ASPAC recognizes exceptional graduate student scholarship in Asian Studies through two awards, the Mori-ASPAC Prize (successor to the John and Mae Esterline Prize) and the newly‐established Jeffrey Barlow Prize.


Asian Studies on the Pacific Coast (ASPAC), a regional affiliate of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS), will award the annual Mori-ASPAC and Barlow Prizes for outstanding essays by graduate students in June 2023.

The Mori-ASPAC Prize for Graduate Students

In honor of long-time ASPAC member, Professor Barbara Mori, this prize recognizes extraordinary graduate student scholarship in any area of Asian Studies. It is open to all students pursuing graduate studies in any discipline and in any area of research pertaining to Asian Studies.

The Barlow Prize Graduate Student Prize in Chinese Studies

In honor of the late Jeffrey G. Barlow, (Pacific University), longtime ASPAC advocate and publisher of E-ASPAC, the ASPAC board has instituted a new prize for the best graduate student paper in any area of Chinese studies.

Graduate students wishing to apply for the Mori-ASPAC Prize and/or the Barlow Prize should provide the complete paper and their faculty supervisor’s cover letter of support.  The faculty support letter should explain contributions of the paper to the field and highlight other merits of the paper. Both prizes come with a monetary award.

The winners of the Mori-ASPAC and Jeffrey Barlow Prizes will be announced in July 2023.


Prizes are awarded for yet unpublished work. If submitted papers are part of a doctoral dissertation, the dissertation must be defended in 2023 or later. Graduate student authors do not have to attend a university in the ASPAC area to be eligible.

How to Submit your Paper for a Prize:

Send an e-mail to Ashley Wright, the chair of the Graduate Student Prize Selection Committee, at

Please indicate which prize(s) you are applying for and attach both the paper and the letter of support from your professor in the e-mail.

Papers are only accepted as Microsoft Word documents or PDF files, should be about 17-25 pages in length, and should follow disciplinary formatting and citation style. PowerPoint, slides, and other formats are not accepted. If a paper qualifies for both prizes, it is allowable to submit a single paper for both prizes; simply indicate that in your e-mail.

Application deadline: The deadline for submission is June 7, 2023.

Jeffrey Barlow Prize

2021Anran TuUCSD“Seeing Nature, Envisioning the Modern: Nature History Education in China, 1900-1920”
2020Xu PengUniversity of Connecticut“A New Coming-Together: When Chinese Meets Black in Cristina García’s Monkey Hunting”
2019Benjamin KletzerUCSD“Engines of Innovation: Sino-Soviet Cooperation, Competition, and Import Substitution in the Locomotive Industry, 1949-1964"
2018Eveline BingamanNTHU“Things that Bind US Can Also Divide US Ethnicity in South West China”

Mori-ASPAC Prize

2021Katherine WhitneyStanford University“Sonic Imaginary: Religious and Musical Symbolism in Utsuho Monogatari”
2020Angela Y. McCleanUCSD“Liberal norms and restrictive institutions: explaining the discrepancy between South Korea’s compliance with refugee protection and low number of asylum grants”
2019Youn Soo KimBinghamton University“Examining the Parameters of the “Ethnonation” through Mongsil ŏnni (1984)”
2018Yung Hua-KuoUW School of Law“Post-Disaster Reconstruction Laws and Indigenous Adaptive Strategies in Taiwan”
2017Mengyao LiuUW“Experiments in Anthropocene: Toward a Transformative Eco-Aesthetic in the Work of Four Contemporary Chinese Visual Artists”
2016Eric SiercksUCLA“Truly Honest: Miyazawa Kenji as Resistance to Modern Folklore”
2015Hangping XuStanford“Embodiment, Identity, and Political Agency: The Field of Life and Death Revisited”

Esterline Prize (discontinued)

20141Roanna CheungUCLA“The Humor of Wife-Fearing in Republican-Era Guangzhou Popular Culture”
20111Benjamin Uchiyama“Bingeing on Total War: The Wartime Dandy and Male Consumer Culture on the Japanese Home Front”
1Yulian Wu“Scholar Merchants: Luxury Consumption, Confucian Ideology, and Aesthetic Taste of Bao Household’s Lineage Construction in Huizhou during the High Qing Era”
20091Jeet Bahadur Sapkota“Does Globalization Affect Human Development, Gender Development, and Human Poverty?: Evidence from the KOF Index of Globalization”
20031Young-Jin ChoiUH“Post-Mao Institutional Transformation and SOE Reform in China”
2Douglas LanamIndependent Scholar“Gender Cleansing: The Innocent World of Young Girls in Suzuki Izumi’s ‘Onna to Onna no Yo no Naka’ (The Age of Woman to Woman)”
20021Scott HandlerEWC“Leading to Economic Resilince during the urban Transition in Vietnam”
2Eileen VickeryUO“Material Girl: Love, Desire and the Modern Chinese woman in Wei Hui’s ‘Shanghai Baobei’”
20011Zhang Tingting“Assessing the Loss of Agency Control–A Study of Central-Provincial Relations in Post-Mao China”
2Young-Nahm Baek“The Origin of Asian Financial Crisis: a case of government intervention”
HMEmilyn Cabana“A comparative Study of Asian Telecommunications Policy Reforms: Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines”
HMMu Yang“Public Finance and Political Order: Lessons from the Wing’s Downfall in Late Imperial China”
20001Erik EsselstromUCSB“The ‘Invisible Hand’ of Russo-Japanese Relations: Kawakami Toshitsune, 1861-1935”
2Shinyi ChaoUBC“Daoist Examinations and Daoist Schools During the Northern Sung Dynasty”
HMBrian BruyaUH“Qing and Emotion in Early Chinese Thought”
19991Swagata BanerjeeUNR“Dealing with the Ganges – A Socio-politico-economic Approach: An Extreme Case of Water Pollution”
2Sameer PandyaStanford“The Post Colonial Mahatma: The Nationalist Autobiography at Century’s End”
19981Joshua Harmon“Relative Deprivation and Worker Unrest in Mainland China”
2Xing Hu“Sexuality and Subjectivity: Jia Pingwa’s The Abandoned Capital”
HMKaren Lam“The Baoying (Retribution) of the Femme Fatale”
HMBaodi Zhou“Thomas S. Foley and Japan”
19971Patrick ShorbPrinceton“Nationalism, Liberalism, Censorship, War: Toyo Keizai Shinpo, 1937-1945”
2Gavin ShatkinRU“Social Movements for Land and Housing in southeast Asian Cities: A Case Study of Phnom Penh, Cambodia”
19941Ngoc B. TranUSC“Role of the State: The Case of the Vietnamese Textile and Garment Industry since the Late 1980s”
2William H. CullinanUH“A Characterization of Nichiren”
3Elizabeth ChienUH William S. Richardson School of Law“A Unification Proposal for the Greater China: PRC, ROC, and Hong Kong”