Schedule at a Glance

Full Conference Program

Conference Highlights

Panels by Area

Special Events and Panels

AAS Film Expo

Meetings in Conjunction



Special Events

Special Events at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference March 27-30, 2014
at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA


A Keynote Address by Wendy Doniger, Author and Professor

Title: "Academic Freedom and Censorship: Publishing Controversial Books in India"

Thursday evening, 6pm, March 27 in the Grand Ballroom, Salon E, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel.
This event is open to the public

Wendy Doniger [O'Flaherty], Ph. D. Harvard University, D. Phil. Oxford University, the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago, is a past president of both the Association of Asian Studies and the American Academy of Religion. She is the author of over thirty books, including translations of Sanskrit texts (the Rig Veda, the Laws of Manu, the Kamasutra) and studies of Hinduism and of cross-cultural mythology. Her two most recent books, The Hindus: An Alternative History (Penguin Books, 2009; Penguin India, 2010) and On Hinduism (Aleph Books, 2013; Oxford University Press, 2014) have set off a heated controversy about censorship and blasphemy in India, with repercussions in the wider world of writers and publishers.

Due to a scheduling conflict the previously scheduled keynoter, Dr. Lung Yingtai has cancelled her appearance.

A Keynote Address by Pankaj Mishra, Author and Commentator

Saturday evening, 7:15 pm, March 29 in the Grand Ballroom, Salon E, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel. The event is open to the public.

Pankaj Mishra is a prolific and versatile author, who regularly contributes literary and political essays to leading periodicals, including the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, The Guardian, the New Yorker, Bloomberg View, and various Indian publications. His first books were the travelogue Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India (1995) and the novel The Romantics (2000), which won the Los Angles Times' Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction. His more recent books include An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World (2004) and Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond, both of which were featured in the New York Times' 100 Best Books of the Year. His From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia (2012) won the 2014 Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding and was shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber prize in Canada, the Orwell Prize in the U.K, and the Asia Society Bernard Schwartz Book Award in the United States. His latest book is A Great Clamour: Encounters with China and its Neighbours (2013).

Pankaj Mishra's keynote is made possible by a generous grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Asia Behind the Headlines Panels

Pollution and Sustainability

Friday, March 28, 10:45 am-12:45 pm in the Grand Ballroom, Salon H, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel

  • Jeff Wassertrom, Moderator, Editor of the Journal of Asian Studies
  • Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, contributor to the New York Review of Books, New Yorker, and New York Times, and author of Wild Grass: Three Stories of Change in Modern China.
  • Kaiser Kuo, Director of International Communications, Baidu, Beijing, and host of Sinica Podcast.
  • Isabel Hilton, journalist and founding editor of ChinaDialogue, a bilingual publication devoted to environmental issues.
  • Christina Larson, Contributing Asia, Correspondent, Science Magazine and China Correspondent, Bloomberg Business Week

This panel is made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation and the Rubin Foundation

Media Coverage of Territorial Disputes

Saturday, March 29, 8:30 am-10:30 am in the Grand Ballroom, Salon H, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel

  • Alexis Dudden, Moderator, Professor of Japanese History, University of Connecticut
  • Pankaj Mishra, Author, commentator, and one of the annual meeting's keynote speakers
  • David Pilling, Asia Editor, The Financial Times, and author of Bending Adversity: Japan and the Art of Survival (2014)
  • Helen Gao, freelance writer based in Beijing whose work has appeared in The Atlantic, the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Policy
  • Sheila Smith, Senior Fellow for Japan Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
  • Yoichi Kato, National Security Correspondent of The Asahi Shimbun

This panel is made possible by generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Japan-US Friendship Commission


Highlighting Asian Archaeology at the AAS Annual Conference

Saturday evening, March 29, 5-7 pm, in the Grand Ballroom, Salon H, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel). The event is open to the public.

Dr. Michael Gilligan, president of the Henry Luce Foundation, and Dr. Pauline Yu, president of the American Council of Learned Societies, will introduce the evening's program and describe the Luce/ACLS Initiative on East and Southeast Asian Archaeology and Early History which, among many other projects, provided support for the Penn Museum's collaborative research project Investigating Prehistoric Settlement of the Middle Mekong Basin, directed by Dr. Joyce White.

Dr. Joyce C. White, Director of the Ban Chiang Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, will speak on "Hot Pots, Museum Raids, and the Race to Uncover Asia's Archaeological Past," a presentation and conversation about the prospects for and threats to the region's deep culture heritage. After outlining some trends in Asian archaeological research, Dr. White will give a behind-the-scenes look at recent archaeology in Laos, as well as recent investigations by the US Justice Department into the smuggling of looted antiquities from Southeast Asia, one of the largest legal cases of this kind to date.

Dr. White's talk will be followed by a conversation with Dr. Thongchai Winichakul, in which the AAS President will discuss Dr. White's talk from the perspective of a non-archaeologist, highlighting the importance of archaeology for scholars who study modern Asia from many disciplines. This dialogue will be followed by a Q&A/conversation with the audience.

One important goal of this event is to familiarize people from a wide range of backgrounds with the important archaeological work going on now in Asia and the growing threats of site destruction in its many dimensions: everyone loses when archaeological evidence is destroyed. The formal presentation will be followed by a reception affording an opportunity for the discussion to continue informally.

Sponsored by the Henry Luce Foundation and the American Council of Learned Societies


The Impact of Title VI Cuts on Asian Studies in Higher Education: Strategies to Maintain US Capacity to Engage with Asia

Saturday morning, March 29, 10:45am to 12:45pm in the Grand Ballroom, Salon H, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown Hotel

This special roundtable brings together speakers with a variety of viewpoints on the impact of Title VI cuts. The upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act slated for spring, 2014 provides an important opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of Title VI and related programs that support international and foreign language education. It is hoped that a discussion of the challenges faced by university centers affected by Title VI cutbacks—as well as possible solutions—will lead to strategies to preserve or increase funding for international education.

Siddharth Chandra, Organizer. Professor, Director, Asian Studies Center, Michigan State University

Roundtable Participants:

  • Theodore Bestor, Discussant. Professor, Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University
  • Katherine Bowie, Professor, University of Wisconsin
  • Lawrence Feick, Professor, Senior Director of International Programs, University of Pittsburgh
  • Mary Zurbuchen, Director for Asia/Russia, Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program


Philadelphia Museum of Art

Experience the Philadelphia Museum of Art's stunning special exhibition, Treasures from Korea: Art and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910.

Association for Asian Studies Conference attendees save $5.00 on adult general admission March 27–30. Simply show your Conference ID at any Visitor Services Desk in the Museum (Offer may not be combined with other discounts. Limit of one discount admission per Conference ID.).

Treasures from Korea: Arts and Culture of the Joseon Dynasty, 1392-1910

Now through May 26, 2014

A sweeping panorama, Treasures from Korea celebrates the artistic achievements of the Joseon dynasty, a line of twenty-seven monarchs that ruled the Korean peninsula for more than five hundred years and left a substantial legacy for modern Korea. A variety of objects—including painted screens, scrolls, calligraphy, furnishings, costumes, accessories, and ritual wares used in ancestral rites and Buddhist worship—explore the roles of king and court, the distinct spheres of men and women in society, and religious beliefs, all underpinned by the ideals of Confucianism. This is the first full-scale American exhibition to be devoted to art of the Joseon dynasty. Click here to learn more about this exhibition.


Korean Studies Reception

The Korea Foundation and University of Pennsylvania's James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies are pleased to cordially invite you to a Korean Studies Reception on the occasion of the 2014 meeting of the Association for Asian Studies.

Friday, March 28, 2014, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Philadelphia Courtyard Marriott, Juniper Ballroom (Mezzanine Level)
21 North Juniper Street, across 13th street from Downtown Marriott

If you have any questions, please contact the Korea Foundation at or Penn Kim Program at


Journalists are Welcome

The Association for Asian Studies welcomes journalists to attend the conference.  The keynote addresses, film screenings and exhibit hall are open to the public and do not require a registration badge to attend; however ALL other daytime panels do require a badge. Press passes are available to accredited journalists with a current media affiliation. If you would like to inquire about obtaining a press pass, please contact Robyn Jones, AAS Conference Manager ( BEFORE March 24, 2014.