May 2017 AAS Member News & Notes

Jan Bardsley (University of North Carolina) speaks at the State University of New York, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), in mid-March. Professor Bardsley visited FIT under the auspices of the AAS Northeast Asia Council’s Distinguished Speakers Bureau; see below for more information about this program.

Congratulations to AAS Member Ulug Kuzuoglu, PhD candidate in history at Columbia University, who has received an ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship for his project, “Overcome by Information: Psychogrammatology and Technopolitics of Script Invention in China, 1892-1986.”


The Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies has announced its awards for the 2017-2018 academic year, in four categories. We’re thrilled to see so many AAS Members receive recognition for their work:

Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants

Thomas Chan (University of California, San Diego), “Bottoms-Up History: Maoism, Maotai, and the Building of the Chinese Nation, 1949-1976”

Xiang Chi (University of California, Los Angeles), “Sovereignty, War, and Natural Resource: Northeast China’s Economic Development (1901-1937)”

Kyuhyun Han (University of California, Santa Cruz), “Seeing the Forest Like a State: Forest Management, Wildlife Conservation, and Center-Periphery Relations in Northeast China, 1949-1965”

Yupeng Jiao (University of California, San Diego), “Self-Governance Confronts Communism: Popular Religious Sects, Secret Societies, and the Reorganization of Rural Society in the Early People’s Republic of China”

Anh S. Le (Michigan State University), “Traversing the Nanyang: Merchant Enclaves, Chinese Junk Networks, and the Making of the Colonial Capitalism in French Cochinchina (1860-1940)”

Matthew Lowenstein (University of Chicago), “The People’s Bank: A Social History of Banking and Money in Mao’s China”

Qichen (Barton) Qian (Columbia University), “Benign Bellicosity: Tibetan Military History in the Eighteenth Century”

Hope Reidun St. John (University of Washington), “Designing China: Architecture, Architectural Photography and the Imagination of the Chinese City”

Yinyin Xue (University of Wisconsin, Madison), “Not a Utopia: Science Fiction, Transmedia Storytelling, and Imagined Socialism in Cold War China”

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Shaohua Guo (Carleton College), “Liberalization of Cultural Space: Progressive Trends in China’s Digital Public”

Kelly Anne Hammond (University of Arkansas), “China’s Muslims and Japan’s Empire”

Tzu-hui Celina Hung (New York University), “Staging Original and New Residents: Settler Colonial Imagination in ‘Multicultural’ Taiwan”

Travis Klingberg (Ludwig Maximilians Universität), “Exploring Place: Domestic Tourism and the Politics of Geographic Knowledge in Post-reform China”

Yajun Mo (Boston College), “From Shanghai to Shangri-La: Zhuang Xueben and China’s Ethnographic Frontier”

Margaret Mih Tillman (Purdue University), “Tested: Cultivating Talent and China’s Standardized Exams, 1905-1977”

Guojun Wang (Vanderbilt University), “Unstageable World: Costuming and Personhood in Early Qing Drama”

Luman Wang (Virginia Military Institute), “Inland Family Banking from Empire to Nation-State: Unusual Histories of Shanxi Piaohao, 1820-1930”

Bin Xu (Emory University), “Unequal Memories: Class and Memories of China’s ‘Educated Youth’ Generation”

Collaborative Reading-Workshop Grants

Ding Xiang Warner (Cornell University), “Echoes of the Lanting ji

Matthew William King (University of California, Riverside), “Genealogies of Knowledge: Reading Gsan yig/Thob yig Literature from the Tibetan Frontiers of Late Imperial China”

Shuang Shen (Pennsylvania State University), “Reading for Pleasure: Chinese Popular Literature and the Cold War”

Comparative Perspectives on Chinese Culture and Society Grants

Joel Andreas (Johns Hopkins University), “Land Dispossession in Rural China and India”

Thomas S. Mullaney (Stanford University), “Digital Humanities Asia: Harnessing Digital Technologies to Advance the Study of China and the Non-Western World”

Albert Welter (University of Arizona), “Creating the World of Chan/Son/Zen: Chinese Chan Buddhism and its Spread throughout East Asia”


The AAS is pleased to award first book subventions to the following four members of the association:

Michitake Aso (State University of New York, Albany), “Rubber Nation: Ecology, Health, and Labor in the Making of Vietnam, 1897-1975,” to be published by UNC Press.

Yun Xia (Valparaiso University), “Down with Traitors: Politics, Law, and Chinese Nationalism in the 1930s -1950s,” to be published by the University of Washington Press.

Luke Habberstad (University of Oregon), “Writing the Imperial Court in Early China: Ritual, Space, Offices,” to be published by the University of Washington Press.

Myungji Yang (University of Hawai’i, Manoa), “From Miracle to Mirage: The Making and Unmaking of the Korean Middle Class, 1960–2010,” to be published by Cornell University Press.

The next deadline in our First Book Subvention Grant program is September 1; read more about the program and how to apply at the AAS website.


Congratulations to all who have received small grants from the AAS for research travel, translation work, and the organization of conferences/seminars. See each area council’s webpage for lists of grantees: China & Inner Asia Council, Northeast Asia Council (Japan), Northeast Asia Council (Korea), Council of Conferences.


Photos from our annual conference in Toronto have all arrived and are available for viewing at our Flickr and Facebook albums.


Are you interested in bringing a senior scholar to your campus to speak about Japan or Korea? Consider applying for support from our Northeast Asia Council’s Distinguished Speakers Bureau. Twelve renowned experts on the history, politics, and culture of Japan and Korea are available to visit schools, where they will deliver a public lecture and speak with faculty and students (preference is given to institutions without well-established programs in East Asian Studies). Thanks to generous support from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission and Korea Foundation, the AAS is able to provide travel funds and the speaker’s honorarium, while the host institution is responsible for all local expenses incurred. A limit has been set on the amount of DSB grant budget funds available to award in each six-month calendar year period (beginning January 1 and July 1), during which applications are accepted on a rolling basis; when funds expire for each six-month budgetary period, no further applications will be considered until the next budget period.

Deceased Asianists

Denis Gainty (1970-2017), Associate Professor of History at Georgia State University. Obituary via Georgia State University.

John Forman Howes (1924-2017), Professor Emeritus of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. Obituary via UBC Asian Studies Department.

John Holmes Miller (1941-2017), historian of Japan and Foreign Service Officer. Obituary via Washington Post.  

Richard Solomon (1937-2017), political scientist of China, diplomat, and former president of the United States Institute of Peace. Obituary via Washington Post.

Burton Watson (1925-2017), scholar and translator of Chinese and Japanese literature. Obituary via The New York Times; remembrances from colleagues collected at “Notes on the Mosquito” blog.

As a way to honor the late Professor Robert J. Smith, anthropologist, scholar of Japanese life, and former AAS President, the Asian Educational Media Service is offering free streaming video of two programs that feature him. Both are 30 minutes long, and were recorded in the 1990s. In “The Language of My Teachers,” he talks about his research and teaching. In “Ella’s Journal,” he talks with Ella Wiswell about her 1936 fieldwork in Suye Mura and about their co-authored book, The Women of Suye Mura. Both programs include many archive photos.

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).