Asian Studies at a Distance

How to Conduct Asian Studies during the Pandemic?

Fieldwork at distance

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

Travel restrictions caused by the pandemic have forced scholars in Asian studies, as also in other disciplines, to redefine their methods of data gathering. In order to help students and researchers in Asian Studies to find alternative ways of collecting data, the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies provides here a list of relevant resources. The page is updated continuously.

Emphasis is put on digital research methods. They not only enable researchers to collect digital data at a distance, but they also provide tools for computer-assisted analysis of big data. Given the exponentially expanding amount of digital data, knowledge of these methods opens up possibilities for new approaches in research.

Fieldwork at a distance

Lupton, D. (editor) (2020)
Doing fieldwork in a pandemic (crowd-sourced document).

Jin Sato (2020)
Research at a Distance: Area Studies in the Post-Pandemic Era
International Journal of Asian Studies, 17, 105–108

Elisabeth Jean Wood, Douglas Rogers, K. Sivaramakrishnan and Rene Almeling (2020)
Resuming Field Research in Pandemic Times
items. Insights from the Social Sciences


Digital research methods


Doing Digital Scholarship (social sciences)
“Doing Digital Scholarship offers a self-guided introduction to digital scholarship, designed for digital novices. It allows you to dip a toe into a very large field of practice.”

Introduction to Digital Humanities.  Free Online course. Harvard University.
“Develop skills in digital research and visualization techniques across subjects and fields within the humanities.”

Digital scholarship service, Tools. The Chinese University of Hong Kong Library

UK Data Service. Youtube videos about data-mining techniques and much more
For example: Webinar. Becoming a computational social scientist

Resources on digital research methods in Asian studies

Schneider, Florian (2015)
Searching for “Digital Asia” in its Networks: Where the Spatial Turn Meets the Digital Turn.
Asiascape: Digital Asia, 2(1-2), 57-92.

Chinese studies

Digital China
“Developing new digital methods for the study of China’s past and present.  A list of digital things related to the field of Chinese studies curated by Kwok-leong Tang, the Digital China Fellow of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. “

Journal of Chinese History. Special issue: Digital Humanities

Ng Wai Foong (2019)
Beginner’s Guide to Sentiment Analysis for Simplified Chinese using SnowNLP, Medium , 2019

⇒Articles in which digital methods have been used

Ying Wang,Heng Li,Zezhou Wu (2019)
Attitude of the Chinese public toward off-site construction: A text mining study
Journal of Cleaner Production, 20 November

Fucheng You et al (2018 )
Design of Data Mining of WeChat Public Platform Based on Python
J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 1069 012017

Jing Zeng,  Chung-hong Chan, and Mike S. Schäfer  (2020)
Contested Chinese Dreams of AI? Public discourse about Artificial intelligence on WeChat and People’s Daily Online.
Information, Communication & Society, Ahead-Of-Print, 1-22

Japanese studies

Digital Humanities Japan wiki.
” This site is a guide to digital resources related to Japan, including but not limited to online databases, datasets, tutorials, syllabi, and other digital work.”
Contains for example: Publications on Japan-related Digital Studies

Korean studies

Cha, J. (2018)
Digital Korean studies: recent advances and new frontiers
Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 34 No. 3, pp. 227-244.

South Asian studies

Research tools: South Asian Studies: Digital Humanities for SAS. Princeton University Library