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From the monthly archives: June, 2019

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

Thoughts on the Future of AAS-in-Asia

By Prasenjit Duara With this first blog of my Presidential tenure, I would like to express my gratitude for your support and confidence in electing me to this position. Coming into the Presidency of the Association in these deeply troubled geo-political times has been very challenging, and I will need your support and participation more than ever. What seemed relatively remote in the personal lives of scholars has touched us more directly in this last year. I refer not only to the controversy raised by the Indian government’s denial of visas to Pakistani citizens and people of Pakistani descent prior to our 2018 conference in Delhi, but also the upcoming AAS-in-Asia conferences in Bangkok (2019) and Hong Kong (2020), places where concerns about academic freedom are regular topics of conversation. To gauge the sentiment of the AAS membership in regard to these conferences, the officers of the association decided to hold a first town hall meeting at the 2019 annual conference in Denver, and then follow ...

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AAS-in-Asia Survey: Summary of Results

In April 2019, the AAS officers composed a survey regarding the AAS-in-Asia conferences as a way to measure member attitudes toward the continuation of these meetings. The survey was sent on April 24 via email blast to all AAS members who have opted in to member communications (6,001 recipients), with a reminder message on May 1. By the time the survey ended on May 6, 517 AAS members had completed it. All responses were anonymous. Overall, the survey results indicate that AAS members favor continuing the AAS-in-Asia conferences, but with some caveats and suggestions for how the association might handle the meetings differently in the future. Strikingly, 70 percent (367) of the survey respondents indicated that they had never attended an AAS-in-Asia conference. When asked why not, 335 people filled in a free-response answer; of those replies, an even more striking 175 (52 percent) indicated that the cost of attending the conference and/or lack of institutional financial support had been barriers to their ...

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Q&A with Jennifer Altehenger, Author of Legal Lessons

Jennifer Altehenger is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Chinese History at King’s College London (Associate Professor in Chinese History at the University of Oxford from September 2019) and author of Legal Lessons: Popularizing Laws in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1989 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2018). In Legal Lessons, Altehenger surveys how knowledge about the law was disseminated among ordinary people in Beijing and Shanghai between the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 and the mass demonstrations and brutal crackdown of 1989. In the early 1950s, she explains, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) quickly implemented a new legal regime for the PRC, one of many ways that it sought to establish a definitive break between the “New China” and the “old society” that had come before. Though China’s leadership asserted that the country’s new laws were created by and for its citizens, most people in fact knew very little ab ...

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June 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

The Vietnam Studies Group 2020 Graduate Paper Prize Competition The Vietnam Studies Group (VSG) is pleased to announce that it is accepting submissions for its annual graduate student paper prize competition. The competition encourages the direct involvement of graduate students in the growth of Vietnamese studies and supports their professional development. The competition is open to full- and part-time graduate students, regardless of their disciplinary specialization. Preference will be given to sole-authored papers based on original field, archival, and/or statistical research. However, thematic reviews that critically synthesize existing literature on a particular topic related to Vietnamese studies will also be considered. The winner will receive a $500 prize and a one year subscription to the Journal of Vietnamese Studies. If the winner agrees to pick up their award in person at the VSG annual meeting during the AAS Annual Meeting (March 19-22 in Boston), then the winner will also receive a $200 ...

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After Easter: Sri Lanka’s Muslim Community and the Question of Islamic Radicalism

By Bart Klem Bart Klem is Senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne. In 2011, his article, “Islam, Politics and Violence in Eastern Sri Lanka,” was published in the Journal of Asian Studies. In the #AsiaNow post below, written shortly after the Easter Sunday bombings of several churches and hotels in Sri Lanka, Klem explains how these attacks fit—or, rather, do not fit—into the broader history of Sri Lanka’s Muslim community. Sri Lanka’s Muslim community, an oft neglected group, suddenly became world news on Easter Sunday with the Islamist bomb attacks on several churches and hotels. The forensic details of the attack, the network responsible, and the lapse of the intelligence services have been covered in news updates. The basic challenge of putting the attack in context is that it does not fit—the Easter attacks do not make Sri Lankan sense, but now that they have happened, they affect the dynamics of Sri Lanka’s continuing ethno-political confl ...

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AAS Statement on Stanford University Press

June 14, 2019 The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is writing to express its concern regarding the decision of Provost Persis S. Drell to cut $1.7 million in subsidies to Stanford University Press, thus placing the future of the Press in financial jeopardy. For Asian Studies in particular, Stanford University Press is one of a very select group of top-tier academic publishers in North America that commands international respect. Its publications represent cutting-edge and discipline-redefining research as exemplified by the “South Asia in Motion” series, as well as in new studies of pre-modern and modern Korea, innovative analyses of Asia in global and transnational contexts, and ground-breaking work in Asian environmental studies, drug culture, and funerary practices. Moreover, the field of Asian women’s history owes much to the Press, whose early support has made the entire field possible. Most of the humanities and a large part of the social sciences take the publication o ...

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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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