We began our editors' note for Asian Ethnology 79-1 with a message of sympathy for those suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic, and an acknowledgment regarding the potential difficulties the journal may face. Again, we extend our concerns to all who are suffering at this uncertain time.
The current situation has had some impact on the journal. The review process for some submissions has slowed down as several reviewers have been unable to complete their reports. The pool of potential reviewers is also smaller than usual, as colleagues from around the world negotiate their obligations under unusual and sometimes trying circumstances. To those who have made submissions or are considering doing so, we ask for your understanding at this time. Things may take a little longer in the immediate future until the pandemic situation gets under control or normalizes.
In addition to regular articles, this issue features the publication of a special forum. This format is designed to accommodate a collection of articles that have been guest-edited yet do not make up an entire special issue.
John Balch, our previous editorial assistant, is no longer with the journal, so we wish him well in his future pursuits. We are pleased to welcome Calynn Dowler, who will replace him. Calynn is a PhD candidate in anthropology at Boston University. Her dissertation explores shifting material and moral entanglements with water in the Sundarbans delta of West Bengal, India. The research lies at the intersection of environmental anthropology, religious studies, and the anthropology of development. We also congratulate our Book and Film Reviews editor Paul Capobianco on taking up a new position as Lecturer at Lingnan University's Centre for English and Additional Languages. We are expecting to welcome more staff to Nanzan University over the next few months.
Asian Ethnology recently launched a new "Asian Ethnology Series" of online events. The new series was launched along lines similar to our "Asian Ethnology Podcast," which introduces the work of scholars and individuals who have contributed to, or have published in the journal. It also introduces people whose work aligns with the topical categories listed in the front matter of each issue. The "Asian Ethnology Series" inaugural event was held on September 18, 2020, which was an online lecture by Frank J. Korom entitled "Why Does Bhujangabhushan Sing?" Sumahan Bandhyopadhyay of Vidysagar University provided the response. A recording of this event is available via the following URL: https://vimeo.com/460058480
The second event in the series was a symposium held on October 26, 2020 entitled "Intangible Cultural Heritage in Asia: Traditions in Transition." It was based on the Asian Ethnology Special Issue AE 79--1, featuring all of the article contributors and guest editors. One of our editorial board members, Thomas David DuBois, moderated the event. A recording of it is available via the following URL: https://vimeo.com/475367417 Next year we will publish the eightieth volume of the journal, which first began as Folklore Studies and then transitioned to Asian Folklore Studies. In acknowledging the institutional support we receive from Nanzan University and Boston University, we also wish to extend our gratitude to our readers and all those who support the journal and the activities that surround it in various ways. As always, we look forward to providing you with continuous and exciting scholarship through the journal, the "Asian Ethnology Podcast," and the "Asian Ethnology Series."
January 5, 2021