Transnational Asia/Pacific Section Guide to AFS 2021 Annual Meeting

AFS News, Annual Meeting News

By Yuanhao Zhao (Section Co-Convener)

The theme of this year’s annual meeting is Natural States: Environment, Politics, and Tradition.  In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the meeting will be held both in virtual sessions (October 18—20) and in-person (October  21–23 at the Hilton Harrisburg in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania). The conveners of the Transnational Asia/Pacific Section have put together the following  guide highlighting panels, papers, and other events that might be of interest to section  members or anyone interested in the folklore of Asia and the Pacific.  

Our reason for presenting this guide is not to restrict the scope of our research to the region and/or the idea of “Asia,” but to provide a glimpse of topics and tools that may inform research in or on Asia.   

TAP-Sponsored Sessions 

All times below are EDT; the program is subject to change.

18-01 Forum: Asians and the Global Pandemic: Race, Invisibility, and the Urgency of Asian  American Folklore Studies 

      Monday, 8:45 pm–10:15 pm

26-01 Interrupting Fairy Tales across Media 

      Tuesday, 5:15 pm–6:45 pm  

26-02  “Folk” Culture in Eastern Asia: Transition, Survivance, and Attendance      

Tuesday, 5:15 pm–6:45 pm   

Other Sessions of Interest 

11-01  Dynamics of Belief and Practice in the Ritual Context: Five Cases from Contemporary  Iran       

Monday, 9:30 am–11:00 am  

24-03  Searching for Healing in South Korea: In Loving Memory of Roger L. Janelli   

Tuesday, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm  

26-05   Race, Ethnicity, and Nation in the History of Folklore and Folklife Studies

      Tuesday, 5:15 pm–6:45 pm  

28-01   Field Studies on Traditions and Politics in Rural China 

       Tuesday, 8:45 pm–10:15 pm  

28-02  Folkloristic Work on Myth: Trends, Developments, and Tricksters

        Tuesday, 8:45 pm–10:15 pm   

32-02  Multi-Species Relationships from the Margins: Case Studies from North and  Northeast India

      Wednesday, 11:15 am–12:45 pm 

34-05  Politics, Ethnicity, and Nation in Religious Ritual and Storytelling

      Wednesday, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm  

Individual Papers of Interest 


62-02  Entangled Heritage: Tourism, Vernacular Religion, and Wedding Rituals in Hisor,  Tajikistan  

  Benjamin Gatling (George Mason University)  

62-01  Plants are People Too: The Personification of American Ginseng

    Betty J. Belanus (Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage)  

62-03  Tradition, Environment, and Politics in Armenian Folktale Cycle “Hazaran  Blbul” (Thousand-Voiced Nightingale)

    Gohar Melikyan (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Academy of Sciences of  Armenia)  

64-04  Exploring Iconicity and Erasure Related to the Kazakh Nomadic Ideal as Tradition

    Erik A. Aasland (Fuller Theological Seminary)  


11-02  Fukunosuke Kusumi: The Art of Looking Back  

  Julia Shizuyo Popham (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)  

12-01  The UNESCO Effect, Part II: Local Practice and the Power of Metacultural Categories

    Michael  Dylan  Foster (University of California, Davis)  

14-07  Bonding and Building Connections with the Nature: Exploring through Indian Folktales

    Tulika Chandra (Shiv Nadar University)  

17-03  Between Inside and Outside: The Poetics of Windows in a Los Angeles Neighborhood

    Leah Busby (University of California, Berkeley)  


21-04  Transcending Borders: The Use of Sufi Lore and Mysticism in Zeyn Joukhadar’s The  Thirty Names of Night  

  Ghassan Abou-Zeineddine (University of Michigan, Dearborn)  

22-02  Chamba Rumal: A Glance through the Folkloristic Lens  

  Smriti Dutt (Ambedkar University Delhi) 

22-02  The Transformation in Iranian Dwelling Patterns and Neighborhood Relationships: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Iranian Movies  

  Foroogh Mohammadi (Memorial University of Newfoundland)  

24-02  Fen Alcohol Making as Intangible Cultural Heritage in Contemporary China: Integration  of Alcohol Regime and Heritage Regime on the Ground  

  Ziying You (The College of Wooster)  


34-01  Folk-Colonial Critique: Legendary Pasts and the Present in Kutiyattam Sanskrit Theater

    Leah Lowthorp (University of Oregon)  

34-05  Pilgrimage in the Indo-Gangetic Plains: Politics, Religion, and Folk Tradition at a  Confluence of Rivers in North India

    Amit Singh (Ambedkar University Delhi)  

34-05  Bringing the Dancing Demons Back to Life: Mongolian Tsam Rituals in the 21st Century

    Ariana N. Pedigo (Western Kentucky University)  

36-01  Women Artisans of Chikan: Investigating Traditions and Lived Realities of the  Embroiderer Community

    Meetali Srivastava (Ambedkar University Delhi)  

36-04  Nostalgia and Identity: A Research of Chinese Contemporary Dialect Songs

    Yangping Wei (Wuhan University)  

36-04  Returning to Place: Female Expressions in New Media of China

    Lei Cai (Wuhan University)  


52-04  Worshipping Bemata and Singing Songs of New Mother: Tradition and the Maternal Body in Folk Tradition of Haryana  

  Anjana Prakash (Independent, retired)  

Special Events 


Honoring Pang Xiong Sirirathusak Sikoun (1944-2020): Keeper of Hmong Culture and  Community Activist 

                 Saturday, 3:30 pm–5:00 pm 

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