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EASC Newsletter

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A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

January 2012

Faculty Updates

Christopher I. Beckwith (Central Eurasian Studies) has enjoyed a very productive scholarly year and is on leave/sabbatical as a Research Fellow at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg “Dynamics in the History of Religions between Asia and Europe,” Ruhr Universität Bochum. His main research topic there is ‘The Influence of Central Eurasian Religious Beliefs on the Cultures of the Periphery’. His book on the scholastic method and the college, Warriors of the Cloisters: The Central Asian Origins of Science in the Medieval World, has been accepted by Princeton University Press and is now in production. His 2009 book Empires of the Silk Road: A History of Central Eurasia from the Bronze Age to the Present (Princeton University Press, 2011) has come out in a slightly revised paperback edition (at an incredibly cheap price). An article of his, ‘A Note on the Heavenly Kings of Ancient Central Eurasia’, has been published (Archivum Eurasiae Medii Aevi 17 [2010] 7-10), and two articles co-authored with Michael L. Walter (Indiana University Library) have appeared: ‘The Dating and Interpretation of the Old Tibetan Inscriptions’ (Central Asiatic Journal, 54/2 [2010] 290-317) and ‘On the Meaning of Old Tibetan rje-blon during the Tibetan Empire Period’ (Journal Asiatique 298.2 [2010] 535-548). In April he delivered a paper titled ‘Political theory and political reality in early modern to modern Eastern Eurasia: From Central Eurasian hierarchical feudalism to extreme modernism’ at an international conference titled “The changing nature of Asian relations from the 18th to the early 20th century” organized by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. Professor Beckwith presented an additional paper titled ‘The Original Sinification? The foundational Indian influence on early Taoism and the conceptualization of China’ at an international conference, “Between borrowing and taking over: The problem of Sinification and its implication for a theory of religious contacts,” at the Käte Hamburger Kolleg, Ruhr Universität Bochum in August.

Michael Dylan Foster (Folklore and Ethnomusicology) received a Fulbright grant for research in Japan from late December 2011 through August 2012. His project, “Visiting Strangers: Gods, Ethnographers, and Tourists in Japan,” explores the intersection of festival, ethnography, and tourism, with a particular focus on so-called raihôjin rituals in which masked figures dressed as demon-deities visit community households. For the first five months of his grant, Foster will undertake fieldwork on the island of Shimo-Koshikijima in Kagoshima Prefecture; he will spend the remaining three months doing archival and library research in the Tokyo area. While in Japan, he will be affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo. 

Sara Friedman (Anthropology and Gender Studies, EALC) organized a June 2011 conference, “Rethinking Intimate Labor through Inter-Asian Migrations,” which was held at the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Italy. In July 2011, she and her co-organizer, Pardis Mahdavi (Anthropology, Pomona College) published a conference report in the Asian and Pacific Migration Journal (Vol. 20, No. 2). The conference was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.

Heon Joo Jung (EALC) received a “Short-term Faculty Exchange Program Grant” from Office of the Vice President for International Affairs (IU-Yonsei faculty exchange program) to conduct a one-month field research project in South Korea in June. In October, he was invited to attend the 3rd “Rising Stars in Korean Studies Workshop” at the Korean Studies Institute, University of Southern California and presented on Korea’s credit card boom and bust in the early 2000s.   

Keiko Kuriyama (EALC) was awarded the 2011 Teacher Award from the National Council of Japanese Language Teachers and was invited to attend the NCJLT Awards Luncheon at the November 2011 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages convention in Denver, Colorado. In October, she gave a talk titled “Current Issues of PL 91 and AP Japanese” at the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers Association 43rd Annual Conference. She was also recently nominated to serve as the vice-president of the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese from November 2011 until November 2013.  

Masato Ogawa (Education, IU Kokomo) received the IU Trustees Teaching Award for the 2010 academic year. In June 2011, he was invited to a symposium of the 22nd annual Japanese Civic Education Conference at Ehime University. There, he presented his paper, “Current Trends of Social Studies Education in the United States.” The Japan Curriculum Research and Development Association at Hiroshima University invited him to attend a special symposium in August 2011, where he presented on the topic, “Social Studies Education Research in Teacher Education”. He recently published a book chapter titled “Social Studies Lesson Planning in US Classrooms” in the Handbook of Teaching and Learning the Social Studies edited by the Japanese Educational Research Association for the Social Studies.

EASC director Heidi Ross (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; co-director, ANU-IU Pan Asia Institute) helped organize a doctoral student mentoring roundtable with IU School of Education partner Beijing Normal University at the Fourth Worldwide Forum for Comparative Education in Beijing. The forum included both faculty and student speakers from IU Bloomington, Beijing Normal University, Peking University, and the National Institute of Education, Singapore. IU Bloomington graduate Ran Zhang, Assistant Professor, Peking University, served as the moderator for the event. Internationally recognized comparative educator, Lee Wing An  (National Institute of Education, Singapore) concluded the forum by drawing together ideas of the forum and offering a future outlook on doctoral student mentoring.  

Marvin Sterling’s (Anthropology) article, “Searching for Self in the Global South:  Japanese Literary Representations of Afro-Jamaican Blackness,” was recently published in the Journal of Japanese Studies.  His chapter, “Toward an Analysis of Global Blackness:  Race, Representation, and Jamaican Popular Culture in Japan,” was also recently published in Racial Representation in East Asia, Yasuko Takezawa, editor, (Kyoto University Press and TransPacific Press). He received a College of Arts and Humanities Institute Travel Grant and an Office of the Vice President for International Affairs Overseas Research Grant for summer 2011 study on the Japanese community in Jamaica.

Michiko Suzuki’s (EALC) research this past summer was supported by a College of Arts and Humanities Institute Travel Grant as well as the Japan Studies grant from the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies. She was also selected to be a faculty participant in the 2011-2012 lecture series, Master Classes in the Humanities: The Art of Interpretation, held at IU Bloomington.

Reiko Yonogi (Japanese Studies, IUPUI) received an EASC travel grant to present her paper, “Gender and Modernism:  Osaki Midori and Hatsukoi (First Love),” in January 2012 at the Japan Studies Association Annual Conference, held at Hawaii Tokai International College in Honolulu.

I Introducing our IU Faculty: Xiaoqing Diana Chen Lin (History, IU Northwest)

Diana Chen headshotI am an associate professor of history at Indiana University Northwest (1994-present). I have taught a wide range of courses from modern Asian histories (China and Japan) to Western Civilizations surveys. I am developing two courses for the 2012-13 academic year, one on the idea of Asia through modern history, and the other on local identities in a global community.

In my monograph Peking University: Chinese Scholarship and Intellectuals , 1898-1937 (State University of New York Press, 2005). I tried to understand how ideas from the West or from Chinese history were modified or changed in the construction of the first modern Chinese university.  Transmission of ideas were also reflected in three articles I published prior to my monograph:  “Historicizing Subjective Reality: Rewriting History in Early Republican China," (Modern China 25(1), 1999); “The Establishment of a New Rational Man, Western Aesthetics and Cai Yuanpei, Chancellor of Peking University,” Proceedings of the International Conference on Cai Yuanpei, 1868-1998 (Peking University Press, 1999); and “Social Science and Social Control: the Case of Peking University, 1910s-1920s,” Chinese Science 14 (1997).

I am writing an intellectual biography of a 20th century philosopher Feng Youlan. I study how Feng tried to update a Song Dynasty version of neo-Confucian learning with ideas ranging from New Realism to Marxism, while shaped also by his cultural and political milieu. My publications associated with this project are: (forthcoming) “Creating Modern Chinese Metaphysics: Feng Youlan and New Realism,” Modern China. “Developing the Academic Discipline of Chinese Philosophy: the Departments of Philosophy at Peking, Tsinghua, and Yenching Universities (1910s-30s),” in John Makeham ed., Learning to Emulate the Wise: The Genesis of Chinese philosophy as An Academic Discipline in Twentieth Century China (The Chinese University Press, 2011). I am currently finishing a paper on how Marxist dialectical materialism and Feng’s scholarship.

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