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Welcome to AAS 2017!

We’re ready to kick off AAS 2017 in Toronto and hope that everyone traveling today has a smooth journey! Have you downloaded the conference app yet? Don’t forget to check out our list of 10 cool features the app offers! Highlights of Thursday’s program: The registration counters will open at 12:00 noon on the Concourse level of the Sheraton. Film Expo screenings begin at 12:30pm in Maple West (Mezzanine Level). Please note that this is a change of location from what is listed in the printed program book. At 6:00pm, Dr. Zhang Longxi of City University of Hong Kong will deliver the keynote address, “Asian Studies, Interdisciplinarity, and Comparative Work,” in the Grand Ballroom on the Lower Concourse. Panels will start at 7:30pm. Tonight’s program includes a special roundtable for graduate students, “Beyond the Academy: Careers for Asianists,” in City Hall (2nd floor). The graduate student reception will run from 9:30 to 11:00pm in Dominion Ballroo ...

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Ten Useful Features in the AAS 2017 Conference App

We first introduced an AAS conference app at the Chicago meeting in 2015 and have been working hard to improve it each year since. Thanks to everyone who has provided feedback on previous versions of the app—hearing from conference attendees is how we learn what about the app is useful and what we can make better in the future.   This year’s app, built using the Guidebook platform, is bursting with features that will enhance your conference experience. We’ve put a huge amount of information—about panels, exhibitors, meetings-in-conjunction, films, the weather, restaurants, and more—in the palm of your hand. The AAS app should be a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know while attending this year’s conference. Are we missing a feature? Let us know and we’ll see if we can add it to the 2018 app.   The AAS app is available in both desktop and mobile versions. While the desktop version has all the important menu items, the mobile app offers a couple of ...

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Animals, Anniversaries, Archives, and Food: A Few AAS 2017 Panels I Wish I Could Catch

The following is a revised and expanded version of an article that first appeared in the December 2016 E-Newsletter.   This is my first year working for the AAS rather than being an attendee at the annual conference. Although there are plenty of good things about my job, the one downside is that I most likely won’t have time to catch many panels. Still, old habits die hard, and as soon as the conference program arrived in my office I sat down and read through it—impressed, as usual, by the breadth and depth of the Asian Studies field.   Panel topics at AAS always cover an enormous range of time periods, geographic places, and academic fields of study. Some topics are perennial ones, discussed anew each decade in light of the latest archival discoveries or turn in scholarly perspective. Others, however, are less common, representing entire new sub-specialties or a periodic focus on events that otherwise do not receive a great deal of attention.   In looking over the panel sessi ...

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Meet the New AAS Vice President

Anne Feldhaus is Distinguished Foundation Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University and will become AAS vice president after the 2017 conference in Toronto. In the summer after my first year of college, I had the chance to live in Paris for some months. I returned elated and wiser, and confident that I had already used up my allotted time to spend outside the US. I was wrong. Just two years later, a professor at my college invited me to accompany her to India for the summer. I jumped at the chance. After some delicate negotiations with my parents and the college, I set off across the world—and into the rest of my life. I fell in love with India that first time, a complicated love that has grown even more complex over the years. I have spent much of my adult life figuring out how to get back to India again and again, how to live there for long periods of time, and how to deepen my friendships with and understanding of ever more kinds of people there. Graduate school was at first ...

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Introducing the Gender Equality in Asian Studies Group

By Denise Ho, Margaret Mih Tillman, Brigid Vance, and Shellen Wu One woman nearly broke down in tears as she described her travails attending a previous Association for Asian Studies conference as a new mother. At the time, AAS provided no nursing facilities during the annual conference. She could not find a place to pump in the conference space and in desperation had to track down and borrow a friend’s hotel room. Others had stories of their experiences doing research in Asia (where they were frequently asked, “Who is taking care of your husband!?”) and the difficulties women in particular encounter in doing fieldwork. Someone else mentioned the frustrations and lack of mentorship that come with working in departments of mostly older men. The outpouring of stories was a wake-up call and made us realize the real need for an advocacy group and network for women in Asian Studies. We hope to not only provide a forum to share our experiences and advice, but also to create a platform to push for ...

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