SASE/Kyoto 2018: Broadening Horizons!
This year marked an important milestone for SASE, with its first annual meeting in Asia. The ball started rolling a few years ago when Doshisha University extended a warm invitation to host a SASE conference. Back then, we wondered if many people would travel that far? We are happy to report there were well over 900 attendees from 57 countries, including 275 scholars from Asia.
The meeting was preceded by the third annual all-day Early Career Workshop, during which seasoned SASE scholars held sessions with 20 grad students and early career scholars who were awarded travel support and lodging to discuss their prize-winning papers, among other things. Once the conference kicked off, many of the sessions toggled between East and West or else pointed to their deep entanglement, as President Gary Herrigel did in his plenary address. SASE also hosted its first Women’s Forum, which attracted great interest from across the association.
As for the social programming, our hosts in Kyoto prepared an entertaining sake tasting for the Welcome Reception and a whole host of delights for the Gala Soirée, held in the vast ballroom of the elegant Hotel Okura. The gala was well underway when conversations were cut short by the sound of loud gongs and drums that accompanied the famed Ayakasa Boko group of dancers and musicians as they paraded among the guests and onto the stage to give a stunning performance of an ancient dance (see video). Meanwhile, local artisans demonstrated traditional crafts, from calligraphy to the painting of porcelain vases, and representatives from Doshisha and SASE took part in the traditional ceremony of the swinging hatchets to break open a large barrel of sake. Every effort was made to offer a splendid welcome to the SASE community, including students posted in the metro to direct conference participants to the correct stop for the Hotel Okura. Please see photos here and SASE/Kyoto program here.