Association for Asian Studies

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The origins of the Association for Asian Studies began with the publication of the Bulletin of Far Eastern Bibliography in 1936. The Bulletin was expanded in a more comprehensive journal in 1941 and renamed The Far Eastern Quarterly . This publication was supported by a small committee of scholars who had organized themselves as the Far Eastern Association.

Because of continued financial difficulties, a special meeting was held in 1948 and the committee, along with some invited guests, discussed the possibility of reorganizing the Association as an active membership organization. The first meeting of the reorganized Association was held in New York City on April 2, 1948. Arthur W. Hummell of the Library of Congress was elected the Association's first president.

The objectives of the Association were:

To form a scholarly, nonpolitical, and nonprofit professional association of all persons interested in the study of the Far East. To promote interest in and scholarly study of the Far East. To provide means for the publication of scholarly research and other materials designed to promote Far Eastern studies. To promote cooperative activities and exchange of information within the filed of Far Eastern studies in the United States and Canada. To facilitate contact and exchange of information between scholars and scholarly organizations interested in Far Eastern Studies in North America and in other countries.

In December 1949 the board of directors decided to seek new sources of revenue to expand the organization's scope. The board prioritized the purposes of these funds as:

The publication of research. The maintenance of a permanent secretariat. The support of scholarships and fellowships. The support of summer institutes on Far Eastern studies for non-specialist teachers.

Initial funding was achieved by raising membership dues, however the Research Committee on Development of Far Eastern Studies was created for the purpose of exploring foundation support for these activities. By the end of 1955 the Committee's work led to substantial funding for the Association through the Ford Foundation. Ford Foundation's support was generous; subsidizing the expansion of the society's journal, the establishment of a monograph series, the publication of a newsletter, the maintenance of a secretariat, and the work of various Association committees. By 1960 outside funding had made possible an increased level of activity and stability within the Association.

In 1956 the Far Eastern Association was renamed the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), the Far Eastern Quarterly was re-titled the Journal of Asian Studies, and the constitution and bylaws were amended to incorporate south Asia into the sphere of the Association's interest and activity. To reflect this latter change the Association's board of directors was expanded from nine to twelve members, with three seats on the board reserved for south Asian specialists.

Membership growth and the expanded geographic interest of the Association led to the formation of areas study committees in the mid-1950's. The first to be well established was the Committee on South Asia, which in 1956 received a large grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, enabling it to sponsor a number of organizational meetings of South Asian specialists. Broad umbrella committees such as the Committee on South Asia were further subdivided by the development of even more specialized committees, such as the Ceylon Studies Committee, the Bengal Studies Committee, the Gandhi Centennial Committee, and the Ghalib Centenary Committee, all of which sponsored their own conferences, lectures and publications. The pattern established by the South Asian Committee was replicated in other parts of the Association. In 1962, for example, the Committee on Southeast Asia was established. It quickly developed subcommittees such as the Burma Study Group, the Language Resources Committee, and the Indonesia Studies Committee. By 1969-1970 two other broad groups, representing scholarly interest in Northeast Asia and China and Inner Asia had been formed. They, and their predecessors in the fields of Southeast Asia and South Asia, were formally recognized in 1969/70 by the designation "Regional Councils".

The link between the AAS and the University of Michigan is rooted in the strong bonds of service that grew between UM faculty members interested in Asian Studies and the Association. Beginning in 1952 a succession of UM faculty served in the AAS secretariat. In 1955 the Association's board of director's voted to establish a permanent Secretariat and locate it in Ann Arbor.

From the guide to the Association for Asian Studies records, 1947-1988, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Latourette, Kenneth Scott, 1884-1968. Kenneth Scott Latourette papers, 1861-1968 (inclusive). Yake University Divinity School Library
creatorOf Association for Asian Studies records, 1947-1988 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Arthur I. Bloomfield Papers, 1927-1995 David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
referencedIn Fairbank, John King, 1907-1991. Papers of John K. Fairbank, 1933-1991. Harvard University Archives.
referencedIn Arthur Doak Barnett Papers, [ca. 1950-1981] Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
referencedIn Embree, John F. (John Fee), 1908-1950. John Fee Embree papers, 1926-1950 (inclusive), 1945-1950 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Arthur Frederick and Mary Clabaugh Wright papers, 1928-1982, 1951-1977 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Kenneth Scott Latourette Papers, 1905-1970 Yake University Divinity School Library
referencedIn Guide to the Ardath W. Burks Papers, 1928-1996 Rutgers Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Fairbank, John King, 1907-1991. Papers of John K. Fairbank, 1933-1991. HCL Technical Services, Harvard College Library
referencedIn Echols, John M. John M. Echols papers, 1932-1983. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Hucker, Charles O. Charles O. Hucker papers, 1949-1982. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn University of Michigan. Project on Asian Studies in Education. Project on Asian Studies in Education (University of Michigan) records, 1972-1981. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Charles O. Hucker Papers, 1949-1982 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Fernbach, Alfred Philip, 1915-. Papers of Alfred Philip Fernbach [manuscript], 1959-1984. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Association for Asian Studies. Association for Asian Studies records, 1947-1988. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Project on Asian Studies in Education (University of Michigan) records, 1972-1981 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Badgley, John H., 1930-. John H. Badgley papers, 1949-1994. Cornell University Library
referencedIn Wilbur, C. Martin (Clarence Martin), 1908-1997. C. Martin Wilbur Papers, ca.1950-1992. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Barnett, A. Doak. A. Doak Barnett papers, [ca. 1950-1981]. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
creatorOf Association for Asian Studies. Western Conference. Records of the Western Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, 1968-1981 1974-1981. Harold B. Lee Library
referencedIn Franz H. Michael papers, 1948-1984, 1948-1964 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
referencedIn Michael, Franz H. Franz H. Michael papers, 1948-1964 (bulk 1948-1964). ND Univ of Washington Libraries (OCLC Worldshare ILL Beta)
referencedIn John Fee Embree papers, 1926-1950, 1945-1950 Yale University. Department of Manuscripts and Archives
referencedIn Hucker, Charles O. Charles O. Hucker papers, 1949-1982. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
referencedIn Wright, Arthur Frederick, 1913-. Arthur Frederick and Mary Clabaugh Wright papers, 1932-1977 (inclusive), 1951-1977 (bulk). Yale University Library
referencedIn Knight Biggerstaff papers, 1923-2000, 1944-1961 (bulk). Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
referencedIn Fairbank, John King, 1907-1991. Papers of John K. Fairbank, 1933-1991 (inclusive), 1947-1991 (bulk). Harvard University Archives.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Association for Asian Studies. Western Conference. corporateBody
associatedWith Badgley, John H., 1930- person
associatedWith Barnett, A. Doak. person
associatedWith Biggerstaff, Knight, 1906- person
associatedWith Bloomfield, Arthur I. person
associatedWith Burks, Ardath W. person
associatedWith Echols, John M. person
associatedWith Embree, John F. (John Fee), 1908-1950. person
associatedWith Fairbank, John King, 1907-1991. person
associatedWith Fernbach, Alfred Philip, 1915- person
associatedWith Hucker, Charles O. person
associatedWith Hucker, Charles O. person
associatedWith Latourette, Kenneth Scott, 1884-1968. person
associatedWith Michael, Franz H. person
associatedWith Michael, Franz H. person
associatedWith University of Michigan. Project on Asian Studies in Education. corporateBody
associatedWith Wilbur, C. Martin (Clarence Martin), 1908-1997. person
associatedWith Wright, Arthur Frederick, 1913- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Asia
Asia.
Subject
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1947

Active 1988

Americans

English

Information

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