Welcome to MCAA 2023

The Center of East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS) is pleased to host the 72nd Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs (MCAA) from September 29 to October 1, 2023 at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. A regional conference of the Association of Asian Studies (AAS), MCAA has provided a forum for scholars and teachers of Asian Studies in the Midwest to gather and exchange knowledge about the history and cultures of Asia for well over a half-century. This conference will feature individual paper presentations, as well as panels and roundtables at which faculty members, and graduate and undergraduate students will present and discuss new research and pedagogical tools across the disciplines of Asian studies.

We are happy to welcome participants from the Midwest and beyond, including attendees from Bangladesh, China, India, Japan, Korea, Pakistan, and Philippines. We are also delighted to have Dr. Jean Oi (President of Association for Asian Studies and William Haas Professor of Chinese Politics and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford) present the keynote speech “A Perfect Storm: COVID, Collapse of the Property Sector, and Local Government Debt in China” on September 30 at the conference banquet.

Also we wish to draw your attention to some of the conference’s special features. A special screening program in celebration of the life of Professor David Plath will also be presented to honor his work and contribution to the MCAA on September 29 at the Knight Auditorium of Spurlock Museum. The Presidential Round Table on Urban History, Asian Studies, and the Possible Future(s) of the Asian City will be held over lunch on September 30. The Midwest Japan Seminar workshop will meet during the two afternoon sessions of September 30, and is open to all MCAA attendees.

CEAPS would like to thank all our student volunteers, our fellow East Asian Studies faculty, the MCAA officers, the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and the Illinois Global Institute for their generous support of Asian scholarship in the Midwest.


Misumi Sadler
Program Chair, MCAA 2023
Director, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign