June 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

The Vietnam Studies Group 2020 Graduate Paper Prize Competition

The Vietnam Studies Group (VSG) is pleased to announce that it is accepting submissions for its annual graduate student paper prize competition. The competition encourages the direct involvement of graduate students in the growth of Vietnamese studies and supports their professional development. The competition is open to full- and part-time graduate students, regardless of their disciplinary specialization. Preference will be given to sole-authored papers based on original field, archival, and/or statistical research. However, thematic reviews that critically synthesize existing literature on a particular topic related to Vietnamese studies will also be considered.

The winner will receive a $500 prize and a one year subscription to the Journal of Vietnamese Studies. If the winner agrees to pick up their award in person at the VSG annual meeting during the AAS Annual Meeting (March 19-22 in Boston), then the winner will also receive a $200 travel prize. In addition, they will receive a free year-long membership in VSG, as will the honorable mention, if the sub-committee designates one. The winner(s) will be notified in early Fall 2019.

Papers may be written in English or Vietnamese. Submissions will be reviewed by a VSG sub-committee, which will evaluate the entries on the basis of their scholarly merit, theoretical and/or methodological originality, clarity, and style. Papers should also have implications that transcend their disciplinary boundaries to reach a broader academic audience.

Submissions are due by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) Friday, July 19, 2019, to Mitch Aso, maso@albany.edu. The committee regrets that late submissions will not be considered. In the email please attach (1) a PDF of the conference paper and (2) a letter of good standing from the applicant’s graduate department.

Additionally, it is a requirement that all submissions come from current (dues-paying) VSG members. The AAS secure online payment link is http://www.asian-studies.org/About/Committee-Payment-Donations. People can make donations of any size; the recommended donation for student participants in VSG is $10. The donor will be provided an online receipt. VSG is a “study group” of the Association for Asian Studies, and its primary mission is to foster greater participation among Vietnam specialists in AAS and at the annual meeting. Thus eligibility for VSG prizes also requires membership in AAS. Students interested in joining AAS can learn more at http://www.asian-studies.org/Membership/Dues. The student rate is $40 and is renewed annually on the date of joining. For those new to AAS, we hope to encourage greater familiarity with the professional scholarly organization to support scholarship and advance academic careers.  

It is strongly desired, but not required, that students who have submitted a paper for consideration attend both the VSG meeting and the AAS conference. Graduate students are eligible for additional AAS travel stipends and reduced conference fees.


We are pleased to launch the AAS Internship Program (AASIP) for graduate students located near the AAS Secretariat in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We offer paid internships for students seeking to utilize their research and writing skills in supporting our educational and digital media initiatives. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis; more information and instructions for preparing an application are available at the link above.


All AAS Book Prize competitions are currently accepting submissions. Please consult the individual prize competition pages for specific rules and instructions for submission. Note that different competitions have different deadlines, with the earliest falling on June 30.


Congratulations to AAS Member Joshua Eisenman (University of Texas, Austin), who was awarded one of 13 Robert J. Myers Fellows Fund grants by the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. Eisenman has received the grant to work on a project entitled “Ethical Questions around China’s Political and Military Objectives in Africa.”


The American Council of Learned Societies has announced the 2019 awardees for its program in China Studies. AAS Members among those who have received grants are the following:

Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies: Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants

Harlan David Chambers (Columbia University), “In Search of the Commune: China’s Cultural Experiments for a New Society (1947 to 1962)”

Yujie Li (University of Chicago), “Wheels and Sweat: Bicycles, Wheelbarrows, and Horse-Drawn Carts in the Everyday Life of Socialist China, 1949 to 1976”

Tiantian Liu (Johns Hopkins University), “Seeing like the States: Chinese Rural Reform from Above and Below”

Mátyás Mervay (New York University), “Post-Habsburg Central European Diasporas in China 1915 to 1931”

Fabian Humberto Toro (University of California, San Diego), “Landscape Management and Subsistence Strategies of the Proto-Silk Road”

Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies: Postdoctoral Fellowships

Wesley Byron Chaney (Bates College), “Stolen Land, Broken Bodies: Law, Environment, and Violence in Northwest China”

Luke Habberstad (University of Oregon), “Water Control and Political Culture in Early Imperial China”

Peter Lavelle (Temple University), “Unbounded Fields: Agricultural Science at the End of the Qing Empire”

Peter Dewitt Thilly (University of Mississippi), “Opium and Capitalism on the Chinese Maritime Frontier”

Ling Zhang (State University of New York, College at Purchase), “Sounding Screen Ambiance: Acoustic Culture and Transmediality in 1920s-1940s Chinese Cinema”

Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies: Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants

Uffe Bergeton (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), “‘How Can We Talk about the Ritual of Yin?’ Warring States Perceptions of Shang Civilization in the Light of the Tsinghua Manuscripts”

Brandon Dotson (Georgetown University), Zhao Lu (non-member, New York University Shanghai), and Constance A. Cook (Lehigh University), “Chinese Divination Traditions in Conversation: ‘Maheśvara’s Divination Explanations’ (Moxishouluo bu) in Chinese and Transcultural Contexts”

JM Chris Chang (Columbia University) and Yanjie Huang (Columbia University), “Revolutionary Routine: Grassroots Sources on Work, Family, and Private Life in Maoist China”

Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society

Ching Kwan Lee (University of California, Los Angeles), “Global China in Comparative Perspectives”

Haun Saussy (University of Chicago), “Literary Culture Across Eurasia: China and Beyond”

Ariel Fox (University of Chicago), Richard Payne (non-member, University of Chicago), and Pénélope Riboud (Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales, France), “Silk Road Imaginaries”

Judd Creighton Kinzley (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “Uneasy Allies: Sino-American Relations at the Grassroots, 1941 to 1949”

The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Program in Buddhist Studies

Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia (University of Southern California), “Blessings from the Valley of Abundance: An Environmental History of Sikkimese Buddhism” (research fellowship)

Rebecca Bloom (University of Michigan), “Pictures to Live By: An Iconography of the Tibetan Buddhist Monastic Code” (dissertation fellowship)

Anne R. Hansen (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “When Religion Ends: Buddhist Prophetic Temporality in Cold War Southeast Asia” (research fellowship)

Piphal Heng (University of Hawaii-Manoa), “Theravada Buddhism, Political Economy, and Organizational Change in Post-Angkorian Cambodia” (postdoctoral fellowship)

Rebecca Mendelson (Duke University), “Democratizing Zen: Reform and Innovation in Modern Japanese Rinzai (1868 to 1945)” (dissertation fellowship)


Louis Lu has been named one of 23 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellows for 2019 by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. Louis is a Ph.D. candidate in History at Harvard University; his dissertation, titled “The Dustbin of History: Archival Politics in Modern China,” chronicles the history of archives in twentieth-century China.


AAS Member Rana Mitter (University of Oxford) has been appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to education.


Many of our AAS-affiliated regional conferences are preparing for their fall 2019 meetings. The following have issued calls for proposals:

Western Conference on Asian Studies: Conference hosted by El Colegio de México, October 18-19. Deadline for proposals June 28.

Southwest Conference on Asian Studies: Conference hosted by St. Edward’s University, October 18-19. Deadline for proposals June 30.

New England Conference of the AAS: Conference hosted by Dartmouth College, November 1-2, 2019. Deadline for proposals July 15.

Southeast Conference of the AAS: Conference hosted by New College of Florida, January 17-19, 2020. Deadline for proposals October 31.

We welcome submissions for the AAS Member News & Notes column, so please forward material for consideration to mcunningham@asian-studies.org. 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).