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December 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to former AAS President Theodore Bestor, Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University, who was recently awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, by the Japanese government. Bestor received the commendation for his “extensive contributions to the study of Japan and to the promotion of scholarly and educational exchange between Japan and the United States of America throughout his career.” In a note of thanks to his colleagues, Bestor writes: I have to remind friends (and myself) that whatever I have done—researched, taught, written about Japan as an anthropologist—has only been possible because of the kindness and patience of countless Japanese who have been willing to talk with an inquisitive stranger and to allow me to learn about their lives and communities (not to mention their food)!  I am grateful to the Japanese government for thi ...

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Celebrating Regional Conferences

Political events across the globe, not the least of which include the recent efforts by the Chinese government to censor scholarship, remind all of us of the important role academic organizations such as the Association for Asian Studies can play. As soon as AAS learned of the efforts to block articles in the Journal of Asian Studies, we expressed our opposition on behalf of our members and defended the importance of academic freedom. Keeping AAS strong involves varied initiatives, each providing opportunities for membership participation in actions ranging from writing short blogs for #Asia Now to organizing panels for the annual conference.  In this column I would like to highlight how participation in our regional conferences helps keep AAS strong. Nine regional conferences are affiliated with AAS; one is held annually in Japan and the remaining eight in locations across the U.S. AAS helps support these conferences and their affiliated outreach workshops for K-12 teachers. Each regional conference ha ...

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