March 2018 AAS Member News & Notes

Congratulations to AAS Member Mitra Sharafi (University of Wisconsin-Madison), recipient of a Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS). Dr. Sharafi will spend the 2020-21 academic year in residence at the National Humanities Center working on her project, “Fear of the False: Forensic Science in Colonial India.”


The ACLS has also selected AAS Members Levi McLaughlin (North Carolina State University) and Tulasi Srinivas (Emerson College) as two of its Luce/ACLS Fellows in Religion, Journalism & International Affairs. Dr. McLaughlin will use the fellowship to continue his research project on “Religious Influences on Japanese Politics and Policymaking,” and Dr. Srinivas will explore “The Absent Goddess: Religion, Ecology and Violence in Urban India” during her fellowship term.


The Hamako Ito Chaplin Memorial Award is conferred yearly and administered through the Association for Asian Studies. In accordance with the wishes of the George Chaplin family, each year a prize of $1,000 is awarded to either a full-time instructor of Japanese at the college level or a current graduate student for excellence in Japanese language teaching. The selection committee is pleased to announce that this year we have two recipients. The award will be jointly conferred to Dr. Yumiko Tashiro (Visiting Assistant Professor, Kenyon College and Denison University) and Dr. Jae DiBello Takeuchi (Assistant Professor of Japanese, Clemson University).

Dr. Tashiro has demonstrated excellence in all aspects of teaching, collaborative projects, and departmental citizenship. Her efforts to build collaborations between institutions and disciplines are especially commendable. Dr. Takeuchi has clearly demonstrated that she is a highly effective teacher and leader in her Japanese program. She has been actively involved in leading a variety of student-centered projects with distinguished results in all three areas of teaching, research and service. After a thorough review of their works, the committee members feel confident that both recipients will make important contributions to the field of Japanese pedagogy.


The AAS has opened a search for its next Executive Director, who is expected to take up the position in early 2019. We request that all applicants submit their materials by April 25, 2018; full details are available here.


Three regional AAS conferences are currently accepting proposals for their 2018 meetings:

• The extended deadline for proposals to Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast is March 31; the conference will take place at Washington State University on June 8-10.

Submit a proposal to the New York Conference on Asian Studies by May 1 for its September 21-22 meeting at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

• The Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs will meet at Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN) on October 19-20 and has set a deadline of April 16 for paper and panel proposals.

AAS 2018 News & Notes

We are pleased to present the schedule for the AAS 2018 Film Expo, produced in partnership with Asian Educational Media Service. Twenty-six films will be screened during the conference weekend, with many followed by Q&As with the directors. If you can’t make a scheduled screening, there will be an on-demand screening room available; please speak with on-site Film Expo staff to arrange a time.

This year’s conference will feature a number of special events and roundtables. In addition to the keynote speech by Haejoang Cho and presidential address by Katherine Bowie, there will be four #AsiaNow roundtables covering topics in the news, as well as a professionalization panel for young scholars interested in learning about careers in public policy.

An art exhibition featuring the work of photographer Minzayar Oo and sculptor Svay Sareth, as well as the photo exhibit “From Kabul to Kolkata: Of Belongings, Memories, and Identity,” will be on view in Exhibit Hall B (adjacent to the Book Exhibit) on Friday, March 23 and Saturday, March 24 from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

Deceased Asianists

Saba Mahmood, anthropologist and professor at the Berkeley Pakistan Initiative; obituary via UC Berkeley.

Linda Penkower, historian who specialized in medieval Chinese and Japanese Buddhism; obituary via The Pitt News.

Mary Steedly, anthropologist of Indonesia; obituary via the Harvard Crimson.

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).