Posted on 2/18/2019 10:30 AM By #AsiaNow
Stuart Robson is an Adjunct Professor in Indonesian Studies at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and is author of The Old Javanese Ramayana; A New English Translation, published by the Institute of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA) within the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, Tokyo, in 2015, and winner of the AAS A.L. Becker Southeast Asian Literature in Translation Prize for 2019.
What is the book about?
As you will know, the Ramayana is a famous classic of world literature, originating from India and existing in a number of different versions. The present version is a literary one (that is, as distinct from folk), written in the Old Javanese language and dating from the second half of the 9th century and the early decades of the 10th century, and composed in Java.
It follows the plot of the Sanskrit Valmiki version, but is an independent work of literature, with its own special qualities. Unfortunately the name of the author is unknown.
Being an epic, it is hundreds o ...
Posted on 2/15/2019 12:40 PM By #AsiaNow
Congratulations to AAS Member Nancy S. Steinhardt (University of Pennsylvania), who has been honored by the College Art Association with its Distinguished Teaching of Art History Award.
AAS Member Kenneth Pomeranz (University of Chicago) is co-winner of the prestigious Dan David Prize in the “Past” category for his work on the macro history of East Asia.
Longtime AAS Member Chi Wang has been recognized by Senator James Risch, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, for his 47 years of service at the Library of Congress. Dr. Wang was head of the library’s Chinese and Korea Section from 1975 until his retirement in 2004. Read the full text of Senator Risch’s remarks honoring Dr. Wang in the Congressional Record.
THANK YOU to all who donated to the AAS in 2018; the list of donors is now posted online. Your support enables us to carry out many important programs and initiatives, and we greatly appreciate all donations we receive.
To support the ...
Posted on 2/11/2019 9:45 AM By #AsiaNow
By David R. Ambaras and Kate McDonald
What Bodies and Structures Is
Bodies and Structures is a platform for researching and teaching spatial histories of East Asia and the larger worlds of which they were a part. The site combines individually-authored, media-rich content modules with conceptual maps and visualizations. The modules analyze primary sources with significant spatial historical themes. The conceptual maps and visualizations reveal thematic, historical, and geographic connections between the modules. Each module also includes a translated primary source or sources. We built it using the open-source platform Scalar.
Bodies and Structures 1.0 focuses on early to mid-twentieth century Japan and East Asia shaped by Japanese imperialism. The modules tell spatial stories about:
colonial political activists;
interethnic intimacies and regional migration;
department stores and empire;
the multi-layered spaces of the modern drugstore;
Chinese settlement on the Mongolian frontier ...
Posted on 2/8/2019 11:45 AM By #AsiaNow
Christine Reiko Yano is professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She will take office as the AAS vice president following the March 21-24 conference in Denver, Colorado.
I am an anthropologist of Japan with research on popular culture analyzed through multiple lenses of gender, affect, nationalism, globalism, and consumption. I come to the AAS vice presidency as an outlier—Asian American (Sansei, third-generation Japanese American, born and raised in Hawai’i), working-class background, popular culture research. But it is these very outlier positions that provide a perspective that may be of benefit to the field of Asian Studies. I have been active within AAS, serving on the Northeast Asia Council (including as Chair) and the Distinguished Speakers Bureau. I currently serve on the American Advisory Committee of Japan Foundation (AAC, elected chair as of 2018). At the same time, I have recently been active in the field of Asian American Studies, serving since 2017 on ...
Posted on 2/4/2019 9:00 AM By #AsiaNow
Anna Stirr is Associate Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaii, and author of Singing Across Divides: Music and Intimate Politics in Nepal, published by Oxford University Press and winner of the 2019 AAS Bernard S. Cohn prize for a first book on South Asia.
To begin with, please tell us what your book is about.
My book is about the importance of a genre of Nepali sung poetry called dohori in the everyday social relations among different groups in Nepal today. Dohori is improvised, dialogic singing, in which a witty repartee of exchanges is based on poetic couplets with a fixed rhyme scheme, often backed by instrumental music and accompanying dance, performed between men and women, with a primary focus on romantic love. It has roots in multiple indigenous traditions of social exchange. It’s transgressive of dominant social norms, because it promotes love relationships that cross social divides—caste, class, ethnicity, religion. Despite this transgressiveness, it’s also ...
Posted on 1/28/2019 12:16 PM By #AsiaNow
Craig Clunas is Professor Emeritus of the History of Art, University of Oxford and author of Chinese Painting and its Audiences, published by Princeton University Press and winner of the 2019 AAS Joseph Levenson Pre-1900 Book Prize—Honorable Mention.
To begin with, please tell us what your book is about.
The book is about the ways in which viewers, both inside and outside China, have acted over centuries to create the category now universally known as “Chinese painting.” So it’s about what was looked at, who got to do the looking, and how looking was understood as a cultural and social practice. It covers the period from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) to the 1970s, and it proceeds chronologically through a number of ideal “types” of viewer—The Gentleman, The Emperor, The Merchant, the Nation, The People. Of course in pre-1900 China itself what artists did was not called “Chinese painting,” it was just “painting,” so the long span tries to ...
Posted on 1/23/2019 4:42 PM By #AsiaNow
The AAS is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s book prize competitions and offer congratulations to the authors and presses. We encourage everyone to attend the Awards Ceremony at the upcoming AAS annual conference in Denver, CO on Friday, March 22, where the authors will be recognized and receive citations.
Joseph Levenson Pre-1900 Book Prize (China)
Jonathan Schlesinger, A World Trimmed with Fur: Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule, Stanford University Press
Honorable Mention: Craig Clunas, Chinese Painting and Its Audiences, Princeton University Press
Joseph Levenson Post-1900 Book Prize (China)
Ching Kwan Lee, The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa, University of Chicago Press
Honorable Mention: Thomas Mullaney, The Chinese Typewriter: A History, MIT Press
John Whitney Hall Book Prize (Japan)
Bryan D. Lowe, Ritualized Writing: Buddhist Practice and Scriptural Cultures in Ancient Japan, Unive ...
Posted on 1/17/2019 1:36 PM By #AsiaNow
The Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Studies Group (MSB), a sub-committee of the Southeast Asia Council of the AAS, invites interested attendees at AAS 2019 to come to its annual business meeting, Saturday, March 23, 1:15 to 2:45pm in Plaza Court 4, Sheraton Denver Downtown.
MSB is a vibrant and growing group of cross-disciplinary scholars from North America and beyond with research interests in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. At AAS 2019, Malaysia will be represented more than ever before, with several sponsored panels that focus on the vast political and financial shifts which have occurred in the past year, and on key developments in East Malaysia.
The annual business meeting is a key event for networking and learning about opportunities and research in the MSB region. MSB will also be discussing plans for AAS 2020, which include sponsoring “REVISIONING 2020,” panels and roundtables that revisit Prime Minister Mahathir's “Vision 2020” and the Malaysia that emerged since ...
Posted on 1/17/2019 10:15 AM By #AsiaNow
Editor’s Message by Lucien Ellington
I hope everyone enjoyed a peaceful and joyous holiday season. “What Should We Know About Asia?” is particularly meaningful for two reasons. The special section topic, while always an appropriate question, has never been the specific focus of an EAA special section, and, even though unplanned when the decision was made to address this particular theme, the winter 2018 special section title was the perfect place to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA). For those not familiar with NCTA it is the most effective, long-term US collaborative effort to improve elementary and secondary school teacher and student knowledge of East Asia ever created. Anyone who teaches Asia should immensely benefit from reading the contributions of outstanding professors and teachers who’ve been involved in NCTA programs. All NCTA-related contributors deserve accolades.
However, without the efforts of Lynn Parisi, ...
Posted on 12/17/2018 10:00 AM By #AsiaNow
Congratulations to the eight AAS Members who have received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support their research:
Aynne Kokas (University of Virginia), “Border Patrol on the Digital Frontier: China, the United States, and the Global War over Data”
Tara Rodman (University of California, Irvine), “Transnationalism, Modernism, and the Orient in the Career of Japanese Dancer and Choreographer Ito Michio (1893–1961)”
Eric Schluessel (University of Montana), “An Edition and Translation of Tarikh-i Hamidi, a Nineteenth-century Uyghur History of Eurasia”
Satoko Shimazaki (University of Southern California), “Kabuki Actors, Print Technology, and the Theatrical Origins of Modern Media”
Amy Stanley (Northwestern University), “Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her Worlds, 1800–1853”
Jun Uchida (Stanford University), “Provincial Merchants and Japanese Imperial Expansion”