General Submission Information


General Rules

Proposal Selection Criteria

Innovative Session Formats

Directions in Social Sciences Sessions

Session Sponsorship

Conroy Prize

Anti-Harassment Policy

AAS Forum: Organizers seeking Sessions/Paper authors seeking Sessions

General Rules

The AAS has established submission guidelines that apply to all participants and proposal submission types. We urge you to pay close attention to some long-established principles upon submitting your proposal:


No Individual is to be on the formal program in more than one (1) session.  This rule applies to ALL SESSION PARTICIPANTS including Chairs, Paper Presenters and Discussants, and all session types-Organized Panels, Roundtables and Workshops. The One Appearance Rule also applies to Individual Paper Abstract Proposal submitters. If an individual has accepted an invitation to participate as a chair, paper presenter or discussant ion one session, s/he should not also accept invitations to appear on additional proposals/sessions and s/he should not submit an additional separate Individual Paper proposal.  Organizers must confirm that the proposed panelists are listed on their proposal only and have not agreed to participate in another session. The name of a single individual on more than one proposal could threaten the chance of acceptance of every proposal involved.  Note:  Individuals may ORGANIZE more than one session.


A proposal is a commitment in the sense that its original configuration (the original proposal submission) should match its final appearance in the printed program and its presentation at the conference. A formal panel must include at least 3 paper presenters. In the case of a panel participant dropping out, the AAS may consider admitting a replacement presenter. If a panelist cancels, please contact the Conference Manager. However, adding participants and co-authors to a panel is not allowed after the proposal has been accepted.


Habits of collegiality and professional courtesy are both the pattern and the continued expectation at the AAS conference. Most fundamental are the honoring of commitments to present papers and the provision of papers to discussants in a timely fashion. The Program Committee assumes and celebrates an interactive style and effective communication in the evolution and delivery of a well-coordinated session. Individual paper sessions also benefit from the best observation of professional practices.  


The Program Committee has noted a growing number of “no-shows” among session participants.  It is disrespectful toward fellow panelists and audience members, and unfair to those applicants who were not selected for inclusion in the program. Therefore, sessions will be closely monitored at the conference to note all no-shows. Participants who fail to notify the AAS Conference Manager in advance that they will not be able to attend the conference and participate in their session will not be allowed to submit a proposal for the following year’s conference. 

►Diversity Requirement

 Diversity and inclusiveness are core AAS values. Diversity encourages innovation and creativity and strengthens the community by harnessing a variety of skills, perspectives, talents, and resources to meet new challenges. We ask that session organizers keep these values in mind as they assemble session participants so that our conference will reflect the diversity in our membership.

In particular, we expect panel submissions to demonstrate:

• Gender diversity

• Institutional diversity (no more than 2 participants from the same institution)

• A mix of professional roles (graduate students, junior and senior scholars, adjunct faculty, and other professionals working in areas connected to Asian studies)

Overall, we would expect to see diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, and institutional balance with a combination of junior and senior scholars among paper presenters.

Sessions that do not reflect AAS’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness will be at a significant disadvantage in the review process and risk being automatically rejected by division chairs or the Program Committee for not meeting these expectations.

Proposal Selection Criteria

The Program Committee considers the annual conference program to be primarily a collection of Organized Sessions (i.e. paper sessions, roundtables or workshops).  For this reason, we accept a far higher percentage of session proposals (approximately 68%) than individual paper submissions (approximately 10%). The Program Committee will look favorably on imaginative sessions that address issues of interest to a wide constituency and incorporate comparative perspectives and/or cross disciplinary boundaries.

The Program Committee focuses on the following criteria when reviewing and scoring proposals:

1.      Intellectual quality of the research (originality of material or interpretations, soundness of methodology, knowledge of the field, etc.).      

2.      Quality of the written abstracts, the overall panel abstract being of greatest importance (clear, jargon-free prose is especially valued).     

3.      Coherence of the papers to the overall panel topic and quality of paper abstracts.     

4.       Diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, and institutional balance with a combination of junior and senior scholars.      

5.       Indication of a commitment to stimulating active discussion at panel sessions.     

6.      Attention to AAS guidelines (deadline, prohibition on more than one appearance, limits on number of presenters, etc.).  

The committee will attempt to include sessions on a wide variety of subjects and approaches, including scholarly, pedagogical, and professional subjects; consciously support the inclusion of panels focused on topics of concern in all geographic areas of Asia; encourage the presentation of new scholarship in social science disciplines under-represented at AAS conferences; strive to balance its selections between topics of continuing interest and new topics to which little or no attention has been paid; and try to span different time periods and subject matters in sessions constructed from individual papers. 

The committee makes every effort to assure diverse representation through the inclusion of minorities, women, graduate students, and international colleagues, and will seek to reflect the regional and disciplinary diversity of the association’s membership and Asian studies community.

►Innovative Session Formats

The Program Committee supports innovative formats that will encourage bold thinking, lively dialogue, and audience involvement. We urge session organizers to explore ways in which ideas can be communicated most effectively and ways in which the audience can contribute to the liveliness of the dialogue.  We encourage a variety of presentation formats.  The following list of potential formats for the panel illustrates a range of styles, but is not meant to confine your options:

  • Formats that highlight through their structure a clash of perspectives, interpretations, or methodologies.
  • Formats involving the discussion of primary sources.
  • Formats in which commentators begin by summarizing and commenting on the papers, to which the authors then respond.
  • Workshop-style sessions on works-in-progress.
  • Formats that allow sharply focused commentary from the audience at an early point in the panel.
  • Formats in which a single, major paper, film, or book is the subject of attention. The commentary and other papers would focus on the work in question.
  • Roundtables that examine teaching in the field or that explore innovative approaches to teaching a particular subject.
  • Formats involving a performance, presentation, or reading of a creative work followed by a discussion.
  • Formats that involve pre-circulating papers available to all attendees. In these panels members of the audience would be expected to have read the papers in advance and presenters would give only brief introductory remarks (for example, five minutes) before comments and discussion.

Session organizers suggesting innovative formats should check the appropriate box on the application form and make a case for the innovative character of the panel’s format in their proposals.   If you are submitting an innovative format that includes paper presentations, select the Organized Panel proposal type.  If your innovative format does not include papers, select either the Roundtable or Workshop proposal type.  Select ‘Yes’ on the application to the question “Would you like this proposal to be considered an Innovative Panel proposal?”  Be sure to indicate what makes your roundtable or workshop innovative in your proposal (that is, indicate why these panels go beyond the usual expectations of a roundtable or a workshop). Organized Panels proposing the use of pre-circulating papers should clearly indicate this format in the proposal (please use the words “pre-circulating papers” at some point).

Organizers of sessions with innovative formats need to keep in regular communication with participants about the special expectations of their panels (in terms of time limits, papers circulated among participants well in advance, presentation form, etc.).

Panels involving pre-circulated papers are based on the expectation that papers will be completed well in advance and will be made available on the AAS website.  Papers should be sent to the Association of Asian Studies at between Feb. 1 and Feb. 21, 2022.  The papers will then be attached to the presentation in the itinerary planner and will be available to conference attendees, who will need to log in to the itinerary planner to gain access to the papers. The papers will be taken down from the itinerary planner shortly after the conference. Authors will thus have some protection against their papers being read by outsiders to the conference. Panel organizers will be responsible for informing panelists that they need to submit their papers to the AAS by Feb. 22 at the latest and they need to limit any remarks on their papers in the panel session to a few minutes so that discussion time is maximized. The conference program will identify the panel as one in which the papers are available to attendees in advance.  

► Directions in Social Sciences

To encourage the presentation of new scholarship in social science disciplines under-represented at AAS conferences (e.g., Political Science, Sociology, Economics, Psychology, Law, Public Health, and Social Work), the AAS has an initiative called “Directions in the Social Sciences.” Under this initiative, a select number of panels in the social sciences will be highlighted in the conference program. The program committee welcomes innovative submissions that include younger scholars and interdisciplinary approaches.   This initiative is meant to expand the representation of the social sciences at AAS annual conferences. If your proposal falls within one or more of these categories, please CHECK THE RELEVANT BOX on the online Organized Panel, Roundtable, or Workshop application form (Individual Papers are not eligible). Checking the box will not affect the regular competitive review of your proposal—it will simply assist the Program Committee in selecting the highlighted sessions and in keeping track of the number of proposals in the social sciences.

Session Sponsorship

The AAS is no longer offering the option to list session sponsorship on proposal submissions. This decision by the Board and Program Committee was made based on the confusion and misunderstandings that occur each year regarding the weight a “sponsored” session holds during the review process. The sponsorship question field has been removed from the proposal application.

►Conroy Prize

The prize honors Prof. F. Hilary Conroy, outstanding scholar of Japan, Northeast Asia and Asian American history at the University of Pennsylvania from 1951 to 1990. From his original study of Japanese immigrants in nineteenth century Hawaii, Prof. Conroy wrote, taught, and lectured widely on political and cultural relations in East Asia and across the Pacific.  Prof. Conroy also was active in the practical work of building mutual understanding and reconciliation in Northeast Asia through his long involvement with the American Friends Service Committee and other organizations. The prize is intended to encourage proposals to the Association for Asian Studies that advance Conroy’s transnational pursuits;  i.e.,  topics that are grounded in Northeast Asia but that are genuinely transnational, extending beyond one nation and, perhaps, beyond the region.  

The F. Hilary Conroy Prize will be awarded to an outstanding session on a transnational topic that highlights developments across national boundaries and offers coverage of at least one East Asian nation (China, Japan, Taiwan and/or Korea). The proposed panel should include at least one non-US, non-Canadian citizen working outside of North America. The Prize, in honor of the distinguished scholar of East Asian history, F. Hilary Conroy, carries a $1,000 award, which will be given directly to the panel organizer to help defray the cost of the foreign scholar.  Members of each year’s annual AAS Conference Program Committee will decide upon the award recipient.   

The selected panel of the Conroy Prize will be highlighted in the final conference program and recognized at the 2022 Awards Ceremony held in Honolulu.  There is no separate application needed to be considered for this prize.  All “border crossing” sessions that meet these criteria will be considered by the Program Committee for the Conroy Prize. The Program Committee will review all incoming proposals to determine the session selected to receive the Conroy Prize.

Anti-Harassment Policy

The Association for Asian Studies strives to provide a safe and welcoming conference environment free from bias and intimidation for all participants. The Association has a zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination and all forms of harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment. No form of discriminatory or harassing conduct by or towards any employee, member, vendor, or another person in our workplace or at AAS conferences or workshops will be tolerated. The Association is committed to enforcing its policy at all levels within the Association. Anyone who engages in prohibited discrimination or harassment will be subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion from the conference site and revocation of membership in the association.  Instances of harassment should be brought to the attention of the AAS Executive Director, who will then consult with the executive officers regarding a course of action.

► AAS Forum:  Organizers Seeking Participants/Paper Authors Seeking Sessions

Session organizers seeking participants to join their proposed panel, roundtable, or workshop may list their proposed session topics on the AAS website, along with their contact information. Those interested in joining one of the sessions may contact the organizer directly to further inquire about joining their panel proposal.  Additionally, Individual Paper authors seeking to join a panel proposal may list their proposed topic and contact information. Those interested in organizing a session around one of the individual paper topics may contact the author.  For more information, go to Organizers Seeking Participants/Paper Authors Seeking Panels forum.  The page includes instructions on how to submit a proposed topic and contact a session organizer/paper author.