AAS Dissertation Workshop

"Art as Politics: Expression, Legitimation and Critique"

Toronto, March 13-16, 2017

All across Asia artists, writers, musicians, dramatists, and architects have used their expressive capacities, and now increasingly new media - to critique the status quo, political regimes, and social establishments. At the same time, states and other powerful patrons regularly use and support expressive forms to celebrate and legitimate their own authority. At times, individual artists and communities of artists have thrived in periods of oppression, but lost focus and direction when an oppressive regime has collapsed. Yet other artists have been most creative when the political context seemed relatively free. Scholars in numerous disciplines, time periods, and areas of Asia are currently examining these complex relationships between artistic expression and political power. This workshop on the multiple and simultaneous uses of art as personal expression, political legitimation, and social critique - open to the full array of verbal, visual, performance, musical, and plastic arts - will provide a venue for the comparative examination of these relationships, both today and historically.

This Dissertation Workshop invites applications from doctoral students from all across the humanities and social sciences planning, or in the early phases of conducting research on the above topics and who sense the substantive and theoretical value of locating their project in a comparative geographical or historical context.

The workshop will be limited to 12 students, ideally from a broad array of disciplines and working on a wide variety of materials and in various regions of Asia. It also will include a small multidisciplinary and multi-area faculty with similar interests.

The workshop is scheduled for the days immediately preceding the 2017 AAS annual conference in Toronto. It will begin with dinner on the evening of Monday, March 13, continue for the next two and one-half days of intense discussion, and close with lunch on Thursday, March 16.

The AAS will be able to provide limited financial support for participants including three night’s accommodations, meals and partial “need-based” travel funds. Students are encouraged to approach their home institutions for additional support.  It is hoped that participants also will attend the AAS annual conference immediately following the workshop.

Applicants need not have advanced to candidacy but must have at least drafted a dissertation research proposal. Applications are also welcome from doctoral students in the early phases of writing their dissertations. Applications consist of two items only:

(1) a current Curriculum Vitae, and

(2) the dissertation proposal, or if the research and writing is well under way, a statement of the specific issues being addressed, the intellectual approach, and the materials being studied. Neither the proposal nor statement should exceed 10 double-spaced pages in length using standard-sized fonts.  Application materials should be sent as email attachments to Michael Paschal (mpaschal@asian-studies.org) no later than January 9, 2017.  Please include “Dissertation Workshop Application” in the email subject box. **Note: Deadline extended to Wednesday, January 11, 2017.**

Workshop participants will be selected on the basis of the submitted projects, the potential for useful exchanges among them, and a concern to include a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, intellectual traditions, and regions of Asia. Applicants will be informed whether or not they have been selected for the workshop later in January.

For further information about the workshop, or eligibility, please contact Michael Paschal (mpaschal@asian-studies.org), David Szanton, (Szanton@berkeley.edu), or Justin McDaniel (jmcdan@sas.upenn.edu). Faculty having related research interests who would be interested in serving as mentors for the workshop also should contact the organizers for details. Modest supplemental funding will be available to mentors to help offset related costs.