This is our second guest issue with articles written by LIASE (Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment) faculty supported by the Luce Foundation and ASIANetwork with a focus on research and scholarship. Professor Char Miller continues to serve as the guest editor for our LIASE series. His notes begin that portion of the journal.

In addition, we are thrilled to offer essays submitted by our 2019 ASIANetwork Conference on Asia in Undergraduate Education: Integration, Enhancement and Engagement keynote speakers. The first essay, titled “Creating Global Citizens through Encounters with Asia–The Making of the Modern World Program at Eleanor Roosevelt College, UCSD” is written by Richard Madsen, distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California, San Diego. Author or coauthor of 12 books about Chinese culture, Madsen served as the Provost of the Eleanor Roosevelt College from which springs his work in this essay. Madsen’s essay reflects on the development of MMW (the Making of the Modern World), its strengths and weaknesses, and offers those of us at small liberal arts colleges, sage advice as to why and how we can best incorporate Asia in the liberal arts curriculum that is increasingly challenged by pushes toward Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and pragmatic majors for a variety of reasons he delineates.

Our second keynote essay, titled ““The Future Is also a Different Country, and We Should Do Things Differently There: For an Ethics of Vulnerability,” is written by Sabine Frühstück, the Director of the East Asia Center and Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Frühstück, in an insightful essay, asks us to consider “globally sensitive Asian studies” that, as she writes, “embraces collaboration and interdependence, welcomes vulnerability and discomfort, and honors incomplete identities.”

Finally, the last essay in this issue is written by Ariella Napoli, the Marianna McJimsey Undergraduate Student Paper Competition winner. Ariella is pursuing a major in East Asian Studies and Religion at Barnard College. Her faculty advisor for the essay is Professor Jungwon Kim. Her essay is titled “Plurality within Singularity: Chosŏn Korea’s Neo-Confucian Framework.” In this essay, she argues that national identity (as we understand it) was not apparent during the Chosŏn dynasty, but there were evident other identities framed by a Neo-Confucianism that overlaid Buddhist and Catholic institutions in Korea during this time period.

Our three-year stint as editors of the ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts is coming to a close with this upcoming issue. Hong Zhang will continue working on the Fall/Winter 2020 issue with our incoming editors, in order to shepherd them through the transitional process, but Marsha Smith will retire almost completely (finally) with this issue. We would like, at this time, to provide some thoughts about our experiences as editors and our thanks to the many people who have helped us during our journey. We first wish to thank Gary DeCoker, Executive Director of ASIANetwork, who has continuously provided us unconditional support throughout our time as editors. We are grateful for his excellent advice and his confidence in us as we planned our future issues and grew our own vision of the journal. We also wish to thank Teddy Amoloza who quickly and efficiently allowed us to make sure bills were paid, our new employees had a seamless transition to working with us, and was careful with the budget, making sure all contractual obligations were carefully delineated. We would like to thank our editorial board: Rob Dayley, Mark Dennis, Steve Emmanuel, Henry Kim, Laura Miller, Sherry Mou, Mari Nagase, Savita Nair, Surain Subramaniam, Anna Sun, Yi Sun, and Steve Udry, who often would suggest peer reviewers to us or step in as peer reviewers as necessary. Many of them have been active in ASIANetwork over many years and we appreciate their support. We also want to give thanks to our advisory board members: David Chandler, Donald Clark, Lucien Ellington, Margaret Meurer-Fazio, T. James Kodera, and Joshua Mostow. We would also like to thank guest editors we have worked with over the past three years: Jack Harris, Susan Westhafer Furukawa and Erin Schoneveld, and most recently Char Miller who is currently working with us on three issues focusing on LIASE-supported programs in conjunction with ASIANetwork. We are thankful to Merry Diana Johannes, our copyeditor, and Eileen Beran, our proofreader who have worked diligently, efficiently, and cheerfully on our recent issues. We have appreciated all the help given to us from the production team at Ubiquity Press and the Open Library of the Humanities support teams. And of course, we want to thank all our authors who have submitted and published papers, our keynote speakers who have kindly submitted articles, and our Marianna McJimsey student authors who have always responded quickly to every request we have made of them. We would like to thank the Board of Directors of ASIANetwork for their support and excellent advice over the years.

In particular, we would like to offer our sincere thanks to Erin McCarthy and Lisa Trivedi, our predecessors, who established the ASIANetwork Exchange as an online, peer-reviewed journal. Their vision “…to publish current research, as well as high-quality pedagogical essays written by specialists and non-specialists alike” has also guided our decision-making processes. We thank them for helping us transition smoothly as editors to the journal. In our editorship, we have managed to publish essays from ASIANetwork Conference keynote speakers since 2018, and we have regularly produced two issues each year. We have also strongly encouraged and worked closely with faculty from ASIANetwork member colleges and universities to submit articles that meet the journal’s vision. In planning for current and future issues, we have tried to keep a diverse range of themes, whether on Vietnam, digital media in Asia, Asian Studies and the Environment, Korea, Geopolitics in the Media, or Asian Pilgrimages. We believe we are leaving the journal in good shape as we welcome the incoming editors, Ronald Green and Sue Bergemon from Coastal Carolina University. We thank you all for an exciting, challenging and rewarding three years with the ASIANetwork Exchange.

Competing Interests

The authors have no competing interests to declare.