AAS 2020 Resolution of Thanks

The AAS 2020 Annual Conference is now behind us, and there are many challenges facing all of us now and into the future. Before we focus our energies on future conference planning and the ways in which COVID-19 has changed the face of conferencing for the foreseeable future, we want to make sure to acknowledge everyone who invested their time and energy to the planning of the AAS 2020 Boston conference. This resolution of thanks is dedicated to those who directly contributed to the planning and program details of the 2020 annual conference.

The conference was officially cancelled just ten (10) days prior to the scheduled start and with all programming and plans confirmed and in place. Considering this, we would be remiss not to thank everyone who was involved in the year-long planning process.

Thank you to 3.7 Designs for the wonderful re-design of our conference website and to our always supportive and innovative event management system partner, CadmiumCD, for their support with abstract management, speaker management, and the online program.

Sincere gratitude goes to the 2020 Program Committee: Chair Joan Judge and Vice-Chair Brian Hatcher; Erica Fox Brindley, Timothy Cheek, and Sara Friedman (China and Inner Asia); Timothy George, Miyako Inoue, and Joshua Pilzer (Japan and Korea); and Ronit Ricci and Ramya Sreenivasan (South and Southeast Asia). The committee spent much time reviewing the record-breaking number of proposals (1,243), selecting finalists, and scheduling the 450 sessions. Also, a big thank you to Hilde De Weerdt, Paula Curtis, and Song Chen for their review of the digital technology proposal submissions and for their planning of the new lightening session proposals.

Thank you to the Local Arrangements Committee for your enthusiasm in sharing the wonderful history of Boston, coordinating local attraction options, and organizing musical performances. These efforts include the in-depth directory of local cuisines provided by committee chair Merry White (Boston University), the planning of a session covering the past and present of Asian history in Boston by James Robson (Harvard University), organization of musical performances by Marie Abe (Boston University), and the additional work by David Odo (Harvard University), Sarah Pinto (Tufts University), and Eve Zimmerman (Wellesley College) in arranging complimentary museum visits for AAS attendees. The AAS thanks you for your hard work and dedication to enriching the Annual Conference program.

Much appreciation to Jason Finkelman, Director, Global Arts Performance, and to Event Programming at Asian Education Media Service (AEMS), Center for East Asian & Pacific Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for their continued support, review, and curation of films for the Annual Conference Film Expo.

Thank you to Nicole Restrick Levit and Briyanna Brinson at the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and to the Henry Luce Foundation for their continued financial and administrative support of the Dissertation Workshop. Additional thanks to Justin McDaniel for chairing this program.

Additionally, appreciation goes to our conference sponsors: Harvard-Yenching Institute, Asian Cultural Council, Adam Matthew Digital, and the Peabody Essex Museum.

Thank you to AAS President Prasenjit Duara and to Chris Courtney (Durham University) for providing the cover image for the 2020 conference program book. (This cover image of Wuhan, China was selected in the summer of 2019).

Thank you to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for your plans to host a reception at the museum to all AAS registered attendees. Your local support was greatly appreciated.

Thanks go to all AAS Councils for agreeing to continue the Graduate Student Paper Prize Competitions despite the conference cancellation. Also, to the members and colleagues who volunteered to serve as mentors at what was to be our inaugural conference mentor program: we thank you.

To all individuals committed to research on and education about Asia, it is your dedication to this field that contributes to the success of the AAS Annual Conference. Without the participation of the session participants and speakers, this conference would not exist.

To all the companies, groups, organizations, and universities who spent months planning their attendance, business meetings, and special events at the annual conference, we thank you for your continued support. We most especially thank the 2020 exhibitors for their participation and appreciate all who continued to offer publication discounts even after the cancellation of the conference.

Of course, the planning of the annual conference would not be complete without the day-to day dedication of the AAS Secretariat staff. The list of tasks involved in complete planning phase is endless: building the website, registration, speaker support and management, membership coordination, creating the program book and other print materials, vendor selection and management, grant coordination, badge stuffing, and general daily management of the AAS. Thank you to Executive Director Hilary V. Finchum-Sung and the Secretariat staff: Angela Bermudez, Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, Lisa Hanselman, Doreen Ilozor, Alicia Williams, Jon Wilson, and Jenna Yoshikawa. Additional thanks go to our interns and University of Michigan graduate students, Molly DeDona, Joshua Kam, and Moira Saltzman.

We cannot close out the 2020 conference without also thanking all of our selected partners, providers, and facilities. Many of these companies and facilities have suffered tremendous losses and despite the current global situation have worked with the AAS very admirably to help mitigate our financial damages related to the cancellation. These companies include: ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements, Audio Visual Productions Solutions, Freeman Exposition Services, John Leonard Employment Services, the Hynes Convention Center and the Massachusetts Convention Authority, Sheraton Boston Hotel, Marriott Copley Hotel, and the Hilton Back Bay Hotel. Last but certainly not least, we are very grateful to Ricky Hopkins of ConferenceDirect, who played a major role in mitigating the penalties facing the AAS due to the cancellation. Our best wishes for a quick recovery to all of our providers and facilities and their employees.

It takes a huge team of individuals, partners, affiliates, councils, staff, vendors, participants, and speakers to make the AAS Annual Conference a success each year. The global pandemic and crisis we are all personally experiencing is humbling and reminds us of the bigger picture and those things most important in life. We all remain hopeful that the world around us will achieve some semblance of normalcy. It is now more important than ever to say thank you to everyone for their commitment to the Association for Asian Studies and to Asian Studies as a whole.

Well wishes to all,
Robyn Jones
AAS Conference Manager

AAS Conference Connection: 4 Weeks ‘Til Boston

Welcome to your latest AAS Conference Connection news

Conference Registration

JOIN the 3000+ scholars, students, librarians, and more who have already pre-registered and plan to meet in Boston, March 19-22 for the AAS Annual Conference. Pre-Registration rates expire TODAY, February 18, 2020. Register now to save. Late-registration fees will take effect on February 19, 2020.   

Conference Hotel

Additional rooms have been added to our blocks at the Sheraton and Marriott Copley Place. Book quickly, as these rooms will not last long! Rooms have also recently opened up again at the Hilton, but are limited and may close again once re-booked. AAS discounted conference rates and hotel-booking link are available on our hotel accommodations webpage

A reminder regarding hotel reservations and third parties
The AAS DOES NOT work with any third parties in regards to booking hotel room or airfares for conference attendance. If a company contacts you and states that they are calling on behalf of the AAS, THIS IS A SCAM. No one person or organization has been authorized to contact conference attendees to sell these services despite their claims. We will never call you, and if an email arrives from any other address other than “asianstudies.org” on this topic, please disregard the message.

New! “Meet Your Council” Events

Don’t miss this new opportunity to meet with your AAS Council representatives to learn more about the role of the AAS Councils, their representation of the membership, grants & awards opportunities, book prizes, and more. “Meet Your Council” information sessions will take place from 8:00 to 8:40a.m. on Friday, March 20 in the Hynes Convention Center. Come join the representatives of the China and Inner Asia Council, Northeast Asia Council, South Asia Council, Southeast Asia Council and the representatives of the Council of Conferences, which consists of the chairs of each AAS Regional Conference. Coffee, tea, and a continental breakfast will be served. To add this to your schedule, click here to find the location of your representative council. 

New! Mentor Program

We are pleased to announce that the AAS Conference Mentor Program has officially launched. Although many slots filled up quickly, there are still a few slots remaining. If you are a student or junior scholar interested in participating in a small group mentoring session at the conference, take a look at the remaining open topics and book your spot today. For more information, click here.

On-site Childcare at the Conference

As a reminder, the AAS is offering on-site childcare options called CAMP AAS at the Annual Conference. Multiple rates and time-frames are available, including hourly, half-day, full-day, and full conference (4 days) rates. For more information on the schedule and rates, and to reserve a spot for your child, please visit our website.

Conference Connection: 6 Weeks ‘Til #AAS2020 in Boston!

Welcome to your latest AAS Conference Connection news

Conference Hotel

Don’t forget to book your hotel room at our conference headquarters, Sheraton Boston Hotel. Availability for Tuesday and Wednesday arrivals is limited. Additional overflow rooms are available at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel and the Hilton Back Bay Boston Hotel. The AAS discounted conference rates and hotel-booking link are available on our hotel accommodations webpage

A reminder regarding hotel reservations and third parties
The AAS DOES NOT work with any third parties in regards to booking hotel room or airfares for conference attendance. If a company contacts you and states that they are calling on behalf of the AAS, THIS IS A SCAM. No one person or organization has been authorized to contact conference attendees to sell these services, despite their claims. We will never call you, and if an email arrives from any address other than ‘asianstudies.org’ on this topic, please disregard the message.

Now Accepting Reservations: On-site Childcare at the Conference

The AAS is pleased to add on-site childcare to the annual conference for the convenience of all attendees. We have partnered with ACCENT on Children’s Services, which has designed a program for children from 6 months to 12 years of age. Childcare will be available from Thursday, March 19 at 8:30am and run through Sunday, March 22 at 12:30pm. Multiple rates and time-frames are available, including hourly, half-day, full-day and full conference (4 days) rates. For more information on the schedule and rates, and to reserve a spot for your child, please visit our website.

Conference Program

A PDF of the program is now available on our website, along with a digital version (itinerary planner). As a reminder, the digital program contains the abstracts for all presentations; we do not print abstracts in the print program. Additionally, the print program contains only the names of presenters registered by posted deadlines. The mobile app will be available soon. 

NEW! AAS Local Arrangements Committee: Special Events

In an effort to offer more local activities that also highlight the conference location, the AAS has established a Local Arrangement Committee. We would like to thank the members of the committee for their work in arranging the following opportunities for attendees:

Boston-Chinatown Tasting Tours

The committee has organized private tasting tours of Chinatown for Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21. Space is limited—book early! For more information and to book these private tour for AAS attendees (use booking code AAS2020), click here.

Chindon-ya Performances

Don’t miss the performances of the Chindon-ya group during the conference. Walk with Chindon-ya through the conference facilities (locations to be announced) and join us a the AAS Reception held on Friday evening at 7:30pm for a special performance in the Sheraton, Constitution Ballroom. For more information, click here.

Aeolian Trio Performances

The Aeolian Trio (Bruce Hueber, Koufuu Suwa, and Todd Isler) will perform on Saturday, March 21 at 7:15pm following panel sessions in the Sheraton’s Constitution Ballroom. Additionally, the trio will perform in the exhibit hall (dates and times to be announced). For more information, click here.

Harvard Art Museum & Exhibition Tour

The Harvard Art Museum is offering conference attendees complimentary admission to view the special exhibit Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection on Saturday, March 21 from 10am to 12pm. Additionally, a free one-hour tour is available at 11:00am. For more information click here.

Experience Boston

Also, remember to take a moment to view the About Boston page at the conference website. The page is a great resource for anyone interested in exploring Boston’s many attractions, including museums, dining, and shopping. 

Late-Breaking Sessions

The AAS2020 Late-Breaking Sessions are now available for viewing. Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal. Click here for more information on these important and trending topics.

AAS Conference Connection: Looking Ahead to 2020

Welcome to the AAS Conference Connection. In order to provide the most up-to-date information and offer the best possible experience, we will periodically send an email and post on our website information regarding the upcoming AAS Annual Conference. 

NEW! Conference Mentor Program

The AAS is excited to launch a new conference initiative—the AAS Conference Mentor Program. This program aims to build community within the AAS and serves as a vehicle for graduate students and early-career scholars to experience professional development at the AAS conference. 

We are currently accepting applications to serve as a Mentor at the 2020 conference in Boston. This is approximately a 60-90 minute commitment; however, we welcome individuals willing to commit to multiple sessions, speaking on more than one topic. Once mentors and a schedule are confirmed in early 2020, mentees will have the opportunity to sign up for a mentor group session (space is limited). For more information, click here.

NEW! Childcare at the Conference

The AAS is pleased to announce that on-site childcare will be available to all conference attendees in Boston. Previously, limited reimbursements were available to panel participants and we provided a listing to childcare providers in the local area. However, beginning with the 2020 Annual Conference we will be working with ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements, a national company that specializes in offering childcare at large conferences. The AAS strives to make the Annual Conference an inclusive event for all, and providing this long-requested service to our members helps us move toward achieving that goal. Pre-registration for childcare will open in January. For more information on rates, services, and the company, click here.

2020 AAS-SSRC Dissertation Workshop

This annual workshop will be held in Boston immediately prior to the AAS 2020 Annual Conference. This year’s workshop theme is “Borders, Migration, and Transnational Flows,” and all doctoral students in the dissertation proposal or research stage working on relevant projects are encouraged to submit a proposal. The submission deadline is January 6, 2020. Click here for more information.

Conference Hotel

Don’t forget to book your hotel room at our conference headquarters, Sheraton Boston Hotel. Additional overflow rooms are available at the Marriott Copley Place Hotel. Rooms generally sell out by early January, so make sure to book today. The AAS discounted conference rates and hotel-booking links are available on our hotel accommodations webpage

Important notice regarding hotel reservations and third parties

Please be advised that the AAS DOES NOT work with any third parties in regards to booking hotel rooms or airfares for conference attendance. If a company contacts you and states that they are calling on behalf of the AAS, THIS IS A SCAM. No one person or organization has been authorized to contact conference attendees to sell these services, despite their claims. We will never call you, and if an email on this topic arrives from any address other than one ending in asianstudies.org, please disregard the message.

Conference Registration

Pre-registration rates are still available. Register today to ensure you receive the best rate. 

Online Program

The full online program (itinerary planner) is now available for viewing. The program includes a listing of all accepted sessions and papers, along with the scheduled dates and times of each session. Take a moment to review the program and create a personalized schedule of events.

Meetings-in-Conjunction

Is your committee or group interested in holding a meeting or event in Boston?  The AAS is accepting requests for meeting space for your event to be held in conjunction with the AAS Annual Conference.  Please submit your request here

Click here to view the list of scheduled group meetings and events.

Latest #AsiaNow Blog post

AAS 2020: Program Trends and Highlights

More than 430 sessions are scheduled on the AAS2020 conference program. Take a look at the trending topics that will be presented in Boston. Click here

Conference Connection: 21 Weeks ‘Til Boston

Welcome to the AAS Conference Connection. In order to provide the most up-to-date information and offer the best possible experience for AAS2020 attendees, we will periodically send an email and post at #AsiaNow information regarding the upcoming AAS Annual Conference. The notices will include recently added conference news, such as hotel and registration updates, as well as new programming information and much more. We hope you take a moment to read these updates, as we have many new opportunities and events planned for the Boston conference.

We will publish Conference Connection at our website approximately every 2-3 weeks for now, with more frequent posts appearing as the conference date approaches. All members will receive an initial email announcement regarding AAS Conference Connection; however, moving forward only registered conference attendees and session presenters will receive the emails. All announcements will still be available via the conference website. 

Preliminary Program Now Available

The online program (itinerary planner) is now available. The program includes a listing of all accepted sessions and papers, along with the scheduled dates and times of each session. Please note that this is a preliminary program and does not include the names of all presenters; only session organizers are listed at this time. The full program with all registered participants will post later this year. Click here to start planning your itinerary!

Graduate Student Free Conference Registration Lottery

The AAS is pleased to once again hold a complimentary registration lottery open to all students interested in attending the conference. Make sure to enter for a chance to win free registration in Boston. Ten (10) lucky students will be selected. For more information and to enter, click here!

New Hotel Rooms Added

A new overflow hotel has been added to the AAS 2020 hotel block. You may now book rooms at the Marriott Copley Place at the rate of $219/night+tax (single/double). This rate is good through October 31, 2019, after which the rate will increase to $229/night. Don’t forget—rooms are also still available at our headquarters hotel, Sheraton Boston Hotel. Click here to book at the discounted AAS rate today!

Call for Films–AAS2020 Film Expo

We are accepting film submissions to be included in the Film Expo to be held March 19-21 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. New in 2020:  We are now accepting digital film submissions.

The AAS Film Expo is open to the public. As a convenience to conference attendees, we also offer an on-demand screening room for anyone experiencing a conflict with the formal screening schedule. Reserve a time at the on-demand room and view the film at your leisure. The Call for Films submission deadline is November 15, 2019. For more information, click here.

Panel Presenter Resources

Are you presenting on a session in Boston? The AAS has created a webpage with resources for speakers as you move forward with your preparations. Please make sure to bookmark this page, as more information will post as it become available. Also, don’t forget: All panel speakers (this includes session chairs, discussants, and paper presenters) MUST register by the posted panel participants pre-registration deadline of November 12, 2019. Speakers not registered by this date will not see their names listed in the print program. Visit this page for more information regarding registration and other helpful resources.

Meetings-in-Conjunction

Is your committee or group interested in holding a meeting or event in Boston? The AAS is now accepting requests for meeting space for your event to be held in conjunction during the AAS Annual Conference. Please submit your request here.

Fun Facts About: Our Conference Logo

This ship is a nod to our host city of Boston and its rich history. Boston is one of the oldest municipalities in the United States, and it was the scene of several key events of the American Revolution, including the Boston Tea Party. Upon gaining U.S. independence from Great Britain, it continued to be an important port and manufacturing hub, as well as a center for education and culture. Today, Boston is a thriving port city, and the area’s many colleges and universities make it an international center of higher education.
Via Wikipedia

Previously at #AsiaNow 

Behind the Scenes of AAS2020: The Program Committee Meeting

Interested in the workings of the AAS Program Committee? Take a look inside the most recent meeting and the selection process. Click here

Behind the Scenes of AAS 2020: The Program Committee Meeting

In March 2020, the AAS will return to Boston, after a 13-year absence, to host its Annual Conference at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Hynes Convention Center. When we were last in Boston, back in 2007, the AAS still called its spring gathering an “Annual Meeting” (we elevated it to the “Annual Conference” in 2011), and the program was much smaller than it is today. That 2007 meeting received 467 proposal submissions, from which 228 sessions were accepted, and among the registrations were 1,397 presenters, with 3,151 attendees overall.

Boston has traditionally been a very popular location for the AAS annual meetings, and prior to 2007 it was included in a regular rotation of host cities. In the years following 2007, however, we took Boston out of consideration because AAS conferences had expanded to a size where no existing Boston hotel could accommodate our space needs. Eventually, we were forced to re-evaluate our traditional one-hotel model and become open to the idea of using convention center space along with existing hotels. The success of this combination at our Hawaii conference in 2011 convinced us that it would work in the future (which it did at the 2016 Seattle conference) and once again made Boston a possibility.

We are excited for our return to Boston, and based on the number of proposal submissions, members of the Asian Studies community are also eager to reconnect with their colleagues there next spring. We received a record-setting 1,246 proposals for the 2020 Annual Conference—almost 300 submissions over our previous high mark! While the interest was great to see, this also meant the Program Committee members had their work cut out for them this summer.

The Program Committee consists of 10 volunteers, who are selected by each of the AAS Area Councils. Overseen by the committee chair, Dr. Joan Judge (York University), proposal reviews are assigned to sub-committee members according to geographic area. Committee members reviewed the 2020 proposals over the course of four weeks before meeting in person to discuss their selections. 

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, the Program Committee met at the Westin Detroit Airport, just a few miles away from the AAS Secretariat in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I attended in my role as AAS Conference Manager, as did Executive Director Hilary Finchum-Sung. Committee members discussed important agenda items before getting down to the hard work of making the final decisions regarding which sessions would be placed on the formal program at the AAS 2020 conference next spring. When the 8-hour meeting came to an end, the total number of sessions that will take place at AAS 2020 stood at a whopping 441—twice the size of the 2007 Boston meeting!

The Program Committee also undertook the complex task of scheduling these 400+ sessions, taking into account multiple factors, such as session topics and disciplines, as well as personal scheduling conflicts noted by applicants. While a conference program of this size means it’s impossible to avoid some degree of overlap in scheduling—every one of our 11 session slots must include approximately 44 panels, of which, for example, 13 or so will be China panels, and it’s inevitable that they will intersect in some ways—the Program Committee members do their best to minimize such issues.

A big thank you to all of the Program Committee members, as well as the sub-committee that reviewed the digital technology proposal submissions: Erica Fox Brindley, Pennsylvania State University (China and Inner Asia); Timothy C. Cheek, University of British Columbia (China and Inner Asia); Sara Friedman, Indiana University (China and Inner Asia); Timothy S. George, University of Rhode Island (Japan); Brian A. Hatcher (Vice-Chair), Tufts University (Inter-Area/Border Crossing); Miyako Inoue, Stanford University (Japan); Joan Judge (Chair), York University (Inter-Area/Border Crossing); Joshua Pilzer, University of Toronto (Korea); Ronit Ricci, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (South Asia/Southeast Asia); and Ramya Sreenivasan, University of Pennsylvania (South Asia/Southeast Asia). Digital technology sub-committee: Hilde De Weerdt, Leiden University; Song Chen, Bucknell University; Paula Curtis, Yale University; and Debashree Mukherjee, Columbia University.

The searchable online program will be available as soon as all of the accepted proposals and scheduling data have been migrated into the online program. We expect this to be completed by late October.