Sumie Jones Prize for Project Leadership in Japan-centered Humanities

The Association for Asian Studies and the Northeast Asia Council (NEAC) are grateful to Sumie Jones, Professor Emerita at Indiana University and an AAS member for more than 45 years, for providing the resources, leadership, and inspiration for the establishment of the Sumie Jones Prize for Project Leadership in Japan-centered Humanities.

The mission of the prize is to recognize and honor scholars who work collaboratively with others to promote impactful projects in the Japanese humanities in the U.S.. Humanities projects eligible for the prize include the following kinds of collaborative work:

  • Edited volumes of scholarship on the humanities including anthologies
  • International conferences on any topic in the Japan-centered humanities
  • Art exhibits, typically organized by a curator
  • Musical or theatrical performances; for example, bringing English-speaking kabuki to audiences across the United States. (This would exclude something like bringing a single Japanese performer for a concert tour.)

AAS hopes to award the prize every year, and a call for nominations will be issued in spring 2023. Nomination should come from a departmental chair, a research center director, a museum director, a publisher’s editor, a public foundation’s advising staff, or some other person in the position of supervising and supporting the project. Projects need to have been completed in the U.S. within the two years prior to the nomination date.

NEAC will award a prize in the amount of $3,000 to the director(s) of the project; a project director could be the editor of a collaborative book by multiple authors, a lead curator of a museum exhibit, a director of a theatrical production, etc. There may not be an award every year, but two full prizes in two different categories—for example, a book project and an art exhibition—may be given during the same year. Up to two persons can be awarded as directors of a project, in which case the award to each individual would be $1,500. Directors of respective projects should be responsible for the selection, mobilization, coordination, and management of the work of multiple participants.

Projects that consist only, or mainly, as standalone websites are not eligible at this time. The prize recognizes collaborations between scholars and artists with a broad reach.

Information about nominating prizes for consideration in the 2024 competition will be posted at the AAS website following the 2023 Annual Conference.