A Summary Explanation of the Journal of Asian Studies Articles That Were Not Censored

Earlier this week, the Association for Asian Studies announced that the Chinese government had relayed a list of 100 Journal of Asian Studies (JAS) articles to Cambridge University Press (CUP) and asked that CUP block those articles from its Chinese website. Since then, numerous journalists and scholars have contacted the AAS requesting access to the list. At the present time, the AAS board of directors has decided not to publicly release it. JAS is currently making every effort to notify the authors of the JAS articles and book reviews in question.

However, the AAS also recognizes that there is great interest among scholars in the topics of articles and book reviews that the Chinese government has asked CUP to block. (To be clear: NONE of these articles/book reviews have been removed from the JAS website in China, and the AAS remains committed to ensuring that such censorship does not take place.) In order to provide information to those who are conducting research into censorship mechanisms in China, we have compiled two visual summaries of the JAS material proposed for removal.

The first is a pie chart, prepared by evaluating the 100 articles/book reviews on the list and determining the keywords that had been used to locate them in the JAS archives. As scholars who analyzed the list of China Quarterly articles that were briefly censored in China found, the keywords appear to be fairly general ones—Cultural Revolution, Tibet, Tiananmen. Below you can see the breakdown of JAS articles by keyword. (In a few cases, article titles contained more than one keyword, and those have been assigned to two categories due to the impossibility of determining which one marked them for inclusion on the list.)

The second graphic is a word cloud generated from the titles of the JAS articles and books under review on the list. Words that appear more frequently are printed in bigger type—so, for example, many more of the listed articles contained the word “Revolution” in their titles than “Rebellion.” (A larger version of this image is also available for download via the AAS Flickr account.)

As always, we will continue to post updates on this situation as quickly as possible.