Luce Foundation Awards Association for Asian Studies $60,000 in Support of Global Asias Initiatives

The Association for Asian Studies is pleased to announce that we have received a $60,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to support valuable programming and create content relevant to a new initiative in Asian Studies. The funded project, “TOWARD GLOBAL ASIAS: Bridging Asian and Asian American Studies and Exploring Afro-Asian Affinities,” represents tangible efforts to build solid connections between Asian Studies and Asian American Studies. In addition, the proposed projects demonstrate an effort to building a more responsibly diverse constituency in the study of Asia-linked identities. The proposed collaborations and exchanges will provide a medium through which AAS can work more closely with scholars engaged in studies of race and diasporic affiliations.

Among the initiatives funded by this Luce grant is a series of panels, roundtables, and meetings devoted to building a bridge between Asian and Asian American Studies. While the two fields of study have been marginally connected in the past, this project will bring them into direct conversation through a focus on Global Asias. In particular, the project will weave the work of AAS and the field of Asian American Studies with the path-breaking publication, Verge: Studies in Global Asias. Verge is an award-winning journal focused on connecting the many threads of Asian Studies, Asian American Studies, and Asian Diaspora Studies. Collaborations between Verge and AAS will also include cyber chats, publications, and partnerships with other institutions dedicated to the study of Global Asias.

This generous funding from Luce will facilitate active research on and discussion of race, inequality, and the need for increased diversity in Asian Studies. Recent world events have caused Asian Studies scholars, among many others, to reconsider what kinds of work we do and why we do it. These events have forced us to face the realities of systemic inequities and to search for way we can contribute to a more equitable world through what we do best: research, writing, and outreach. Support from Luce will enable the Association for Asian Studies to bring together scholars for discussions on race in Asian Studies. The aim of such discussion is to take a proactive approach in supporting and mentoring Black students of Asia as well as Black scholars and researchers in the field of Asian Studies. These dialogues will, as well, open the floor to discussions of race in Asian Studies and lead to invigorating and sustainable developments in pedagogy, curriculum, and publications.

The key to inspiring change in academic perspectives and approaches is to work together across perceived disciplinary and area studies divides. Luce’s backing of collaborations between AAS and Asian American Studies is a historic one that will strengthen the impacts of our respective work on identities, movements, and relationships in the global 21st century. The Association for Asian Studies is very appreciative of the continued generosity of the Luce Foundation. We have begun work on the projects funded by Luce and we look forward to engaging the membership in Global Asian Studies in a meaningful and impactful way thanks to this support.