SEPHIS is the official organiser of the ICAS Book Prize – Portuguese/Spanish Language Edition, which is biannually awarded to outstanding publications in the field of Asian Studies since 2017. The ICAS Book Prize (IBP) was launched in 2005 by the International Convention of Asia Scholars – ICAS and is awarded to outstanding publications in the field of Asian Studies. Based on broad interdisciplinary perspectives (social sciences and humanities) rather than traditional geographic or disciplinary compartmentalisations, it has grown from an experiment with 50 books and 5 dissertations, to the leading Book Prize in the field of Asian Studies, with almost 700 books, more than 170 dissertations and 98 articles in 2021. To reflect the initiative’s decentring approach, it has moved from an English-only to a multi-language initiative.
Since 2017, SEPHIS is the official organizer of the Portuguese/Spanish Language Edition as part of its institutional mission of promoting epistemological diversification of science, especially in fields where the challenges for scholar from the South are more prominent. We believe that this Book Prize is an opportunity to further decenter scholarship on Asia and stimulate the editorial work undertaken by both publishers and scholars based in countries where Asia is not necessarily a prestigious or consolidated field of study. Because epistemological and institutional inequalities affect the dynamics of knowledge production, studies on Asia are still dominated by European and North-American academia. In this context, the SEPHIS-ICAS Book Prize seeks to challenge structural inequalities and deleterious biases that hinder scholars’ careers in their endeavor to read and write about the world in its entirety.
In 2023, Casa Asia joined this initiative as official sponsor of the IBP 2023 Portuguese/Spanish Language Edition. Casa Asia is a body of public diplomacy created in 2001, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union, Generalitat of Catalunha, City Councils of Barcelona and Madrid. This institution is based in Barcelona and has a Centre in Madrid. Casa Asia facilitates the exchange of cultures and projects of common interest between Spain and the countries of Asia-Pacific to achieve better knowledge and mutual understanding.