1968 - Commitee of Concern Asian Scholars founded

The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars (CCAS) was founded in 1968 by a group of graduate students and younger faculty as part of the opposition to the American war in Vietnam. They proposed a "radical critique of the assumptions which got us [The United States] into Indo-China and were keeping us from getting out." [1] The caucus was held at the Association for Asian Studies convention in Philadelphia, but was a radical critique of that professional association's values, organization, and leadership. Most of the original members were graduate students or junior faculty in Area Studies programs at Harvard, Stanford, University of Michigan, University of California at Berkeley, and Columbia University, although there were also independent scholars and those with no affiliation in the field. [2]

The group soon passed the following Statement of Purpose:

We first came together in opposition to the brutal aggression of the United States in Vietnam and to the complicity or silence of our profession with regard to that policy. Those in the field of Asian studies bear responsibility for the consequences of their research and the political posture of their profession. We are concerned about the present unwillingness of specialists to speak out against the implications of an Asian policy committed to ensuring American domination of much of Asia. We reject the legitimacy of this aim, and attempt to change this policy. We recognize that the present structure of the profession has often perverted scholarship and alienated many people in the field.

The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars seeks to develop a humane and knowledgeable understanding of Asian societies and their efforts to maintain cultural integrity and to confront such problems as poverty, oppression, and imperialism. We realize that to be students of other peoples, we must first understand our relations to them. CCAS wishes to create alternatives to the prevailing trends in scholarship on Asia, which too often spring from a parochial cultural perspective and serve selfish interests and expansionism. Our organization is designed to function as a catalyst, a communications network for both Asian and Western scholars, a provider of central resources for local chapters, and a community for the development of anti-imperialist research. (28-30 March 1969, Boston)

Herbert Bix

Bruce Cumings

John W. Dower

Tom Engelhardt

Joseph W. Esherick

Edward Friedman

David Horowitz

Richard Kagan

Ngo Vinh Long

Victor Nee

Jim Peck

Elizabeth Perry

Mark Selden

Orville Schell

Susan Shirk

Marilyn B. Young



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