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#AsiaNow Speaks with Janet Gyatso

Janet Gyatso is Hershey Professor of Buddhist Studies and Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs at Harvard Divinity School, and author of Being Human in a Buddhist World: An Intellectual History of Medicine in Early Modern Tibet, published by Columbia University Press and winner of the 2017 AAS E. Gene Smith Award for Best Book in Inner Asia. To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. The book is about the history of science and its interactions—and tensions with—religion in the context of early modern Tibet (1300-1800). It studies the intellectual history of medical thought in Tibet, and contrasts it with Buddhist thought in the same time and period. It is also interested in the ways in which medical knowledge borrowed from Buddhist practices and values, while still maintaining a certain distance from religious world views. It uncovers deeply humanistic values and practices that were developed in medical circles in Tibet. And it also questions assumptions that empiricism a ...

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Interview with Qin Gao, Author of Welfare, Work, and Poverty: Social Assistance in China

Official state media reports in China frequently speak of how the Communist Party-led government has “lifted 700 million people out of poverty” since implementing economic reforms in the late 1970s. Yet there are still millions of people in the country who struggle to maintain long-term employment and constantly teeter on the edge of a financial cliff. Dibao, or the Minimum Livelihood Guarantee, is a government program intended to help its recipients step back from the edge of that cliff. By distributing cash payments to those who qualify, Dibao is meant to provide China’s poorest citizens with the funds to cover their basic expenses during periods of un- or under-employment. First implemented in Shanghai in 1993, Dibao was expanded to all urban areas in 1999 but has only been available to rural residents since 2007; there are now approximately 60 million people receiving welfare payments through the program. AAS Member Qin Gao, a professor at the Columbia University School of Social Work ...

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#AsiaNow Speaks with Jisoo M. Kim

Jisoo M. Kim is Director of the George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies and Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures. She is author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea, published by University of Washington Press and winner of the 2017 AAS James B. Palais Book Prize. To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. By asking the question of justice in premodern Korea and how it was shaped by emotions, my book contends that the state’s recognition of the sentiment of being wronged permitted every subject regardless of gender or status to seek justice by voicing grievances to the state. This study illuminates the intersection of law, emotions, and gender in premodern Korea. In its approach, the work contests the typical image of the Chosŏn state (1392–1910) as being socially rigid because of its hereditary status system, slavery, and Confucian ...

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Hong Kong Noir

I’ve just landed in Hong Kong to do several different things, most of which fit into one of the three standard academic categories of activities. I’ll participate in an experimental class session connecting Hong Kong and American students via Skype (teaching); visit a local site associated with the topic of protest that I write about a lot (research); and speak about censorship at the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club, drawing on my experiences as Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies during what some are calling the “China Quarterly Affair” (service). As I prepared for the trip, I pondered questions relating to these teaching, research, and service events, as well as the session of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival I’ll moderate, at which Ian Johnson will present material from his new book on the religious revival in China after Mao. Even more, though, I thought about two queries linked to a Literary Festival event that I’ll attend not as a teacher, ...

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November 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to the AAS Members whose books have been awarded prizes by other organizations: Sheena Chestnut Greitens (University of Missouri), co-winner of the 2017 Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association Section on Comparative Democratization and co-winner of the 2017 Best Book Award from the International Studies Association for Dictators and Their Secret Police: Coercive Institutions and State Violence (Cambridge University Press) Christopher Goscha (Univ. du Québec à Montréal), awarded the John K. Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association for Vietnam: A New History (Basic Books, 2016) Audrey Truschke (Rutgers University), awarded the John F. Richards Prize from the American Historical Association for Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court (Columbia University Press, 2016) *** The Board of Directors of the Association for Asian Studies welcomes this opportunity to recognize KENNETH C. FROEWISS following his recent retirement a ...

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November, 2017 (8)

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