AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 252

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Session 252: Roundtable: Globalization, Transnationalism, and Migration in Asia: Roundtable in Honor of James L. Watson -Sponsored by the China and Inner Asia Council

Organizer: Vanessa Fong, Harvard University, USA

Discussants: Eriberto P. Lozada, Davidson College, USA; Nicole Constable, University of Pittsburgh, USA; Jaesok Kim, University of Pennsylvania, South Korea; Jeanne L. Shea, University of Vermont, USA; Li Zhang, University of California, Davis, USA; Tianshu Pan, Fudan University, China

In this roundtable, panelists will draw on their own research on Asian globalization, transnationalism, and migration to stimulate a wider discussion of James L. Watson's work on these issues and the avenues for future research that it has opened up. James Watson began publishing work about migration between Hong Kong and London in 1975, well before before issues of transnationalism, diaspora, and deterritorialization became widely discussed in Asian Studies. He later built on this work to address how societies across Asia dealt with global phenomena such as McDonalds, genetically modified foods, and SARS, demonstrating the importance of understanding how the local and the global intersect. The panelists show how an ethnographic focus on local responses to global forces can help scholars as well as the general public understand the tremendous geopolitical and economic changes that have transformed East Asia, from the Cold War to the current global economic crisis. Panelists will address how James Watson’s work has inspired them to address Chinese responses to global capitalism (Pan Tianshu), how Chinese people embrace and reshape global psychotherapy (Zhang Li), and transnational flows of people between China, North Korea, and South Korea (Jaesok Kim), between China and Africa (Eriberto Lozada), between mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Canada (Jeanne Shea), between the Philippines, Hong Kong, mainland China, and the United States (Nicole Constable), and between China, North America, Australia, Europe, Japan, Singapore, and New Zealand (Vanessa Fong). We hope that this panel will be a true roundtable—a conversation rather than a set of formal paper presentations. Each two-hour panel will begin with five to ten minute remarks from each participant, followed by moderated discussions among the panelists and between the panelists and the audience. We hope that this panel will inspire new research agendas building on the legacies of James Watson’s work.