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Journal of Asian Studies

Forgotten Geographies in Asian Studies

By Jeffrey Wasserstrom UC Irvine history professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom recently concluded his ten-year tenure as editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. One of the new practices that Wasserstrom introduced as editor was a “JAS-at-AAS” panel at the annual conference. This year, in a similar spirit, he organized a JAS panel for the just-concluded AAS-in-Asia 2018 conference in New Delhi, focused on the theme of “Forgotten Geographies.” Wasserstrom was not able to attend the conference in person but sent the remarks below to be read on his behalf at the start of the session. During my graduate school years in the 1980s, I thought a lot about how disciplines were defined and the borders between them policed. I also thought a lot about what it meant to cross standard dividing lines between periods, for I was interested in issues that played out over all of the twentieth century but scholars of Chinese modern history tended to stop at 1949, leaving discussion of later periods to social ...

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