Academic journal housed at Penn State receives national accolades

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Verge: Studies in Global Asias, an academic journal sponsored by the Penn State Department of Asian Studies and published by the University of Minnesota Press, has been named Best New Journal by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals (CELJ). Tina Chen, Penn State associate professor of English and Asian American studies and Verge’s editor since its inception, accepted the award on the journal’s behalf at a Jan. 5 ceremony in Philadelphia during the 2017 Modern Language Association Annual Convention.

CELJ is an allied organization of the Modern Language Association and the preeminent organization dedicated to supporting academic journal publishing, boasting a membership of more than 450 editors representing all disciplines. The organization’s Best New Journal award — one of eight it presents annually to recognize scholarly achievement — honors a scholarly humanities journal with a publication history of three or fewer years.

Verge launched in April 2015 at the Global Asias 3 conference, an international gathering of scholars interested in approaching the study of Asia and its diasporas from diverse disciplinary, historical, and geographic vantage points. The journal showcases research on “Asian” topics encompassing the humanities and humanistic social sciences, while recognizing that the changing scope of “Asia” as a concept and method today is an object of vital critical concern. According to Chen, Verge brings into relation — but not necessarily into alignment — the scholarly work being performed in Asian studies and Asian American studies. 

“These two fields have traditionally defined themselves in opposition to one another, with the former focusing on a nationally and politically oriented approach to area studies and the latter emphasizing ethnicity, citizenship, and other epistemological categories,” Chen said. “Winning this award means that the work we’ve been doing in Asian studies and Asian American studies through the journal has been acknowledged as distinctive, important, and timely. It also recognizes the efforts of our Penn State-based editorial collective in making Penn State a national leader in these areas.”

Chen can be reached at To learn more about Verge, email, visit the journal’s website at, or visit its Facebook page at

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Last Updated January 10, 2017