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Frequently Asked Questions about the Journal of Asian Studies and Censorship in China

In a statement released at #AsiaNow on Monday, August 21, the officers of the Association for Asian Studies wrote that Cambridge University Press (CUP) had received a request from the Chinese government that CUP censor approximately 100 Journal of Asian Studies (JAS) articles from the Chinese version of its website. As the statement has circulated, the AAS has received inquiries from both the media and association members asking for additional details about the situation. A few of the most frequently asked questions and responses from the AAS officers appear below. When did AAS receive the censorship request via CUP? Friday, August 18. Do you have any details about what consequences would ensue if CUP doesn’t comply? We are pleased that CUP reversed its decision and are continuing to monitor the situation. How is AAS following up with CUP? We are in contact with the individual in charge of the publication of journals at CUP. She has informed us of CUP’s reversal. She has also promised ...

The Cold War Never Ended: Historical Roots of the Current North Korea Crisis

By Suzy Kim With tensions at an all-time high between the United States and North Korea, the New York Times headlined its recent digital newsletter with Lies Your High School History Teacher Told You About Nukes. The basic point was to debunk the theory of “mutually assured destruction” that is often used to explain why the Cold War remained cold and did not result in a nuclear holocaust. The article argues that despite possessing a nuclear arsenal that guaranteed “mutually assured destruction,” both the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a costly arms race that attempted to outmaneuver the other with more numerous and powerful warheads, delivered with more precise and faster missiles. This happened not because they wanted to engage in actual nuclear warfare, but because of the threat that the other could “escape” mutually assured destruction, fight back, and win. This justified pursuing weaponry that could, in theory, take out the other side before it could ...

AAS Statement on Cambridge University Press Censorship in China

On Friday, August 18, Quartz, the New York Times, and other media outlets reported that Cambridge University Press (CUP) had complied with a demand from the Chinese government that approximately 300 China Quarterly articles concerning sensitive topics (Tibet, Taiwan, Tiananmen Square, and others) be omitted from search results on CUP’s website when accessed in China. CUP also blocked more than 1,000 e-books on similar topics from the Chinese version of its website. Scholars from around the world protested this action, and earlier today the editor of China Quarterly announced that CUP would restore its full archive to users in China, a decision we fully support. The Association for Asian Studies has received notice from CUP that a similar request has been made by China’s General Administration of Press and Publications concerning approximately 100 articles from the Journal of Asian Studies, an AAS publication. The officers of the association are extremely concerned about this violation of academi ...

A Mother’s Memories Inspire a Daughter’s Journey

By Kathleen Burkinshaw The journey that led me to write The Last Cherry Blossom, a book for middle-grade readers about the atomic bombing of Japan, began about eight years ago with one question. My daughter was in 7th grade at the time, and something that happened in her history class had upset her. They would be covering the end of World War II that week; after class, she overheard some kids talking about how they couldn’t wait to see the “cool mushroom cloud picture.” She asked if I would speak to her class about the people under the mushroom cloud that day—people like her Grandma. I called my mother and asked if it was okay to tell others about her experience in Hiroshima. My mom was a very private person and never spoke about August 6th in public. When I was a young child, she told me she came from Tokyo. Only after I questioned her about the nightmares she had at the beginning of every August did she confide that she had actually been born in Hiroshima. She told me how she lost ...

Photo of the Week: Hitting the Books in Khon Kaen

This summer, I've been learning more about what it means to be an area studies librarian. Among the most interesting of my experiences so far was searching for new books in Khon Kaen, Thailand (along with a little sightseeing on the side!).

—Zoë McLaughlin
University of Michigan

Submit your photo and it could be featured as #AsiaNow Photo of the Week—and you might win some free books from our Key Issues in Asian Studies series, too! Enter our "What I Did on My Summer 'Vacation' Photo Sweepstakes;" full details and information about entry are available here.

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