Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Joint AAS-ICAS Conference in Honolulu

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) is holding a special joint conference with the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) in Honolulu, March 31–April 3, 2011 at the Hawai'i Convention Center, and Samurai Archives correspondents will be present, keeping you updated on all of the history, theory, and academic goodness.  Keep an eye on this blog for detailed summaries of each days events, and for a real time streaming feed of groundbreaking information direct from the floor of the conference, follow @samuraiarchives and @toranosukev via Twitter, and set up a search for #AASConference, which we'll use to tag the tweets.  We should also be recording some audio for the forthcoming podcast that will cover the conference.

Here are some highlights I am looking forward to:

Session 72: Monks of the Five Mountains & Shogunal Patronage of Zen in the Making of Muromachi Culture
In particular, Koji Ito's presentation on the Muromachi Shogun's use of monks in diplomacy looks promising.

Session 192: Negotiating One's Place in Japan's Long Sixteenth Century
This session is at the top of my list of must-see at the conference, and being the most Samurai-centric, I intend to take copious notes.  In particular I am looking forward to Luke Roberts presentation entitled 'Warrior Conflicts With Their Daimyo in Early Seventeenth Century Japan' - Dr. Roberts is the author of Mercantilism in a Japanese Domain: The Merchant Origins of Economic Nationalism in 18th-Century Tosa, and numerous interesting articles focused on Tosa province, so I assume this will involve the transition from Chosokabe to Yamanouchi leadership in Tosa province.  David Eason's presentation entitled 'This Land is My Land: Masuda Motonaga and the Politics of Territorial Redistribution in Choshu Domain', dealing with the Mori clan, also looks interesting.

Session 321: Before and After the Banquet: Culinary Discourse in Japan (1500-1900)
 This just seems generally interesting, and with presentations with titles like'Admonitions Regarding Food: Some Glimpses into the Pleasures and Dangers of Eating in Edo Period Japan' by Michael Kinski, I think it should be entertaining.

Session 541: Elite Patronage and Viewership of Japanese Art in the Age of the Toyotomi-Tokugawa Transition - sponsored by Japan Art History Forum
Toyotomi and Tokugawa in the title are enough to get me in the door, but the presentations involving caligraphy, folding screens, and other works of art look to be interesting. Not sure what will actually be there, but I assume at the very least there should be some juicy handouts.

Session 560: From Horseriders to Buddhist Devotees: China, Korea, and Japan at the Intersection of Visual Culture in the 5th-7th Centuries
Ancient Japan is still pretty mysterious to me, even after a lengthy Kofun podcast discussion that has yet to hit the airwaves (podwaves?), but it is definitely fascinating, so I'm definitely looking forward to this.

Session 614: History, Literature, and Religion: Toward a New Paradigm for Kokugaku
Kokugaku is pretty much a mystery to me, but I have seen a lecture by presenter Mark Mcnally before on a similar subject, and even though it was admittedly over my head, I did find it interesting, so I'm looking forward to his presentation 'Classifying Kokugaku: Nativism and Edo Japan', although I don't expect to make much sense of it in the long run.

Session 659: Nagasaki in the Eighteenth Century: Commercial and Institutional Change From Inside and Out
Having gone to college in Nagasaki, it was my first and most accessible introduction to Japanese history, with historical spots all over the place, including Glover Gardens and other interesting spots, so a presentation based on events in the city I used to live in should be interesting.
Those are the ones I'm most looking forward to, but with what looks like well over 100 sessions in 4 days, I'm sure some of the other ones will also be fascinating.  A few others that have caught my eye:

Religion Goes Pop: Manga and Religion in Post-1995 Japan
The Development of a Tradition: Nara Period Eminent Monks in Context
Who Counted Kin, and How: Warrior Groups,, State Regimes, and Social Boundaries in Central, East, and South Asia, c.1200-1850
New Military Technologies and Their Impact in the Indian Ocean Realm c. 1000-1600

All in all, a very full 4 days, which I will enjoy thoroughly since I'll be taking time off work to attend.  Keep an eye on the blog and the aforementioned twitter accounts for updates! 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent. Sounds like you're going to a lot of the ones I wanted to go to but couldn't because of conflicts. I look forward to your reports :)

    As for me, I'll be going mostly to Ryukyu-related or art history panels, trying to squeeze in whatever I can between kabuki rehearsal over on campus...