ABS Annual Conference April 2-5, 2014
This year's Association of Borderlands Studies (ABS) Annual Conference took place in Albuquerque on April 2-5, 2014. There were 52 panels in total, the most ever in ABS history. Dr. Akihiro Iwashita from the Slavic Eurasian Research Centre at Hokkaido University, Dr. Naomi Chi from the Public Policy School at Hokkaido University and Mr. Yasunori Hanamatsu from Decision Science at Kyushu University joined the conference from Japan.
Out of the 52 panels, the Japanese delegation participated in 7 panels as speaker, moderator and/or discussant. One of the highlights of the conference was the showing of the DVD compiled by the border studies programme at the Slavic Research Centre titled, "Tale of the Shaken National Border: Okinawa as Japan's Crossroad Islands with the US and China". The DVD is a documentary depicting the current situation of Okinawa and surrounding islands and its delicate position in terms of US-China-Japan relations.
Another highlight of the conference was the roundtable discussion by the ABS "visualizing committee" that explored new possibilities in the future. One of the ideas discussed was establishing new units in Asia and Latin America in order to expand the association while respecting the heritage groups of US-Mexico and US-Canada border scholars.
Dr. Iwashita is the President-incumbent and will be in charge of the next ABS conference that will take place in Portland in April 2015. We would like to encourage new membership from all over Asia so that the association can grow into an international network of border studies scholars. (Written by: Naomi Chi)
(Photo: San Felipe Church, Albuquerque, NM)