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Transnational Asia/Pacific


The Transnational Asia/Pacific Section aims to:

  1. Convene folklorists of Asia and relevant scholars in Asian-diaspora folklore for better communication and research;
  2. Participate actively in AFS annual meetings by a) holding the annual section business meeting, b) organizing and sponsoring panels, and c) organizing other events to bring members together;
  3. Establish dialogues between interested folklorists from Asia, the US, and other countries, and to facilitate communication between members through a listserv (see below);
  4. Encourage and support scholarship in the field, in particular through a prize for students and young scholars (see information on the Saboohi I. Khan award below);
  5. Support the AFS and facilitate its initiatives on folklore in Asia and Asian-diaspora folklore studies;
  6. Educate the public on Asia and Asian-diaspora folklore, and promote mutual cultural understanding among the various peoples of the world.


The Section currently sponsors the Saboohi I. Khan Award for student scholarship. Please see the award page for more information.

From 2010 to 2017, the Section sponsored the Jonathan T. Yeh Award; this prize is no longer being offered, but information on past recipients may be found on the award page


Dues: The Section has currently no dues, but may collect small fees in the future to offset the material costs as deemed necessary by the Section committee.

Conveners and Committee: The section is overseen by a pair of co-conveners who serve staggered two-year terms. The co-conveners and the committee are voted into office by section members. Since 2018, the outgoing convener has served an extra year in an advisory position as Past Convener. Liu Wei (Ph.D. Candidate of the Ohio State University) is the current Junior Convener and Nancy Yan (American Federation of Teachers-Maryland) is the current Senior Convener. The Immediate Past Senior Convener is Mark Bender (Professor in Dept. of East Asian Languages and Literatures, The Ohio State University).

To contact the conveners for section-related matters, please email [email protected].

Membership: includes the right to vote on Section business and receive related information.

Communication: In addition to communications sent out to all members by the conveners, we also have a Google Group to facilitate communications and exchange between members:


To see the members’ research profiles, please click here.


Since the establishment of AFS in 1888, articles and notes in the JAF and presentations and panels at the AFS annual meetings have been a component of the vitality of AFS. In the last three decades, as the societies in the eastern sphere of the Asian landmass have increasingly gained global prominence, interest in Asian and Asian-American folklore has increased tremendously not only among AFS members, but also in American society at large.

Acknowledging the great diversity of the folklore in the cultures of this part of Asia, we established the East Asia Section devoted to the study of folklore in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and related folklores in diaspora communities in the United States and other global communities. The areas of East Asia and South Asia are linked in many ways by history, culture, and economy to cultures within the designated region, as well as to cultures outside our area of focus, including India, and in more recent times, cultures in the West.

In 2014, the members voted on the change of section name to Transnational Asia/Pacific Section.

Get Involved

Sign in to the AFS Member Portal to join the section and ensure you’re receiving section communications. All of your section involvement can be managed under My Info.

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