Frequently asked questions and answers 


1. What is the HEAS Conference? 

The HEAS Graduate Student Conference is an annual event, an interdisciplinary forum for graduate students to exchange ideas and discuss current research on topics related to East Asia. The conference allows young scholars to present their research to both their peers as well as renowned scholars of East Asian Studies. The conference will also allow participants to meet others iconducting similar research in their field, and to forge new professional relationships. 

2. When is the 22nd Annual HEAS Conference? Where does it take place? 

The 22nd Annual HEAS Conference will be held on February 8-9, 2019. It will take place at Harvard CGIS South (Center for Global and International Studies), 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA. 

3. What is the scope of the HEAS conference? What will be the appropriate topics for the submission?

This year’s theme, Voice and Silence: Memory in East Asia, explores memory in East Asia. As we continue to study Asia, we must strive to address the ideas of voice and silence and the implications therein. What issues are brought to the forefront and what issues are prone to fading into silence? This extends to how we think about definitions and redefinitions of collective knowledge, cultures, and identity, and can be prompted by simply asking the question—how will this particular issue, period, or piece be remembered?

This year’s conference invites all participants to consider their research from this perspective. We welcome papers that examine Asia from various perspectives and disciplines, including but not limited to history, philosophy, religion, literature, art history, sociology, anthropology, archaeology, economics, political science, gender studies, environmental studies, and law. Preference will be given to work that speaks to multiple fields or engages critically with those categories and boundaries that define past and present research on East Asia.

East Asia specifically includes the following regions, and their peoples, languages, and culture: Northeast Asia (including China, Japan, and Korea), and Southeast Asia (including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore and the Philippines). Inner Asian and Altaic Studies deal with the history and cultures of the peoples in the steppe, mountain, forest, and oasis areas between China, Russia, western Iran, and Pakistan. This geographic area comprises Central Asia (namely former Soviet Central Asia, Xinjiang, eastern Iran, and Afghanistan), Kazakhstan, the northern regions of Pakistan, Tibet (including Qinghai and eastern Sichuan, Gansu, and northwestern Yunnan), Mongolia, and Manchuria. The Altaic languages include the Turkic, Mongolian, and Tungusic group. 

The HEAS Graduate Student Conference welcomes papers from graduate students in all disciplines pertaining to East or Inner Asia, papers that take as their main focus the interactions of these regions with the wider world – so while we do restrict submissions by geographical scope in that sense, we do not restrict them to any specific subject. We have deliberately adopted an inclusive theme in order to gather the best possible papers from all fields, and encourage an inter-disciplinary exchange of ideas. We encourage and accept all papers that take subjects pertaining to these regions their primary focus. 

If you are unsure if a particular paper topic would be appropriate for submission, please write to heasconference@gmail.com, and we will answer your queries. 

4. I am not a graduate student. Am I eligible to submit an abstract/apply to be a conference presenter? 

Unfortunately, our  conference  is  only  accepting  papers  from  current  graduate  students  (“post-­graduate” in the British degree classification). Unless you are currently enrolled in a graduate studies program, we regret that we are unable to accept your application to present a paper at the conference. 

This year, however, we are welcoming professionals or working members in other non-academic fields related to East Asia - those working in Asia-related business, policy, journalism, or law, for instance, are welcome to send us an email about possible collaborations and presentations. 

Nevertheless, undergraduates are very much welcome to attend as observers. We will be sending out invitations for the conference nearer to the date, so do look out for that!  


5. After submitting an abstract, when and by what means will I be notified if my application was successful?

Here are the important dates for the 22nd HEAS conference. Please mark your calendar accordingly! 

  1. Deadline for submission of abstracts: November 12, 2018
  2. Notification date for acceptance/rejection of application to present: mid-December, 2018
  3. Deadline for acceptance/rejection of invitation to present: December 31, 2018
  4. Deadline for final paper submission: January 6, 2019

6. Must papers be written by a single author, or may I apply to present a paper jointly with a colleague?

Joint submissions are welcome, but in that case, please complete two Individual abstract forms while clearly indicating that you are presenting a paper together. 

7. Must my abstract/paper be written in English?

Yes, applicants (and selected presenters) are required to submit all conference materials in English.

8. Will the HEAS conference offer funding/subsidy/reimburse for travel or accommodation?

Unfortunately, we regret that the HEAS Conference is unable to subsidize participants’ transport costs or lodging. The majority of participants will be responsible for providing their own transportation to and from Cambridge, as well as accommodation during the conference. We understand these costs can be prohibitive, so we suggest that you inquire about the possibility of receiving funding from the institution with which you are affiliated.

If you are interested in finding accommodations near Harvard, here are a few options. You may also be interested in finding a lodging in greater Boston area. 

Harvard Faculty Club Guest Rooms: https://www.hfc.harvard.edu/guest-rooms/index
Hotels near Harvard Square: http://www.harvardsquare.com/accommodations
Cambridge Irving Housing: http://irvinghouse.com/

9. I would need a visa to enter the US if selected as a presenter. Would you be able to provide an official invitation letter?

Yes. If your application to present at the HEAS Conference 2019 is successful, we would be happy to furnish you with an official invitation letter for visa, funding, or other purposes.

Thank you for your interest in the 22nd Annual HEAS Conference. We look forward to read your work and hopefully see you in person. If any questions or concerns arise, please do not hesitate to shoot an email at heasconference@gmail.com