Rhodes is the host institution for the 58th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SEC/AAS), which will be held Jan. 18-20. More than 100 professors, students, and researchers are expected to attend sessions that will take place in the Fogelman Executive Conference Center on The University of Memphis campus. Rhodes student Kourtney Patton ’19 and eight Rhodes faculty members will participate.
“The conference features 25 interdisciplinary paper/panel sessions, a special exhibition on the history of Chinese Americans, a keynote lecture, and a Saturday evening film screening,” says Dr. Han Li, program chair of the conference and associate professor of Chinese at Rhodes. “The conference is always held during the Martin Luther King weekend, and the fact that it is taking place in Memphis during this weekend will certainly inspire further discussion of race, ethnicity, and inclusion.”
Drs. Chia-rong Wu (local arrangements chair) and Chien-Kai Chen are among the Rhodes faculty who helped organize the SEC/AAS 2019 conference. Other co-sponsors and supporters include The University of Memphis, Association for Asian Studies, AAS Council of Conferences, and the Wong family. Rhodes departments and programs who contributed to the conference include the Office of Academic Affairs, Asian Studies Program, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Department of International Studies, Department of Religious Studies, Department of History, Lynne & Henry Turley Memphis Center, Buckman Center for International Education, and Urban Studies Program.
SEC/AAS is dedicated to promoting the study of Asia and is made up of members from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. The organization also publishes the Southeast Review of Asian Studies and sponsors undergraduate and graduate student paper prize competitions.
According to Han Li, the annual meeting is a vibrant gathering of a wide range of scholars who share their work and begin conversations that continue long after the meeting is over. This year’s conference will also feature a workshop for high school teachers in Tennessee.