2022: Demographics, Migration, and Transnational Flows
March 22-24, 2022 | Honolulu, HI

Deadline: January 5, 2022 by 11:59PM

The Association for Asian Studies and the Social Science Research Council, with support from the Henry Luce Foundation, are pleased to announce the jointly organized AAS-SSRC Dissertation Workshop. The workshop will be held in conjunction with the AAS annual conference in Honolulu, HI.

Asia, and Asian identities have traditionally been conceptualized in terms of relatively homogenous cultural linguistic regions, monarchies, spheres of influence, and more recently, bounded nation-states.  Yet while both Asian armies and colonial regimes have often redrawn borders, incorporating new populations or dividing older communities, in recent years once seemingly fixed social, cultural and political spaces and places are losing their edges. Internal migrations, and growing rural urban connections are undermining fixed ethnicities and identities.  International diasporas are challenging and intensifying prior understandings of citizenship and loyalty. Transnational organizations and corporations, along with the ideological, capital, technology, and labor flows they encourage are transforming the nature and conceptions of communities, borders, states, sovereignty, and human rights.  Aesthetic traditions are crossing cultural borders creating innovative hybrids, while novels, plays, art, dance, music and film are both exploring and expressing the personal and social implications of these moves. Once seemingly common sense boundaries are now losing their edges and becoming increasingly seen as contestable artifacts of particular contexts, or points in political time. 

This workshop is intended to bring together doctoral students, regardless of citizenship, in the humanities and social sciences who are (1) developing dissertation proposals or are in the early phases of research or dissertation writing; and who are (2) planning, conducting, or are in the early phases of writing up dissertation research. The workshop will be limited to 12 students, ideally from a broad array of disciplines and working on a wide variety of materials and in various regions of Asia. It also will include a small multidisciplinary and multi-area faculty with similar interests.

The workshop is tentatively scheduled to be held in person March 22-24, 2022, the days immediately preceding the 2022 AAS annual conference in Honolulu, HI. Those participants who are unable to attend in person may attend virtually. It will begin the morning of Tuesday, March 22 and continue for the next two and one-half days of intense discussion, and close with lunch on Thursday, March 24. Should a majority of participants be unable to attend in person, we will make arrangements for a fully virtual workshop. In such a case, the timing may change and will be coordinated with all participants.

The organizers will be able to provide financial support for participants including three nights accommodation, meals, and travel funds. It is hoped that participants also will attend the AAS annual conference immediately following the workshop. 

Applicants need not have advanced to candidacy but must have at least drafted a dissertation research proposal. Applications are also welcome from doctoral students in the early phases of writing their dissertations. Applicants do not have to be current AAS members to apply for the workshop, but if selected, must join or renew their membership to participate.

Applications must be submitted through the SSRC’s online application system no later than January 5, 2022 and will consist of a narrative description of the dissertation topic (ten double-spaced pages), short application form, and a current Curriculum Vitae.
Workshop participants will be selected on the basis of the submitted projects, the potential for useful exchanges among them, and a concern to include a wide range of disciplinary perspectives, intellectual traditions, and regions of Asia. Applicants will be informed whether or not they have been selected for the workshop by late January.
For further information about the workshop, or eligibility, please contact Justin McDaniel jmcdan@sas.upenn.edu. Questions concerning administrative matters or the application process should be directed to SSRC staff at asianstudies@ssrc.org. Faculty having related research interests who would be interested in serving as mentors for the workshop also should contact the organizers for details.