publishes work from historians, literary and cultural scholars, sociologists, anthropologists, art historians, political scientists, and others that engages with the ways in which “globalization” requires us to understand the past, present, and futures of Asia. In doing so, the journal emphasizes multidisciplinary engagement—a crossing and engagement of the disciplines that does not erase disciplinary differences but uses them to make possible new conversations and new models of critical engagement.