Jeff Wasserstrom (3/28/09, 7:41 a.m.):
This is, of course, the first AAS meeting at which a book associated with the China Beat has been displayed. And nicely displayed it definitely is, as the accompanying photo illustrates (and note that it is shown in the company of books like Voices Carry, China Ink and The Subject of Gender, which have been discussed on our site before).
More than that, though, this is also a conference that, overall, has some features that run in tandem with some of the goals of China Beat. For example, just as we've tried to encourage more interchange between academics and other kinds of writers, there have been some sessions here that, thanks to generous support from the Luce Foundation, have already included or will include reporters and freelance writers. China Beat contributor Lijia Zhang (shown below posing with a poster for her memoir) and Ching-Ching Ni of the Los Angeles Times (shown below sharing her thoughts on the challenges of covering Chinese topics in the field), for example, were both part of a lively session on the Olympics, during which they shared the stage with Beijing-based specialist in Olympic studies Jin Yuanpu (shown below giving his presentation in Chinese), Susan Brownell (who did double duty as both moderator and Jin's translator), and Korea specialist Bruce Cumings (who gave a very smart summary of all the problems with thinking of the Seoul Games as a major contributing force in South Korea's democratization).