Vietnam is an area of special interest to Jack D. Harris, professor of anthropology and sociology at the Colleges. Therefore, he sees his new appointment as a member of the Board of Directors of ASIANetwork as a chance to advocate widely for college programs in this focus area. ASIANetwork is an association of more than 125 liberal arts colleges whose goal it is to promote Asian Studies.
“Early on, I was surprised by the absence of Vietnam as a subject of discussion at ASIANetwork conferences, so I have committed to being an active member and serving on the board in hope that Vietnam gets more visibility and support,” said Harris, who is a Vietnamese studies scholar who has worked in the areas of men's studies and social organization and taught courses on the sociology of Vietnam.
Harris is to serve on both the Annual Conference Program Committee and on the Future Projects Committee at ASIANetwork. The board is responsible for managing the organization and its budget, running an annual conference, offering grants for faculty and students, and offering consulting services for departments interested in Asian Studies.
Harris was previously awarded the organization's Freeman Student-Faculty Fellows Grant, in 2003. As a result, he traveled to Vietnam and worked with two students — one on global business and traditional culture, the other on emerging technologies, the global economy and pre-natal care.
In 2006 and 2007, he served as an ASIANetwork Faculty Exchange Fellow in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, through an Academic Exchange Grant awarded by the Center for Educational Exchange with Vietnam (CEEVN), the American Council of Learned Societies, and ASIANetwork, funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.
While at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Harris has hosted Vietnamese scholars and students through the United Board for Christian Higher Education and the Freeman Foundation. He has also received the Department of Education Title VI grant to develop programming and on-campus curricula on Vietnam.
Harris joined the faculty in 1974. He holds a B.A. from Tulane University and both his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.