I appreciate being here in this role, remembering those, including my teachers, who have stood here before me, and remembering the role of the AAS in providing the commonality from which all Asianists benefit, the freemasonry of shared learning. Most of us prefer to work individually as scholars, but none of us really works or writes alone. We are sustained by our links, in print and in person, with generations of fellow scholars. That vital nexus is greatly enhanced through our common enterprise in the Association, and we owe it and its dedicated staff a profound debt. This is our fortieth annual meeting, and we have much to celebrate: our sound organizational and financial position and—the object of all our collective efforts—a vigorous community of scholars of Asia.

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