2021 Keynote & Roundtables


Friday, April 16, 2021
7:00 – 8:30pm

Crossing Boundaries: Multidisciplinary Approaches Add Relevance and Value 

Jorrit Britschgi

Jorrit Britschgi, Director, Rubin Museum of Art

Over the past few decades, the academic field has shifted away from insular approaches to cross-disciplinary ones. Teachers and scholars have recognized that different academic perspectives both cross-pollinate and further knowledge. With many disciplines united under one roof, academic institutions are uniquely positioned to function in this way, and the establishment of area studies and centers of excellence testify to that. In contrast, art museums still employ mostly art historians. They are however coming to similar realizations: that related fields such as history of religion, cultural history, philosophy, and even cognitive psychology are powerful perspectives to embed museum objects in a broader, multidisciplinary context. This unification of disciplines in the context of a public service such as a museum stands to not only reach more audience, but deliver more value to people.

Saturday, April 17
2:00 – 3:30pm
Rubin Museum of Art

Rubin Museum logo

Rubin Museum’s Himalayan Art Project: Facilitating Interdisciplinary Teaching within Asia Context

Jorrit Britschgi, Director; Elena Pakhoutova, Senior Curator, Himalayan Art; Karl Debrezceny, Senior Curator, Collections and Research

Elena Pakhoutova

Elena Pakhoutova

The Rubin Museum of Art, with over fifteen years of innovative research and interpretive presentations of Himalayan art and cultures to students, specialists, and general public, initiates a project to introduce Himalayan Art to American and international colleges, who teach courses on Asia and cross-cultural exchanges.

Karl Debreczeny

Karl Debreczeny

The three-part project develops and integrates a printed publication and a traveling exhibition suitable for university museums and teaching Asia-focused, Himalayan culture, and Buddhism related courses, both of which are supported by digital resources that extend and contextualize the book and the exhibition with online materials aimed at classroom use. The roundtable will introduce the project to the ASIANetwork and solicit feedback on best opportunities for its implementation in teaching and potential exhibition venues.

Saturday, April 17
6:00 – 7:30pm
Blackness in Asian Studies

Nitasha Sharma

Nitasha Sharma, Associate Professor of African American Studies and Asian American Studies, Northwestern University

This roundtable, focusing on the state of the field, will discuss the academic study of the lived experience of Blackness in Asia, its depiction in Asian Studies, and the work of African American and other Black scholars of Asia. Moderated by Dr. Nitasha Sharma, a comparative race studies scholar from Northwestern University, joined by Dr. Marvin Sterling from Indiana University and Keisha Brown from Tennessee State University, the roundtable also will ask participants to explore ways that ASIANetwork could support undergraduate teaching in this area.

 Sunday, April 18
2:00 – 3:30pm
Engaging Asian-American Studies

Gordon Gray (Berea College), Sophia Geng (College of St. Benedict/St. John), Karen Kingsbury (Chatham University), Joan Li (Belmont University), Christine Pae (Denison University)

This roundtable will discuss the merits, cost/benefits, and methods of extending ASIANetwork’s reach to Asian-American and Asian Diaspora Studies.  In the midst of renewed conversations about race, immigration, globalization, the environment, etc., that are unfolding in the United States and globally, and in a period of increasing connectedness and exchange between Asia and North America, how might we, as scholars and teachers of Asia, inform and participate in facilitating understanding of Asia and Asian Americans for our students and our broader communities.