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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter


A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

December 2012


6th Annual China Town Hall

China Town HallIn October, the 6th Annual CHINA Town Hall, organized nationally by the National Committee on United States-China Relations and hosted locally by EASC, the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business, and the Center for Chinese Language Pedagogy, was held on the Bloomington campus. The event featured an address by American Ambassador to China Gary Locke broadcast to over 50 locations throughout the United States, accompanied by lectures given by experts at each of these locations. At IU Bloomington, Vivian Ling (EALC; Director of Center for Chinese Language Pedagogy) presided over the evening’s events beginning with a Chinese Tidings Lecture by Shuang Zhao (Joint Ph.D. School of Public and Environmental Affairs and Political Science) titled “China-US Relations: Opportunities and Challenges”. Shuang discussed the importance of US-China relations in world politics and provided an overview of issues and problems in US-China relations. The second lecture featuring Scott Kennedy (EALC and Political Science; director, Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business), considered the U.S.-China relationship from the perspective of an American who lives in China. In his presentation, Professor Kennedy discussed the sources of mistrust between the US and China, providing examples on why this mistrust may exist, and shared his experience in working in the field of US-China relations.

Ambassador Locke concluded the event by discussing America’s desire to work with China to overcome current economic challenges and promote the stability of the Asia-Pacific Region. In his remarks, live-streamed to Bloomington from Beijing, Ambassador Locke also stressed that his team would continue to press the Chinese government for more market access and for making the Renminbi’s value more market-driven. Following his talk, Ambassador Locke answered questions from the nation-wide audience about Chinese currency, Chinese leadership, South China Sea conflicts, Tibet, and trade.

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Nancy Abelmann visits IU Bloomington

In October, Nancy Abelmann (Associate Vice Chancellor for Research; Asian American Studies, Anthropology, Gender and Women’s Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) visited IU Bloomington to discuss how the rapidly transforming demography of incoming Chinese and South Korean international students at the University of Illinois is affecting ideas about race, nation, and institutional internationalization. Drawing on findings from her highly interactive and student-engaged undergraduate research laboratory, and focusing on challenges Asian students face while adjusting to life on an American university campus, professor Abelmann and her students have discovered that in the face of a complex new environment many Asian students come to rely upon student-run websites in their native languages and socialize and study in settings separate from their American counterparts. The University of Illinois’ Asian college student enrollment is the second largest in the country offering professor Abelmann a rich source of information for understanding and thinking about how to enhance international students’ broad engagement in campus life. During her time at IU Bloomington, several graduate students had the opportunity to meet with professor Abelmann to discuss their research and receive valuable feedback.

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Benshi Kataoka Ichiro Visits IU Bloomington

Kataoka Ichiro, a world-renowned benshi from Japan, wowed audiences with his narrative skills at a benshi workshop and silent film An Inn at Tokyo on October 11th at the IU Cinema. Benshis are practitioners of katsuben, or the art of “live-narration,” that were wildly popular in the era of silent films. Kataoka explained katsuben at an afternoon workshop, where he intimated that, with enough practice, anyone could be a benshi. After Kataoka’s demonstration Allison Darmody (M.A. student, EALC), Amanda Bates (instructor, EALC), and Amy Klouse (M.A. student, EALC) volunteered as translators for a Q&A session led by Stephanie DeBoer (EALC and Communication and Culture). Later that evening, Kataoka gave the public a taste of katsuben as he voiced multiple characters for Yasujiro Ozu’s film An Inn at Tokyo. You can read more about the Kataoka’s visit to IU here.

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Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Molecules to Morality and Confucian Tales of Family Care

This September, in conjunction with the College of Arts and Sciences “Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Molecules to Morality” initiative, EASC cosponsored an exhibition of Chinese prints titled “Paragons of Filial Piety” at the IU Art Museum and an accompanying lecture by Michael Ing (Religious Studies) on Confucian tales of family care.
Paragons of Filial PietyProfessor Michael Ing’s talk, titled “Tasting Dung with an Anxious Heart: Confucian Tales of Family Care”, explored Confucian morality as depicted in Guo Jijing’s “24 Paragons of Filial Piety,” a 15th century “handbook” of good behavior. Ing highlighted the Confucian precept of sacrifice on behalf of one’s parents with an array of examples drawn from the “Paragons”: a son who feeds himself to mosquitoes so that his father can sleep soundly was one such embodiment of filial piety. Professor Ing’s talk was immediately followed by a reception at the IU Art Museum allowing guests to engage in lively discussions and view ten of Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s prints based on the “Paragons” at the IU Art Museum.

Other events cosponsored by EASC and the College of Arts and Sciences as part of this year’s Themester included the East Asian Film Series (hyperlink to EA Film Series report) on the theme of good behavior, bad behavior held in the IU Cinema. Each year Themester events offer a “vigorous exchange of ideas” in a variety of settings, including classes, workshops, exhibits, performances, and lectures.

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East Asian Film Series at the IU Cinema

The East Asian Film Series, in partnership with the College of Arts and Sciences 2012 Themester: Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Molecules to Morality, filled the 300-seat IU Cinema with three films this fall. In September, the IU Cinema offered four screenings of the long awaited documentary film Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry (Alison Klayman, 2012).  In addition to the four screenings of the well-received documentary, the IU Cinema hosted the film’s director Alison Klayman for a Q & A session following the first screening. To read more about Alison Klayman’s visit to IU Bloomington go here. Later in September, the film series continued with the Japanese drama Bounce Ko-Gals (Masato Harada, 1997) The series concluded in October with the silent Japanese film An Inn in Tokyo featuring benshi narrator Kataoka Ichiro. Kataoka Ichiro is one of the top professional benshi in Japan and the star pupil of the undisputed master benshi, Sawato Midori. More information please go here.The East Asian Film Series will continue in the spring with the Taiwanese romantic comedy Girlfriend Boyfriend (Ya-che Yang, 2012) on March 7, followed by the Japanese drama A Piece of Our Life (Momoko Ando, 2009) on March 23, and concluding with the Korean drama Poetry (Chang-dong Lee, 2010) on April 6.

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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Documentary Filmmaker Alison Klayman Visits IU Bloomington

In September, the East Asian Film Series along with IU Cinema offered four screenings of the much anticipated documentary Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry. In conjunction with the documentary, Alison Klayman (writer and director, Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry) was invited to IU Bloomington to speak about her experiences working in China and getting to know the celebrated and controversial artist Ai Wei Wei. Alison first gave a talk about human rights and documentary filmmaking at the Center for the Study of Global Change. Later in the day, Stephanie DeBoer (Communications and Culture) conducted an interview with Alison highlighting her unlikely journey in making the critically acclaimed documentary Ai Wei Wei. With the original intent of living in China for five months, Alison’s chance encounter with Ai Wei Wei while filming a gallery of his work opened the door for a larger opportunity to document his life for the next three years.

Speaking to a sold-out crowd at the IU Cinema, Alison concluded her visit with a special introduction to the first screening of Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry followed by a Q&A session. Among the many topics Alison shared with the audience was the connection between art and political activism and Ai Wei Wei’s ability to shape the conversation in China and abroad through exhibitions such as the Remembering installation on the Haus der Kunst's façade in Munich, Germany.

Alison Klayman’s visit and screenings of Ai Wei Wei: Never Sorry were made possible by co-sponsors College of Arts and Sciences 2012 Themester: Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Molecules to Morality, IU Cinema, the Center for the Study of Global Change, the Department of Communications and Culture, and the International Arthouse Series.

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SOFOKS Convenes to Announce Election of New President

In August, the Society of Friends of Korean Studies (SOFOKS) met in Indianapolis to announce the election of their new president, Dr. Soong Hoon Ahn. Dr. Ahn laid out a new vision for the philanthropic body that would enable it to provide even more support to Korean Studies at IU in the future. Among the new initiatives he highlighted were a recruitment drive to attract new blood and increased participation in Korea related events at IU. Representing EASC/EALC at the gathering were EASC Director Heidi Ross (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; co-director, ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute), EASC Associate Director Hye Seung Kang, Hyo Sang Lee (EALC), and Su Sam Kim (Visiting Scholar, IU Bloomington).  2012-2013 SOFOKS Graduate Fellowship recipient Anthony Ross (M.A. student, EALC), accompanied the group and gave a speech in Korean composed for the occasion. We would like to congratulate Dr. Ahn on his election, and express our heartfelt appreciation to former president Dr. Dal Kwon for his support and leadership.SOFOKS Members
The Society of Friends of Korean Studies, a private fundraising organization, is a committed union between community and higher education ensuring continued support for Korean studies and young Korean studies scholars at Indiana University. Founded in 1983 under the leadership of Heun Y. Yune M.D., now Professor Emeritus of Radiology at the IU School of Medicine, SOFOKS will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year; stay tuned for EASC’s announcement of a special event to commemorate this milestone!

If interested in becoming a member of SOFOKS, please contact  Dr. Hye Seung Kang ( or Dr. Soong Hoon Ahn (

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EASC Welcomes Scholars and Friends of Asia to the 2012-13 Academic Year

In August, the EASC hosted its annual welcome back party for students and faculty featuring art, music, and cuisine of East Asia to mark the start of the 2012-13 academic year. EASC Director Heidi Ross (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; co-director, ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute), opened her office to those desiring a taste of China. EASC Assistant Director Hye-Seung (Theresa) Kang, a Korean native, made way for her homeland, and the center’s lounge exuded a Japanese vibe. EASC Welcome SignAfter opening statements by Heidi Ross, Scott Kennedy (EALC and Political Science; director, Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business) spoke briefly about the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business offices in Beijing and its upcoming events. Over 150 guests visited each room to sample the flavors of each region of East Asia. EALC students participated in determining the food selection by taking EASC’s first official survey to find the best local Asian restaurants. Among those selected to cater the event were the Chow Bar for Chinese, Ami for Japanese, and Dami for Korean cuisine. EASC looks forward to greeting everyone again in August 2013.

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IL/IN National Dissertation Workshop: Asian Film and Media

The Illinois/Indiana East Asia National Resource Center Consortium held its sixth annual IL/IN National Dissertation Workshop at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in August. Eight doctoral students in the humanities, social sciences, and media/communications whose dissertation projects concern Asian film and media participated in this event. The workshop is designed to enable students just beginning work on their dissertations or those further along, to receive critical feedback from the faculty leaders and each other as well as exploring the possibilities of continuing networks among interested students and faculty. The workshop was led by a multi-disciplinary team of consortium faculty covering the different areas of East Asia: Gary Xu, (Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Stephanie DeBoer, (EALC and the Department of Communication and Culture), and Gregory A. Waller, (Department Communication and Culture).

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Japanese Children’s Artwork Exhibit at EASC

Japanese 5th Grader Picture

Throughout December, EASC has featured on its office walls a collection of 12 exceptional pieces of artwork from Japanese children ranging from ages 8 to 15 years old. Selected from a collection of prize-winning entries of the 71st National Exhibition of Art in Education in Japan, these 12 works of art were made possible for viewing at IU by the Society for the Promotion of Art in Education in Japan along with the special help of Marjorie Cohee Manifold (Art Education Program, Curriculum & Instruction). The 12 illustrations, such as 5th grader Shiori Manobori’s Roller on the Tree and 7th grader Rumi Wtanabe’s All Alive, highlight the significance of nurturing creativity through art education. The digital form of the artwork will be displayed on the websites of the EASC and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) and will be lent nationally to K-12 teachers for teaching students about East Asia.

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2012 Chinese Bridge Delegation to China

Four alumni of EASC’s National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) Seminar program will join the 2012 Chinese Bridge Delegation for a weeklong educational tour to China this November. Hosted by Hanban (Confucius Institute Headquarters), the program aims at helping educators start or strengthen their institutions’ Chinese language and culture programs, and facilitate ongoing China-related exchanges. Participants will have an opportunity to experience China firsthand through school visits, cultural activities and educational workshops in Beijing and one or two regional cities in China. The four EASC NCTA alumni who will participate in the study tour are Freida Hall (AP Studio Art/ AP Art History, Ramsay High School, Birmingham, AL), Nicole English (World History, Evanston Township High School, Evanston, IL), Richard Sasso (ELL Director, Hinsdale South High School, Darien, IL), and Alexis VanLoon (Social Studies, Bangor Middle School, Bangor, MI).

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Two Summer Residential Programs at the NCTA Coordinating Site at the University of Colorado at Boulder

This summer, two alumni of EASC’s NCTA program, joined other social studies and science teachers from around the country for two residential programs hosted at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Carol E. Kirsch (Topeka, IN, 2010 NCTA seminar participant) participated in the program on “China: Environmental Issues and Challenges,” which focused on broad questions and case studies to help teachers consider how China can balance the goals of economic development and environmental protection. Larry Leonhardt (Indianapolis, IN, 1999 NCTA seminar participant) attended the other program on Japan. Titled “21st-Century Japan: Global Issues, Classroom Applications,” the program explored economic challenges, political reform, and social change in Japan, with special attention to Japan’s recovery from the 2011 “triple tragedy.”

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2012 Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School Workshop

In July, EASC hosted its 14th annual Freeman Foundation funded workshop on Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School on the IU Bloomington campus. Twenty-three 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 (independent scholar), Japan historian Yosuke Nirei (History, IU South Bend), 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 an ikebana session and Taiji practice, as well as screenings of East Asian films. As a final activity, participants used works such as Tsutsui Yasutaka’s “Standing Woman,” the epic Chinese tale Monkey, and the Korean novel Our Twisted Hero by Yu Munyol, to create syllabi designed to introduce high school students to the great possibilities of East Asian literature. For more information about the July 2012 workshop please click here.

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2012 NCTA Teaching about Asia Seminars

In the spring and summer of 2012 EASC conducted six National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminars. Nearly 80 K-12 educators throughout the Midwest – in Chicago, IL; Urbana-Champaign, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Benton Harbor-St. Joseph, MI; Minneapolis, MN; and Cleveland, OH learned about the history and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea. 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.

NCTA Completes Two National Study Tours

Four alumni of EASC’s National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminar program participated in two NCTA study tours this summer. Three of them, Brad Darnell (World History and Geography, Prairie Hills Junior High School, Markham, IL), Mary Davis (Social Studies, Chute Middle School, Evanston, IL), and Melanie Krob (World History, Isidore Newman School, New Orleans, LA), joined the two-week residential program at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China, coordinated by the NCTA national site at the University of Pittsburgh. The residential program was a new format for NCTA. It provided an opportunity for K-12 educators to attend lectures on Chinese history, language and culture, visit postsecondary institutions, establish partnerships with Chinese schools and travel to cities such as Shanghai and Wuzhen, which provided valuable firsthand experience and a deeper understanding of both traditional and contemporary Chinese society. Learn more about the program here and see a roster of the participants here.

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Korean Housewives Bring U.S. Schools Box Loads of Korean Cultural Insight

For nearly a decade, EASC’s Outreach program has been providing K-12 teachers in America with lesson plans and items indicative of Chinese and Japanese culture. Korea, however, was excluded for lack of materials and interest until Jihyeon Won, a former EASC employee and its current Associate Director Hye-seung Kang, both Korean nationals, began collecting material with the idea that “if you build it, they will come”. Korean Box MomsKang requested help from the local Korean community and four women raising children as their husbands study or teach at IU responded. Hyungeun Chun, Kyehee Kim, Kyungeun Hong , and Yeonhui Jong  all lived in Korea up until a few months ago, and each has one or two children attending K-12 classes. From the beginning of October to the end of December, the group met once a week for two hours. At their first meeting at the EASC, Kang recalled the mothers purging obsolete items:  “They found our dosirak (a lunch box set) quaint since city schools all have kitchens now.”  Even though their kids mostly play video games, they kept the jaegi (hacky sack) because it is still kicked about a little on traditional holidays, she added.

The women also created a detailed PowerPoint presentation which teachers can use to show American students even more images of Korea. One photo shows uniform-clad high school students. Accompanying material explains why many Korean teenagers are much less resistant to the often unfashionable clothing than their American peers would be. Hyungeun Chun said during a recent presentation that the team had a hard time thinking of an item or image to fill the box’s “School Transportation” slot. Korean school districts have no fleets of yellow busses. By design, urban schools are in easy walking distance of most homes.  And when they are far, student discounts make already plentiful public transportation a cheap and efficient way to get to school on time.

Interested teachers phone (812-855-3765) or e-mail ( requests for one or more of the roughly 13”X10”X11” plastic boxes and use the toys, books, clothing and occasional surprise inside, such as vacuum-sealed chicken feet, to help their students better understand the cultures of East Asia.

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