HWS Hosts NY Conference on Asian Studies – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Hosts NY Conference on Asian Studies

The New York Conference on Asian Studies, one of the largest regional conferences under the National Association for Asian Studies, was selected to take place at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Conference attendees, ranging from undergraduate students to established scholars of Asia, will discuss the theme, “Consuming Asia,” through a series of expert panels and lectures on Sept. 22 and 23.

“This is the largest regional conference under the national Association for Asian Studies,” says Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Chair of the conference Darrin Magee. “We’re expecting 100 people from as close as Stern Hall and as far as Bangladesh.”

A wide range of panels will take place throughout the two-day conference, including topics from “State and Media in China” to “Values, Nationalism and Security.” HWS faculty will participate in panels throughout the weekend alongside colleagues from institutions such as Cornell, Yale, the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Kasetsart University, and many others.

The panel “Lost Opportunities and Unfinished Revolutions” will include Associate Professor of Media and Society Leah Shafer as a discussant whose research interests include consumerism, exhibition practices and the politics of spectator engagement.

Associate Professor of Asian Studies James-Henry Holland will participate in a panel discussion on “New Pedagogies in the Japanese Learning Classroom.” Holland lived in Japan from 1979 to 1983 as a Mombusho English Fellow (now called JET). He conducted dissertation research in Tokyo and has worked as an outside examiner and consultant to Japanese language programs at six universities.

The keynote speaker, Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University Tejaswini Ganti, will deliver a public talk, “Producing and Consuming Fictions: Lessons from Bollywood,” on Friday at 6 p.m. in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center. Ganti is a visual anthropologist, whose research and teaching interests include Indian cinema, anthropology of media, production cultures, visual culture and other topics. Her book, Producing Bollywood: Inside the Contemporary Hindi Film Industry (Duke University Press 2012), is an ethnographic study in the social world and filmmaking practices of the Hindi film industry.

Saturday’s featured speaker is President of the Association for Asian Studies and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Katherine Bowie. Having conducted extensive field research in Thailand, Bowie has served as the Eisenhower Fellow to Thailand, Fulbright Scholar, President of the Midwest Conference of Asian Affairs, and has spent multiple years organizing committees for the Council of Thai Studies. She has published multiple works about Thailand, and will soon add to the field of scholarship with her forthcoming book Of Beggars and Buddhas: The Politics of Humor in the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand (University of Wisconsin Press).

In conjunction with the conference, the Davis Gallery at Houghton House is displaying selections of East Asian art from the Colleges’ Art Collection to visitors Monday through Friday, from 9:30 to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturday, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

On Friday at 6:30 p.m., an exhibit and gallery talk titled, “Fashion Fusion: Diversity in Islamic Dress,” by Associate Professor of Religious Studies Etin Anwar will take place in the Solarium Gallery at Houghton House. Anwar’s exhibit “articulates diversity of styles, colors, textures and fabrics in Islamic fashion,” and incorporates themes of cultural dialogue, as well as ethnic borrowing and its appropriation.

All scholarly events, including panels and talks will be available to the public. A schedule of events can be viewed here.