SEAA had an active presence at the past 2017 AAA Annual Meeting, from sponsoring panels to hosting mentoring workshops and member gatherings. This past meeting, the section sponsored a total of 20 panels that covered topics such as tourism and heritage, media, politics and subject formation, labor, and mobilities in a wide range of areas that also define East Asia beyond conventional geographical terms. Two of these panels were invited sessions, “Citizenship Matters!: Movement, Time, and Precarity in Asia-Pacific” and “From ‘History and Magical Power’ to ‘Filial Obsessions’: A Tribute to Professor Steven Sangren.”
Continuing the practice of connecting members at all career stages—graduate students as well as junior and senior scholars—SEAA held several workshops at the 2017 AAA Meeting. The section’s student councilors Tianyu Xie, Jing Wang, and Yukun Zeng, organized a mentoring workshop on proposal writing and grant applications for early-career scholars and graduate students and an informal graduate student dinner. SEAA also hosted a workshop on “Publishing Your First Book,” organized by Priscilla Song, where panelists—most of whom have recently published Asia-related monographs—spoke about and worked with participants on topics such as the process of transforming the dissertation into a book and the review process.
The 2017 SEAA prize recipients, whose scholarship were judged to have contributed significantly to the field of East Asian anthropology, were announced at the Business Meeting. Yukiko Koga (Hunter College, CUNY) was awarded the Francis L.K. Hsu Book Prize for her book Inheritance of Loss: China, Japan and the Political Economy of Redemption after Empire. The winner of the Theodore C. Bestor Prize for Outstanding Graduate Student Paper was Gil Hizi (PhD candidate, University of Sydney), who wrote “Marketized ‘Educational Desire’: shifting and reproduced meanings of high-education in contemporary China.” Victoria Nguyen (PhD candidate, University of Chicago) and James Wright (PhD candidate, University of Hong Kong) received honorable mentions for their papers, respectively titled “Slow Construction: Alternative Temporalities and Tactics in the New Landscape of China’s Urban Development” and “Human Embrace, Mechanical Hugs: Japanese caregivers and robotic lifting devices.”
Several SEAA members also celebrated their publications in print at the university press booths stationed at the AAA Meeting.
Heidi K. Lam is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Yale University and a contributing editor for the SEAA section news column. She is writing her dissertation on commercial historically-themed experiences in Japan and their impact on tourism, the performing arts, and affective labor in the Japanese culture industries.
Cite as: Lam, Heidi K. 2018. “SEAA at the 2017 AAA Annual Meeting.” Anthropology News website, March 1, 2018. DOI: 10.1111/AN.775