AAS-in-Asia: The Future of Academic Conferences

Saturday, July 7
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Magnolia, Lower Ground Floor

The AAS-in-Asia conferences began as an experiment four years ago, with earlier conferences held in Singapore, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Due to the decision of the Government of India to bar Pakistani scholars, AAS has come under criticism for its decision not to cancel the AAS-in-Asia conference in Delhi. Should the AAS-in-Asia experiment continue, given the difficulties of finding venues in countries free of political complications? Roundtable speakers will highlight different aspects of the complicated political circumstances in which academic conferences on Asia are being organized, both across Asian countries and globally. Issues to be considered will range from how academic gatherings can help support academic freedom and buttress civil society under military regimes to how new venues might be found via teleconferencing and ships in international waters. The floor will then be open for discussion.

Katherine A. Bowie

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Katherine Bowie is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a BA with Distinction from Stanford University and her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. She has conducted extended fieldwork in Thailand, with primary interests in historical anthropology, political anthropology, gender and Theravada Buddhism. She has served as Eisenhower Fellow to Thailand, Fulbright Scholar, President of the Midwest Conference of Asian Affairs (MCAA), and multiple years on the organizing committees for the Council of Thai Studies (COTS). She twice served as Director of UW-Madison’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies, receiving an International Institute Outstanding Service Award in 2009. Her publications include Rituals of National Loyalty: An Anthropology of the State and the Village Scout Movement in Thailand (Columbia University Press, 1997); Voices from the Thai Countryside: The Necklace and Other Short Stories of Samruam Singh (University of Wisconsin Southeast Asia Series, 1998), and her most recent book, Of Beggars and Buddhas: The Politics of Humor in the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand (University of Wisconsin Press, 2017). Her articles have appeared in such journals as American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. She is currently conducting research on Thailand’s famous northern monk, Kruba Srivichai, about whom she has recently published in the Journal of Asian Studies (2014).

Presentation(s):

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Emma J. Teng

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Emma J Teng is the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations, and Head of Global Studies and Languages at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Earning her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, she specialized in Chinese studies and Asian American studies. A recipient of multiple awards, she has served as the Director of the MIT Program in Women's and Gender Studies, on the AAS Board of Directors,  Chair of the China and Inner Asia Council of AAS, as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Asian Studies, and on the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Harvard-Yenching Institute

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Engseng Ho

National University of Singapore, Singapore

Engseng Ho is Director of the Middle East Institute, and Muhammad Alagil Distinguished Visiting Professor of Arabia Asia Studies at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. At Duke University, he is Professor of Anthropology and Professor of History. He is a scholar of transnational anthropology, history and Muslim societies, Arab diasporas, and the Indian Ocean. His research expertise is in Arabia, coastal South Asia and maritime Southeast Asia, and he maintains active collaborations with scholars in these regions. He serves on numerous editorial boards and is co-editor of the Asian Connections book series at Cambridge University Press. He was educated at the Penang Free School, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago.

Presentation(s):

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Anusorn Unno

Thammasat University

Anusorn Unno is currently the dean of Faculty of Sociology and Anthropology, Thammasat University. He obtained a PhD in anthropology from the University of Washington. His research interest ranges from Malay Muslims in Thailand’s southernmost region to Thai politics and social movements in Thailand. In addition to academic work, he is the coordinator of Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights and chair of the program committee for next year’s AAS-in-Asia, to be held in Bangkok, Thailand.

Presentation(s):

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Amita Baviskar

Institute of Economic Growth

Amita Baviskar is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi. Her research focuses on the cultural politics of environment and development in rural and urban India. Her publications explore the themes of resource rights, popular resistance and discourses of environmentalism. She has taught at the University of Delhi, and has been a visiting scholar at Stanford, Cornell, Yale, SciencesPo and the University of California at Berkeley. She was awarded the 2005 Malcolm Adiseshiah Award for Distinguished Contributions to Development Studies, the 2008 VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research, and the 2010 Infosys Prize for Social Sciences.

Presentation(s):

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Dilip Menon

University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

Dilip M Menon is the Mellon Chair of Indian Studies and the Director of the Centre for Indian Studies in Africa at the University of Witwatersrand. He was educated at the Universities of Delhi, Oxford and Cambridge and got his PhD degree from Cambridge. He is a translator from the Malayalam and writes on film, theatre and literature. His research for the past decade has engaged with issues of caste, socialism and equality in modern India.

Presentation(s):

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Katherine A. Bowie

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Katherine Bowie is the Vilas Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a BA with Distinction from Stanford University and her MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. She has conducted extended fieldwork in Thailand, with primary interests in historical anthropology, political anthropology, gender and Theravada Buddhism. She has served as Eisenhower Fellow to Thailand, Fulbright Scholar, President of the Midwest Conference of Asian Affairs (MCAA), and multiple years on the organizing committees for the Council of Thai Studies (COTS). She twice served as Director of UW-Madison’s Center for Southeast Asian Studies, receiving an International Institute Outstanding Service Award in 2009. Her publications include Rituals of National Loyalty: An Anthropology of the State and the Village Scout Movement in Thailand (Columbia University Press, 1997); Voices from the Thai Countryside: The Necklace and Other Short Stories of Samruam Singh (University of Wisconsin Southeast Asia Series, 1998), and her most recent book, Of Beggars and Buddhas: The Politics of Humor in the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand (University of Wisconsin Press, 2017). Her articles have appeared in such journals as American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, and Comparative Studies in Society and History. She is currently conducting research on Thailand’s famous northern monk, Kruba Srivichai, about whom she has recently published in the Journal of Asian Studies (2014).

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Katherine Bowie


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