SUNY New Paltz to host New York Conference of Asian Studies

Acclaimed author Ha Jin will be plenary speaker

NEW PALTZ – The State University of New York at New Paltz will host the annual meeting of the New York Conference of Asian Studies on Sept. 28 and 29. This multi-disciplinary conference will include more than 50 panels focusing on Asian culture, politics, art, literature, economy, society and history, and is expected to draw more than 200 scholars from across the United States and Canada, as well as from Europe and Asia. The theme of this year’s conference is “Contesting Tradition.” The conference is open to the public with a $25 registration fee and will be held in the Student Union.

The plenary speaker for the conference will be Chinese-American author Ha Jin, who will speak on “Writing about the Immigrant Experience.” The plenary session will take place on Friday, Sept. 28 at 10:50 a.m. in Lecture Center 100.

Dr. Theodore Bestor of Harvard University, president of the national Association for Asian Studies, will provide remarks at Friday’s dinner banquet beginning at 6 p.m. The topic of his talk is “Natural and Unnatural Disasters: Rethinking Japan in the Aftermath of March 11.” The Friday banquet will be followed by a concert by the Neel Murgai Ensemble featuring the music of India in McKenna Theater.

Other conference-related events will include two exhibits at the Samuel Dorsky Museum – one by acclaimed modern Japanese artist Ushio Shinohara, the other of photographic images taken by New Paltz alumna Veronica O’Keefe in China entitled “On the Farm.” Finally, an extensive array of Asia-related academic and popular books will be on display in the Student Union.

For registration and fee information, and to learn more about the conference and view the preliminary schedule, please visit the conference web site at

Questions may be directed to the conference co-organizers, David Elstein at, or Akira Shimada at