China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC)

The China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC) is one of four regional councils operating within the Association for Asian Studies (AAS). Created in 1970, these councils represent the interests of scholars working in their respective geographical areas.

Collectively, the four AAS area councils and the Council of Conferences serve as the major policy body for the Association of Asian Studies, providing liaison between the Board of Directors and the members at large.





Each year, the AAS China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC) holds a competition for the best paper on a China/Inner Asia topic presented by a graduate student at the AAS Conference. This prize recognizes emerging scholarship in the field and fosters intellectual exchange among junior and senior scholars. The award of $400 and a certificate are presented at the AAS Annual Conference. The China and Inner Asia Council will also provide a sum of up to $600 to the winner(s) of the prize to partially cover the cost of travel to the AAS Annual Conference, where the winner(s) will be recognized at the AAS Presidential Address/Awards Ceremony.

The submission deadline for the 2016 graduate student paper prize has now passed. Submission details for the graduate student paper prize for 2017 will be posted here prior to the 2017 AAS Annual Conference in Toronto.

The 2015 AAS Chicago Conference CIAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winners were:

  • McCabe Keliher, Harvard University for “The Making of Qing Administrative Law”
  • Dasa Pejchar Mortensen, University of North Carolina, for “Ethnopolitics and Revolutionary Fervor: The Tibetan Red Guard Movement in Gyalthang”
  • Chelsea Zi Wang, Columbia University, for “Waiting for Replacement: Official Transfers and the Paradox of Speed and Delay in Ming Bureaucracy”

The 2014 AAS Philadelphia Conference CIAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winners were:

  • Yige Dong, Johns Hopkins University, "The Discovery of Parenthood: Science, Gender, and Class in Childrearing Literature during 1980's China"
  • Margaret Roberts, Harvard University, "Fear or Friction? How Censorship Slows the Spread of Information in the Digital Age"
  • Fei Yan, University of Oxford, "The Politicized Mass Factionalism in a Chinese Context: Guangzhou's January Power Seizure in 1967"

The 2013 AAS San Diego Conference CIAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winners were:

  • David J. Bulman (Johns Hopkins U.) for "Promotion-based Incentives for Growth: Evidence from the County Level in Jiangsu and Anhui"
  • Ting Luo (London School of Economics) for "China's Village Committee Elections: Economic Development and Incumbent Advantage"
  • Christopher Byrne (McGill U.) for "Verses of Silent Illumination: Hongzhi Zhengjue's (1091-1157) Poetic Vision of the Caodong Secto of Chan Buddhism"

The 2012 AAS Toronto Conference CIAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winners were:

  • Matthew King, doctoral student in the Department of Religion, University of Toronto, who presented a paper on "'Mongols' in the Buddhicization of Tibet and China: Late Mongol Readings of Tibetan Language Sources"
  • Elisa Oreglia, doctoral student at the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley, who presented a paper on "'It's just like being there!': Mobile Modernity and Rural China in the Age of the Internet"
  • Ning Yao, doctoral student at the Institute of East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University, who presented a paper on: Representing Absence and Death: Wu Li's (1632-1718) Handscroll Remembering the Past at the Xingfu Chapel (1672)"

The 2011 AAS-ICAS Hawaii Joint Conference CIAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winner was:

  • Wing Shan Ho, doctoral student at the University of Oregon, who presented a paper entitled, "Women and the State Ideology: Modernization and Perverted Characters in Chinese Television"