2020 ASDP 27th National Conference



Understanding Asia, Asian Understandings: Perspectives Past and Present

5-7 March 2020

Atlanta, GA


The theme Understanding Asia, Asian Understandings: Perspectives Past and Present invites reflection on the effects of perspective on cultural interactions and how unshared assumptions often frame historical, artistic, literary, philosophical, and social scientific accounts of those interactions.

The ASDP National Conference intends to spur a broader conversation among participants – teachers, learners, scholars, and administrators – who aim to achieve a better understanding of how Asian studies as an academic field continues to evolve across interdependent spheres of investigation and analysis.

We encourage both scholarly and pedagogical approaches in examining the diversity of Asian cultures and societies, as well as the diversity of perspectives on Asia, especially those that adopt interdisciplinary lenses, including Asian encounters with such global phenomena as science, colonialism, imperialism, militarism, industrialization, and revolution.

Of particular interest are presentations that investigate how:

  • new scholarship sheds distinctive light on familiar aspects of the Asian cultural, historical, and social canons
  • Asian narratives addressing art, music, culture, philosophy, and the sciences gain depth when re-positioned within interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Asian perspectives shed new and perhaps critical light on traditions with other-than-Asian origins
  • Sessions are 90 minutes typically with 3 presenters. Please plan accordingly to include time for a 15-minute Q & A at session end.
  • Individual and team panel proposals welcome.
  • Tech Support: projector, and screen.  No internet in breakout rooms.

Please submit a 250-word limit abstract by 30 January 2020 (deadline extended):

  Early submissions greatly facilitate putting together meaningful panel sessions.


 All presenters and attendees must register for the program.

  Registration fees:

  Early Registration:                 $275 (through December 15, 2019)

  Registration:                           $300 (December 16, 2019 through January 31, 2020)

  Late Registration:                   $350 (after January 31, 2020)

  Student Registration:             $175 (ID required at time of registration)

  Cultural Excursion                 $25 (Limited to 25)

 Online registration and payment link here.

* If you have received an acceptance letter to present, please register and pay here.

 For payment by check click here to download and print the registration form.

 Make your check payable to East-West Center with the notation ASDP National Conference.   Mail your payment and form to:

East-West Center
Asian Studies Development Program
Attn:  Daralyn Yee
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawai'i 96848-1601

*** Early Registration Deadline is 15 December 2019 ***



Book by February 11, 2020 to secure the conference rate

JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead

  3300 Lenox Road NE

  Atlanta, GA 30326

  Tel:   +1 404-262-3344 ask for the 27th ASDP block

  Conference room rate is $155/night + tax

  Book your room rate for ASDP National Conference here.





ASDP 2020 Cultural Excursion (Limited to 25)
March 5, Thursday, 10:00am - 4:00pm

Visit the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Madir Hindu Temple and the Buford Asian District on this excursion.



Dr. Brian Woodall
Friday, March 6, 2020

Presentation Title:

Growing Democracy in Japan: The Role of Critical Junctures and Institutions in Driving Change


Democracy has set root in Japan, but it did not come quickly or painlessly. The key to understanding the process that has produced Japan's current system of democratic governance was driven by institutional reconfigurations that followed critical junctures, the most prominent of which were the Meiji Restoration and the American Occupation. This approach offers an economical way of explaining the evolution of Japanese democracy, what makes it unique, and how the country's policymakers respond to domestic and international challenges. 

Brian Woodall is Professor of Political Science at Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on issues of comparative political economy and politics, international relations, and energy and environmental policies, with an emphasis on Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China.  In addition to numerous articles and book chapters, he is the author of Growing Democracy in Japan: The Parliamentary Cabinet System Since 1868 (University Press of Kentucky); Japan Under Construction: Corruption, Politics, and Public Works (University of California Press); and Japan's Changing World Role (Japan Society).  He is also co-editor of and contributor to Elections in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan Under the Single Non-Transferable Vote (University Michigan Press).  He served as Chair of the Southern Japan Seminar and serves on the editorial boards of Routledge Studies on Comparative Asian Politics and several academic journals. He has also served for many years on the Board of Corporate Advisors to the Who's Who in Asian American Communities Foundation.  Dr. Woodall has been interviewed on CNN, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the Asahi Shimbun, and other media outlets.  He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in comparative politics, East Asia, Japanese politics and political economy, and U.S.-Japan relations.


Dr. Jenny Wang Medina
Saturday, March 7, 2020

Presentation Title:

Re-Orientation: Asian Cultural Production and New ‘Asian-‘ Belonging


There is a new global cultural habitus and it is distinctly Asian. But what does this mean in different geographic and technological spaces? How is it confronting older conceptions of Asian identity, notably in the hyphenated ethnic “Asian-“ context? Transnational flows of culture and people have not resulted in a borderless world, but rather a world of micro-affiliations that can also include ethnic and national identities. What does K- stand for in a K-pop group with no Korean members? Where does Chinese food come from? I will discuss the productive and destructive joints of the hyphen as a delineator of Asian belonging. And what the hyphen means for national cultures and Asian-ness as it circulates across the globe.

Jenny Wang Medina is an Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the Department of Russian and East Asian Languages and Cultures at Emory University. She is currently writing a book manuscript titled K-World: South Korea’s Quest for Cultural Distinction. In addition to her research on global Korea, she works on theories of trans/national culture, world literature, ethnic identity construction, visual media, and translation theory to explore the assumptions of cultural continuity and representation in a society moving from the idea of a homogeneous ethno-nation divided by the Cold War to a post-developmental multicultural global entity.   She is also interested in the intersection of visuality, food, technology, race, and the body.  She teaches courses in East Asian Studies, Asian-American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Film, Literature, Media and Cultural Studies, and Food Studies.  Her recent publications include: “At the Gates of Babel: The Globalization of Korean Literature as World Literature,” Acta Koreana, 21 (2), 2018 and “Empire Radio, Live Transmission,” by Ch’oe In-hun, tr. Jenny Wang Medina, in Sunyoung Park, Park Sang Joon, eds., Readymade Boddhisatva: The Kaya Anthology of South Korean Science Fiction. Los Angeles: Kaya Books, 2019.