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#AsiaNow Speaks with Tania Murray Li

Tania Murray Li is Canada Research Chair in the Political-Economy and Culture of Asia and the Director of the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. Dr. Li is author of Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier, published by Duke University Press and winner of the 2017 AAS George McT. Kahin Book Prize (SE Asia). To begin with, please tell us what your book is about. Drawing on two decades of ethnographic research in Sulawesi, Indonesia, the book offers an intimate account of the emergence of capitalist relations among indigenous highlanders who privatized their common land to plant a boom crop, cacao. Spurred by the hope of ending their poverty and isolation, some prospered, while others lost their land and struggled to sustain their families. Yet the winners and losers in this transition were not strangers—they were kin and neighbors, increasingly caught up in a set of competitive, capitalist relations that imposed a stringent market discipline. My acc ...

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Reaching the Headphoned Masses: Introducing the East Asia for All Podcast

By Melissa A. Brzycki and Stephanie Montgomery In April 2016, Paramount Pictures released a photo of Scarlett Johansson cast as Major Motoko Kusanagi for the new live-action version of Ghost in the Shell, based on the Japanese manga series of the same name (Kōkaku Kidōtai). A heated discussion of race and the Hollywood whitewashing of Asian culture ensued across multiple social media platforms throughout pre-production and following the movie’s release in March 2017. For many fans, it felt as though the world of Ghost in the Shell—a cyberpunk futurist landscape of genderbending cyborg bodies—was stripped of its meaning to become a dazzling CGI backdrop for a mundane Hollywood plot. In the process of “translating” this beloved media franchise for an English-speaking audience, something had obviously been lost. As academics with training in East Asian language, culture, and history, we felt we could contribute to discussions like these. The Ghost in the Shell controversy finally m ...

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Launching the New Timor-Leste Initiative at AAS

By Richard Fox   Image 1: Roundtable discussion on the future of Timor-Leste studies, with Lisa Palmer, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhaes and Susana de Matos Viegas, and chaired by Elizabeth Drexler. The 2017 conference in Toronto marked the beginning of an ambitious two-year initiative devoted to raising the profile of Timor-Leste studies—both at AAS and in the wider North American academy. With generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Southeast Asia Council’s (SEAC) Indonesia and Timor-Leste Studies Committee (ITLSC) hosted a series of special events, including an all-day pre-conference workshop attended by senior scholars, students and public intellectuals from Timor-Leste as well as North America, Australia, Europe and other parts of Asia. Looking ahead, the ITLSC is planning a similar series of events for 2018 in Washington, D.C. Let us know if you’d like to get involved and help to shape the future of TL studies at AAS—additional information and contact details ...

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April 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

The Philippine Studies Group of the Association for Asian Studies is pleased to award the Grant Goodman Prize for 2017 to Michael Cullinane for his substantial contributions to Philippine historical studies. Cullinane is the Associate Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he teaches as a Faculty Associate. After being introduced Cebu while a Peace Corps volunteer, Cullinane has made that island province the focus of much of his scholarly research. In addition to the book Ilustrado Politics: Filipino Elite Responses to American Rule, 1898-1908 (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2004), Cullinane has authored twenty book chapters and articles on a wide range of historical topics, periods and geographical areas. The most numerous of these publications explore Cebuano topics such as its Chinese mestizos, both the Spanish and American colonial periods, and prominent Cebuano leaders such as Sergio Osmena. His other publications have explored topics that inc ...

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The Tangible and Intangible Benefits of Membership

—and the Importance of YOUR Membership in AAS to You and to the Field of Asian Studies The following post is a revised version of AAS Executive Director Michael Paschal’s column from the December 2016 issue of the Asian Studies E-Newsletter.   Traditionally the benefits of membership in the Association for Asian Studies could be measured in tangible terms, whether discount member rates for conference registration and other association products or in the number of print publications received. The latter have included at various times over the years the print Journal of Asian Studies (JAS), the Newsletter, Education About Asia, the annual conference program, and the AAS member directory. With the onset of the digital age however, many of these publications are now available to members through institutional subscriptions or via the AAS website. Some members might view the traditional print versions of the above as somewhat of a dubious benefit or even a liability when trying to find shel ...

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