November 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

AAS Member David Fedman (University of California, Irvine) has received the 2019 Joel A. Tarr Envirotech Article Prize from the Society for the History of Technology’s Envirotech special interest group for his article, “The Ondol Problem and the Politics of Forest Conservation in Colonial Korea,” published in The Journal of Korean Studies.


Register now for #AAS2020 in Boston—all panel participants must register by Tuesday, November 12 to ensure that their names appear in the print program. This is also the pre-registration deadline for all students eligible for travel grants. We are once again pleased to offer a reduced GREEN registration rate; conference participants who select the “go-green” option save $10 on registration and do not receive a print program.

Housing for #AAS2020 is also open, with special conference rates available for conference attendees at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and the Boston Marriott Copley Hotel. Do not wait to make your hotel reservation—our block WILL sell out well in advance of the conference!

We invite filmmakers to submit their work for screening at the AAS 2020 Film Expo, which will be held in conjunction with the March 19-22 conference. We are now accepting online submissions. All Film Expo applications are due by November 15, 2019.


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.


The Southeast Conference of the AAS will hold its 2020 annual conference, hosted by New College of Florida, from January 17 to 19 and is now accepting paper and panel proposals. The CFP deadline has been extended to November 20.

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

Allison Busch (1969-2019), scholar of Hindi literature and Associate Professor at Columbia University. Memorial essay by Francesca Orsini at The Wire.

Rudolf G. Wagner (1941-2019), Sinologist and Senior Professor at the University of Heidelberg. Memorial essay by Barbara Mittler via MCLC.

In Memoriam

Leonard H. D. Gordon (1928-2019), Professor Emeritus of Chinese History at Purdue University, the author of several works on modern China and Taiwan, and a member of the Association for Asian Studies for fifty years, died in Tucson, Arizona, on October 17, 2019, at the age of 91.

Gordon was born in New York City on August 8, 1928. He developed an early interest in the humanities that led to his later career. In 1946, following graduation from De Witt Clinton High School in New York, he began studying journalism at Indiana University. He soon opted, however, to pursue a career in history instead with a focus on the modern diplomatic history of China. While an undergraduate at Indiana University, he met Marjorie J. Hunt of Elkhart, Indiana; they married in 1951.

After receiving his B.A. (1950) and M.A. (1953) degrees from Indiana University, Gordon entered the U.S. Army, where he continued to pursue his interest in East Asia by enrolling in the Chinese language program at the U.S. Army Language School in Monterey, California. Shortly after the Korean War, he served in Army Intelligence in Tokyo, Japan, where his first son, Herman, was born.

In 1956, immediately following his period of military service, Gordon began his doctoral studies in modern Chinese history at the University of Michigan. He soon received a grant to study Chinese at Yale University and Taiwan Normal University that enabled him to conduct research in Taipei (1958-59), followed by a Fulbright Grant to continue his research in Tokyo (1959-60).

Following the completion of his Ph.D. dissertation, “Formosa as an International Prize in the Nineteenth Century,” at Michigan in 1961, Gordon served as the East Asian Historian in the Historical Office of the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. (1961-63). Next, he accepted an appointment to the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where his second son, David, was born. Four years later, he joined the History faculty at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He was Purdue’s first specialist in the East Asian field and, as the school’s history and language programs developed, he became the first Chair of its Asian Studies Program. He retired in 1994 as Professor Emeritus of Chinese History after teaching at Purdue for twenty-seven years.

During his academic career, Gordon authored and/or edited six books in his field and published numerous journal articles and book reviews. His books included Taiwan: Studies in Chinese Local History (editor; Columbia University Press, 1970); History of Modern East Asia (United States Armed Forces Institute, 1970); Doctoral Dissertations on China: A Bibliography of Studies in Western Languages, 1945-1970 (compiled and edited with Frank J. Shulman; University of Washington Press, 1972); All Under Heaven: Sun Yat-sen and His Revolutionary Thought (co-authored with Sidney H. Chang; Hoover Institution Press, 1991); Bibliography of Sun Yat-sen in China’s Republican Revolution, 1885-1925 (compiled and edited with Sidney H. Chang; University Press of America, 1991); and Confrontation over Taiwan: Nineteenth-Century China and the Powers (Lexington Books, 2007). He contributed a number of articles about Taiwan to academic journals, among them the Journal of American History, Modern Asian Studies, and Pacific Historical Review. Gordon also served on the editorial staff of the Newsletter of the Association for Asian Studies, first as Editor for China (1966-68) and then as Editor-in-Chief (1968-71).

Gordon is survived by his son Herman, Associate Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Arizona Medical School, daughter-in-law Dr. Anne Pollack, granddaughter Jasmine and grandson Graham in Tucson, Arizona, and his son David, Professor of Asian History at Shepherd University, and daughter-in-law Xiaoqin Lu in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

—Submitted by Herman Gordon, David Gordon, and Frank Joseph Shulman

Hong-Kyu “H.K.” Park, 81, a retired college professor and a longtime Tyler, TX resident, passed away on April 9, 2019. A native of South Korea and a U.S. citizen, Dr. Park came to the U.S. in 1957 to attend college. He received his B.A. from Kentucky Wesleyan College, M.A. from the University of Tennessee, and Ph.D. from the University of North Texas (formerly North Texas State University). For 50 years, Dr. Park taught U.S. history and government at East Texas colleges, including Wiley College, Jarvis Christian College, Tyler Junior College, and Kilgore College. He retired from Kilgore College in 2015, after 22 years of service. Survivors include his wife Younghea “Anne” of 51 years, son Jason and daughter-in-law Emily of Chicago, two sisters and one brother in South Korea, and many additional relatives across the U.S. and South Korea.

—Submitted by the Park family

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).