Welcome Remarks

Anne R. Kenney, Carl A. Kroch University Librarian

Photo of Anne KenneyWelcome to Ithaca, Cornell and the 14th ACPSS International Conference! We are especially pleased to host this prestigious gathering in conjunction with the 90th Jubilee of the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia. Beginning with a bequest from Cornell alumnus Charles W. Wason in 1918, the East Asia Collection has grown in stature and breadth and today ranks as one of the leading collections in the world. I am particularly pleased that the opening reception will be taking place in the Carl A Kroch Library, the beautiful home of the Wason Collection as well as the other Asia Collections—the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia and the South Asia Collection. The conference’s emphasis on globalization is reflected in the Library’s conceptualization of Asia as a culturally integrated region. You will find that our Asia collections are shelved together by subject, not nation, supporting trans-national comparisons and study. Our approach to digital resources is similarly motivated and the Library seeks to provide access to electronic databases that focus on the whole of Asia and its relationship to the rest of the world as well as those that cover distinctive regions.

The theme for the conference, East Asia: Challenges of Complex Realities in an Era of Globalization and Digitization, is especially timely. Over a period of two days, 17 panels and 60+ attendees will discuss key aspects of research, scholarship, librarianship, politics, economics, international cooperation, and much more. The schedule is packed, but I encourage you to consider the Library your home while you are here—all of our resources are available to you on site, including access to the physical and digital collections as well as the many services we provide to Cornellians and the broader scholarly community.

Ding Xiang Warner, Director of East Asia Program

Photo of Ding Xiang WarnerMy very warm greetings to all of you. It is my distinct pleasure to join my colleagues at Cornell University, especially those at the Cornell University Library, in welcoming you to our campus for the 14th ACPSS International Conference and our celebration of the 90th anniversary of the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia.

Since its early founding, the East Asia Program has held a deeply cherished partnership with the Wason Collection in a common mission to promote the knowledge and understanding of East Asia’s richly diverse cultures. The fruit of this partnership is best reflected in our respective statures and rankings—EAP as one of the leading National Resource Centers for East Asian Studies; the Wason Collection as the largest open-stack collection of East Asia materials in the nation, thereby attracting scholars from throughout the country and world who conduct research on China, Japan, Korea and other regions’ relations with East Asia. I hope you will have the opportunity during your conference visit to explore some of the rich resources on East Asia to be discovered at Cornell.

I bid a very happy 90th birthday to the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia and offer my very best wishes to the ACPSS for a stimulating and fruitful conference!

Jieli Li, President, ACPSS

Photo of Jieli LiIt is a great honor for the ACPSS 14th international conference to be hosted on the beautiful campus of Cornell University in conjunction with the 90th Jubilee of the Cornell Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia. The joint holding of these two events marks a perfect match between academicians and librarians in the pursuit of excellence in East Asia studies in the current era of globalization and digitalization. Our world is now undergoing enormous changes in this 21st century. It is not only becoming "flat," as Thomas Friedman describes it in his The World is Flat; it is also catching "fire," as Amy Chua depicts it in her The World is on Fire. All the changes sweeping across social, cultural, and economic landscapes at both local and global levels have brought about many new issues and questions that pose the daunting challenges to social scientists in search for answer. Specifically, the changes in East Asia, especially in China, are attracting a great deal of attention and the "China factor" seems to have turned into a buzz word in almost all related social science inquiries.

It is therefore appropriate for the complexity of realities in East Asian region at the current stage of globalization to serve as the theme of this year's conference. As you will see, the research paper sessions plus roundtable panels touch upon a variety of topics ranging from global power shift, to East Asia in the world economy, and to new cultural trends, China's new agricultural/land reform, social welfare, the impacts of Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and other concerned issues. Further, since overseas Chinese community history and its new development have recently gained more visibility in the literature of China studies, this area of research is featured in several sessions at this year's conference. As before, this year's conference will continue to serve as an arena for scholars from the U.S., China and other regions of the world to gather together to share their research findings while exchanging ideas to conduct further research of their common interests. As part of our tradition, this is also a time for all of us to see old friends and make new ones. As I always believe, the collegiality of the ACPSS community, now in its fourteenth year since its founding, continues to hold sway, thanks to our annual international conferences where intellectual discourse and professional friendship can commingle.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to the Cornell University library and the East Asian Program for their generous sponsorship of this conference. Dr. Liren Zheng of Cornell University deserves my special thanks for his impeccable professionalism in coordinating with ACPSS to make this joint event possible. It is my sincere wish that all of you enjoy the conference as well as the colorful autumn in Ithaca.