CUBASGA 2024 Poster

February 24, 9am-5pm and February 25 10am-6pm
UMC Aspen Rooms UMC 247

CUBASGA 2024 Program

This year’s conference will feature 12 panels dedicated to a variety of topics and fields in graduate-level Asian Studies, including literature, history, media studies, cultural studies, linguistics, sociology, and religious studies. Each panel consists of three to four presentations (15 mins each) followed by discussion sessions (5-10 mins each), where students and faculty have the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the state of the field.

Keynote Speakers​:
Professor Wai-Yee Li, Harvard University
"Chronicling Confucius" 
Sima Qian (145-ca. 85 BCE), one of China’s greatest historians, gives us the first chronological account of the life of Confucius in his monumental Historical Records (Shiji). Scholars have often questioned its historical accuracy. I will not weigh in on issues of veracity but will focus instead on the power of storytelling and on the complex, ambiguous, and polyvalent construction of narrative in a textual universe where textual units often have fluid boundaries. I will discuss the following issues. 1. The consequence of chronology: how does chronology supply motives and contexts? How does our understanding of a saying or a story change when it is linked to a specific historical moment? 2. Chronicling Confucius draws attention to temporality, contingency, and expediency, expediency being a mode of reasoning and action tied to our embeddedness in time and confrontation with contingency. 3. Confronting contingency leads to uncertainty and sometimes failure. How does Sima Qian turn a broad arc of striving and setbacks into ultimate vindication? Is this vindication based on the cohesion or the fissures of the narrative? How does Sima Qian parry divergent perspectives as he weaves together accounts from different sources flourishing between Confucius’ lifetime and his own?

Professor Zev Handel, University of Washington
"The Development of Japanese Scripts From Chinese Characters in Comparative Context" 
Chinese characters originated in China over 3,000 years ago.  Prior to their creation, East Asia was completely devoid of writing. By the time of the Han Dynasty (202 BCE - 220 CE), China already had a long literary tradition, a flourishing culture, and a sophisticated government bureaucracy. Over subsequent centuries, Chinese writing exerted an enormous influence on surrounding peoples and places, including the areas of modern-day Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.  Eventually the Chinese-character script was adapted to write the language spoken in these places. The adaptation of Chinese characters to the writing of Japanese, and their ultimate transformation into the kanji and kana scripts, is thus but one instance of a set of script adaptations that took place across East Asia. This talk presents a theoretical framework for understanding that adaptation in comparative context, and explains the ways in which the Japanese case is similar to and different from other historical adaptations of Chinese characters.


February 4-5, 2022

Keynote speakers:
Professor Tina Lu, Yale University 
Professor Sabine Frühstück, UC Santa Barbara 

Program 2023 (pdf)


February 19-20, 2022

Keynote speakers:
Professor Lucas Bender, Yale University 
Professor Fabio Rambelli, UC Santa Barbara 

Program 2022 (pdf)


January 30-31, 2021

Keynote speakers:
Professor Xiaofei Tian, Harvard University
Professor Wiebke Denecke, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Program 2021 (pdf)


February 14-15, 2020

Keynote speakers:
Professor David C. Schaberg, UCLA
Professor David L. Howell, Harvard University

Program 2020 (pdf)


February 15-16, 2019

Keynote speakers:
Professor Christopher Rea, University of British Columbia
Professor Tomiko Yoda, Harvard University

Program 2019 (pdf)


February 23-24, 2018

Keynote speakers:
Professor Michael Nylan, University of California, Berkeley
Professor David Atherton, Harvard University

Program 2018 (pdf)


February 3-4, 2017

Keynote speakers:
Professor Wai-yee Li, Harvard University
Professor Michele Mason, University of Maryland College Park

Program 2017 (pdf)


February 19-20, 2016

Keynote speakers:
Professor Adam Kern, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor Ronald Egan, Stanford University

2016 Program (pdf)


February 27-28, 2015

Keynote speakers:
Professor Michael Emmerich, University of California
Professor Ding Xiang Warner, Cornell University

2015 Program (pdf)


March 7-8, 2014

Keynote speaker:
Professor William G. Boltz, University of Washington

2014 Program (pdf)


March 8-9, 2013

Keynote speakers:
Professor Michael Puett, Harvard University
Professor Sharalyn Orbaugh, University British Columbia

2013 Program (pdf)


March 2-3, 2012

Keynote speaker:
Professor R. Joe Cutter, Arizona State University

2012 Program (pdf)


February 18-19, 2011

Keynote speakers:
Professor Michael Nylan
Professor Michael Dylan Foster

2011 Program (pdf)


February 26-28, 2010

Keynote presenters:
Professor Martin Kern, Princeton University
Professor Janet Ikeda, Washington & Lee University

2010 Program (pdf)


Friday March 6th, 2009 - Saturday March 7th, 2009

2009 Program (pdf)