The 2017 Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Conference went from March 16th - 19th in Toronto, Canada. In this series of posts, several LRCCS students share their experiences there. This post is written by Marilyn Evenmo, LRCCS MA student.
One of the things that stood out to me when I was looking at the panels offered at the AAS conference was the number of panels that touched on the theme of cross cultural contact or border crossing. Since border crossing is the major theme of one of the seminar classes I'm taking this semester, I made a point to go to a panel that related to this theme. The panel "Spaces and People in Between: Gender, Politics and Market along China’s Western Borders" had three different presentations that specifically focused on the experiences of people living along China's western borders. The talks in this panel were useful for understanding what border crossing looks like for individuals and how these borders shape their identities and lives.
In addition to providing opportunities to expand on things I have been learning in my classes, going to AAS also allowed me to learn about new discoveries and research being done in my field. For example, I learned about recent archaeological discoveries and how they are being studied in "Fresh Glimpses at Ancient Splendor: New Buddhist Archaeological Discoveries." In "Changing Image, Changing Concept of Ta: Critical Terms of Pagoda in Chinese Buddhist Art and Architecture" I learned about new research being done on pagodas. Finally, in "Revisioning Word and Image in Early China" I got the opportunity to hear about various research projects that touch on the interaction between word and image, such as that which occurs on Western Han bronze mirrors.
In addition to going to the conference, I also went to the Aga Khan museum in Toronto and was surprised to find connections to China in their collection! For example, they have a basin made in China during the Ming dynasty which may have been made for a Chinese Muslim at the court or for export to a Muslim country.