AAS to Develop Dissertation Workshops

The Association for Asian Studies is pleased to announce that we will pilot a dissertation workshop at the upcoming 2024 Seattle Annual Conference, thanks to seed funding from the Henry Luce Foundation. To ensure thematic coherence, the workshop will be organized around “Global China: China’s Interactions Across and Beyond Asia.” We thus seek students whose work falls within this theme for the 2024 workshop. The East and Inner Asia Council (EIAC) will be spearheading this effort and taking the lead in selecting the students who will participate.  

Please note that while this pilot workshop has a global China focus, the Association for Asian Studies is currently seeking funds to develop a much more ambitious program of dissertation workshops that will serve doctoral students who are researching and writing on all areas of Asia. Our goal is to have these workshops twice a year: once at our North American Annual Conference and once at our annual AAS-in Asia conference.

The purpose of the dissertation workshop is to provide students, especially those in less-resourced institutions, with mentorship from leading experts and to help them develop networks to navigate the challenging process of developing a strong prospectus, accomplishing the needed research, and writing a good dissertation. 

To ensure that the workshop is useful for the students, we will limit the size of the workshop to 10 students, with at least two faculty mentors, who will lead the discussion in seminar style. This means that while the faculty mentors will provide feedback on each student’s work, each student is also expected to comment on other’s work, in addition to responding to comments on their own. There will be dedicated time during the workshop‘s 2.5 days for informal meetings and discussions during group dinners and other social gatherings. To help ensure that the in-person meeting will be useful, participants will convene virtually one month prior to the workshop, when students will circulate their drafts of the work to be discussed at the in-person meeting.

The workshop includes the following goals: 

  • Pre-dissertation (Course work completed, prospectus approved and ready for research)
    • Discuss and strengthen prospectus, which will be circulated and read before workshop, including thinking through research question and approach.
    • Discuss strategies for doing research, how to handle challenges that may arise during research, and possible backup strategies to achieve research goals.

Our long-term goals are to serve students with diverse interests working on different areas of Asia and to attract young scholars from currently underrepresented areas in the AAS, which includes the social sciences. We seek to encourage all students to apply and get involved with other specialists on Asia and to see the AAS as a welcoming and nurturing home where they find useful ideas, networks, and mentors that will help them in their careers.

Call for Applications: Global China Dissertation Workshop at AAS 2024 Annual Conference in Seattle

  • The East and Inner Asia Council invites applications for an interdisciplinary dissertation workshop on the theme of China’s interactions across and beyond Asia. The workshop will focus on Early-Stage Dissertation Work: Prospectus and Research.
  • The 2+ day workshop will commence the evening of March 12, 2024 and run through March 14, when the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference in Seattle begins.
  • The workshop will be led by at least two established experts in the field, with additional experts from EIAC coming in for shorter conversations as appropriate. Students are also expected to read and give constructive comments on each other’s work. The workshop will be limited to 10 students.
  • Open to all doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences.
    • The theme is designed to be interdisciplinary. We extend a special invitation to those in underrepresented disciplines in the AAS, including sociology, economics, and political science, to apply.
  • Students selected for the workshop will receive a grant to cover the costs of:
    • lowest economy-class airfare
    • lodging (shared room) during the workshop
    • meals during the workshop
    • AAS Annual Conference registration

TO APPLY: Students must submit a resume/CV and their approved dissertation prospectus via the online application form no later than the application deadline of December 1.

All applications must be supported with a letter of reference from the applicant’s primary advisor/dissertation committee chair. Letters of reference must be sent directly to webmaster@asianstudies.org no later than December 1.

* Due to funding limitations and continued high airfare prices, for this round we can only accept applications and fund students who are based in North America. We are seeking additional funding and hope to have a set of workshops at the AAS-in-Asia 2024 conference in Yogyakarta that will be able to serve students based in Asia.