Oct. 22, 2001

'Knowing Asia,' regional Asian studies conference, at Cornell Oct. 26-27

Some 150 scholars of Asia will convene at Cornell University Oct. 26 and 27 for the New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS). The conference is open to the public, but registration is required and a range of fees are charged for the various events. Most sessions will take place in Robert Purcell Community Center on Cornell's North Campus.

NYCAS is the oldest of the eight regional conferences of the Association for Asian Studies, which is the largest society of its kind in the world.

"Knowing Asia" features 37 panel discussions on a broad range of subjects relating to traditional and contemporary cultures and societies of Asia, among them new approaches to Asian boundaries, rewriting Muslim history in South Asia, Vietnamese history, visual culture in India and Japan, approaches to Tibetan culture, studies of women, and security and development in South Asia. Also on the schedule is a panel on the history of Chinese education Saturday, Oct. 27, honoring the late Knight Biggerstaff, founder of Cornell's East Asia Program, which in its early days was called the China Program.

Other related events: "Knowing Asia Through Film," a teacher training workshop with presentations by Gina Marchetti of Ithaca College, Jishnu Shankar of Syracuse University and Hong Kong director/critic Evans Chan, at Cornell's Kahin Center for Advanced Research on Southeast Asia, Thursday, Oct. 25, 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. (contact Robin Burlingham, 255-8366, for more information); two film screenings co-sponsored by Cornell Cinema: Platform (Zhantai), written and directed by Zhang Ke Jia and introduced by Evans Chan, Friday, Oct. 26, 8:45 p.m. in Uris Auditorium; and Himalaya , directed by Eric Valli and introduced by Kathryn March, Cornell associate professor of anthropology, and Nepalese artist Tenzin Norbu, Saturday, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. in Willard Straight Theatre; and "Asia in Bits and Bytes," a workshop on electronic resources by Thomas Hahn, curator of Cornell's Wason (East Asia) Collection, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2:30-4:30 p.m. and repeated at 4:30-6 p.m., in Kroch Library.

In addition, conference organizers Anne Stengle (South Asia Program), Penny Dietrich (Southeast Asia Program), Robin Burlingham, Cindy Heffelfinger and Laurie Damiani (East Asia Program) and Professor Keith Taylor, NCAS program chair, have collaborated with colleagues in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Kroch Library and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art to organize these ancillary activities: "Treasures of the Asia Collections," on display at the Exhibition Gallery, level 2B of Kroch Library through Dec. 21; and a tour of a special exhibition of masks and paintings by the late Balinese artist Ida Bagus Madé and the museum's permanent collection of Asian art, led by Ellen Avril, curator of Asian art at the Johnson Museum.

Prospective participants can register for the conference at the Robert Purcell Community Center Friday, Oct. 26, or Saturday, Oct. 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For information contact Laurie Damiani, director of outreach, East Asia Program, 255-6222, lad2@cornell.edu , or visit this web site: <www.einaudi.cornell.edu/eastAsia/events/NYCASWebAnnounce.html>.