Northeast Asia Council (NEAC)

The Northeast Asia Council (NEAC) 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 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.


NEAC administers the following grant programs:


  • the John Whitney Hall Book Prize, given annually to the author of an outstanding English-language book on Japan
  • the James B. Palais Prize, given annually to an outstanding scholar of Korean studies from any discipline or country specialization.


  • NEAC administers a prize for the best paper presented by a graduate student at the AAS Annual Conference (see below for details).


  • Alisa Freedman, University of Oregon (Chair)
  • Yoshikuni Igarashi, Vanderbilt University
  • Nayoung Aimee Kwon, Duke University
  • Hwansoo Kim, Yale University 
  • Eiko Maruko Siniawer, Williams College
  • Akiko Takenaka, University of Kentucky
  • Joan Ericson, Colorado College
  • Charles Kim, University of Wisconsin
  • Marcia Yonemoto, University of Colorado




The Northeast Asia Council (NEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies announces the 2019 competition for the best paper on a Korea or Japan topic presented by a graduate student at the AAS Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado.

The prize will recognize emerging scholarship in the field and foster intellectual exchange among junior and senior scholars. Consideration will be given to papers that have clear potential to be developed into publishable journal articles. An award of $400 and a certificate will be presented at the 2020 AAS Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. The Northeast 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 AAS 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 AAS Annual Conference in Denver to submit their papers for consideration. Papers on any aspect and region of Japan or Korea will be considered. Students must be currently registered in a doctoral program in order to be considered for the Prize. Submissions should be no more than 4,500 words (approximately 10 pages) excluding footnotes.

Please submit your 2019 conference paper, proof of current doctoral program registration, and panel abstract in PDF format up until March 24, 2019 to Papers received after March 24, 2019 will not be considered.

The 2018 AAS Washington, D.C. Conference NEAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winner was Benjamin R. Young, George Washington University, for “Mobilizing the Masses: The Vietnam War and Welcoming Foreign Leaders in North Korea”

The 2017 AAS Toronto Conference NEAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winner was Sara Osenton, University of Toronto for “Historicizing  the  Cyborg:  Bodies  Broken  by  War  and  the  Cultural  Imaginary”

The 2016 AAS Seattle Conference NEAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winner was Sujin Lee (Cornell University) for “Birth Control and Eugenics for the Proletarian Class: A Genealogy of the Proletarian Birth Control Movement in Interwar Japan.”

The 2015 AAS Chicago Conference NEAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winner was Miriam Chusid (Princeton University) for "Tales from the Underworld: Visual Narratives of Salvation from Hell in Medieval Japan."

The 2014 AAS Philadelphia Conference NEAC Graduate Student Paper Prize winner was Hyeseon Jeong (Ohio State University; Geography and WGSS) for "Giving to Belong: South Korea's 'Graduation from Aid.'"

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