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 this award, but even more so to the many Japanese people who have befriended me over the past five decades.


In 2018, the AAS plans to revamp the Education About Asia (EAA) online archives to provide readers with a more stable, dynamic, and user-friendly platform. The launch of the new site will be accompanied by a wide-ranging publicity campaign, as we work to introduce this valuable publication to a larger audience.

Staff in the EAA editorial office and at the AAS secretariat have discussed at length ideas for the new website, but the most important input will come from you—the scholars and teachers of Asia-related courses, institutes, and professional development courses. We want to provide you with the best possible online resource.

To that end, we ask that you take a few minutes and complete a short survey. Your responses will provide us with crucial information that will help us move ahead with redesigning the EAA archives and creating a digital education hub that we hope will serve the Asian Studies community for many years to come.


Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast (ASPAC) is now accepting proposals for its next annual conference, which will be held June 8-10, 2018 at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Applicants may submit proposals for individual papers, organized panels, and roundtable discussions via the conference website. The early application deadline (intended mainly for international applicants who need a letter of invitation for visa purposes) is December 31, 2017, and notification of acceptance will be sent by January 31, 2018. The regular submission deadline is February 28, 2018, with acceptances sent by March 31, 2018. For applicants who cannot meet the regular deadline, ASPAC will continue to accept submissions until March 31, 2018 and provide notification of acceptance as soon as possible thereafter.

AAS 2018 News & Notes

It’s once again time for our Member-Get-A-Member Sweepstakes! As a current AAS member, each new member you recruit by February 22, 2018 will entitle you to one (1) entry into a drawing to win a free hotel room at the Marriott Wardman Park for AAS 2018. As you recruit more members, your opportunity to win increases. The new member you recommend is also entered in the drawing. More information and the sweepstakes rules are at the AAS website.


We are now accepting applications for the AAS 2018 Dissertation Workshop, which will be on the theme of “Medicine, Science, and Technology in the Study of Asian Pasts and Presents.” This workshop will take place immediately before the 2018 annual conference in Washington, D.C. and is open to graduate students ranging from those who have just completed their dissertation proposals to those in the beginning stages of dissertation writing. Applications are due by January 8, 2018; more information and instructions for how to apply are at the AAS website.


We also invite applications for the inaugural run of the AAS Workshop on the Second Book, which will be held on March 22, 2018 at the Marriott Wardman Park before the 2018 annual conference begins. Mid-career association members who find themselves stalled on a second book project are urged to apply for this new opportunity; the submission deadline for applications is December 29, 2017.


The Marriott Wardman Park’s early bird hotel rate for AAS 2018 expires on December 31, 2017—or while supplies last. Book now to ensure that you’ll nab a room in the AAS conference block, as they’re going quickly!

Deceased Asianists

Arif Dirlik (1940-2017), historian of China. Memorial essay by Rebecca Karl via H-Asia.

Roger Fleming Hackett (1922-2017), lifetime member of the AAS, former editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, and Professor Emeritus of Japanese History at the University of Michigan. Memorial essay by Frank Joseph Shulman via H-Asia.