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#AsiaNow Speaks with Foong Ping

FOONG Ping is Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art at Seattle Art Museum and author of The Efficacious Landscape: On the Authorities of Painting at the Northern Song Court, published by Harvard University Asia Center and winner of the 2017 AAS Joseph Levenson Book Prize, Pre-1900 Category. To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. The book is about ink landscape painting, one of the most distinctive features of Northern Song dynasty culture. It addresses how these works fulfilled diverse functions at court during the late 11th century—as forms of decoration, as a medium of social exchange, and even as an integral element of this pivotal period’s political history. Through landscape’s unique ability to communicate through embodiment, they became potent symbols of imperial authority, and later became objects through which exiled scholars expressed disaffection and dissent. The first part of my study focuses attention on how and why the Song imperial establishment—emper ...

#AsiaNow Speaks with Janet Gyatso

Janet Gyatso is Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at Harvard Divinity School, and author of Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet, published by Columbia University Press and winner of the 2017 AAS E. Gene Smith Award for Best Book in Inner Asia. To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. The book is about the history of science and its interactions—and tensions with—religion in the context of early modern Tibet (1300-1800). It studies the intellectual history of medical thought in Tibet, and contrasts it with Buddhist thought in the same time and period. It is also interested in the ways in which medical knowledge borrowed from Buddhist practices and values, while still maintaining a certain distance from religious world views. It uncovers deeply humanistic values and practices that were developed in medical circles in Tibet. And it also questions assumptions that empiricism a ...

Best of the EAA Archives: November 10, 2017 Edition

The “Best of EAA Articles” are a series of posts that include outstanding articles, essays, interviews, and reviews that are among the over 1,500 archived open access materials available on the Education About Asia website. The following articles are a sample of what appears in our latest fall 2017 issue (vol. 22, no. 2) with the special section “Water and Asia.” Titles, short annotations, and links are below. • In “China’s Water Challenges: National and Global Implications,” David Pietz offers compelling examples of the potential worldwide effects of China’s water crisis. • Judith Shapiro’s amply illustrated “China: Harnessing the Waters” provides historical context for China’s current water situation and chronicles the activities of individuals and organized groups to improve water quality in China. • Robert Ivermee does a nice job in “The Hooghly River: A Sacred and Secular Waterway” of combining the met ...

AAS 2017 Election Results

Thanks to all the AAS Members who voted in this year’s election! We are pleased to announce the results: Vice President Prasenjit Duara (Duke University) China and Inner Asia Council Tobie Meyer-Fong (Johns Hopkins University) Anne Gerritsen (Warwick University, UK) Jack Chen (University of Virginia) Northeast Asia Council Akiko Takenaka (University of Kentucky) Hwansoo Kim (Duke University) Eiko Maruko Siniawer (Williams College) South Asia Council Sara Shneiderman (University of British Columbia) Purnima Dhavan (University of Washington) (Note: only two SAC candidates elected due to a tie vote last year) Southeast Asia Council Pamela McElwee (Rutgers University) Wasana Wongsurawat (Chulalongkorn University) Yosef Djakababa (Universitas Pelita Harapan) Council of Conferences Noriko Murai (Asian Studies Conference Japan; Sophia University) Rachael Hutchinson (Mid-Atlantic Region; University of Delaware) Ethan Segal (Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, Michigan State University) C ...

Update on Chinese Censorship of Academic Publications

As reported in mid-August, representatives of the Chinese government asked Cambridge University Press (CUP) to remove from its Chinese website 315 China Quarterly articles on so-called “sensitive” topics (Taiwan, the Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen, etc.). At that time, CUP also conveyed to the Association for Asian Studies a Chinese request that 100 Journal of Asian Studies articles be blocked in China. Under pressure, CUP reversed its decision and lifted the block of the China Quarterly articles before any JAS articles were affected. AAS has issued a statement in strong defense of academic freedom. Since then, AAS officers and staff have continued monitoring the situation. There are no new updates concerning our Journal of Asian Studies, which remains fully accessible to AAS members in China. However, other publications have been affected by censorship in China, and this episode has prompted many members of the academic community to discuss academic integrity, scholarly labor, and possible respo ...

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