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Member Spotlight

AAS Member Spotlight: Ben Whaley

Ben Whaley is Assistant Professor of Japanese in the School of Languages, Linguistics, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Calgary (Alberta, Canada). He is a specialist in modern Japanese literature and popular culture. How long have you been a member of AAS? Since 2012, when I was still a master’s student finishing up my thesis on Tezuka Osamu’s manga, though I am now a proud lifetime member. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? As a graduate student I wanted to enter our community of scholars and membership in the AAS was a great way to do this. I first presented at the annual conference as an incredibly nervous master’s student and had a great experience, despite unceremoniously tripping over the laptop cord to end my talk. The various travel grants and mixers helped me meet people at various career stages and I always felt welcomed into this community. Later in my graduate career I made use of the job boards and career resour ...

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AAS Member Spotlight: James Flowers

James Flowers is a doctoral candidate in the history of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Your discipline and country (or countries) of interest I call myself a historian of East Asia, with a focus on Korea. How long have you been a member of AAS? I joined AAS in 2016. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? I am a graduate student. I presented at the AAS Annual Conference in Seattle in 2016. I fell in love with AAS, so I kept up my membership since. I was thrilled to be among so many interesting scholars of Asia. It was my first attendance and I was also astounded by the warm welcome and response I received from many established scholars. Then in 2018, I was lucky to be selected to participate in the AAS dissertation workshop on Science and Medicine in Washington, D.C. I was stunned by how much I enjoyed the three days of activities with faculty and other graduate students. It sounds clichéd but we really did bond by forming clo ...

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AAS Member Spotlight: Dorothy Solinger

Dorothy J. Solinger is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Irvine. She is a political scientist who specializes in China. How long have you been a member of AAS? Fifty years, I’m told. (I entered graduate school at Stanford in 1968—did I really join the AAS instantaneously, at such a tender age in my then non-existent career?) Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? If I really joined back then, someone must have told me I should; could be that my adviser, John Wilson Lewis (who died a year ago, September 4, 2017) did, or perhaps a tongxue, such as Gordon White, who began at Stanford the same time I did (and died in April 1998 in his mid-50s). Gordon already had an M.A. from Cornell, where he’d worked under Lewis, and was more or less brought to Stanford by Lewis when Lewis himself came that fall. Gordon liked to give me instructions. Why I’d recommend joining: For fellowship, attending the annual convention, and subscribin ...

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AAS Member Spotlight: Thomas Patton

Thomas Patton is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies, and Associate Director of the Southeast Asia Research Centre, at the City University of Hong Kong. A scholar of religious studies, Patton is a specialist in Buddhism in Southeast Asia—specifically Myanmar—and has been a member of the AAS since 2005. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? When I was a masters student living in Boston in 2003, a classmate asked me to drive him to New York City to visit his friend who was presenting at an AAS conference. While sitting in the lobby of the conference venue, I was beside myself to hear dozens of people talking casually about Asian Studies as if they were chatting about the weather. I immediately registered for the conference and spent the remaining 3 days enthralled by the conversations and interesting people I met, one of whom would later become my PhD advisor. How did you first become involved in the field of Asian Stud ...

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AAS Member Spotlight: Pankaj Jain

Pankaj Jain is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Texas. Follow him on Twitter @ProfPankajJain. Your discipline and country (or countries) of interest Philosophy and religion; India and the Indian diaspora in the Americas (USA, Canada, Suriname, Trinidad, Guyana). How long have you been a member of AAS? I was a member in 2004-06, then became a member again recently. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? As a co-founder of the American Academy of Indic Studies, AAS seems like the perfect association to network with other scholars of Indic Studies. How did you first become involved in the field of Asian Studies? As an M.A. student at Columbia University and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Iowa, I studied Indic religions and their environmental ethics. After completing the Ph.D., I taught Hindi-Urdu, Sanskrit, Bollywood, Hinduism, Jainism, and other Indic subjects at North Carolina State ...

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