17th Annual Asian Studies Development Conference

Funded and sponsored by the East-West Center and the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, the Asian Studies Development Program (ASDP) National Conference is an annual event that provides an opportunity for ASDP alumni and other interested college and university faculty members to share research related to Asian cultures and societies. It also promotes sharing of strategies for effectively infusing Asian content into undergraduate humanities and social science curricula.

cambodian angkor dance troupe

(Lowell’s celebrated Angkor Dance Troupe performed traditional Cambodian dances as part of the 17th annual Asian Studies Development Program National Conference, hosted by Middlesex Community College March 24-26 at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. Photo Credit: Middlesex Community College.)

The Middlesex Community College (MCC) in Lowell, Massachusetts hosted the 17th annual Asian Studies Development Program National Conference, held March 24-26, 2011, at the Omni Parker House Hotel in Boston. Titled Asian Studies: Traditions and Transformations, the conference was co-sponsored by MCC, the Asian Studies Development Program (ASPD), and the Association of Regional Centers of Asian Studies.

Middlesex President Carole Cowan delivered welcoming remarks at the conference opening reception. Cowan was instrumental in founding ASDP and helping Middlesex become the first regional Asian Studies Center.

Friday’s keynote speakers included Peter Hershock, co-director of ASDP, speaking on “In Pursuit of Equity: Globalization, Higher Education and the Emerging Value of Diversity;” and Jane Portal, the Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, Oceania and Africa, Museum of Fine Arts, on “First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Armyhina’s Terracotta Army.”

Saturday’s keynote speaker was Richard Samuels, the Ford International Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose topic is “Japan’s Grand Strategy.” Lowell’s celebrated Angkor Dance Troupe will perform a selection of traditional Cambodian dances at lunch.

The East-West Center launched the ASDP in 1991 to enhance teaching about Asia at American two-year and four-year colleges and universities at the undergraduate level. In recent years, ASDP has also included Asian faculty in selected programs. Since its inception, more than 1,500 professors from the U.S. and Asia have participated in ASDP programs.