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.




  • Jack Chen, University of Virginia (Chair)
  • Naomi Standen, University of Birmingham
  • Elizabeth Remick, Tufts University
  • Lingzhen Wang, Brown University
  • Anne Gerritsen, University of Warwick
  • Tobie Meyer-Fong, Johns Hopkins University
  • Joanne Smith Finley, Newcastle University
  • Yongming Zhou, University of Wisconsin
  • Patricia Thornton, Oxford University


The China and Inner Asia Council (CIAC) of the Association for Asian Studies announces the 2019 competition for the best paper on a China/Inner Asia topic presented by a graduate student at the AAS Conference in Denver, Colorado.

The prize will recognize emerging scholarship in the field and foster intellectual exchange among junior and senior scholars. The award of $400 and a certificate will be presented at the 2020 AAS Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The China and Inner Asia Council of the AAS will also provide a sum of up to $600 to the winner of the prize to partially cover the cost of his or her travel to the 2020 Boston, Massachusetts Conference, where the winner will be recognized at the AAS Presidential Address/Awards Ceremony.

The Council encourages graduate students who present papers at the March 2019 Denver Conference to submit their papers for consideration. Papers on any aspect and region of China/Inner Asia will be considered. Students must be currently registered in a doctoral program in order to be considered for the Prize. Submitted papers should be no longer than 4,500 words, including footnotes.

Please note that due to the generous support of the Chiang-Ching Kuo Foundation (CCK), prizes will be awarded for the three best CIAC 2019 Denver Conference papers submitted. All three winners will be provided the same $400 cash prize, certificate, and up to $600 in travel funds to attend the 2020 Boston, Massachusetts Conference to publicly receive their award.

Please submit: (1) your 2019 conference paper; (2) proof of current doctoral program registration; and (3) AAS panel abstract in PDF format up until March 24, 2019 to Profs. Naomi Standen and Jack Chen at: Papers received after March 24, 2019 will not be considered.

The 2018 AAS Washington, D.C. Conference CIAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winners were:

  • Yi Lu, Harvard University, for “Proletarian Piracy: Culture of Reprints in Mao’s China”
  • Yiren Zheng, University of Chicago, for “Sounding the Ineffable: On Third-Century Chinese Whistling as an Alternative Voice”
  • Xue Zhang, Princeton University, for “How Knowledge Travels: The Distribution of Imperial Maps in Qing China”

The 2017 AAS Toronto Conference CIAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winners were:

  • Anne Rebull, University of Chicago for “How to Act: Emboldening Theatricality in 1950s Performance Practice”
  • Denise Van der Kamp, University of California, Berkeley for “Clean Air at what Cost? The Rise of ‘Blunt Force’ Pollution Regulation in China”
  • Nicholas H. Wong, University of Chicago for “A Genealogical Askesis, or Beyond the Classroom: Zhang Taiyan and Ng Kim Chew’s Other Teachers on Chinese Writing”

The 2016 AAS Chicago Conference CIAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winners were:

  • Huiying Chen, University of Illinois at Chicago for “On the Road: Understandings and Experiences of the Road by Manchu Bannermen in Eighteenth-Century China"
  • Jiangtao (Harry) Gu, University of Rochester for “Beyond ‘The Ninth Wave’: On the State of Contemporary Chinese Art”
  • Steven Pieragastini, Brandeis University for “Southern Exposure: Smuggling and Migration along China’s Southern Frontier in the early People’s Republic”

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"

For optimal performance, it is recommended that you use either Chrome or Firefox for any transactions, including the membership renewal page. If you are experiencing problems loading the page, please change your browser. Internet Explorer is not compatible with our database.