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2017 AAS Election Slate of Candidates

We are pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the fall 2017 AAS elections. Candidates’ biographical data will be posted on the AAS website later in the summer, and the online ballot activated in September or October. Election day (when the ballot is closed and votes counted) has not yet been finalized but will be in early November. Newly elected representatives will take office immediately after the annual conference in March, 2018. Our sincere thanks to all candidates for accepting nominations to represent their respective areas and councils. President: Anne Feldhaus (religion, Arizona State University, automatically succeeds from VP) Vice President: Prasenjit Duara (history, Duke University) R. Bin Wong (history, University of California, Los Angeles) China and Inner Asia Council: Weihong Bao (film & media, University of California, Berkeley) Jack Chen (literature, University of Virginia) Johan Elverskog (religion, Southern Methodist University) Anne Gerritsen (history, Univers ...

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June 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to AAS Member Sheldon Garon (Princeton University), who has received a Humboldt Research Award. Dr. Garon will spend the 2017-18 academic year in Germany, conducting research in collaboration with historians and Japanese studies colleagues at the Free University Berlin on his current book project, “When Home Fronts Became Battlegrounds: A Transnational History of Japan, Germany, and Britain in World War II.” *** Further congratulations to Member Edmund Cheng (Hong Kong Baptist University), winner of the 2016 Gordon White Prize from China Quarterly. Dr. Cheng’s article, “Street Politics in a Hybrid Regime: The Diffusion of Political Activism in Post-colonial Hong Kong,” can be freely accessed at Cambridge Core. *** We are pleased to announce the 2016 winners of the Freeman Book Awards—recognizing quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of East and Southeast Asia. This is the inaugural year of the award ...

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What I Did on My Summer “Vacation” Photo Sweepstakes

As summertime gets underway here in the Northern Hemisphere, the routines of the academic year fall away—but calling this a summer “vacation” is misleading for most of us. Despite the notion that academics have summers off, we know that AAS members are plenty occupied during these lazy, hazy, crazy days. What do the next months hold in store for you: research, writing, relocation, summer courses, reading, travel, attending AAS-in-ASIA? (All of the above?) Snap a photo that represents your summer and submit it to #AsiaNow—it could be our photo of the week! Every week between June and September, we’ll select one photo to feature at #AsiaNow and on the AAS social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Everyone who submits a photo will be entered into a sweepstakes drawing at the end of the summer; one (1) grand prize winner will receive three titles of his or her choice from our Key Issues in Asian Studies (KIAS) series (total value $30), while two (2) runners-up will ea ...

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The Past, Present, and Future of AAS-in-ASIA

Because our AAS-in-ASIA conferences are so new, I would like to use my first presidential column to highlight their past, present, and future. The brainchild of my presidential predecessors, AAS-in-ASIA began in 2014 as an experiment. The vision was for AAS to work with a host institution in Asia to facilitate participation amongst AAS members and Asian scholars across Asia. By bringing Asian specialists from abroad together with scholars in Asia—who were not necessarily members of AAS and perhaps not able to attend the annual conferences held in North America—the conference originators hoped to spark new and fruitful areas of collaboration. The original idea was that AAS-in-ASIA would be smaller-sized conferences providing the opportunity to participate on panel sessions and network with colleagues in a more intimate setting. The conference has been extraordinarily successful and has been mushrooming in size. I invite everyone to consider participating in these conferences and to submit your sugg ...

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AAS Less Commonly Taught Languages Distance Initiative Funded by the Henry Luce Foundation

The Association for Asian Studies is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to fund a pilot project in the association’s new Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) Initiative. According to the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages (NCOLCTL), ninety-one percent of American students who study a foreign language learn Spanish, French, German, or Italian. The remaining nine percent are engaged in the study of LCTLs. Even within that category, however, the distribution of students is uneven, with some languages more widely taught than others. In the field of Asian Studies, for example, Chinese and Japanese courses are far more prevalent than those in Burmese or Gujarati—though Myanmar and India are no less important than China or Japan to regional dynamics in Asia. Smooth international relations rely heavily on the presence of government officials, nonprofit workers, scholars, and journalists with fluency in multiple languages. “As the wor ...

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