UK Well-Represented at Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference

By Lindsey Piercy

Several University of Kentucky faculty members within the College of Arts and Sciences presented research at the Association for Asian Studies annual conference last weekend.

The four-day event, in Washington, D.C., brought together scholars, professors, researchers and authors from around the world to present research and discuss topics devoted to the study of Asia.

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is the largest Asian Studies conference held in North America. More than 3,000 people attended this year, including UK faculty:

  • Srimati Basu, professor of gender and women's studies;
  • Masamichi Inoue, associate professor of Japan studies;
  • Donna Lee Kwon, associate professor of music in the College of Fine Arts;
  • Liang Luo, associate professor of Chinese studies;
  • Emily Mokros, assistant professor of history;
  • Doug Slaymaker, professor of Japan studies;
  • Akiko Takenaka, associate professor of history;
  • Keiko Tanaka, professor of sociology;
  • Matt Wells, associate professor of Chinese studies; and 
  • Charlie Zhang, assistant professor of gender and women's studies.

This is one of the largest UK faculty contingents to present at the conference. For the last 10 years, the university has also made a concerted effort to attract faculty working in the area of Asian studies.

"As a result, we have had two series in the A&S (College of Arts and Sciences) Passport to the World dedicated to Asia (The Year of China and The Year of South Asia) that were spearheaded by faculty," said Jeanmarie Rouhier-Willoughby, chair of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Literatures and Cultures "The Passport year opens the door to other countries for those on our campus. It is essential for students to explore and understand the cultures and languages of Asia in the global context, particularly in light of the investment by Asian countries and the importance of trade with them in the state."

The conference offered 450 panel sessions, a book exhibition of 90 exhibitors from major publishing houses, a film expo and professional networking opportunities.

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