Our events are usually free, open to the public, and benefit from a wide participation – please email us for more information, watch our website and Facebook page, or join our program email list to receive event notices and the eNewsletters!

Asia@Noon Lecture Series

Asia@Noon talks are held many Fridays throughout the academic year in 280 Park Hall at 12pm. The presenter usually speaks for about 45 minutes, with time for discussion at the end of each talk. Undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and people from the Buffalo community are invited and encouraged to attend. If you are a scholar of Asia-related research, we invite you to contact us about speaking at Asia@Noon.


After being unable to host any events in our longstanding colloquium series this past Spring, we are happy to announce the resumption of invited talks for faculty, graduate students, and others at UB or in western NY to present and discuss recent research and creative activity related to Asian Studies. Obviously, these presentations will have to be conducted through Zoom, and in order to adjust to the new class schedule, the talks will start at 12:40 instead of noon and end promptly at 1:30. 

Spring 2021 Asia@Noon Events

J. Elias 3-19-21.

Asia@Noon Event
March 19th, 2021 at 12:00pm via Zoom
Professor Jamal Elias, of the University of Pennsylvania presents:
“Troubling Translations and the Elusive Original: Translating More than Text”

Organized by the University at Buffalo Asian Studies Program and Translation Zone Humanities Institute Research Workshop

Professor Jamal J. Elias is Walter H. Annenberg Professor of the Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in Islamic thought, literature, and history in Western, Central and South Asia, with a focus on Sufism and Visual Culture. His most recent books are On Wings of Diesel: Trucks, Identity and Culture in Pakistan (Oxford 2011), Aisha's Cushion: Religious Art, Perception and Practice in Islam (Cambridge, MA, 2012), and Alef is for Allah: Childhood, Emotion and Visual Culture in Islamic Societies (Berkeley, 2018). 

 hwc book cover.

Asia @ Noon Event
April 2, 2021 at 12:00 via Zoom 

This Asia@Noon event will require pre-registration
Click here to register in advance for this meeting
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.Professor Hsiao-wen Cheng, of University of Pennsylvania will present her book: "Divine, Demonic, and Disordered"

A variety of Chinese writings from the Song period (960–1279)—medical texts, religious treatises, fiction, and anecdotes—depict women who were considered peculiar because their sexual bodies did not belong to men. These were women who refused to marry, were considered unmarriageable, or were married but denied their husbands sexual access, thereby removing themselves from social constructs of female sexuality defined in relation to men. As elite male authors attempted to make sense of these women whose sexual bodies were unavailable to them, they were forced to contemplate the purpose of women’s bodies and lives apart from wifehood and motherhood. This raised troubling new questions about normalcy, desire, sexuality, and identity. 

In Divine, Demonic, and Disordered, Hsiao-wen Cheng considers accounts of “manless women,” many of which depict women who suffered from “enchantment disorder” or who engaged in “intercourse with ghosts”—conditions with specific symptoms and behavioral patterns. Cheng questions conventional binary gender analyses and shifts attention away from women’s reproductive bodies and familial roles. Her innovative study offers historians of China and readers interested in women, gender, sexuality, medicine, and religion a fresh look at the unstable meanings attached to women’s behaviors and lives even in a time of codified patriarchy.


Missed the event? Check out the recording of the event here!



haque A@N.

Asia@Noon Event
March 26th, 2021 at 12:00 via Zoom 
Professor Syrrina Haque will present her book: "Dialog on Partition"

Dr. Syrrina Ahsan Ali Haque teaches English Literature, Creative, Academic Writing, and Research Methodology at the University of Lahore, University at Buffalo, Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore

School of Economics, and other institutions. Dialogue on Partition received Honorable Mention at the 51st NEMLA Convention. It shows how shared time and space as depicted in partition literature

can foster dialogue despite separation and relocation. By incorporating perspectives of characters, narrators, writers, and historians, Haque shows how art and literature can be used as tools of integration


rustgi conf flyer.

2021 Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia

Isolation and its Discontents
February 26th and 27th, 2021
University at Buffalo, SUNY

We present the third annual Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia by reflecting upon the rich history of South Asia and its connection to present-day conditions. We invite papers on the theme of “Isolation,” where isolation may be interpreted broadly, whether in its social, political, or environmental sense. To a lot of us today, isolation on a global scale would seem like a novel phenomenon. But both in its metaphorical and literal manifestations, isolation has throughout history been a marker of something tempestuous and has provoked resistance. The conference will feature a keynote lecture from Aniruddha Dutta, Associate Professor in the departments of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies and Asian and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Iowa.

Undergraduate participants from all disciplines, working on any topic relating to the region, are welcome to submit proposals. Possible topics of discussion include: 

  • Socio-political forms of isolation, including separation and seclusion
  • Physical isolation
  • Surveillance
  • Efforts to isolate certain “master categories” (caste, race, gender, nationality) out of the messy reality of humanity
  • Myths of environmental isolation 
  • Atavistic claims, be they nationalist, religious, linguistic, or otherwise
  • Isolation and diaspora

While this list of suggestions is by no means exhaustive, we encourage papers that address less commonly researched sociopolitical issues, communities, or theories. We hope to organize panels around presentations addressing similar issues that draw from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including the social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, management, humanities, fine arts, and others. 

Please click to submit proposals.

The conference will be held online on Friday, February 26th, and Saturday, February 27th, 2021. Students presenters should plan for 15-minute presentations. Each panel will include 30 minutes for discussion.

Proposals, including 250-word abstracts and the contact information of a faculty supervisor, must be submitted via the online submissions portal ( by January 1st, 2021.

When submitting abstracts, applicants must affirm that they will be enrolled as undergraduate students at the time of the conference. Those in graduate programs or not currently enrolled in an undergraduate program will not be permitted to present. The organizers reserve the right to confirm student status with their advisor and home institution.

Please contact for more information about the conference.

To view past conference programs, please visit or

The third annual Rustgi Undergraduate Conference on South Asia is made possible by a generous gift from Dr. Vinod Rustgi and his family.

Cosponsored Events

Our Asian Studies Program hosts, sponsors, and cosponsors scholarly, artistic, and student-oriented events across campus and beyond!

Asian Studies Faculty Symposium

The Asian Studies Faculty Symposium is held every year in September, and is organized around a critical transdisciplinary debate in Asian Studies. 


Unfortunately due to COVID-19, the Asian Studies Faculty Symposium has been cancelled for 2020. We hope to reestablish the symposium in the Fall of 2021. 

2020-2021 Asian Studies Events

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Other Exciting Asian Studies Events

Beneath the China Boom Flyer.

Prof. Yige Dong, who is joining the Dept. of Sociology and the Dept. of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies this fall, will be one of two presenters in the online discussion series “China and the Left: Critical Analysis & Grassroots Activism.” The title of this third discussion in the series is: “Feminism and Queer Activism in China.” Registration is free.

This year’s New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS) at SUNY Brockport was postponed until next year, but a scaled-down, virtual conference has been scheduled under the title: “The Impact of COVID-19 on Asian Communities: From the Local to the Global.” Registration is free. For a list of presentations and panels, see their website here.

  • FRIDAY, SEPT. 11, 2020
    • 1–4:30 pm EDT 
    • Zoom conference link will be shared upon registration
    • Register Here!

The Translation Zone, a Humanities Institute Research Workshop, will hold its first meeting of the academic year. The idea is simply to come together and translate poetry, short and long fiction, and non-fiction prose from South and Southeast Asian languages into English. Going by a slightly more expansive definition, this would include languages from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Burma/Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Tibet, and Maldives. The Translation Zone is being coordinated by Shantam Goyal and Walter Hakala, both of the Department of English.  
Please feel free to attend even if you’re not sure you can be a regular part of the workshop, but if you are interested in the idea of translating stuff from South Asian languages into English. The meeting will give us an opportunity to discuss the scope of the workshop, as well as to see a schedule which works best for most people.