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A Tribute to Ainslie T. Embree

By John Stratton Hawley It is my sad duty to report that Ainslie Embree died on the morning of June 6, 2017 at the age of 96. Anyone who knew him will remember his capacious intellect, his deep belief that the past is important to know, and equally, that the present is important to live.  Ainslie served the profession in countless ways, as chair of Columbia’s History Department and Associate and then Acting Director of its School of International and Public Affairs, as President of the American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) and the AAS, as member of countless committees, and as a teacher and a friend. He was a special advisor to two ambassadors to India, Robert Goheen and Frank Wisner, and taught there as a young man. He loved the country. Everything he ever did or wrote is testament to that. He also had a deep interest in religion in all its forms—not an uncritical interest, though, as many of you will know. If you knew Ainslie, you also knew his boundless savvy and wit, and oh how ...

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2017 AAS Election Slate of Candidates

We are pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the fall 2017 AAS elections. Candidates’ biographical data will be posted on the AAS website later in the summer, and the online ballot activated in September or October. Election day (when the ballot is closed and votes counted) has not yet been finalized but will be in early November. Newly elected representatives will take office immediately after the annual conference in March, 2018. Our sincere thanks to all candidates for accepting nominations to represent their respective areas and councils. President: Anne Feldhaus (religion, Arizona State University, automatically succeeds from VP) Vice President: Prasenjit Duara (history, Duke University) R. Bin Wong (history, University of California, Los Angeles) China and Inner Asia Council: Weihong Bao (film & media, University of California, Berkeley) Jack Chen (literature, University of Virginia) Johan Elverskog (religion, Southern Methodist University) Anne Gerritsen (history, Univers ...

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June 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to AAS Member Sheldon Garon (Princeton University), who has received a Humboldt Research Award. Dr. Garon will spend the 2017-18 academic year in Germany, conducting research in collaboration with historians and Japanese studies colleagues at the Free University Berlin on his current book project, “When Home Fronts Became Battlegrounds: A Transnational History of Japan, Germany, and Britain in World War II.” *** Further congratulations to Member Edmund Cheng (Hong Kong Baptist University), winner of the 2016 Gordon White Prize from China Quarterly. Dr. Cheng’s article, “Street Politics in a Hybrid Regime: The Diffusion of Political Activism in Post-colonial Hong Kong,” can be freely accessed at Cambridge Core. *** We are pleased to announce the 2016 winners of the Freeman Book Awards—recognizing quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of East and Southeast Asia. This is the inaugural year of the award ...

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A Brief History of the North Korean-Myanmar Friendship

By Maria Rosaria Coduti “Dangerous bedfellows,” “rogue brothers in arms,” and “friends in need” are some of the expressions experts and journalists have used to describe North Korea-Myanmar [Burma] relations in the past. In 2005, then U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice labeled Myanmar an “outpost of tyranny,” a feature that saw the country enter the club of the “pariah states” along with Cuba, Iran, Belarus, Zimbabwe, and North Korea. However, just four years later, the newly elected Obama administration reviewed American policy toward Myanmar and shifted to one based on the pragmatic engagement of Naypyidaw, the country’s capital, which inaugurated a new era of the Southeast Asian country’s relations with the U.S. and with both Western and Asian actors as a consequence. According to some political analysts, this new policy was either a tile of a broader U.S. rebalancing strategy toward the Asia-Pacific region, the so-called ...

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What I Did on My Summer “Vacation” Photo Sweepstakes

As summertime gets underway here in the Northern Hemisphere, the routines of the academic year fall away—but calling this a summer “vacation” is misleading for most of us. Despite the notion that academics have summers off, we know that AAS members are plenty occupied during these lazy, hazy, crazy days. What do the next months hold in store for you: research, writing, relocation, summer courses, reading, travel, attending AAS-in-ASIA? (All of the above?) Snap a photo that represents your summer and submit it to #AsiaNow—it could be our photo of the week! Every week between June and September, we’ll select one photo to feature at #AsiaNow and on the AAS social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Everyone who submits a photo will be entered into a sweepstakes drawing at the end of the summer; one (1) grand prize winner will receive three titles of his or her choice from our Key Issues in Asian Studies (KIAS) series (total value $30), while two (2) runners-up will ea ...

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