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Smartphone Baraka: Technological Transference

By James Edmonds Indonesians reach to touch Habib Syech’s hand, drink from his cup, and interact with his presence. I had already sat for several hours, gently sweating, as thousands of people arrived at an open-air building in Solo, Indonesia. The streets outside were full of pedestrians, cars, motorbikes, buses, and the smell of fried tofu. People pressed into the building; some took seats close to the front, while others went to the second level to rest after a long twelve-hour trek, and some stood, impatiently awaiting the arrival of the man they had come to see. Unceremoniously, Habib Syech bin Abdul Qodir Assegaf appeared. He began to walk through the crowds of people, heading toward the front of the building. Along the way, Habib Syech passed out small amounts of cash to the children, shook some hands, and slipped through the many others reaching to touch him. He eventually made it to the front of the building and sat down, immediately stoking the incense coals prepared for his arrival. Hab ...

“Small Volumes with a Big Message”: Introducing Asia Shorts

By Bill Tsutsui Chair, AAS Editorial Board Like many faculty members these days, I am prone to fault college students (not to mention most of my fellow Americans) for their ever-shorter attention spans. 140 characters is, after all, not long enough for a decent subordinate clause, many cherished phrases of academic jargon, or some lengthy place names in Thailand. And yet, when I am completely honest with myself, I have to admit that I too become fidgety during 50-minute lectures, have been known to criticize two-hour movies as “just endless,” and tend to shy away from big, thick volumes on bookstore shelves. In our information-saturated lives, there is much to appreciate in the expression of complex ideas in forms that are focused, clear, and concise. Brevity need not mean superficiality, or suggest any lacking of ambition or effort. As the philosopher Blaise Pascal once famously stated, “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” In recent years, the aca ...

AAS Member Spotlight: Kathleen Burkinshaw

Kathleen Burkinshaw Author of the middle-grades historical fiction book, The Last Cherry Blossom Your discipline and country (or countries) of interest: Historical fiction; Japan How long have you been a member of AAS? Two months. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? I want to be a part of a community that values Asian history and culture that I can learn from and contribute to. I visit with many schools to discuss my mother’s Hiroshima experience and The Last Cherry Blossom, and will be sure to mention the valuable information at #AsiaNow. How did you first become involved in the field of Asian Studies? I first became involved when my daughter was in 7th grade. Her class was studying World War II and she overheard some kids saying they couldn’t wait to see the “cool mushroom cloud” pictures. This deeply upset her and she asked me to visit her class and talk about the people under those now famous mushroom clouds— ...

July 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

The Call for Proposals for our 2018 conference in Washington, D.C. is now open! Submit your proposal by Tuesday, August 8 at 5:00pm Eastern time. *** We’re still seeking your summer “vacation” photos. Submit a snapshot of your summer activities and you could win free books from the AAS Publications Shop! *** Congratulations to AAS Member Kai Ostwald (University of British Columbia) and Steven Oliver (Yale-NUS College), who received the Best Paper Award from the American Political Science Association-Southeast Asia Politics Group. They were recognized for their work on “Explaining Elections in Singapore: Party Credibility and Valence Politics.” *** The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies has announced its 2017 grant awards. Congratulations to the following AAS Members who have received funding for their projects. Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies Susanne Ryuyin Kerekes (University of Pennsylvania), “Wat Arun and the Material Cult ...

AAS 2018 Call for Proposals Is Open—Now Powered by CadmiumCD

The AAS is now accepting proposal submissions for our 2018 annual conference, which will be held March 22-25 in Washington, D.C. The deadline for all submissions is 5:00pm Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. There are no exceptions to this deadline. We welcome proposals for organized panels (especially those with innovative formats), individual papers, roundtables, and workshops. Please see the complete Call for Proposals for information about preparing your submission. When submitting a proposal online, those who have previously applied to an AAS conference might notice that things look very different this year. Over the past 5 months, the AAS has completed a search for a new proposal/abstract management system in an effort to address requests made in recent years by proposal submitters, reviewers, end users, and AAS-in-ASIA administrators for a more user-friendly and intuitive system. After trying out a number of the options available, we have selected the award-winning event management pl ...

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