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2018 AAS Election Slate of Candidates

We are pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the fall 2018 AAS elections. Candidates’ biographical data will be posted on the AAS website later in the summer and the online ballot activated in September. Election day (when the ballot is closed and votes counted) will be in early November. Newly elected representatives will take office immediately after the annual conference in March 2019. Our sincere thanks to all candidates for accepting nominations to represent their respective areas and councils. Vice President Sun Joo Kim (Harvard University, history, Korea) Christine Yano (University of Hawaii, anthropology, Japan) China and Inner Asia Council James Benn (McMaster University, religion) Neil Diamant (Dickinson College, political science) Janet Gyatso (Harvard University, religion) Petrus Liu (Boston University, gender studies) Joanne Smith Finley (Newcastle University, modern languages) Patricia Thornton (Oxford University, political science) Zhou Y ...

Excerpt: The Dream of East Asia

We are pleased to announce the publication of the second book in our new “Asia Shorts” series, The Dream of East Asia: The Rise of China, Nationalism, Popular Memory, and Regional Dynamics in Northeast Asia, by John Lie, C.K. Cho Professor of Sociology at UC Berkeley. In this concise and engaging volume, Lie analyzes the standard sound-bite narratives that have come to dominate American and European ideas about East Asia and discusses how to move beyond these and arrive at a more historically informed and culturally nuanced understanding of the region. Below is the book’s “Overture,” in which Lie provides an overview of the argument he makes in the pages that follow. What do we talk about when we talk about East Asia? Breaking news and newspaper headlines, or blogs and tweets, transmit sensational stories of a turbulent region full of storm and stress. But the same stories appear and reappear in these scripts, with surprising uniformity. We are worried about China’s emer ...

July 2018 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to the AAS Members who have been awarded fellowships by the American Council of Learned Societies! The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Dissertation Fellowships in Buddhist Studies Todd Klaiman (Chinese University of Hong Kong), “Translocal Chinese Religiosity in Southeast Asia: Kek Lok Monastery and the Rise of Chinese Monastic Buddhism in Penang, 1887-1987” Tony Robert Scott (University of Toronto), “The Milindapañha-aṭṭhakathā: Nonnormative Pali, Psychic Powers, and Control of the Canon in Mid-Twentieth-Century Burma” The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowships in Buddhist Studies Abhishek S. Amar (Hamilton College), “Material Buddhism: Archaeology, Context, and Religious Change in Bodhgaya” Shawn Frederick McHale (The George Washington University), “Crossing the Mahayana-Theravada Frontier: Vietnamese-Khmer Relations and the Vietnamese Search for ‘Original’ Theravada Buddhism in Cambodia, 1930-1989&rdqu ...

Isn’t That Just Ancient History?

By Daniel Knorr Recently, the College Board made news for announcing changes to the scope of Advanced Placement (AP) World History. From now on, the AP exam will cover only the period after 1450 CE. High schools could still choose to offer an additional course covering world history before 1450—making it a two-year sequence—but only material from the later time period will appear on the exam. The main goal, according to the College Board, is to bring the scope of the exam more in line with what can be covered in a single college course. A large number of educators have criticized the decision, leading the College Board to say that they will reconsider and issue a final decision in July. The main focus of this criticism has been how shifting the timeline of the course will affect teaching about the Americas, Africa, and Asia. With the course starting in 1450, students would learn about many areas only in the context of European colonialism, if at all. To be fair to the College Board, s ...

AAS Member Spotlight: Thomas Patton

Thomas Patton is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies, and Associate Director of the Southeast Asia Research Centre, at the City University of Hong Kong. A scholar of religious studies, Patton is a specialist in Buddhism in Southeast Asia—specifically Myanmar—and has been a member of the AAS since 2005. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? When I was a masters student living in Boston in 2003, a classmate asked me to drive him to New York City to visit his friend who was presenting at an AAS conference. While sitting in the lobby of the conference venue, I was beside myself to hear dozens of people talking casually about Asian Studies as if they were chatting about the weather. I immediately registered for the conference and spent the remaining 3 days enthralled by the conversations and interesting people I met, one of whom would later become my PhD advisor. How did you first become involved in the field of Asian Stud ...

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