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The Institute for the Liberal Arts

Asia: Past, Present, Future

new england association for asian studies

ASIA: Past, Present, Future

Boston College is pleased to host the annual meeting of the New England Association for Asian Studies on January 28-29, 2017, under the theme of “Asia: Past, Present, Future.”

The BC-NEAAS Conference Committee welcomes proposals for panels, roundtables, or individual presentations that address histories, societies, cultures, languages, literatures, arts, political systems, and economic activities of Asia in regional and global contexts.

View and download the full Conference Program and Information Packet »


Keynote Speakers:

Laurel Kendall

Professor Laurel Kendall

President of the Association for Asian Studies; Chair of the Division of Anthropology and Curator of Asian Ethnographic Collections
American Museum of Natural History

Michael Puett

Professor Michael Puett

Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University

Ian Teh

Ian Teh

Award-winning photographer and author of Undercurrents (2008), Traces (2011), and Confluence (2014)


Special Workshop: Training in the Technologies of the Digital Humanities

January 28, 2017
9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. & 2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.

Professor Peter Bol, Harvard University Vice Provost for Advances in Learning; Charles H. Carswell Professor East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Director of the Center for Geographic Analysis.

This workshop will offer hands-on training in the use of relational databases, text analysis, online text databases such as, spatial analysis with geographic information systems (GIS) and social network analysis. Participants will be given flashdrives with the complete China Biographical Database, the China Historical GIS, and the software for Quantum GIS and Gephi social network analysis. The datasets pertain to China before 1911 but the methods are not specific to Chinese data.

Instructors: Professor Peter Bol, Dr. Hongsu Wang, and Dr. Lik Hang Tsui


Special Roundtable: Translation as Performance—Dual Creativities in Chinese and English 

January 29, 2017
10:40 a.m.–12:50 p.m.  

Award-winning translators Ken Liu, Canaan Morse, and Eleanor Goodman will read from their recent work and briefly discuss their translation processes. Eric Abrahamsen, founder of Paper Republic and a Chinese publishing industry insider, will speak about shepherding translated books into the English-language market. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and book signing.

From left to right: Ken Liu, Eleanor Goodman, Canaan Morse, and Eric Abrahamsen
Roundtable participants from left to right: Ken Liu, Eleanor Goodman, Canaan Morse, and Eric Abrahamsen

To read more about our participants, please select a name from the list below.

  • Ken Liu, Author & Translator, Simon & Schuster/MacMillan
  • Eleanor Goodman, Writer & Translator, Harvard Fairbank Center Associate
  • Canaan Morse, Translator & Ph.D. Student, Harvard University
  • Eric Abrahamsen, Manager, Paper Republic
Ken Lieu

Ken Liu, Author & Translator, Simon & Schuster/MacMillan

Ken Liu is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, his debut novel The Grace of Kings (2015) won the Locus Best First Novel Award and was a Nebula finalist. He subsequently published the second volume in the series, The Wall of Storms (2016) as well as a collection of short stories, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories (2016). In addition to his original fiction, Ken is also the translator of numerous literary and genre works from Chinese to English. His translation of The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2015, the first translated novel ever to receive that honor. He also translated the third volume in Liu Cixin’s series, Death’s End (2016) and edited the first English-language anthology of contemporary Chinese science fiction, Invisible Planets (2016).

Eleanor Goodman

Eleanor Goodman, Writer & Translator, Harvard Fairbank Center Associate  

Eleanor Goodman’s first book of translations, Something Crosses My Mind: Selected Poems of Wang Xiaoni (Zephyr Press, 2014) was the recipient of a 2013 PEN/Heim Translation Grant and winner of the 2015 Lucien Stryk Prize. The book was also shortlisted for the International Griffin Prize. Her first collection of poetry, Nine Dragon Island (Enclave/Zephyr, 2016), was a finalist for the Drunken Boat First Book Prize. The anthology Iron Moon, a translation of Chinese worker’s poetry, will be out in the spring of 2017. She is a Research Associate at the Harvard University Fairbank Center.



Canaan Morse

Canaan Morse, Translator & Ph.D. Student, Harvard University

Currently a doctoral student in pre-modern Chinese literature at Harvard University, Canaan Morse has been working with Chinese literature as a translator, editor, and promoter for ten years. His translations of Chinese prose and poetry have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Baffler, Chinese Literature Today, and other journals. His translation of Ge Fei’s The Invisibility Cloak, published in October as part of the New York Review of Books Classics series, won the 2014 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation.

 Eric Abrahamsen

Eric Abrahamsen, Manager, Paper Republic

Eric Abrahamsen is a translator, publisher and promoter of Chinese literature abroad. He is the manager of Paper Republic, a website and company that provides information about Chinese literature in English, creates publishing industry connections, and as of 2017 will begin publishing Chinese books in translation.



Conference Co-Chairs

Ling Zhang
History Department, Boston College

David Mozina
Theology Department, Boston College

Contact Information

Inquiries about the conference can be addressed by email to co-chair of the Conference Committee:

Prof. Ling Zhang

History Department
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3859

Conference Committee

Aurelia Campbell
Art History, Boston College

Julia Chuang
Sociology, Boston College

David Johnson
Philosophy Department, Boston College

Yajun Mo
History Department, Boston College

Amanda Seaman
Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, UMass Amherst