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June 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

The Vietnam Studies Group 2020 Graduate Paper Prize Competition The Vietnam Studies Group (VSG) is pleased to announce that it is accepting submissions for its annual graduate student paper prize competition. The competition encourages the direct involvement of graduate students in the growth of Vietnamese studies and supports their professional development. The competition is open to full- and part-time graduate students, regardless of their disciplinary specialization. Preference will be given to sole-authored papers based on original field, archival, and/or statistical research. However, thematic reviews that critically synthesize existing literature on a particular topic related to Vietnamese studies will also be considered. The winner will receive a $500 prize and a one year subscription to the Journal of Vietnamese Studies. If the winner agrees to pick up their award in person at the VSG annual meeting during the AAS Annual Meeting (March 19-22 in Boston), then the winner will also receive a $200 ...

After Easter: Sri Lanka’s Muslim Community and the Question of Islamic Radicalism

By Bart Klem Bart Klem is Senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. In 2011, his article, “Islam, Politics and Violence in Eastern Sri Lanka,” was published in the Journal of Asian Studies. In the #AsiaNow post below, written shortly after the Easter Sunday bombings of several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, Klem explains how these attacks fit—or, rather, do not fit—into the broader history of Sri Lanka’s Muslim community. Sri Lanka’s Muslim community, an oft neglected group, suddenly became world news on Easter Sunday with the Islamist bomb attacks on several churches and hotels. The forensic details of the attack, the network responsible, and the lapse of the intelligence services have been covered in news updates. The basic challenge of putting the attack in context is that it does not fit—the Easter attacks do not make Sri Lankan sense, but now that they have happened, they affect the dynamics of Sri Lanka’s continuing ethno-political confl ...

AAS Statement on Stanford University Press

June 14, 2019 The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is writing to express its concern regarding the decision of Provost Persis S. Drell to cut $1.7 million in subsidies to Stanford University Press, thus placing the future of the Press in financial jeopardy. For Asian Studies in particular, Stanford University Press is one of a very select group of top-tier academic publishers in North America that commands international respect. Its publications represent cutting-edge and discipline-redefining research as exemplified by the “South Asia in Motion” series, as well as in new studies of pre-modern and modern Korea, innovative analyses of Asia in global and transnational contexts, and ground-breaking work in Asian environmental studies, drug culture, and funerary practices. Moreover, the field of Asian women’s history owes much to the Press, whose early support has made the entire field possible. Most of the humanities and a large part of the social sciences take the publication o ...

Member Spotlight: Emily Rook-Koepsel

Emily Rook-Koepsel is a historian of modern India and Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Contact her at rookkoepsel@pitt.edu. How long have you been a member of AAS? I have been a member of AAS since I got my first job out of graduate school (2011). I have tried to maintain this membership and vote in each AAS election. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? AAS is often seen as primarily an East Asian organization, and while it is true that the bulk of presentations at the annual conference are focused on East Asia, it is deeply rewarding to be able to work with and learn from other scholars of Asia. But more importantly for me, I think the regional conferences offer young scholars of Asia a first glimpse into the world academic presentation. Both the regional and national conferences also work hard to include new scholarship on pedagogy, cross-national scholarship, and innovative moves in medi ...

Japan’s Liberal-Democratic Paradox of Refugee Admission: A Q&A with Konrad Kalicki

Konrad Kalicki is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Japanese Studies and Department of Political Science at the National University of Singapore. He is author of “Japan's Liberal-Democratic Paradox of Refugee Admission,” which appears in the May 2019 issue of the Journal of Asian Studies. In the interview below, conducted by Rajit Mazumder (DePaul University), Kalicki discusses his research on Japanese refugee policy and how civil society efforts might offer an alternative pathway to resettlement for refugees seeking sanctuary in Japan. AAS Members can read the JAS online at Cambridge Core by first logging into their member accounts at the AAS website and then selecting “Access the Journal of Asian Studies” in the right-hand menu on their member homepage. Could I begin by asking about the article’s classification of “refugees” as a “special category of international migrants”? “Migrants” are presumed to be moving voluntarily ...

May 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to the AAS Members named fellows at the National Humanities Center for the 2019-20 academic year: Olga Dror (Texas A&M University), “Ho Chi Minh’s Cult in Vietnamese Statehood” Seung-joon Lee (National University of Singapore), “Revolutions at the Canteens: Labor, Energy, and the Politics of Eating in Industrial China” Shuang Shen (The Pennsylvania State University), “Cold War and Sinophone Literature at the Borders” *** We are also pleased to share the news that three student members of the AAS have received Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships: Sandy F. Chang (University of Texas at Austin), “Across the South Seas: Gender, Intimacy, and Chinese Migrants in British Malaya, 1870s-1930s” Kyle Ellison David (University of California, Irvine), “Children of the Revolution: Childhood and Conflict in Rural North China, 1937-1948” Elizabeth Joy Reynolds (Columbia University), “Economies of t ...

Excerpt – “Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture”

The newest volume in the AAS “Key Issues in Asian Studies” series of short texts for the undergraduate classroom is Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture, by Kathleen M. Adams (Loyola University Chicago). In this book, Adams offers readers an overview of Indonesia’s history from 1.5 million years ago through the present day, examining how trade, colonialism, religion, and nationalism have affected and shaped the archipelago over millennia. In pointing out moments of uncertainty and contingency, Adams draws students’ attention to the unexpected ways in which a group of islands has cohered into the world’s fourth most-populous nation. Adams opens each chapter of Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture with a focal image or artifact from which the chapter’s narrative flows. In the excerpt below, a photograph of one of Indonesia’s oldest mosques offers a starting point for a discussion of the arrival and spread of Islam across the islands. Today we know Indonesia ...

Brief Summary of Academic Climate in Thailand

AAS-in-Asia presents an opportunity for scholars of Asia based in Asia and around the globe to share their research with one another and, in the process, to learn about the constraints under which scholars operate in various countries. The next AAS-in-Asia conference will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, July 1-4, 2019. Accordingly, the AAS officers would like to provide a brief summary of the academic climate in Thailand. Since establishing a constitutional monarchy in 1932, Thailand has experienced 25 general elections and 12 coups d'état (an additional 7 attempts failed). Following its latest coup on May 22, 2014, Thailand has been ruled by a military junta. Faced with growing pressures, the government held elections on March 24, 2019. With election results not expected to be confirmed until after the May 4-6 coronation of Rama X and as various political parties negotiate to form a coalition government, the outcome of this latest election remains unclear. In the wake of the 2014 coup, citizens have ...

Excerpt: “A Friend in Deed”

AAS Publications is pleased to announce the release of A Friend in Deed: Lu Xun, Uchiyama Kanzō, and the Intellectual World of Shanghai on the Eve of War, by Joshua A. Fogel. In this volume from our “Asia Shorts” series, Fogel, a professor of history at York University (Toronto) and specialist in Sino-Japanese relations, examines the friendship between leading Chinese author Lu Xun (1881–1936) and Uchiyama Kanzō (1885–1959), a prominent Japanese bookstore owner in Shanghai. The two men met at Uchiyama’s store in 1927, and Lu Xun quickly became a near-daily visitor; on days when he didn’t show up to sit and chat with others in the bookstore, Uchiyama would visit Lu Xun’s residence to check on the writer. Over the nine years of their friendship, Uchiyama assisted Lu Xun in finding safe houses numerous times as he evaded arrest warrants and the threat of assassination from both the Nationalists and Japanese authorities in Shanghai. The pair collaborated on exhibitions of ...

April 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

Two AAS Members are among the 168 scholars, artists, and writers named 2019 recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships. Congratulations to Michael K. Bourdaghs (University of Chicago) and Lothar von Falkenhausen (University of California, Los Angeles). *** Congratulations to the AAS Members who have received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support their scholarly work: Todd Lewis (College of the Holy Cross), “Dharma and Punya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal” exhibition Kathryn Meyer (Wright State University), “Aviation and Nation Building in Wartime Manchuria” Jennifer Ortegren (Middlebury College), “New Neighbors, New Muslims: Gender, Class, and Community in Contemporary India” Jessica Starling (Lewis and Clark College), “Leprosy, Social Work, and Ethical Praxis in Contemporary Japanese Buddhism” Rina Williams (University of Cincinnati), “Marginalized, Mobilized, Incorporated: Women and Religious Nationalism in India ...

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