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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter


A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

April 2011


Two New Courses Focusing on East Asia and the Environment

As part of EASC’s East Asia and the Environment initiative, Scott O’Bryan (EALC; History) has developed two new courses, both taught for the first time in Spring 2011:  L416 Cities, Business, and the Environment in East Asia, offered through the Liberal Arts and Management Program (LAMP), and J400 Environmental History in the Department of History.

The LAMP course examined East Asian cities along three axes: their historical development in East Asia, their contributions to the economic and business lives of their larger societies and the world, and as places of deep environmental consequence.

The environmental history course, the first such course taught by a permanent faculty member in the Department of History, examined the environmental histories of the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, North and South Korea, and Japan as reflective of larger environmental historical themes and as critical components of world environmental history as a whole. O’Bryan also made use of comparative illustrations from India, Europe, and the United States in readings and discussions.

Read more about the East Asia and the Environment initiative here.

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EASC Graduate Student Forum: Current Research on Japan

EASC hosted a Graduate Student Forum on Japan in April to support the Japanese Student Association’s fundraising efforts for the victims of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear radiation disasters in Japan. Five graduate students from various disciplines presented research projects on Japan. The forum began with Kaleem L. Kheshgi’s (M.A. student, EALC) presentation “Bukatsudō: Extracurricular Activities in Japanese High School,” followed by Jeffrey A. Tolbert’s (Ph.D. student, Folklore) talk on “Scaring Yourself Silly: Fear and Folklore in the Video Game Fatal Frame.” Mitsuko Kawabata (Ph.D. student, Ethnomusicology) delivered a talk titled “Singing Disasters: Charity Songs for the Tōhoku Region Earthquake,” which was followed by a presentation by Bradley D. Good (M.A. student, Help Japan LogoAnthropology) on “The Taishō Pattern in Japanese Beef Consumption: A Culinary Localization Trend.” Shingo Hamada (Ph.D. candidate, Anthropology) concluded with a talk titled “The Forest Is the Ocean’s Lover: Oystermen and Environmental Stewardship in Kesennuma, Miyagi.” All donations were sent to the Japanese Red Cross via the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago.

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Teach-In and Benefit Event for Japan

As part of a series of campus-wide relief efforts following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan that have thus far raised $4,400, the Asian Culture Center, EASC, and other campus units cosponsored the “Campus-Community Response to the Crisis in Japan: A Teach-In and Benefit Event” on March 30. The event featured faculty experts, students from the regions affected, and musicians from the Jacobs School of Music and was emceed by Michiko Suzuki (EALC). Following opening remarks by Matthew Auer (dean, Hutton Honors College), short presentations were given by Gary L. Pavlis (Geological Sciences) on “Geological Setting of the March 11, 2011, Tōhoku, Japan Earthquake,” Chuck Horowitz (Physics) on “The Disaster at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant,” Joe Coleman (Journalism) on “Japanese and World Media Reactions,” Gregory J. Kasza (EALC; Political Science; interim director, EASC) on “The Effect on Trust in Government,” Shingo Hamada (Ph.D. candidate, Anthropology) on “Tōhoku: Its Fishing Towns, Coastal Geography, and Tsunamis,” Mikela Asano (Master of Music student, Music) on “Current Living Conditions in Sendai,” and Beth Gazley (Public and Environmental Affairs) on “Giving and Volunteering: Lessons from the Japan Quake.”

For information about how to support the relief effort, see our Japan Disaster Relief Web page.
String quartet playing in front of a powerpoint slide describing the Fukushima plant disaster
Sometimes words are not enough. The Kuttner Quartet, residing at the Jacobs School of Music at IU Bloomington, played two movements of Mendelssohn’s 4th String Quartet at the March 30 teach-in and benefit event. Photo courtesy of Office of the Vice President for International Affairs.

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East Asian Film Series at New IU Cinema

In February EASC resumed its long-running East Asian Film Series in the new 300-seat IU Cinema. Directed by Stephanie DeBoer (Communication and Culture), the spring 2011 East Asian film series featured four films representing four different genres from China, Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. The Chinese drama A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (Zhang Yimou, 2009) kicked off the series in February, followed by the Korean thriller The Housemaid (Im Sang-soo, 2010) in March. In April the series featured the Taiwanese comedy Pinoy Sunday (Ho Widing, 2009) and the Japanese action/sci-fi film Tetsuo: The Bullet Man (Shinya Tsukamoto, 2009). The East Asian Film Series will continue in the fall with a documentary series on the theme of war and peace, which will include Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Alison Klayman, 2011) on October 17 and The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (Hara Kazuo, 1987) on November 10.

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Emerging Economies Course Visits China

This spring the Kelley School of Business offered a G256 Emerging Economies course and study tour, one section of which focused on China. Funded by EASC and the Center for International Business Education and Research, the 18 students headed to China for the 10-day spring break trip first spent seven weeks studying Chinese language, culture, geography, history, and contemporary society under the instruction of Edwin Way (Ph.D. student, Political Science). Edwin also accompanied the students on the trip to China, which included visits to businesses and cultural sites in Shanghai and Hangzhou. To learn more about this annual program, visit the Kelley School of Business Web site.

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Roundtable on Lessons from Post-Communism: “The Economic Recession: Opportunities and Challenges in Economies in Transition”

April’s Indiana Roundtable on Lessons from Post-Communism, “The Economic Recession: Opportunities and Challenges in Economies in Transition,” featured as speakers Paul Marer (Business, Central European University, Budapest), Barry J. Naughton (Chinese and International Affairs, University of California, San Diego), and Vladimir Popov (New Economic School, Moscow), with Michael Alexeev (Economics) and Scott Kennedy (EALC; Political Science) serving as discussants for the morning session’s public roundtable. The roundtable focused on several questions regarding economies in transition (ETs) from socialism, such as “what distinguishes ETs that performed relatively well during the 2008-09 crisis from those that performed poorly?” and “how (if at all) did political, social, and/or cultural factors in individual countries affect the immediate impact of the crisis on the population?”

In the afternoon the focus of discussion shifted to effective pedagogies for teaching courses on the topic. Moderated by Maria Bucur-Deckard (History; director, Russian and East European Institute), presenters Terry Simmons (Political Science, Ivy Tech Community College; Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis), Sergei Zhuk (History, Ball State University), and Andrew Buck (Sociology, University of Southern Indiana) outlined three different pedagogical challenges and joined with the faculty and graduate students in the audience in an exploration of approaches to communicating these complex issues to students in different settings—two-year colleges, four-year colleges, and research universities.

This event was organized by the Russian and East European Institute and was cosponsored by EASC, the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, the Center for the Study of Global Change, the Center for International Business Education and Research, and the Department of Economics.

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K-16 Workshop on “Advocacy and Articulation in Japanese Language Education”

In April EASC, in collaboration with the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese, held a one-day workshop for elementary, secondary, and college teachers of Japanese titled “Advocacy and Articulation in Japanese Language Education” in Indianapolis. Twelve high school instructors and 14 university instructors from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Wisconsin participated in the workshop.

Organized by Keiko Kuriyama (EALC) and Molly Jeon (Bloomington High School North), the workshop was a response to the growing need among Japanese language teachers to know how to advocate successfully for their programs in their districts and to strengthen articulation within the K-16 education system. Maki Watanabe Isoyama (Senior Program Officer, Japan Foundation, Los Angeles) and Motoko Tabuse (Professor and Honors College Associate, World Languages, Eastern Michigan University) guided the discussion of advocacy and K-16 articulation and led hands-on sessions that focused on topics such as which advocacy methods work best with which stakeholders and preparation for AP and university placement exams.

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Year 14 NCTA Grant Received

This spring EASC received a $305,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation to fund National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminars for an additional year, Year 14 (2011-12) of the NCTA program. The NCTA program provides introductory, 30-hour Teaching about Asia seminars for middle and high school teachers in the Midwest and South interested in incorporating East Asia into their curricula. For more information about our seminars, see EASC’s NCTA Web site.

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IU World Language Festival

In April the Center for Language Technology and Instructional Enrichment hosted the second IU World Language Festival, cosponsored by EALC and EASC. Attended by 185 K-12 teachers, students, and their parents, this biennial event showcased the impressive range of languages taught at IU and gave students a chance to engage in 74 presentations featuring hands-on language and culture learning activities. This year EALC offered six sessions each of Japanese and Chinese, featuring sample language lessons, origami (paper folding), food tasting, musical performances, a fashion show, and other cultural activities. Additionally, the IU Japanese Student Association collected donations for the victims of the earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima nuclear crisis, which were sent to the Japanese Red Cross Society. To learn more about the World Language Festival, see its Web page.

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Japanese Olympiad of Indiana

The eleventh annual Japanese Olympiad of Indiana was held at Valparaiso University in February, cosponsored by EASC and the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese. This competition brought together more than 150 students of Japanese from 15 Indiana high schools to test their knowledge of Japanese language, culture, and history in a fast-paced “Jeopardy”-style competition.

Bloomington High School North won the second-year Japanese competition and placed third in the third- and fourth-year Japanese competitions. Connersville High School won the third-year level, and Chesterton High School and Michigan City High School tied for first at the fourth-year level. In addition to competing in the Japanese Olympiad, participants took part in a variety of cultural activities, including watching Japanese movies, learning origami, making crafts, and learning Japanese games.

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NCTA Enrichment Event on “Buddhism in China and Tibet”

In February fifteen K-12 teachers from around Indiana participated in an all-day enrichment event in Bloomington titled “Buddhism in China and Tibet” hosted by EASC’s National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) program and the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center. The day began with a simulcast lecture on Chinese Buddhism by Stephen Teiser (Religion, Princeton University), which was part of the “Belief Systems and Religions in East Asia: A Series of Collaborative Simulcast Broadcasts for K-12 Teachers” coordinated by Columbia University’s Asia for Educators program. In the afternoon Richard Nance (Religious Studies) gave a presentation on Tibetan Buddhism and led a tour of the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center and the Kumbum Chamtse Ling Temple in Bloomington.

Funded by the Freeman Foundation, the goal of EASC’s annual NCTA enrichment event is to enhance teaching and learning about East Asia for K-12 teachers, including alumni of our NCTA Teaching about Asia seminars.

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Global Indiana’s China Tours

In March Global Indiana sponsored a Key Educational Leaders trip to China. The eleven-day tour, known as “China Wave VIII,” was Global Indiana’s eighth such trip to China since 2006. Wave trips build partnerships between K-12 schools in Indiana and schools in Zhejiang Province, Indiana’s sister state in China. Since the trips began, 79 Indiana schools, including Westlane Middle School and Crooked Creek and Robey elementary schools in Indianapolis, Clinton Central Elementary School in Michigantown, and several schools in Lafayette, have been matched with Chinese partner schools, resulting in student exchanges. East Noble Schools, DeKalb Schools, Bartholomew County Schools, Lafayette Schools, and Evansville Schools participated in this spring’s trip. 

The Wave IX trip is scheduled for October 2011. Central office administrators and building principals are eligible to apply. Participants are required to create an Asian studies class or unit, and, ideally, to implement Chinese language instruction in their schools. K-12 educators interested in participating in future trips should contact Phil Boley, President of Global Indiana, at or Chris McGrew, President-Elect, at

Also, in June Global Indiana will lead its first study tour to China for K-12 educators, including stops in Shanghai, Hangzhou, Guilin, Yangshuo, and Beijing. Unlike the China Wave trips, this professional development trip does not require the participation of school administrators to create a partnership link. With recruitment assistance from EASC and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia, educators from seven states will take part in the tour, led by Global Indiana officer Becky Burton. Becky is the exchange coordinator from the Orchard School in Indianapolis and has extensive experience leading study tours to Africa, Japan, and China.

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