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CAORC Panel at the Association for Asian Studies Conference

Fellowship Panel – New Directions for Research

March 27 at 10:45am HST in Room 307B

This session at the Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference will feature current and former fellows of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC) and the Overseas Research Centers (ORCs) located across Asia in discussion concerning experiences in the field, research methodology, and dissemination of research findings. A panel of former fellows will give brief presentations on their research tenures and project outcomes, followed by a 45-minute open discussion forum with an emphasis on cross-border and cross-disciplinary research. The objectives of the session are (1) for alumni to share strategies and experiences with field-bound researchers; (2) to provide an opportunity for fellows to highlight work transecting regional boundaries/national borders and transcending disciplinary boundaries; (3) to share strategies on conducting fieldwork in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

Through this and similar panels at major area studies annual conferences, CAORC hopes to build a stronger network of alumni, advertising opportunities for former fellows to participate in initiatives such as CAORC’s new ambassador program, which will support public talks by alumni at their institutions as well as at community colleges and minority-serving institutions. These sessions are part of CAORC’s broader ongoing initiative to encourage public-facing and inclusive scholarship through the activities of its grantees and member ORCs.

CAORC is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established in 1981 with a mission to foster international exchange and promote advanced research and educational engagement for U.S. faculty, educators, independent scholars, and students at ORCs located throughout the world. Twenty-five ORCs are member organizations of CAORC, each operating as a registered, independent non-profit in its respective host country. Ten ORCs are located in Asian nations: in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The ORCs are respected academic liaisons in their host countries, with reputations for sponsoring public intellectual programming (such as lectures, workshops, and symposia), facilitating relationships between American and local scholars, and promoting research in the humanities and social sciences. U.S. and host-country universities and colleges rely on the ORCs to fund and support scholarship overseas—currently, nearly 500 institutions in all 50 U.S. states hold institutional memberships in the ORCs.



‘Introduction to the Panel’ by Heidi Wiederkehr, CAORC Deputy Director

‘CAORC Fellowships Overview’ by Katie Jost, CAORC Program Director


Justin Henry received his PhD from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2017 and is currently Lecturer in Religious Studies at Georgia College & State University. He is a historian of South Asia interested primarily in literary exchange between Tamil Hindus and Sinhala Buddhists in Sri Lanka and South India in the pre- and early modern periods. Research for his first book, Ravana’s Kingdom: The Ramayana and Sri Lankan History from Below (forthcoming on Oxford University Press USA), was completed with assistance from a CAORC-NEH Senior Research Fellowship in spring 2019. Henry also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies, a CAORC member Overseas Research Center.

Diana S. Kim is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and core faculty member of the Asian Studies Program. She received a PhD in Political Science from the University of Chicago and BA from Korea University. Her scholarship is animated by concerns with how modern states develop capacity to define people at the edges of respectable society, constructing what it means to be illicit, marginal, and deviant, with regional focus on Southeast and East Asia. Kim is the author of Empires of Vice: The Rise of Opium Prohibition across Southeast Asia (Princeton UP 2020), which won the 2021 Giovanni Sartori Book Award from the American Political Science Association. She is currently working on projects regarding comparative colonial legacies, as well as the transnational politics of caste discrimination and global histories of untouchability. For AY 2021-2022, she is at the Institute for Advanced Study as the Hans Kohn Member in the School of Historical Studies.

William Taylor is Curator of Archaeology and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado-Boulder's Museum of Natural History. He directs the museum's Archaeozoology Lab, and serves as editor for the Journal of Glacial Archaeology. His work explains human-animal relationships in the past through the study of ancient animal remains as well as archaeological research in high-altitude and frozen environments.


To learn more about the CAORC and ORC fellowship programs, click here.


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