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EASC Newsletter

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A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

December 2012

Faculty Updates

Warriors of the Cloisters by Christopher BeckwithWarriors of the Cloisters: The Central Asian Origins of Science in the Medieval World, by Christopher Beckwith (Central Eurasian Studies), was recently released by Princeton University Press. Read a description here. He published an article On the Ethnolinguistic Position of Manchu and the Manchus within Central Eurasia and East Asia.Manzokushi kenkyū in the (Journal of Manchu and Qing Studies, 10, 2012, pp. 17-30). He presented four international lectures and conference papers: “The Problem of Peter of Poitiers and His Sentences,” Faculty of Medieval Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, in January, “The Origins and Spread of Zoroastriansm” at the conference titled ‘The Influence of Central Eurasian Religious Beliefs on the Cultures of the Periphery’, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Ruhr-Universität Bochum in April, “The Importance of Being Circular: Logic in Buddhism, Pyrrhonism, and Hume’s Neo-Pyrrhonism” at the Conference titled ‘Between Imagination and Encounter: Religious Cultures in Contact in Pre-Modern Central Asia and its Borders’, Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Ruhr-Universität Bochum in June, and “Near Eastern Indic Sources of Achaemenid Rule and Their Reflexes in Bactria and China at Leiden University in June.

Michael Dylan Foster (Folklore and Ethnomusicology) published an article titled “Haunting Modernity: Tanuki, Trains, and Transformation in Japan,” in Asian Ethnology and his chapter “Yokai and Yanagita Kunio Viewed from the 21st Century,” was published in an ebook titled Yanagita Kunio and Japanese Folklore Studies in the 21st Century. He gave presentations on his research in Japan at the Research Center for the Pacific Islands at Kagoshima University in May; at a community meeting in Teuchi, Kagoshima Prefecture in May; at a community meeting in Oga City, Akita Prefecture in August; and at the 863rd Symposium of the Folklore Society of Japan held at Seijo University, Tokyo in July. More recently, he chaired a panel and presented a paper titled “Responding to UNESCO in Rural Japan: Preservation Societies and Kengakusha” at the American Folklore Society annual meeting in New Orleans in October. He received an EASC Faculty Travel Grant to present this paper.

Sara Friedman (EALC; Anthropology; Gender Studies) received an EASC travel grant to present her paper “Fluid Border Zones, Legality, and Contested Sovereignty In China-Taiwan Migration” in November at the American Anthropological Associate Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Ling-yu Hung (Anthropology) was awarded an EASC travel grant and will present her paper “Rethinking Organizational Structure in Neolithic Pottery Production and Distribution: A Case Study from NW China” in January at the Seventh World Archaeological Congress in Amman, Jordan.

The Dysfunction of Ritual in Early Confucianism by Michael IngMichael Ing (Religious Studies)’s book, The Dysfunction of Ritual in Early Confucianism, was published in September by the Oxford University Press. Read a description here. He also received an EASC Faculty Travel Grant to present his paper “A Tragic Theory of Confucian Ritual” in November at the American Academy of Religion annual conference in Chicago.




In addition to receiving the Indiana Collegiate Foreign Language Teacher of the Year Award (see sidebar here), Keiko Kuriyama  (EALC) received EASC travel funds to present a paper titled “AP Japanese: Adressing Curriculum and University Placement Concerns” in November at the 2012 American Council of Teachers of Foreign Language in Philadelphia.

Osamu James Nakagawa (Photography) was awarded an EASC travel grant to present his exhibition Banta Caves in October at the photography exhibition called “After Photoshop: Manipulated Photography in the Digital Age” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Charles Lin et alCharles Lin (EALC) received a grant from the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for his research on Restrictiveness and Chinese relative clause processing, and continues to work on a project on the effect of thematic templates in Chinese sentence comprehension (supported by IU's Faculty Research Support Program). He was one of the invited speakers at the East Asian Psycholinguistics Colloquium, which took place at Ohio State University in October. At the colloquium, he gave a lecture titled "Asymmetries in the Comprehension and Production of Chinese Relative Clauses". With several students from his Language and Cognition Laboratory, he also presented posters on "Perceptions of Discourse Particle Use and Speaker Identity in Mandarin Chinese”, with Nicki Dabney (M.A. student, EALC), "The effect of cohesion violations on syntactic individuation” with Jessica Harding (M.A. student, EALC), and "The Effect of Mandarin Transcription System on Phonological Awareness” with Yu-Jung Lin (Linguistics) in the colloquium. Currently, his lab is getting ready to use the electroencephalography (EEG) methodology to study the relation between brain and language processing.

Masato Ogawa (Education, IU Kokomo) was awarded an EASC travel grant to present his paper “What Japanese Middle School Social Studies Teachers Say about Social Studies” in November at the Annual Conference of the National Council for the Social Studies in Seattle.

Michael Robinson (EALC) spent a month in Korea participating in IU Bloomington’s faculty exchange program with Yonsei University. During his month long stay in October, he spent time working at the Yonsei library, visiting with colleagues in Korean Studies, and giving a presentation on the Korean intellectual journal Sasanggye (World of Thought). The presentation titled “Sasanggye 1953-1963: The World of the Intelligentsia in 1950s Korea” was a part of the Yonsei University Korean Studies Colloquium series sponsored by the Korean Studies Institute.

In October 2012 EASC director Heidi Ross (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; co-director, ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute) travelled to China to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Shaanxi Province Spring Bud Project, a girls’ scholarship program for which Ross has acted as volunteer, donor, and researcher.
Heidi Ross and the Spring Bud Project
The Project, which has assisted the education of over 1,000 girls in Ankang and Shangluo, Shaanxi, was launched in 2001 by the 1990 Institute in partnership with the Shaanxi Province Women’s Federation. In 2012, 168 Spring Bud girls, who entered the project as out-of-school third and fourth graders, have succeeding in making their ways to universities across China. Reunions for project participants took place in Beijing, Xi’an, and Shanghai, where the celebration coincided with the 120th anniversary of the Shanghai No. 3 Girls’ School. Ross, who began her study of No. 3 in 1988, had no idea that her first life history interviews would set her on a three-decade journey of collaborative learning in support of girls’ capabilities.

Michiko Suzuki (EALC) did research this summer at Waseda University in Tokyo as a Visiting Scholar. In June, she received a grant from the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs to present her paper, "The Translation and Use of _Intermediate Sex_ in Early Twentieth Century Japan," at the "Sexology and Translation: Science, Culture and Cross Cultural Exchange, 1860-1930" symposium at Birkbeck, University of London. In October, she gave two invited talks at Stanford University. The first was titled "The Virtue of Difference: Yoshiya Nobuko and Feminism in 1930s Japan," and the second was "Becoming Modern Women: Love and Female Identity in Prewar Japanese Literature and Culture," which was a workshop with discussants on her 2010 book of the same title.

Kevin Tsai (EALC; Comparative Literature) received EASC travel funds to present his paper titled “Gender and Knight-Errantry in Zhang Yimou's Wuxia Trilogy” in September at the New York Conference on Asian Studies in New Paltz. He served as a discussant at the Forum for Chinese Poetic Culture at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October. In November he delivered a paper on Ming drama titled "Self-Knowledge and Reading on and off Stage" at the West Coast Workshop on Traditional Chinese Culture and Literature at Berkeley. In December he gave a talk on translating a 12th c. poet named Li Qingzhao titled “Transforming the Voice: Strategies for Translating Medieval Chinese Poetry” at IU Bloomington's Comparative Literature Department.

In October Sue Tuohy (EALC; Folklore and Ethnomusicology) was awarded EASC travel funds to serve as chair for a session titled “Keywords in the Discourses and Practices of Cultural Continuity in China”, as a discussant for a session titled “Culture and Catastrophe”, and as a discussant for a session titled “An American in Guangzhou: US Perspectives on Folklore Studies and ICH Practice in China” at the American Folklore Society Annual Meeting in New Orleans.


Introducing our IU Faculty: Sheena Choi (Educational Studies, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne)

Sheena ChoiI am an Associate Professor at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW).  I began teaching at IPFW in 1999.  My research focus is globalization, international migration, minority education, and internationalization of higher education with East Asia as an area focus.  I received the Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship to South Korea in 2008-2009 where I studied multicultural transformation of South Korean society. I have extensively published on the above topics including my most recent publications in Educational Perspectives, International Journal of Education Reform, Oxford Monitor of Forced Migration, and Asia Pacific Education Journal. I have also co-authored a forthcoming book titled Handbook of Higher Comparative Education Law (Rowman & Littlefield, anticipated publication date, 2013).

During my tenure as a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow in Korea, I developed a keen interest in North Korean refugees in South Korea.  It began as a subtopic of traditionally homogeneous Korean society’s transition into multicultural and multiethnic society and ensuing social and educational response to that transition and transformation.  North Koreans in South Korea are unique – historically and culturally they are homogeneous.  However, a victim of international politics in 20th century, Korea has been divided into two opposing ideological camps:  Democratic South Korea and communist North.  Therefore, while each claim ethnic brethrens from the same womb (Dong’po),  at the same time, each consider each other as political and ideological “Other” – so close geographically but so far in everything else.  Due to recent economic failure, North Koreans are escaping and entering into South Korea.   My research deals with this reimagination process toward the integration of ethnic brethrens into South Korea.  I enjoyed the conversations with North Korean refugees in South Korea, their perspectives, activities, and also their effort to build understanding between North and South.  Conversations with them enriched me and provoked me to consider deeper human rights issues.        


I regularly teach EDUC H340 Education and American Culture, EDUC H520 Education and Social Issues, EDUC H551 Comparative Education, and EDUA F555 Problems in Human Relations and Cultural Awareness and recently developed EDUA F400/500 Korea:  Society, Culture and Education.

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Introducing our IU Faculty: Reiko Yonogi (World Languages and Cultures, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis)

I am associate professor of Japanese Studies in the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI).  I have been with IUPUI since the fall of 1990, and have been the only full-time faculty member in the Japanese Program.  I created several new courses and a minor in Japanese Studies.  I have taught all levels of the Japanese language, and taught several culture and literature courses including introduction to Japanese culture, Japanese fiction and film, women in Japanese literature and society, Japanese culture and communication.   As the only full-time instructor and the director of the program in Japanese Studies, I also oversee a good number of students who major in Japanese Studies through the Individualized Major Program (IMP) which was created in 2004.   Reiko Yonogi So far, thirteen students have graduated with the Individualized Major in Japanese, and currently a number of students are working towards the IMP in Japanese.  I also take up to five students of independent study every semester who work on their own projects.


Although my degree is in comparative literature, presently my research is mostly on early twentieth century Japanese women writers such as Tamura Toshiko, Osaki Midori, and Okamoto Kanoko.  I have published articles on Tamura Toshiko (a book chapter), Osaki Midori, autobiographical writings of Miyamoto Yuriko, and also psychoanalytical approach to Arishima Takeo’s work.  My translation of Feminism and Post Modernism appeared in US – Japan Women’s Journal, and a short story by Osaki Midori will appear in the fall 2012 Japan Studies Association Journal in December.

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Faculty Profile

Rowland Ricketts
Assistant Professor, School of Fine Arts

Rowland RickettsAs a senior in college, Rowland Ricketts found himself where many college students find themselves as graduation nears: fielding questions from parents that typically start with “what”, such as “What are you going to do after graduation?” or “What are you going to do with your life?” At 22 years old Ricketts simply replied with “ask me again when I am 25”. When he was 25 years old, Ricketts excitedly called his parents to inform them he knew what he was going to be: an indigo farmer.

Ricketts’ unlikely journey to IU's Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts can be traced back to various moments in his life, starting with his freshman year in high school. When plans to study in Germany fell through, Rowland’s desire for a study abroad experience led him to Japan. Knowing little about the country and its language, Ricketts was shocked by the wonderful reception he received and never imagined the Japanese would be so welcoming, kind and generous. His experience motivated him to learn to speak Japanese.

Ricketts continued learning Japanese as an East Asian Studies major at Wesleyan University and decided to further his Japanese by joining the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program after graduation. Ricketts’ time in Japan offered another transformative experience as he watched chemicals he had been using to develop film end up in a local stream. Realizing the lack of modern water treatment where he lived in Nara prefecture, Ricketts thought about how his act of making something was having a negative impact on the environment. During this same period, Ricketts had the good fortune of meeting local Japanese who worked with dye extracted from indigo plants. His experience sparked an interest that continues today in cultivating, processing, and using dyes derived from indigo.

Ricketts recently completed two installations, one at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and one in Japan. The installation at the Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois called Fields of Indigo involved taking all the indigo plants grown at Hilltop Gardens on IU’s campus this year and transporting them to the museum. Ricketts then put the dried indigo plants on the floor while also projecting (through a cloth that was dyed with indigo) a time lapse video of an indigo plant drying. People who visit the installation walk on the leaves thereby becoming participants in the winnowing stage of the process. When the exhibit ends Ricketts will collect the leaves and sift out the stems to extract the dye from the indigo plants.
Fields of Indigo by Rowland Ricketts

Ricketts was also invited to develop an installation for the National Cultural Festival in Tokushima, Japan. As the primary supplier of indigo to the rest of Japan, the government of Tokushima asked Ricketts to design an installation that embodied the richness of indigo farming and processing that has been an important part of Tokushima history and remains so today. Ricketts requested dyers from all over Japan to send a length of cloth with their favorite shade of blue. By doing so he wanted to incorporate the farmers and processors of Tokushima with the dyers throughout Japan. The installation moved to various locations in Tokushima during the exhibition and at each location visitors were allowed to cut out a circle of cloth and make a badge to take home. Like the installation at the Krannert Museum, visitors interacted with different parts of the indigo dye-making process.

Ricketts advice to graduating college students is simple, “Do what you believe in, if you believe in it, you will make your own way in the world and if it is meaningful to you, it can happen.” Ricketts disclosure to his parents about a future in indigo farming might have been a cause for concern, but by making his own way in the world, Ricketts is experiencing the reward of doing what he believes in and passing that knowledge on to others.Tokushima Exhibition

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