I’m a big fan of sub-national academic conferences. The nationals are fine, of course: I’ve gone to quite a few, some even when I wasn’t looking for a job (I’ll be in Seattle in a few weeks for the AHA, for example, and anyone who doesn’t hire my job-seeking copanelists is just not thinking). Lots of interesting folks show up at these things, and the book sellers are more fun than anything happening in whatever city it happens to be in (except for the used bookstores).
Anyway, I just wanted to pass along the Call For Papers for the Pacific Rim regional of the Association of Asian Studies, aka ASPAC. I’m on the board, though as a very junior member; still, it’s nice to be asked and to feel like I can contribute to the institutions I’ve been making use of for years. I’ve been to several of their conferences now, and it’s a nice bunch of folks, serious scholars. Very welcoming of graduate students, too (the competition for the Esterline Prize for Best Grad Student Paper last year was pretty stiff), so I highly recommend it as a venue for airing and polishing dissertation material (I use conferences to give myself writing deadlines: got some big chunks of my dissertation done that way).
If anyone wants to talk about panels, leave a comment. Panel submissions are not at all required, but it makes the program committee’s job easier, and results in more coherent panels which dramatically increases the likelihood that relevant people will hear your paper.