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The American Studies Association (ASA) and the Japanese Association for American Studies (JAAS), with support from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission (JUFSC), are pleased to announce a competition open to ASA members (U.S. citizens). We plan to select two ASA delegates for participation in the annual JAAS conference and additional pro-seminars to be held in Japan from May 31, 2013 to June 6, 2013 (contingent on funding). We invite proposals for papers to be presented at the JAAS conference and possible themes for the two-day pro-seminars. The award covers round trip airfare to Japan, housing, and modest daily expenses.
The members of the ASA-JAAS Project Advisory Committee and the International Committee of JAAS will choose the delegates by collaborative assessment and selection. Two-day pro-seminars will be held, most likely after the JAAS conference, which will enable JAAS scholars to participate. Themes of the pro-seminars will follow from, but not necessarily repeat the conference theme. The ASA delegates will collaborate with the International Committee of JAAS in finalizing the themes of the pro-seminars and will be responsible for constructing the syllabi and assigning the readings. The pro-seminars will be open to the entire range of JAAS members, from graduate students (including those who may not yet be JAAS members) to senior scholars. Under the proposed project, the ASA delegates will spend two days at the JAAS conference, two days in their pro-seminars, plus travel time, for a total of about a week.
This is the second year of our new proposal for scholarly exchanges between the American Studies Association (ASA) and the Japan Association for American Studies (JAAS) covering the three-year project period, 2012-2014.
The scholarly theme is Pacific Worlds: Empire, Environment, Embodiment. Scholarship focused upon international and transnational relationships faces the challenge of boundary drawing. When the nation-state is no longer taken for granted as a unit of social and cultural analysis, and the globe is identified as a horizon of concern, the transnational risks becoming amorphous. Scholars of region, and particularly of the Atlantic world, have long illuminated ways of thinking transnational relations in relation to a delimited set of flows and exchanges over time that shaped a common if unevenly (and unequally) constituted social and historical experience among statesmen, sailors, slaves and commoners. More recently, scholars have started to map the Pacific world in similar ways, identifying specific paths of commerce, military conflict, colonization and migration that have defined the Pacific as a distinct place and region for policy-makers, and empire-builders, soldiers, artists and writers, peasants, workers and migrants.
We seek to consider some of the ways in which the Pacific Ocean has been constituted as a transnational region across several centuries. Most broadly, we are interested in exploring how forms of human belonging and experience might be understood in regional terms that exceed typically national, even comparative frames of reference. For example, how have competing and at times complementary forms of imperial ambition and material investment on the part of the US, Japan, and other nations fashioned the Pacific as a region of common interest, investment, desire, and (for some) dispossession? As pressures of market activity, human energy and resource needs roil this vast, shared oceanic environment, what forms of cooperative knowledge and practice can sustain Pacific worlds (as well as other fragile ecologies) into the future? Against doom saying prophecies of a “clash of civilizations,” how can regions shaped by overlapping colonialisms and diasporas imagine new forms of regional membership, linked fate, or even kinship?
Shared Environments: Sustainable Futures (2013). The second year of the project encourages proposals that foreground exciting new research on the environment, political ecology and sustainability. This has been a growing area of interest within American Studies scholarship and one that has begun to yield interesting cross-disciplinary collaborations between humanists, social scientists and scientists. Given the tragic events of 2011 in which a calamitous earthquake, tsunami and nuclear danger has engulfed Japan, this focus is both timely and ethically appropriate. In recent years, environmental catastrophe and so-called natural disasters, as well as local and international responses to them, have clearly illuminated the fact of a shared Pacific world for peoples within this vast region. And, yet it is a world whose opportunities and dangers are unevenly shared and distributed. Where cultures of tourism present visions of island paradise to the well heeled, another face of the Pacific islands reveals relentless military colonialism, mounting garbage islands, and rising sea levels. Finally, as more and more of the world’s population grows and gathers in vulnerable coastal cities, how can urban life be oriented towards sustaining the future?
Each application should include a summary in 300 words of the proposed paper to be presented at the JAAS annual meeting. Participants should explain how the proposed paper contributes to a discussion of the project theme in general, and more specifically to the 2013 conference theme Shared Environments: Sustainable Futures.
Applicants should include a personal statement, no longer than two pages, describing their interest in this project and the issues that their own scholarship and teaching have addressed. Also, provide some possible themes for leading the pro-seminars. Personal statements may include comments on previous collaboration or work with non-U.S. academics or students. Prior experience of work or travel in Japan is not a requirement for selection, but if applicable, applicants may comment on their particular interest in, or connections to, Japan. In addition, applications should include a two-page curriculum vitae, emphasizing teaching experience and publications and the names and addresses of three references.
All applicants must be available for travel to Japan from May 31, 2013 to June 6, 2013. Delegates are expected to attend the International Reception and present their papers at the 47th JAAS annual meeting at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies in Tokyo, Japan from May 31 to June 2, 2013. They will spend the additional days leading two pro-seminars, most likely in Tokyo and Kyoto.
Applicants must be current members of the ASA and U.S. citizens, and must attend the ASA annual meeting during the year in which they apply for the grant. Scholars must have a Ph.D. and preference will be given to those with teaching experience and a publication record.
Application materials should be addressed to the ASA-JAAS Project Advisory Committee and uploaded as a Word or PDF document in a single attachment before midnight (US DST) October 1, 2012 at http://www.theasa.net/submit_pdf/asa-jaas_project_proposals Additional info: http://www.theasa.net/project_asa_jaas
Submit Application Online: Go to the online PDF Submission Form