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AAS Member Spotlight: James Flowers

James Flowers is a doctoral candidate in the history of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Your discipline and country (or countries) of interest I call myself a historian of East Asia, with a focus on Korea. How long have you been a member of AAS? I joined AAS in 2016. Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? I am a graduate student. I presented at the AAS Annual Conference in Seattle in 2016. I fell in love with AAS, so I kept up my membership since. I was thrilled to be among so many interesting scholars of Asia. It was my first attendance and I was also astounded by the warm welcome and response I received from many established scholars. Then in 2018, I was lucky to be selected to participate in the AAS dissertation workshop on Science and Medicine in Washington, D.C. I was stunned by how much I enjoyed the three days of activities with faculty and other graduate students. It sounds clichéd but we really did bond by forming clo ...

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“My Paper Was Turned Down. Should I Take It Personally?”

This is a revised and updated version of Laurel Kendall’s President’s Column from the Fall 2016 issue of the AAS E-Newsletter. The carefully crafted panel submission, a summation of hot-breaking research, the anticipation of a lively intellectual exchange … and then the rejection message, “owing to the number of high-quality submissions and the limitations of space”—a splash of cold water! Many of us have been there—I certainly have—and so have many distinguished scholars, including at least one former President of the AAS whose proposed submissions were rejected twice in the years after his service. It happens. In such circumstances it is difficult not to feel that “there must have been some mistake,” or worse “AAS is just not interested in the kind of work I do,” or still worse, that “someone on the program committee had it in for me.” In a healthy organization, there will always be many more proposals than available slo ...

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AAS Member Spotlight: Dorothy Solinger

Dorothy J. Solinger is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Irvine. She is a political scientist who specializes in China. How long have you been a member of AAS? Fifty years, I’m told. (I entered graduate school at Stanford in 1968—did I really join the AAS instantaneously, at such a tender age in my then non-existent career?) Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues? If I really joined back then, someone must have told me I should; could be that my adviser, John Wilson Lewis (who died a year ago, September 4, 2017) did, or perhaps a tongxue, such as Gordon White, who began at Stanford the same time I did (and died in April 1998 in his mid-50s). Gordon already had an M.A. from Cornell, where he’d worked under Lewis, and was more or less brought to Stanford by Lewis when Lewis himself came that fall. Gordon liked to give me instructions. Why I’d recommend joining: For fellowship, attending the annual convention, and subscribin ...

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September 2018 AAS Member News & Notes

We extend our congratulations to the AAS Members who have been awarded fellowships by the American Institute of Indian Studies to carry out research projects in India in 2018-19: Roy Bar-Sadeh (Columbia University), “The Transnationalization of Islamic Modernism: Religion, Politics and Anti-Colonialism Between India and Egypt, 1857-1947” Ananya Chakravarti (Georgetown University), “The Konkan: Regional History on an Indian Ocean Coast” Swati Chawla (University of Virginia), “Between Homelessness and Homecoming: Tibetan Migration in Late Twentieth Century India” Jed Forman (University of California, Santa Barbara), “Yogic Perception” Ayesha Irani (University of Massachusetts, Boston), “Situating the Bengali Darves: Texts, Practices, and Communities of Reception in Bengal” Harshita Mruthinti Kamath (University of North Carolina), “Temple Poems on Copperplates: The Material Life of Annamayya’s Telugu Padams” Tulasi ...

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President’s Column, September 2018: Conference Report on AAS-in-Asia in New Delhi

“Circular firing squad.” Professor Engseng Ho of Duke University used this phrase to describe the situation of Asian Studies scholars in the run-up to the 5th AAS-in-Asia conference, which was held at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi this past July. Professor Ho was speaking on a special panel chaired by AAS Past President Katherine Bowie; the panel had been added to the conference program in response to a decision by the Government of India that we had learned about four months earlier. The Indian government had decided not to grant visas for the conference to any citizens of Pakistan, nor to citizens of any other country whose ancestors had come from Pakistan. Frustration and anger over this discriminatory decision spilled over into attacks by scholars of Asia on one another. As recounted earlier in this space, the AAS officers and Secretariat staff deplored India’s decision, as did our co-organizers at Ashoka University. The absence of the excluded scholars was a great loss to our ...

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