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President’s Column: Annual Conference Preview

We live in a world of Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp, WeChat, Twitter, Facebook, and LINE, not to mention landlines, cell phones, email, online courses, and other technologies introduced in a previous century. These numerous means of communication enable us to cross the sometimes vast distances that separate us from our colleagues, our mentors, our students, and the people and places we study, write, and teach about. In such a world, resorting to airplanes in order to be in the same place at the same time with some of those people may seem a ridiculous or even wasteful luxury. And yet, it is a luxury that several thousand scholars of Asia are about to indulge in. In one month, the 70th annual conference of the AAS will begin, in Denver. As those of us lucky enough to attend the conference—those whose proposals were accepted by the program committee; those who have U.S. passports or can obtain visas; those with the time, the good health, and the financial means to make the trip and find a place to stay&mda ...

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January 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

The Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei Studies Group (MSB), a sub-committee of the Southeast Asia Council of the AAS, invites interested attendees at AAS 2019 to come to its annual business meeting, Saturday, March 23, 1:15 to 2:45pm in Plaza Court 4, Sheraton Denver Downtown.  MSB is a vibrant and growing group of cross-disciplinary scholars from North America and beyond with research interests in Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. At AAS 2019, Malaysia will be represented more than ever before, with several sponsored panels that focus on the vast political and financial shifts which have occurred in the past year, and on key developments in East Malaysia. The annual business meeting is a key event for networking and learning about opportunities and research in the MSB region. MSB will also be discussing plans for AAS 2020, which include sponsoring “REVISIONING 2020,” panels and roundtables that revisit Prime Minister Mahathir's “Vision 2020” and the Malaysia that emerged since ...

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November 2018 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to the two AAS Members recognized by the American Historical Association with book prizes for their work. Tom Mullaney (Stanford University) has received the John K. Fairbank Prize for East Asian history since 1800 for The Chinese Typewriter: A History (MIT Press). Faiz Ahmed (Brown University) has been awarded the John F. Richards Prize for South Asian history for his Harvard University Press book, Afghanistan Rising: Islamic Law and Statecraft between the Ottoman and British Empires. *** The Hamako Ito Chaplin Memorial Award will again be conferred in 2019, administered through the Association for Asian Studies. In accordance with the wishes of the Chaplin family, each year a prize of $1000 will be awarded to either a current graduate student or a full-time instructor of Japanese for excellence in Japanese language teaching at the college level. A full-time instructor who has completed graduate study within the last 3 years in an area that directly involves Japanese language teaching i ...

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“My Paper Was Turned Down. Should I Take It Personally?”

This is a revised and updated version of Laurel Kendall’s President’s Column from the Fall 2016 issue of the AAS E-Newsletter. The carefully crafted panel submission, a summation of hot-breaking research, the anticipation of a lively intellectual exchange … and then the rejection message, “owing to the number of high-quality submissions and the limitations of space”—a splash of cold water! Many of us have been there—I certainly have—and so have many distinguished scholars, including at least one former President of the AAS whose proposed submissions were rejected twice in the years after his service. It happens. In such circumstances it is difficult not to feel that “there must have been some mistake,” or worse “AAS is just not interested in the kind of work I do,” or still worse, that “someone on the program committee had it in for me.” In a healthy organization, there will always be many more proposals than available slo ...

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When Are We Going Back to Hawaii? And Other Conference Site Selection Questions

Since joining the AAS staff in late 2016, I’ve noticed that the question I hear most frequently from association members is “When are we going back to Hawaii?” The 2011 conference in Honolulu, a joint meeting with the International Convention of Asia Scholars, attracted over 5,000 participants and exhibitors and remains an AAS highlight for both attendees and staff. Trust me—my Secretariat colleagues and I are just as eager to return to the Waikiki beaches as you are. But the decision of where to hold our annual conference is a complicated one and involves weighing multiple variables, not all of them obvious. For a future AAS conference to be held in Hawaii—or New York, or Austin, or any of the other locations our members ask for—a lot of stars need to come into alignment. (I should note that the process described below only applies to our North American conference; the site selection for AAS-in-Asia depends far more on finding a strong local university to serve a ...

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Resolution of Thanks for AAS 2018

The Board of Directors of the Association for Asian Studies wishes, by means of this resolution, to express thanks and appreciation to the many individuals and groups who have contributed significantly to the association’s activities over the past year. Special recognition should go to the following: Thanks first to the 2018 Program Committee: Chair Michael Pettid, Vice Chair Anne Hansen, Jean Oi, Carlos Rojas, and Hilde De Weerdt (China and Inner Asia); Barbara Ambros, Miriam Kingsberg Kadia, and Jin-kyung Lee (Japan and Korea); and Shelley Feldman and Maitrii Aung-Thwin (South and Southeast Asia) for assembling an outstanding program of over 440 panels, which made the meeting in Washington, D.C. our largest single conference ever. Outgoing officers, the Board of Directors, and council and committee members are commended for their commitment to the profession and considerable time devoted to association affairs. The officers especially contribute enormously over the course of the year, and s ...

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Thank You to the Sponsors of AAS 2018

The AAS 2018 Annual Conference was the largest single conference in AAS history and would not have been possible without the support of our generous sponsors. With much gratitude, we thank: The Harvard-Yenching Institute, for its sponsorship of the keynote address by Professor Haejoang Cho (Yonsei University). The Ford Foundation, which provided a grant in support of the #AsiaNow Roundtables. The Department of Public and Scholarly Engagement at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, for co-hosting the 2018 President’s Reception. Special thanks go to staff members Nancy Micklewright, Zeynep Simavi, and their colleagues for making this event possible. The Henry Luce Foundation, which has provided multi-year grants to our Timor-Leste Studies Initiative, Emerging Fields in Asian Studies Workshops, and Less-Commonly Taught Languages Initiative, all of which were featured at the 2018 conference. The Asian Education Media Service, especially Jason Finkelman, for curating and running the Film Expo. Our Gold Spo ...

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AAS 2018: The Final Day

Thank you to everyone who has joined us in Washington, D.C. and made the AAS 2018 Annual Conference such a big success! We are thrilled to say that this has been one of our largest conferences ever, and we hope that all who have attended found the weekend productive and collegial.   Highlights on Sunday’s schedule:   • At 8:00am, please join us in the Marriott Ballroom Foyer for a 30-minute Farewell Coffee Break, generously sponsored by Visit Denver. Grab a complimentary cup of coffee and a giveaway item, and start getting ready for AAS 2019 in Denver, Colorado!    • Registration and badge pickup counters, located on the Lobby Level of the Marriott Wardman Park, are open from 8:00am until 11:30am today. Graduate student stipends can also be picked up by eligible students during those hours; that counter is located across from the registration desks.   • Concurrent panel sessions begin at 8:30am and will run until 12:45pm.   • The Exhibit Hall ...

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AAS 2018: What’s Ahead on Saturday, March 24

• Registration and badge pickup counters, located on the Lobby Level of the Marriott Wardman Park, are open from 8:00am until 6:00pm today. Graduate student stipends can also be picked up by eligible students during those hours; that counter is located across from the registration desks.   • Today is the final day of the AAS 2018 Film Expo. Screenings start at 8:30am in the Taft room (Mezzanine Level) and continue through the day. Many screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the director. Can’t make it to a scheduled screening? Talk with the Film Expo staff and arrange a time in our on-demand screening room.   • Concurrent panel sessions begin at 8:30am and will run until 7:15pm.   • At 9:00am today, please visit the AAS Publications booth (#119) in the Exhibit Hall to meet the editors of our book series and talk over your ideas for possible future titles.    • Judging from the over-stuffed tote bags spotted yesterday, quite a few AAS 2 ...

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AAS 2018: Friday, March 23 Highlights

Welcome to the first full day of the AAS 2018 Annual Conference! Here’s everything you need to know about Friday’s schedule:   • Registration and badge pickup counters, located on the Lobby Level of the Marriott Wardman Park, are open from 8:30am until 6:30pm today. Graduate student stipends can also be picked up by eligible students during those hours; that counter is located across from the registration desks.   • Begin your morning with a stop at the coffee break between 8:30 and 9:00am. Complimentary coffee and pastries will be set up in two places—outside the entrance to the Exhibit Hall (which is open 8:30am-5:30pm) and in row 500 inside the hall.   • At 9:00am, please join us in Marriott Ballroom, Salon 3 (Lobby Level) for the Awards Ceremony honoring winners of the 2018 AAS Book Awards, followed by the Presidential Address by Katherine Bowie, who will speak on “Palimpsests of the Past: Oral History and the Art of Pointillism.”   ...

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