Past Programs

Luce Fund for Asian Studies Capstone Conference

The Luce Fund for Asian Studies Capstone Conference (LFAS), organized by ACLS with a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, was held in Princeton, NJ on October 12-14, 2007. The conference initiated a conversation among LFAS faculty members, the Luce Foundation, and ACLS about the role of area studies in liberal education, the relationship between teaching and research in career planning, and the particular challenges and satisfactions of being an Asian studies specialist at a liberal arts college. The Conference also aimed to assess the impact of the Luce Foundation's grants to LFAS faculty's respective institutions and to discuss new approaches to teaching Asian studies to undergraduates. There are plans to publish these findings as a resource for scholars and administrative officers.

Luce Fund for Asian Studies Program Description

The Luce Fund for Asian Studies, established in 1999, was a $12 million initiative to strengthen the study of Asia at the undergraduate level of American higher education. The initiative supported the creation of permanent new junior faculty positions at selective American liberal arts colleges to foster the study of East and Southeast Asia and reinforce the liberal arts. Thirty-eight grants were awarded over four years through annual competitions. The final round of competition was in June 2002.

The Luce Foundation solicited proposals from competitive liberal arts institutions that demonstrated a significant commitment to the study of Asia. The aim of the program was to bolster existing Asian studies programs to new levels of quality and coverage rather than to initiate new Asian studies programs.

Each grant supports salary and benefits for a new professor for a four-year period and a program fund of $10,000 per year for Asia-related activities such as visiting lectureships, student internships, library acquisitions, and faculty exchange. Funding is provided on the condition that the institution will continue to support the position after the foundation's grant has expired.

New appointments have added depth or breadth to an Asia program and include full-time language teaching positions as well as positions in the humanities and social science disciplines. Appointments making creative links with the fields of Asian-American studies or U.S.-Asia relations were also considered.

In making its decisions about grants, the foundation was guided by the recommendations of a panel of advisors, distinguished scholars familiar with Asia and liberal arts colleges. Awards were based on the quality, creativity and promise of each proposal as well as on the schools' existing institutional resources, strong commitment to and long-range strategy for Asian studies. The foundation also considered diversity in terms of disciplines, level of program development, and geographic location of schools.