University at Buffalo Will Host Regional Asian Studies Conference Sept. 16-17

For Asia lovers: scholarly panels, art exhibitions, gallery receptions, teacher workshop

Release Date: September 13, 2011

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Asia scholars from New York, neighboring states, Canadian provinces and beyond will gather in Buffalo Sept. 16-17 for the 2011 New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS) organized by the Asian Studies Program at the University at Buffalo.

College and university faculty members, graduate students, pre-K through 12 teachers and other Asia scholars and Asiaphiles are invited to explore the conference theme, "Asia at Work and Play," and discuss a wide range of topics in the humanities, social sciences and professional fields relative to all regions of Asia.

Visit for more information and to register for the conference. Registration for the entire conference is $125, with teacher and student discounts of $75. Registration for the teacher workshop alone is $10. UB students and faculty can attend all conference events at no charge, although pre-registration is required for the teacher workshop and Saturday luncheon by emailing

The theme "Asia at Work and Play" calls attention to the ways in which the labor and creativity of people in and from Asia have transformed the world. Conference panels will examine the automobile industry in Asia and its connections to Western New York, Asian labor markets, media and rule of law in China, sports and society, popular music, and the entertainment industry in Asia.

On Sept. 16 from 12:30-4 p.m. and Sept. 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., the conference will present academic panels at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, 2402 North Forest Rd., near Audubon Pkwy., Amherst. These panels are open to conference registrants only, but evening events on both days are open to the public and free of charge.

On both days, part of the Ramada Inn exhibition space will feature photographs from "China's Sacred Sites," an acclaimed book project by Buffalo architect Beverly Foit-Albert and Nan Shunxun of the Beijing Institute for Civil Engineering and Architecture.

Conference keynote events will kick off at 5 p.m. on Sept. 16 in the Screening Room, 112 Center for the Arts, UB North Campus, with a talk by Melissa Chiu, vice president for global arts programs at the Asia Society in New York, titled "What is Asian Contemporary Art: The Challenges of a New Field of Enquiry."

At 6 p.m. the UB Department of Visual Studies, UB Art Galleries and the Asian Studies Program will celebrate the opening of a collaborative exhibition, "Beijing Buffalo: Translation," by students from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and the UB Department of Visual Studies. The free public exhibition will take place on the second floor of the UB Art Gallery and a public reception will be held in the Center for the Arts atrium.

Chiu's talk, along with the exhibition opening and reception are made possible through sponsorships by the UB Confucius Institute, Department of Visual Studies, the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts and the UB Art Gallery.

The Sept. 17 program at the Ramada will include a plenary luncheon, with a welcome by Stephen C. Dunnett, UB vice provost for international education, and a keynote address by Gail Hershatter, president of the Association for Asian Studies and a noted expert on gender and labor in China. The title of Hershatter's presentation is "The Girl Who Burned the Banknotes: A Child Daughter-in-Law's Story and the Shape of Social Change in Early Socialist China."

From 9 a.m. to noon, as part of its ongoing commitment to teacher professional education, the Asian Studies Program will present "The Arts in Asia: A Workshop for Teachers" in conjunction with NYCAS 2011.

The workshop will be held in 120 Clemens Hall, UB North Campus, and will feature a presentation by Dinh Q. Le on art and contemporary society in Vietnam, as well as presentations on music and art in Japan and India.

Sept. 17 also will mark the opening of the world premiere of the exhibition "Dinh Q. Le: Saigon Diary" in the UB Anderson Gallery, One Martha Jackson Place, Buffalo.

In this exhibition, the renowned Vietnamese-American artist documents the activities of 12 "recycling women," who travel throughout Saigon collecting waste to sell or reuse. In the process, he creates a vivid documentary portrait of their lives, which he weaves into the story of this rapidly changing society. This event, including a reception for the artist from 6-8 p.m., is a free and open to the public. The exhibition will continue through Dec. 31.

Catalog support for the Lê exhibition was provided by the Robert Lehman Foundation. Exhibition sponsorship was provided by Norman and Thuy Murray and by three area Southeast Asian restaurants: Papaya, Saigon Bangkok and Saigon Cafe.

In addition to the gallery exhibition sponsors, NYCAS 2011 is made possible with funding from the UB College of Arts and Sciences, East View Information Services, the Association for Asian Studies and the New York Conference on Asian Studies.

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