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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter

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Michael Robinson Offers CIC Korean Studies e-School Course

As part of a Korea Foundation funded initiative to offer courses on Korea to a broader audience,EALC’s regularly offered course on Modern Korean History was offered to the University of Michigan and University of Minnesota as a telecourse. This meant that rather than just an IU section of 30, Professor Robinson’s course expanded to 44 within the multi-campus format. This was made possible by the existing CIC Consortium of Big-Ten schools that permits all students within the Big-Ten system to take courses at any campus and receive credit. While in theory this has always been a great idea, logistical problems, different semester schedules, and varying registration requirements have always inhibited such courses. Most often the consortium has been used in very small formats, often classes of infrequently taught languages involving perhaps only 10 students across several campuses. This fall’s course was a break-through of sorts in that fully 22 students were non-IU students. At one point the IU registrar was throwing up its hands telling Professor Robinson that “this is more students than we have ever had for one CIC course!”

Logistical problems not withstanding, the course worked remarkably well, and it will be repeated in 2014 and received by the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State. The generous Korea Foundation grant for the CIC Korean Studies e-School allows for teaching assistants at the home school and proctors at receiving institutions. This year EALC MA students Anthony Ross and David Kendall assisted Professor Robinson with the Modern Korean History course. A key component of this hybrid teaching style is the use of visual material as well as reliance on Oncourse. The graduate student assistants came up with stunning PowerPoints augmented with great photos to enliven the course. The course was broadcast from a new high-tech classroom in the School of Education that featured multiple screens through which all campuses could see each other and interact via video feed. Content was provided for all campuses on a separate screen. The IU classroom used an automatic camera that used voice and face recognition to automatically move to whomever was speaking in class.

While a few weeks were lost to the varying schedules and, at the beginning, some technical glitches, by and large the course was a great success. IU was proud to offer one of its standard offerings on Korea to other Big Ten schools. It reminds us that in many ways our East Asia curriculum is broad and deep. Other schools would love to be able to offer courses we are simply used to doing as a matter of course. It’s a brave new world in programming and curriculum development; EALC and IU are proud to be out on the forefront of experimenting with new modes of course offerings in our continuing effort to expand knowledge on East Asia.

For more information about the Korean Studies e-School initiative, click here.

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East Asian Film Series at IU Cinema

The East Asian Film Series, in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences 2013 Themester: Connectedness: Networks in a Complex World filled the 300-seat IU Cinema with three films this fall. The series kicked off with Nobuteru Uchida’s Odayaka (2012). It continued in November with the drama Beautiful 2012 (Changwei Gi, Ann Hui, Tae-Yong Kim, Ming-liang Tsai, 2012). The series concluded later that month with Hello Goodbye (Wattimena, 1997) The East Asian Film Series will continue in the spring with the Japanese film A Normal Life, Please (Tokachi Tsuchiya, 2009) on February 17th followed by Jiseul (Meul O., 2013), which won the World Cinema Dramatic Jury Prize at Sundance.
IU Cinema is a world-class facility and program dedicated to the scholarly study and highest standards of exhibition of film in its traditional and modern forms. For more information on the facility or programs, call 812-856-2503 or visit

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Korean Book Workshop Wraps Up Fall Semester

The Korean Book Workshop: Meet the Author Program’s second semester ended November 18, 2013, with University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Professor Nancy Abelmann discussing her recent work on the efforts of Korean students to develop social capital through university and business networks. UIUC, home to EASC’s Title VI partner the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, was also represented in the other two KBW talks: some of its graduate students joined IU Bloomington peers in the meetings with National University of Singapore Associate Professor Joseph Sung-Yul Park (September 25) and UCLA Associate Professor Namhee Lee (October 25). The professors and students at each campus used Adobe Connect for the interviews. During the talk with Namhee Lee, one UIUC sociology Ph.D. candidate unable to attend even listened in via smart phone.
Professor Lee discussed her book The Making of Minjung (Cornell University Press, 2007). The groundbreaking work on the anti-dictatorship campaigns carried out by South Korean college students in the 1970s and 80s is based on her 2001 Ph.D. history thesis from the University of Chicago. The book is in the process of being translated for release in South Korea.

Students interviewed Professor Park about his contributions to two recently published books: Pragmatics and Society 1:2 (John Benjamins Publishing, 2010) and English as Hydra: Its Impacts on Non-English Language Cultures (Multilingual Matters, 2012). In the former, Park asserts that elites in South Korea use English proficiency as a means to justify their privileged status. Parallels to the ruling Yangban class’s exclusive use of hanja (Chinese characters) in official Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) writing were brought up. However, Professor Park countered that while the inability to use hanja made entry into government service nearly impossible for commoners in Joseon, there was not a strong negative stigma associated with that illiteracy whereas his study of interdiscursivity in modern Korea’s conservative media shows repeated efforts to shame those who use “bad English” and laud those whose English is “good.”

EASC hosts the Korean Book Workshop online interviews in its conference room in Memorial Hall. Students with the chat room URL can listen from anywhere, but participation is limited to IU or UIUC students who register in advance and read the assigned material (provided freely through Title VI funds). For information on the Spring 2014 program, please email

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Korean Night Fills Alumni Center with the Culture of Korea

The East Asian Studies Center and IU Korean Students Association brought Korea to Bloomington on Friday, November 15. Designed to introduce a wide array of Korean culture, the half-day Korean Night event kicked off at 3 p.m. at the Virgil T. DeVault Alumni Center. The first two and a half hours included an interactive experience where participants could try their hand at traditional games, paper folding and writing their names in Hangeul. Hanbok were also available to try on and be photographed in.

Cultural performances ran from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and included K-pop singing and dancing by Korean Student Association members, a martial arts exhibition from the IU Taekwondo Club and lively drumming from the Bloomington Korean School samulnori group. Two IU students gave solo performances: Junghyun Lee, an IU Jacobs School Performer Diploma student, sang a popular Gagok song, a Korean genre influenced by the Lieder of Schumann and Schubert, and Grant Siegel, an East Asian Studies senior, sang two original Korean rap songs.

Mi Hyang Kwon, an elementary school teacher whose husband is studying at IU, played the gayageum and was joined on stage by Professor Chan E. Park, who teaches performance studies at Ohio State University. An expert on Korean story-singing Pansori, Professor Park was the main act. The target attendance was more than doubled with the audience count breaking 400 at one point. The event also commemorated Professor Emeritus Roy Shin (IUB, SPEA) and retired Dr. Heun Yune (IUPUI, Medicine) for their contributions to the promotion of Korean studies in Indiana.

A sampling of Korean cuisine was also provided before the feature film “Masquerade” (Gwanghae) started at 6:45 p.m.  The widely acclaimed 2012 historical drama fills in 15 missing days from the year 1616 in the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty. The story revolves around a royal body double who finds himself placed on the throne.

The event was generously supported with donations from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, St. Paul Catholic Center and Hong’s Hair Salon.

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Yea-Fen Chen Profiled in Chronicle Interview

Congratulations to Yea-Fen Chen (Director, Chinese Flagship Center; EALC), who was featured in the November issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. In the article Chen touted the resources of IU’s Chinese Flagship Program while laying out her vision for its future. “The flagship program at Indiana is doing things that I had been trying to do at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, but at UWM I had to find funding from friends or pay from my own pocket”. Chen continued, “the resources of a formalized program allow me to have my vision and have people who help me implement it, and we can be more ambitious.” She has set the bar high for Flagship students, establishing “Superior” level Mandarin fluency as the ultimate goal of the program. Superior-level students “can talk conceptually about subjects like environmental issues, and take a position and defend their position.” As the recently appointed Flagship director, she hopes to develop the flagship model to its fullest potential. Through high-level language skills, Chen says “we can ensure we can have more friends instead of enemies.” The full interview is available to read here.

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7th Annual China Town Hall

In October, the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business, East Asian Studies Center, and Chinese Flagship Center collaborated to host the annual National Committee on United States-China Relations’ China Town Hall Event. The evening began with visiting scholar Dong Wenqi’s presentation on “The Historical Development and Current Status of Chinese Non-Profit Organizations.” Dong discussed the philosophical underpinnings of civil society in China, the current state of the non-profit Chinese sector, and the future of non-profit organizations in China. Gardner Bovingdon (EALC; Associate Director, RCCPB) then delivered a lecture titled “China, the International Community, and the Problems of Borders.” His presentation explored China’s various border disputes with neighboring countries and their implications for Chinese domestic and foreign policy. In her broadcasted remarks, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stressed the importance of the US-China relationship and discussed the means by which the two countries can constructively engage. The subsequent question-and-answer session covered a span of topics, ranging from the “China Dream” to the growing role of China in the Middle East. Following the telecast, Gardner Bovingdon delivered closing remarks. He cautioned that scholars of international policy issues should critically examine notions of American values and American indispensability in the international system. Lastly, Bovingdon praised former Secretary of State Albright’s candid discussion and deep understanding of the wide range of relevant policy issues.

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IU Bloomington Hosts "Reframing Area Studies" Dissertation Seminar

In tandem with the Indiana University Press and IU Center for the Study of Global Change Framing the Global Conference (FGC), EASC and the ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute (PAI) hosted an IUB-UIUC joint doctoral student seminar on Saturday, September 28. This closed-door, interdisciplinary workshop brought together doctoral students from Indiana University (IU) and the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC) whose work examined new trends in East Asian studies under the theme of Re-framing the Global. Ten students presented their Asia related research, explicitly focusing on its transnational relevance to Global Studies in an intimate setting with faculty mentors from IU, UIUC and the Australian National University.

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EASC Welcomes the New School Year with Food and Fun

EASC held its annual Welcome Back Party in early September, where students, faculty, and friends of Asia mingled and chatted while sampling a variety of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean dishes from local restaurants. Incoming students who were awarded fellowships were honored in a short ceremony, and certificates of appreciation were presented to EASC’s Cultural Ambassadors. Once again, each room had its own East Asian theme, where food and music from that country could be enjoyed. The party concluded with a raffle for various items, including books, CDs, and IU theatre tickets. We hope to see you all again next September…in the meantime, like us on Facebook!

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Scott Kennedy and Angela Bies Awarded Luce Foundation Grant

In August it was announced that Scott Kennedy (Director, Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business; EALC), and Angela Bies (Director of International Programs, IU Lilly School of Philanthropy) were awarded a three-year $300,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for a new initiative on philanthropy in China.  The grant will support research projects, workshops, conferences, and publications. It will also support a new joint course offered at IU Bloomington next semester titled “Philanthropy in China,” as well as a paid summer internship in China open to students in the course.

In addition to the Luce grant, their project is being supported by a two-year $109,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, as well as support from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and the Office of the Provost at IU Bloomington. Addressing Chinese philanthropy, Kennedy said "We're in very early days in terms of the emergence of China's philanthropic sector. China is among the more developed countries in terms of the overall amount of giving and philanthropic activity, but from the perspective of people who look at China, it looks like a very immature sector.” More about the award can be read here.

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IU Chinese Flagship Center's Chinese Flagship Institute

From May 31st to July 26th, 2013, the Indiana University Chinese Flagship Center hosted its summer 2013 Flagship Chinese Institute (FCI) for university students of Mandarin Chinese at all levels.

Fifty students from Indiana University and around the country participated in this residential intensive immersion program, focused on providing one full year of college-level Mandarin Chinese instruction in just eight weeks. Individuals received six to eight college credit hours while engaging in a full spectrum of active learning experiences and events. This program was funded with generous support from the IU College of Arts and Sciences. It receives support and funding from the Language Flagship, which leads the nation in designing, supporting, and implementing a new paradigm for advanced language education.

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2013 Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School Workshop

In July, EASC hosted its 15th annual Freeman Foundation funded workshop on Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School on the IU Bloomington campus. Twenty high school English and world literature teachers from all corners of the country participated in an intensive week of lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities, guided by the experience and knowledge of an exceptional group of East Asian scholars: Chinese literature specialist Gary Xu (EALC and Comparative Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), China historian Yu Shen (History, IU Southeast), Japanese literature specialist Andra Alvis (Asian Studies, DePauw University), Japan historian Susan Furukawa (Modern Languages and Literature, Beloit College), and Korean literature and history specialist Sean Kim (History and Anthropology, University of Central Missouri).

Every afternoon Cecilia Boyce (English, Hillsborough High School, Tampa, FL), a curriculum consultant, led teaching strategy sessions to assist teachers in developing lesson plans for their classrooms. Not only did the participants attend lectures and discussions, but they also enjoyed cultural activities such as a tour of the IU Art Museum, an ikebana session and Taiji practice, as well as screenings of East Asian films. As a final activity, participants used works such as Junji Kinsohita’s play, “Twilight Crane,” the classic Korean tale A Tale of Hong Kiltong by Ho Kyung, and the Chinese political allegory, A Madman’s Diary by Lu Xun, to create syllabi designed to introduce high school students to the great possibilities of East Asian literature. For more information about the July 2013 workshop please click here.

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NCTA Completes Two National Study Tours

During the summer of 2013, six alumni from EASC’s National Consortium for Teach about Asia (NCTA) seminar program traveled to Japan with a study tour, Exploring Peace Studies in Japan. Stacey Gross (Urbana-Champaign, IL; 2007), Erica Gullickson (Minneapolis, MN; 2012), Katherine MacLennan (Chicago, IL; 2012), Chasidy Miroff (Birmingham, AL; 2008), Maggie Quam (Minneapolis, MN; 2012), and Joseph Serio (Akron, OH 2008)   were among the participants in this two-week program, which visited sites such as the Nagasaki Peace Museum and the Kyoto Museum of World Peace. John Frank (Greenwood, IN), Indiana NCTA alum, a veteran traveler, and curriculum consultant for many of EASC’s previous study tours served as the curriculum coordinator on the tour. The group spent a day in Hiroshima, with ninth-grade students as their guides, and met with atomic bomb survivors Sasaki Masahiro and Matsushima Keijiro. They also had the opportunity to visit a junior high school in Ngasaki and Ritsumeikan University. The Five College Center for East Asian Studies NCTA national coordinating site conducted the study tour, which was co-funded by NCTA and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership. To read more about this trip, visit the study tour blog or check out this blog post by alum Katherine MacLennan.

Indiana NCTA alum David Cully also participated in a Japan Study Tour program, hosted by the University of Colorado. This four-week program, “Cultural Encounters: Exploring Japan’s Diverse Past and Present,” included study in Tokyo, Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Nara, Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and Yokohama at sites of historical and contemporary cultural encounters. Funding for the study tour was provided by NCTA and the US Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Groups Projects Abroad. During the 2013-2014 school year, participants will engage in follow-up activities, including the development of curriculum for use in World History and Asian studies courses.

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2013 Teaching About Asia Seminars

In the spring of 2013 EASC conducted six National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminars. Over 60 K-12 educators throughout the Midwest learned about the history and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea. Seminars were held in Louisville, KY; Chicago, IL; St. Paul, MN and Sorrento, LA, as well as at two partner sites in East Lansing, MI and Delaware, OH. Those who successfully completed the seminars received books, school resources, and stipends. For more information about upcoming NCTA seminars, please see the NCTA seminar Web page.

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