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From the monthly archives: September, 2017

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'September, 2017'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

The Politics of Compassion: An Interview with Bin Xu

After a devastating earthquake hit China’s southwestern Sichuan Province on May 12, 2008, thousands of volunteers left their homes in other parts of the country and traveled to Sichuan to help victims of the quake. This outpouring of assistance surprised many Chinese, who for years had lamented about a perceived moral vacuum and lack of compassion in their society. As Emory University sociologist Bin Xu explains in his new book, The Politics of Compassion: The Sichuan Earthquake and Civic Engagement in China (Stanford University Press), the 2008 earthquake threw a spotlight on civic engagement in the country, bringing non-governmental organizations and social networks that had previously been little-known onto the national stage. Xu has spent years investigating the dimensions of this civic engagement, first joining the volunteers as a participant-observer and subsequently conducting interviews with those who stepped forward to assist in Sichuan’s recovery from the earthquake. In The Politi ...

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Okinoshima, Japan’s Newly Minted UNESCO World Heritage Site

By Lindsey E. DeWitt On July 9, 2017, Japan received its twenty-first UNESCO World Heritage inscription, making a total of seventeen cultural sites and four natural sites (the full list can be accessed here). The newly designated UNESCO World Heritage site, “Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region,” features a solitary islet just four kilometers in circumference in the middle of the Genkai Sea, some sixty kilometers from the northern part of Kyushu Island. The decision marks the culmination of a nearly decade-long effort and puts a spotlight on the rich religious and cultural landscapes of Kyushu and the broader maritime sphere of the Korean peninsula and the continent. The island’s tiny size and remote location belies its great cultural and historical significance. Japan’s eighth-century chronicles Nihon shoki and Kojiki note Okinoshima as the abode of one of three female deities who descend from the sun goddess Amaterasu (the central deity of Jap ...

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Meet the Future JAS Editor: A Q&A with Vinayak Chaturvedi

Earlier this year, the Association for Asian Studies began the search for a new Journal of Asian Studies editor, as current editor Jeff Wasserstrom’s second five-year term will conclude in June 2018. The search committee interviewed several applicants and from the finalists selected Vinayak Chaturvedi, associate professor of South Asian history at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Chaturvedi earned his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in 2001. He is the author of Peasant Pasts: History and Memory in Western India (University of California Press, 2007), as well as numerous academic articles, and editor of Mapping Subaltern Studies and the Postcolonial (Verso, 2012). He is currently finishing a book on a history of ideas of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar—the intellectual founder of Hindu nationalism.  Dr. Chaturvedi will become “JAS editor-in-training” in early 2018 and will officially take the reins of the journal on July 1, 2018. A week later, he will chair a special JAS&nb ...

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Celebrating Regional Conferences

Political events across the globe, not the least of which include the recent efforts by the Chinese government to censor scholarship, remind all of us of the important role academic organizations such as the Association for Asian Studies can play. As soon as AAS learned of the efforts to block articles in the Journal of Asian Studies, we expressed our opposition on behalf of our members and defended the importance of academic freedom. Keeping AAS strong involves varied initiatives, each providing opportunities for membership participation in actions ranging from writing short blogs for #Asia Now to organizing panels for the annual conference.  In this column I would like to highlight how participation in our regional conferences helps keep AAS strong. Nine regional conferences are affiliated with AAS; one is held annually in Japan and the remaining eight in locations across the U.S. AAS helps support these conferences and their affiliated outreach workshops for K-12 teachers. Each regional conference ha ...

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September 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to the AAS Members who have received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support research and teaching projects. Evan Dawley (Goucher College) and Tosh Minohara (Kobe University) have received a collaborative research grant to hold a symposium entitled “Beyond Versailles: Reverberations of World War I in Asia.” Richard Davis (Bard College) will organize a three-week seminar for college and university faculty on “The Bhagavad Gita: Ancient Poem, Modern Readers.” *** The Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) is pleased to announce that the Usha Mahajani Memorial Prize for 2017 has been awarded to Annika Yates. The Prize is a memorial to Professor Usha Mahajani, whose scholarship on Southeast Asia was brought to an abrupt end by her tragic death in 1978. Professor Mahajani, a native of India, received her PhD in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University. She was the author of Nationalism in the Philippines and The Role ...

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