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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

December 2013

IU East Asia News

Mathers to Collaborate with Chinese Museums

The Mathers Museum of World Cultures at IU was selected as one the three representative U.S. institutions to collaborate with Chinese museums, aimed at better sharing resources and best practices about folklore studies in both countries. Beginning this year through 2016, this international partnership will initiate a series of conferences and professional exchanges of staff and resources, and it will also endeavor to encourage the collaboration of developing new resources to support and share information about folklore studies scholarship. In addition, specific agendas include the development of online cultural resources and traveling exhibitions, studying both nations’ policies and practices regarding intangible cultural heritage, and how those policies may converge and set stage for global heritage preservation.

In December, Mathers director Jason Jackson will lead the delegation to China to participate in the first meeting hosted by the Yunan Nationalities Museum. On their first visit, the delegation will establish in depth discussion about the respective museums and the broader work plan over the next three years.

As part of a three-year program, this initiative was organized by the American Folklore Society and the China Folklore Society and funded by the Asia Program of the Henry Luce Foundation. Additional U.S. museums selected in the initiative are the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, N.M., and the Michigan State University Museum in East Lansing, Mich. The Chinese institutions include the Yunnan Nationalities Museum in Kunming, Yuhan; the Guizhou Cultural Palace of Nationalities Museum in Guiyang City, Guizhou; and the Guangxi Museum of Nationalities in Nanning, Guangxi. 

The three-year partnership will unfold a bright outlook for the international folklore studies. As Jackson said “I am thrilled that, through the museum’s participation in this project, IU faculty, staff and students will be able to learn from our Chinese colleagues and extend our institutional and professional networks.” For more please see the official news release.

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SPEA in Seoul

In summer, five undergraduate and graduate students from IU Bloomington’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) participated in the Seoul Metropolitan Government internship in Seoul, South Korea. Already in its fourth year, the program has provided great opportunities for about 20 SPEA undergraduate and graduate students to gain valuable work experience in various city offices of Seoul. This year, the five SPEA students interned in a variety of offices, from Urban Safety to International Relationships. In addition to career preparation, the program also offered students opportunities to get a close up look at daily life and culture in South Korea.

Established by SPEA Professor Emeritus Roy Shin and SPEA Executive Associate Dean David Reingold, the program has greatly strengthened the Seoul-Bloomington connection. As noted by President Michael A. McRobbie during a May visit to the country, the total 1,025 South Korea students attended IU accounts for more than a 10th of IU’s international enrollment this past academic year. Moreover, the alumni chapter in Seoul is one of the university’s largest international alumni groups in the world.

To deepen ties with countries along the Pacific Rim, SPEA is negotiating with other universities in Thailand and Hong Kong for future academic collaborations.

For detailed information on the Seoul Internship Program, please visit:

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IU Students Attend Asia Pacific Week 2013

IU students Katie Beasley, a double major undergraduate of Public Management and Political Science, Joshua Barnett, a Master’s student from the Department of Communication and Culture, Michael Evans, a doctoral candidate in Chinese from East Asia Languages and Cultures, and Nathan Montgomery, a Master’s student in Central Eurasian Studies, attended Asia Pacific Week 2013 at the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia from June 30-July 5, 2013. ANU's Asia Pacific Week 2013 brought leading experts on the Asia Pacific region together with 100 of the world's top students to engage in a series of dynamic discussions and events focused on the theme of ‘Pushing Boundaries’.

During the weeklong conference, delegates heard from a myriad of academics and diplomats and participated in a range of interactive and challenging sessions. The conference also presented delegates with opportunities to engage with policymakers thereby providing the next generation of Asia Pacific specialists with a network of contacts and friends across the globe.

The Pan Asia Institute was once again delighted to offer four travel grants to IU students selected for participation. Grants covered airfare, accommodations, meals, and insurance expenses.

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Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Meeting at Indiana University

In November, faculty members representing eight universities in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) gathered in Bloomington to plan for next year’s Korean Studies e-school. The e-School officially launched in 2012 with a grant from the Korea Foundation and is administered by the Nam Center for Korean Studies at the University of Michigan. The initiative allows CIC member universities to pool their faculty strengths to offer high quality instruction in Korean history, culture, politics, art, and language to students linked via videoconferencing technology. In fall 2013, Professor Michael Robinson (EALC) offered Modern Korean History to students at IU, as well as at the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. This semester, the e-School is supporting a class offered to IU undergraduate and graduate students titled “North Korea Beyond Images,” hosted at the University of Wisconsin. Courses offered by other universities include “Controversies in Contemporary Korea,” “Pre-20th Century Korean History,” and “Cold War Cultures in Korea.” The initial grant is set to expire next academic year, but plans to apply for renewal are in the works. Interested students should visit the e-School homepage for a schedule of classes or contact Professor Robinson ( ) for more information.

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