December 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to AAS Past President Anne Feldhaus, who recently retired from Arizona State University after teaching there for 38 years. Feldhaus is a religious studies scholar who focuses on Maharashtra, India; her AAS Presidential Address, “Biography as Geography,” has just been published in the November issue of the Journal of Asian Studies.


AAS Members are invited to apply to the Small Grants programs offered by our Northeast Asia Council and China & Inner Asia Council; the deadline is February 1 at 5:00pm Eastern Time. Grant funds are available to support activities such as short-term research, conference/workshop organization, and the development of specialist newsletters/websites. Please see the relevant grant pages for complete information about eligible projects and how to apply.


We are also seeking applications for the spring round of AAS First Book Subvention Grants. All applications must come from a publisher on behalf of the AAS Member author, and we now require two reader report summaries (up to 300 words each) as part of the application package. The deadline for submission is March 1; more information can be found at the link above.


Two opportunities for graduate students:

Apply by January 6 for the 2020 AAS-SSRC Dissertation Workshop, which 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.

Students presenting at the conference should check out the requirements for our graduate student paper prizes. Each Area Council will select outstanding work presented in Boston and honor the author(s) at our 2021 conference in Seattle. All paper prize submissions are due on Sunday, March 22—the final day of AAS 2020. Requirements for submissions vary by council, so please make sure to consult the instructions for your prize competition.


Nominate yourself or a colleague for the 2020 Hamako Ito Chaplin Memorial Award for Excellence in Japanese Language Teaching. This annual prize honors an outstanding graduate student or instructor teaching Japanese at the college level and carries with it a $1,000 award. All nomination materials are due to Selection Committee Chair Priya Ananth by January 31, 2020.

Regional Conferences

The Southeast Conference of the AAS will hold its annual meeting January 17-19, 2020 at New College of Florida in Sarasota.

Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast has opened the call for proposals for its June 2020 conference at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, which will feature the theme “Asia: Our Global Future.” The early submission deadline (intended primarily for international travelers who will require a letter of invitation) is December 31, 2019; the regular submission deadline is February 29, 2020.

Deceased Asianists

Mae J. Smethurst (1935-2019), scholar of noh drama and comparative theater, professor emerita at the University of Pittsburgh. Obituary by Martha Chaiklin via H-Asia.

Walter Spink (1928-2019), scholar of South Asian art and architecture and Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at the University of Michigan. Obituary via the UM Center for South Asian Studies.

We welcome submissions for the AAS Member News & Notes column, so please forward material for consideration to Please note that we do not publish book announcements in this space; new books by AAS Members will be announced on the association’s Twitter feed (@AASAsianStudies) and Facebook page (@AASAsianStudies).