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Pomona College Hosts "Asia Rising & the Rise of Asian America" Conference

“Asia Rising and the Rise of Asia America” is the focus of a special joint meeting of Asian Studies on the West Coast and the Western Conference of the Association of Asian Studies, being held June 17-19, at Pomona College. Day passes are available for the general public at a cost of $20.

More than 150 academic researchers from the U.S. and 14 foreign countries will address a wide variety of Asian and Asian American topics in 40 panel sessions. The featured speakers, addressing the main theme on June 17, at 3:30 p.m., are Minxin Pei, director of the Claremont McKenna College Keck Center for International Studies and senior adjunct fellow for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (DC), and Rhacel Salazar Parrenas, professor of sociology at USC. Purnendra Jain, professor at the University of Adelaide and president of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, will introduce the panel.

The conference will also offer two teaching workshops, “Exploring Asian Theatre and Dance: Teaching Asian and Asian American History Through the Performing Arts in K-12 Classrooms” and “Mainstreaming Bharatanatyam for University Classrooms and Stages.” K-12 educators will be admitted free but must register in advance by calling 909-607-8035 or visiting www.pomona.edu/pbi.

The conference panels will cover a wide variety topics including:

  • Environmental and Minority Relations in Northwestern China,
  • Social Changes in India,
  • Asian American Migration and Diaspora,
  • Empirically Examining Experiences of Asian and Asian American Faculty and Students in Higher Education in the U.S.,
  • Regional Integration in East Asian,
  • Modern Japanese Theater,
  • Southeast Asia: Human Rights, Education and Trade,
  • Soft Power and Japanese Foreign Policy,
  • Chinese Women in History and Literature
  • Revamping Education,
  • Civil Society and Prospects for Democracy, and
  • Qing Literature and Culture.

Asian societies are experiencing unprecedented change and are having a growing impact on global affairs. The Asian economy encompasses 33 percent of the world’s real GDP, surpassing the size of Europe or North America. Asia’s political influence is also on the rise with increased representation on  world bodies like the G-20. The success has had some environmental cost. Three of the top four oil importing countries are in Asia. China’s growth now makes it the world’s largest contributor to climate change. Asia also confronts harsh natural resource constraints. For example, the demand for fresh water is already unmet in many places. However, Asia leads in many areas of innovation and problem solving: three of the top four patent-filing countries are Asian; the US is number two on the list. Globalization ensures Asia’s rise is not limited to Asia. In Southern California and other parts of the country, an increasing number of Asians and those of Asian heritage establish their lives and form communities, raising issues of identity, power relations and hybrid culture.

For more information, please call the Pacific Basin Institute at Pomona College (909-607-8035) or visit the Institute’s website at www.pomona.edu/pbi for the conference schedule and details.