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From category archives: #AsiaNow

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Emily Rook-Koepsel

Emily Rook-Koepsel is a historian of modern India and Assistant Director of Academic Affairs at the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Contact her at rookkoepsel@pitt.edu. How long have you been a member of AAS? I have been a member of AAS since I got my first job out of graduate school (2011). I have tried to maintain this membership and vote in each AAS election. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? AAS is often seen as primarily an East Asian organization, and while it is true that the bulk of presentations at the annual conference are focused on East Asia, it is deeply rewarding to be able to work with and learn from other scholars of Asia. But more importantly for me, I think the regional conferences offer young scholars of Asia a first glimpse into the world academic presentation. Both the regional and national conferences also work hard to include new scholarship on pedagogy, cross-national scholarship, and innovative moves in medi ...

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AAS Member Spotlight: Paul Pickowicz

Paul Pickowicz is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History and China Studies at the University of California, San Diego Your discipline and country (or countries) of interest Officially: History of Modern China Reality: Interdisciplinary Modern and Contemporary Chinese Studies How long have you been a member of AAS? 51 years. I think I joined when I was 10 years old—but perhaps it was a bit later! Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? It was and still is the most important and stimulating interdisciplinary Asian studies association in the world. It builds communities and encourages healthy worldwide networking among diverse scholars and students. AAS is people-oriented. How did you first become involved in the field of Asian Studies? As a third-year college student in 1966 I was studying in Edinburgh, Scotland because I needed to learn a lot more about Europe. It was in Scotland, reading newspapers on a regular basis, that I became aware o ...

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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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AAS Member Spotlight: Kathleen Burkinshaw

Kathleen Burkinshaw Author of the middle-grades historical fiction book, The Last Cherry Blossom Your discipline and country (or countries) of interest: Historical fiction; Japan How long have you been a member of AAS? Two months. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? I want to be a part of a community that values Asian history and culture that I can learn from and contribute to. I visit with many schools to discuss my mother’s Hiroshima experience and The Last Cherry Blossom, and will be sure to mention the valuable information at #AsiaNow. How did you first become involved in the field of Asian Studies? I first became involved when my daughter was in 7th grade. Her class was studying World War II and she overheard some kids saying they couldn’t wait to see the “cool mushroom cloud” pictures. This deeply upset her and she asked me to visit her class and talk about the people under those now famous mushroom clouds— ...

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AAS Member Spotlight: Wen-hsin Yeh

Wen-hsin Yeh is Richard H. & Laurie C. Morrison Chair Professor in History at the University of California at Berkeley. She will deliver the keynote speech at this year’s AAS-in-ASIA conference at Korea University on Saturday, June 24. Your discipline and country (or countries) of interest: Modern Chinese History How long have you been a member of AAS? Possibly since 1983—I can’t recall! Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? I joined when I was a graduate student. AAS provided great opportunities to learn about the state of the field. How did you first become involved in the field of Asian Studies? I can’t say for sure. I have always been interested in history and I love reading books. One book leads to another. And I also enjoy working with documents—about recovering the circumstances of their creation. What do you enjoy most or what were your most rewarding experiences involving your work in Asian ...

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