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Jeffrey Wasserstrom's Articles

Forgotten Geographies in Asian Studies

By Jeffrey Wasserstrom UC Irvine history professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom recently concluded his ten-year tenure as editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. One of the new practices that Wasserstrom introduced as editor was a “JAS-at-AAS” panel at the annual conference. This year, in a similar spirit, he organized a JAS panel for the just-concluded AAS-in-Asia 2018 conference in New Delhi, focused on the theme of “Forgotten Geographies.” Wasserstrom was not able to attend the conference in person but sent the remarks below to be read on his behalf at the start of the session. During my graduate school years in the 1980s, I thought a lot about how disciplines were defined and the borders between them policed. I also thought a lot about what it meant to cross standard dividing lines between periods, for I was interested in issues that played out over all of the twentieth century but scholars of Chinese modern history tended to stop at 1949, leaving discussion of later periods to social ...

Hong Kong Noir

I’ve just landed in Hong Kong to do several different things, most of which fit into one of the three standard academic categories of activities. I’ll participate in an experimental class session connecting Hong Kong and American students via Skype (teaching); visit a local site associated with the topic of protest that I write about a lot (research); and speak about censorship at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club, drawing on my experiences as Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies during what some are calling the “China Quarterly Affair” (service). As I prepared for the trip, I pondered questions relating to these teaching, research, and service events, as well as the session of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival I’ll moderate, at which Ian Johnson will present material from his new book on the religious revival in China after Mao. Even more, though, I thought about two queries linked to a Literary Festival event that I’ll attend not as a teacher, ...

Typewriters, Slogans, and Sewing Machines—From SFO to Seoul and Back with the Journal of Asian Studies on My Mind

By Jeffrey Wasserstrom As Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, as I prepare to go to the AAS Annual Conference (when our editorial board meets) or AAS-in-ASIA (where I hold “meet-the-editor” sessions), I spend some time thinking about the articles we have published recently and have in the pipeline. I did this before heading to Asia last month on a trip that began with a short stopover in Hong Kong and ended in Seoul at the AAS-in-ASIA meetings that Korea University did so well in hosting.   One thing that was different this time, though, was how often during the trip I saw things that made me think of JAS articles. In five dissimilar places, I was reminded of the following: an article from last year on the Umbrella Movement; two “Asia Beyond the Headlines” commentaries on recent events in South Korea that are coming out in November; and the two lead pieces in a forum on machines in East Asia that appeared in the same August 2016 issue as the essay on Hong Kong. Here’s ...

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