Published: May 9, 2013

In March, CAS helped sponsor the Asian Studies Graduate Association (CUBASGA)'s annual graduate student conference.  The two-day conference featured Prof. Michael Puett of Harvard University and Prof. Sharalyn Orbaugh of the University of British Columbia as keynote speakers as well as presentations by 22 graduate students in Asian Studies from 8 different universities around the country.  Read more in our event report:

CU Boulder's Asian Studies Graduate Association (CUBASGA) held its annual graduate student conference on March 8th and 9th. Beginning in 1998, this conference has been organized to provide current graduate students with a forum to present original research on East Asia, particularly on topics in the humanities and social sciences. This year, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of CU’s Asian Languages and Civilizations department, the CUBASGA organizing committee was pleased to welcome two keynote speakers to Colorado—Professor Michael Puett of Harvard University and Professor Sharalyn Orbaugh of the University of British Columbia. In addition, the conference featured twenty-two graduate student presentations from eight different universities.

Friday’s conference focused on classical and pre-modern studies, including presentations on ancient Chinese manuscripts, classical poetry, and calligraphy, as well as classical Japanese poetry and prose. Michael Puett presented an enthusiastic and stirring argument in his keynote, “Why does ritual matter? Theories from classical China,” in which he argued that current scholars need to reconsider the ritual space of ancient China and develop a vocabulary to discuss the “as-if” worlds that these spaces represent.

Saturday’s proceedings focused on more modern topics, ranging from Edo pulp literature to contemporary pop culture. Sharalyn Orbaugh’s keynote, “Selling Research to the Academic Marketplace: A Case Study Using WWII Japanese Propaganda,” provided current graduate students with a realistic and practical approach to generating meaningful research in an often saturated market. She focused on how she has presented her own research interest—kamishibai, a kind of portable, illustrated stage production popular in Japan from the 1930s—to a variety of audiences and publishers.

Post authored by Eric Siercks, graduate student in the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations at CU-Boulder and one of this year's conference organizers.