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From the monthly archives: April, 2019

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'April, 2019'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

“The Invention of Madness”: A Q&A with Historian Emily Baum

When did “madness” become transformed into “mental illness”? How did this affect the treatment of those afflicted by such conditions? And how did it change the way those deemed mad—or mentally ill—were viewed by their families, as well as by the state, society, and medical professionals around them? Historian Emily Baum, associate professor at the University of California, Irvine, considers these questions in her recent book, The Invention of Madness: State, Society, and the Insane in Modern China (University of Chicago Press, 2018). In her work, Baum examines how people’s understandings of madness and mental illness changed in early 20th-century China and how treatment of those afflicted with such conditions moved from the home to different types of institutions. Focusing on the city of Beijing, Baum explores how doctors, government officials, social workers, and ordinary people all participated in the transformation of ideas about madness during the first decades ...

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Excerpt – “Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture”

The newest volume in the AAS “Key Issues in Asian Studies” series of short texts for the undergraduate classroom is Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture, by Kathleen M. Adams (Loyola University Chicago). In this book, Adams offers readers an overview of Indonesia’s history from 1.5 million years ago through the present day, examining how trade, colonialism, religion, and nationalism have affected and shaped the archipelago over millennia. In pointing out moments of uncertainty and contingency, Adams draws students’ attention to the unexpected ways in which a group of islands has cohered into the world’s fourth most-populous nation. Adams opens each chapter of Indonesia: History, Heritage, Culture with a focal image or artifact from which the chapter’s narrative flows. In the excerpt below, a photograph of one of Indonesia’s oldest mosques offers a starting point for a discussion of the arrival and spread of Islam across the islands. Today we know Indonesia ...

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Brief Summary of Academic Climate in Thailand

AAS-in-Asia presents an opportunity for scholars of Asia based in Asia and around the globe to share their research with one another and, in the process, to learn about the constraints under which scholars operate in various countries. The next AAS-in-Asia conference will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, July 1-4, 2019. Accordingly, the AAS officers would like to provide a brief summary of the academic climate in Thailand. Since establishing a constitutional monarchy in 1932, Thailand has experienced 25 general elections and 12 coups d'état (an additional 7 attempts failed). Following its latest coup on May 22, 2014, Thailand has been ruled by a military junta. Faced with growing pressures, the government held elections on March 24, 2019. With election results not expected to be confirmed until after the May 4-6 coronation of Rama X and as various political parties negotiate to form a coalition government, the outcome of this latest election remains unclear. In the wake of the 2014 coup, citizens have ...

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Excerpt: “A Friend in Deed”

AAS Publications is pleased to announce the release of A Friend in Deed: Lu Xun, Uchiyama Kanzō, and the Intellectual World of Shanghai on the Eve of War, by Joshua A. Fogel. In this volume from our “Asia Shorts” series, Fogel, a professor of history at York University (Toronto) and specialist in Sino-Japanese relations, examines the friendship between leading Chinese author Lu Xun (1881–1936) and Uchiyama Kanzō (1885–1959), a prominent Japanese bookstore owner in Shanghai. The two men met at Uchiyama’s store in 1927, and Lu Xun quickly became a near-daily visitor; on days when he didn’t show up to sit and chat with others in the bookstore, Uchiyama would visit Lu Xun’s residence to check on the writer. Over the nine years of their friendship, Uchiyama assisted Lu Xun in finding safe houses numerous times as he evaded arrest warrants and the threat of assassination from both the Nationalists and Japanese authorities in Shanghai. The pair collaborated on exhibitions of ...

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April 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

Two AAS Members are among the 168 scholars, artists, and writers named 2019 recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships. Congratulations to Michael K. Bourdaghs (University of Chicago) and Lothar von Falkenhausen (University of California, Los Angeles). *** Congratulations to the AAS Members who have received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support their scholarly work: Todd Lewis (College of the Holy Cross), “Dharma and Punya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal” exhibition Kathryn Meyer (Wright State University), “Aviation and Nation Building in Wartime Manchuria” Jennifer Ortegren (Middlebury College), “New Neighbors, New Muslims: Gender, Class, and Community in Contemporary India” Jessica Starling (Lewis and Clark College), “Leprosy, Social Work, and Ethical Praxis in Contemporary Japanese Buddhism” Rina Williams (University of Cincinnati), “Marginalized, Mobilized, Incorporated: Women and Religious Nationalism in India ...

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Thank You to the Sponsors of AAS 2019

AAS 2019 Keynote Speaker Dr. Thant Myint-U, whose appearance at the annual conference was sponsored by the Harvard-Yenching Institute. Photo credit: Emily Takacs of Cristie's Photographic Solutions.

The AAS 2019 Annual Conference 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 Dr. Thant Myint-U.

The Ford Foundation and Asian Cultural Council, which provided grants in support of the #AsiaNow Roundtables.

The Henry Luce Foundation, which has provided multi-year grants to our Emerging Fields in Asian Studies Workshops and Less-Commonly Taught Languages Initiative, both of which were featured at the 2019 conference.

Our sponsors, Hakuho Foundation (Platinum) and Adam Matthew Digital (Gold), for their generous support of the 2019 conference.

Thank you to all!

AAS 2019 Annual Conference Resolution of Thanks

Pictured, left-right: 2018-19 AAS Vice President Prasenjit Duara, Past-past President Laurel Kendall, President Anne Feldhaus, Executive Director Michael Paschal, and Past President Katherine Bowie. Photo credit: Emily Takacs of Christie's Photographic Solutions. 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 2019 Program Committee: Chair Anne Hansen and Vice Chair Joan Judge; Timothy Cheek, Hilde De Weerdt, and Carlos Rojas (China and Inner Asia); Timothy S. George, Miriam Kingsberg Kadia, and Joshua Pilzer (Japan and Korea); and Maitrii Aung-Thwin and Ramya Sreenivasam (South and Southeast Asia) for assembling an outstanding program of over 390 panels which made the meeting in Denver, Colorado an engaging and producti ...

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#AsiaNow Speaks with Lisandro E. Claudio

Lisandro E. Claudio is Associate Professor at the College of Liberal Arts, De La Salle University, Manila and author of Liberalism and the Postcolony: Thinking the State in 20th-Century Philippines, published by NUS, Kyoto and Ateneo de Manila University Presses and winner of the 2019 AAS George McT. Kahin Prize. To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. It’s a history of liberalism in 20th-century Philippines told through the lives of four scholar-bureaucrats. Through these biographies, I examine liberal thought in various fields from literary theory, pedagogy, economics, and diplomacy. What inspired you to research this topic? There had never been a history of liberalism in the Philippines, and I felt it was about time. Also, while it is important to write histories of Southeast Asia from below, it is also important to look at how elites shape national and political discourse. What obstacles did you face in this project? What turned out better and/or easier than you expec ...

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The Real Meaning of “Sensei”: Donald Keene and His Students

By Carol Gluck Readers, writers, and scholars in Japan and the West celebrated the life and work of Donald Keene in the days after his death on February 24. At the same time, a smaller, but still quite large, group of his former students consoled one another in criss-crossing e-mails that recounted the importance of Donald Keene in their own lives. From around the world came the warmth of personal remembrance: studying with Professor Keene at Columbia had challenged and inspired them in the classroom and for decades afterwards.  From undergraduates who took only one course from him to doctoral students who later became his scholarly colleagues, they never forgot him as he never forgot them. Their eyes light up when they speak of him, as his eyes did when first he taught them and ever after when he met or thought of them. I am a member of this grateful group, who remember Donald Keene not only as a master scholar, prodigious writer, and sparkling lecturer, but as a teacher who transported us wit ...

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Agrarian Labor, Caste, and the Limits of Conversion: A Conversation with Navyug Gill

Historian Navyug Gill, Assistant Professor at William Paterson University, recently published an article, “Limits of Conversion: Caste, Labor, and the Question of Emancipation in Colonial Panjab,” in the Journal of Asian Studies. Gill’s research interests include modern South Asia, the political economy of caste and labor, and comparative histories of global capitalism. Currently he is working on a book manuscript, Labors of Division: Caste, Class and the Making of Agrarian Hierarchy in Colonial Panjab.  In an interview with Mukul Kumar, an urban geographer based at the University of California, Berkeley, Gill discusses histories of caste and conversion, agrarian labor and historical materialism, as well as anti-colonial politics and the question of emancipation within the context of colonial Panjab. MK: In your article, you discuss the limits of a politics centered on conversion. What are the ways in which the political economy of Dalit conversion in colonial Panjab reveals the ...

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