September 2019 AAS Member News & Notes

The Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) is pleased to announce that the Usha Mahajani Memorial Prize for 2019 has been awarded to Eri Kitada. The prize is a memorial to Professor Usha Mahajani, whose scholarship on Southeast Asia was brought to an abrupt end by her tragic death in 1978. Professor Mahajani, a native of India, received her Ph.D. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University. She was the author of Nationalism in the Philippines and The Role of Indian Minorities in Burma and Malaysia and numerous articles on Southeast Asian politics and international relations. At the time of her death she was professor of political science at Central Washington State University. The prize was established by a gift from her husband to the Association for Asian Studies, and SEASSI administers the competition for the prize on behalf of the Southeast Asia Council of AAS.

Eri Kitada completed her undergraduate degree at Hokkaido University in Humanities & Human Sciences, an MA at Tokyo University in Area Studies, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in History at Rutgers University, with an emphasis on the Philippines. At SEASSI, Eri was awarded the Mahajani Prize for her achievements as a language learner in first-year Filipino, for her contributions and commitments to the Filipino language program (in and out of class), and for her potential as a scholar of Southeast Asian Studies. She was selected from a group of eight other highly qualified nominees for the prize (out of 92 SEASSI participants) by a prize committee headed by SEASSI Language Director Dr. Ellen Rafferty. Congratulations, Eri!


The AAS is pleased to join more than forty other scholarly associations in signing a statement prepared by the American Historical Association on domestic terrorism, bigotry, and history.


The Call for Proposals for AAS-in-Asia 2020, which will be held in collaboration with the Chinese University of Hong Kong on June 22-24, is now open. Only organized panels and roundtables may be submitted for this conference—no individual papers will be considered. The deadline for submission of all proposals and travel subsidy requests is Thursday, October 31 at 5:00 pm Eastern Time.


There are two AAS Book Prizes still accepting entries for the 2019 competition period: the A.K. Ramanujan Prize for translations from South Asian languages into English (deadline October 1) and the Franklin R. Buchanan Prize for curricular materials (deadline November 1).


The AAS Northeast Asia Council invites applications to its Japan Studies and Korean Studies grant competitions. Both have a firm deadline of 5:00pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, October 1. Grants are available for a range of projects, including short-term research travel and the organization of small conferences and workshops.


Please take the time to vote in the Fall 2019 AAS elections. The list of candidates is available at #AsiaNow; all current AAS members should have received an email with their voting credentials and a link to the electronic ballot. If you encounter any difficulties in accessing the ballot, please contact Membership Manager Doreen Ilozor for assistance.


Six of the nine AAS Regional Conferences will hold their annual meetings between now and early November. See our Regional Conferences page for links to each conference’s website, where you’ll find information about their programs and how to register.

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 is October 31.

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

Aaron Stephen Moore (1972–2019), historian of Japan at Arizona State University. Read Jim Rush’s in memoriam essay at the ASU website.

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).