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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

June 2014


"This is Arirang" Flashmob Held on IU Campus

On April 18, IU’s Korean student community joined with friends of Korea for a flash-mob performance of Arirang, one of the country’s most well-known folk songs, and Aegukga, the South Korean national anthem. Over 60 students took advantage of sunny skies for a mixed vocal and instrumental performance in front of the Showalter Fountain to the delight of tour groups and on-lookers in the area. The performance was inspired by the “This is Arirang” project, started by university students in South Korea to promote the country’s music and culture. A clip of the event can be found on the EASC Facebook page. The event was sponsored by EASC and the IU Korean Student Association. A special thank you to Starbucks (1921 S Walnut Ave) for providing beverages for performers.

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EASC Launches East Asia Webinar Series

This spring, the East Asian Studies Center initiated its first-ever webinar series. A total of four webinars were planned for the spring and summer semesters. Using Adobe Connect, EASC was able to engage IU students, as well as the greater public, in presentations on Chinese education, Korean musicology, Japanese indigo textiles, and studying abroad in East Asia.

The first webinar, Half the Sky: Schooling China’s Millennial Girls, featured EASC’s own Heidi Ross (Director, East Asian Studies Center; Professor, Educational Policy Studies, IU Bloomington). Ross delivered a lecture on development and girls’ education world-wide, with a focus on empowering females in China’s shifting society.

The second webinar, on March 6th, focused on Korean musicology. Professor Chan Eung Park’s presentation, Musicology of Ka-Mu-Ak, Korean Song, Dance and Instrumentation, introduced the court music of Korea, Korean folk music, and the socio-politics of folk performance there. Park is a Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Ohio State University.

On April 12, Professor Rowland Ricketts (Textiles, Fine Art, IU Bloomington) hosted the third webinar, Japan Blue: Japanese Indigo Textiles, which explored the history of indigo in Japan, its application on various “fold” textiles, as well as how it is grown and processed there today.

The fourth, and final, webinar of the series was held on June 19th from 7 pm -9 pm. The webinar, Story of Study Abroad to East Asia, was free and open to the public. Guest presenter John M. Frank (Social Studies Teacher, Center Grove High School, Greenwood, Indiana) shared his experiences as an alumnus of eight EASC-sponsored study tours to East Asia.

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EASC Cultural Ambassadors Spread Awareness of Asia in B-Town and Beyond


On May 17, EASC Chinese Ambassadors James and Jenny Yang presented on Chinese calligraphy and Taichi at the Brown County Public Library. On May 20, they gave another demonstration of Chinese calligraphy at IU’s Institute for Curriculum and Campus Internationalization. Pictures of the presentation and more of James’ work can be found on his blog

EASC Chinese Ambassador Amy Chen gave a demonstration about Chinese characters to local students, showing how they evolved over five thousand years from pictographs to their modern forms. She pointed out speculated linkages in character formation with passages in the book of Genesis, and also drew connections between Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity in their philosophy, beliefs and practices.

Amy will start to tutor a local high school student in Chinese language and culture this summer.


EASC Korean Ambassadors Helena Cheun and Cathy Shin reported a very full spring schedule. Helena continues to be active as a Korean language teacher at IU’s Asian Culture Center, a voluntary position she’s held for nearly two decades. In March, Cathy participated in a panel discussion at the Asian Culture Center titled “The Plastic Surgery Dilemma? Julie Chen’s Controversial Confession” as part of the “Who Are Asian-Americans?” brownbag series.  The following month, both Helena and Cathy promoted Korean culture at Asian Fest, held at the Bloomington Community Farmers Market on April 19. In May, Helena and Cathy conducted a Korean language and culture lesson for third graders at Central Elementary in Martinsville, IN. The lesson included a presentation of Korean “artifacts,” an introduction to the Korean alphabet, Hangeul, and an explanation of traditional Korean games. The lesson was followed by a sampling of Korean snacks such as puffed rice cakes, pumpkin taffy, and a sweet rice punch.


EASC Japanese Ambassador Tiphani Dixon presented her experiences studying in Japan for IU’s Office of Overseas Study. In March, she participated in the Lotus Blossoms World Bazaar held at Binford Elementary in Bloomington.

Many thanks to our ambassadors for their hard work and dedication to cultural exchange. We sincerely appreciate your efforts!

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IU Students Take Home Silver and Gold at Chinese Language Competition

In April, five IU students spent Easter weekend demonstrating their Chinese skills at the Midwest Chinese Speech Contest at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. This year, 71 students from 15 different universities went head to head across four proficiency levels. The IU team, competing for their first time, had an impressive outing, winning two gold medals, one silver and two participation awards. The team members all come from the Chinese Flagship Center and EALC’s Chinese Language Program:

Daniel Frohman (First year Chinese, Flagship student): Silver medal

Nathaniel Stein (Second year Chinese, Flagship student): Gold medal

Joshua Owens (Fifth year Chinese): Gold medal

Kelly McCarthy (Fifth year Chinese, Flagship student): participation award

Evan Kolb (Fifth year Chinese, Flagship): participation award

This speech contest is the biggest regional event promoting Chinese language and is also part of the world-wide Chinese Bridge competition initiated by the Confucius Institute in China. Congrats to all participants on a job well done!

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IU Hosts 2014 Japanese Olympiad of Indiana

The 2014 Japanese Olympiad of Indiana (JOI), sponsored by the Association of Indiana Teachers of Japanese (AITJ), was held at IU on February 22nd. JOI was hosted by EASC and funded by AITJ, the Consulate General of Japan at Chicago, EALC, EASC, and the Japan Foundation. 111 high school students from 10 high schools from across Indiana participated in the annual event. The results are as follows:

Level 2

    1st place: Valparaiso High School

    2nd place: Chesterton High School (Tied)

    2rd place: North Central High School (Tied)

Level 3

    1st place: Chesterton High School

    2nd place: North Central High School

    3rd place: Valparaiso High School

Level 4

    1st Place: Valparaiso High School

    2nd place: Chesterton High School

    3rd place: Bloomington High School North



Congratulations to everyone! We hope to see you again next year and hope to have new school entries as well.

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Korean Book Workshop Spring 2014 Recap

This spring, EASC continued its Korean Book Workshop program. The Korean Book Workshop provides an opportunity for students interested in studying Korean history, culture, politics, education, and various other topics to meet with the authors of Korea-focused monographs and academic articles. Guest authors connect online and in-person with students from IU and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

In March, students met with Hyunjoon Park, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Re-evaluating Education in Japan and Korea: Demystifying Stereotypes. Prof. Park’s research focuses on the effects of family on education, particularly in Korea and other East Asian countries. Also in March, Professor of History & Anthropology at the University of Central Missouri, Sean Kim met with students from IU and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to discuss two of his articles, "Preaching the Apocalypse in Colonial Korea: The Protestant Millennialism of Kil Son-ju” and “Reenchanted: Divine Healing in Korean Protestantism” which both treat the rise of and popularity of Protestantism in Korea. The final author, Professor Theodore Hughes of Columbia University’s own East Asian Languages & Cultures Department, discussed his book Literature and Film in Cold War South Korea: Freedom’s Frontier.

Graduate students from areas as diverse as East Asian Studies, Second Language Studies, and Linguistics attended the workshops to discuss the pieces, ask questions, and learn more about Korea-related studies, all in direct contact with the authors. There were also a number of participants who engaged in the discussions online, using Adobe Connect. Both the authors and the students greatly enjoyed the opportunity to talk about these topics and learn more about current scholarship in Korean studies.

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East Asian Film Series Spring 2014 Recap

The East Asian Film Series wrapped up another successful season on April 21, 2014 with a screening of Jiseul (Meul O., 2013). The film told the story of a family in hiding during the 1948 U.S.-backed massacre on South Korea’s Jeju island. It was awarded the World Cinema Dramatic Jury Prize at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. The previous film in this year’s series, A Normal Life, Please (Tokachi Tsuchiya, 2009) screened on February 17th. It portrayed the plight of members of a Japanese labor union as they struggled against both their company and its yakuza supporters. The film won Best Documentary honors at the Raindance Festival. Both films were sponsored by EASC and the IU Cinema.

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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Year 17 NCTA Grant Received

This spring EASC received a $289,750 grant from the Freeman Foundation to fund National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) activities for another year, Year 17 (2014-15) of the NCTA program. The NCTA program provides K-12 teachers interested in incorporating East Asia into their curricula with face-to-face seminars, Web-based courses, and other professional development programs on East Asia. For more information about our NCTA program, see EASC’s NCTA Web site.

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Collaborating with Children's Museum in Indianapolis

This spring, EASC partnered with The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis to support teachers attending their premier programs on East Asia. NCTA alumni, and other Indianapolis-area teachers, were awarded stipends by the EASC to attend two Children’s Museum events: an Educator Networking Night (Wonders of China: The Best of China, Past and Present!) and a five-day Educator Institute (China: Ancient and Modern).

Four NCTA alumni participated in the Networking Night, held at the Museum on May 14th. Barbara Andrews and Tammy Webster (both Indianapolis, 2010), Stacy Morton (Muncie, 2009), and Duane Johansen (South Bend, 2010) all attended the event, where they got a first look at two extraordinary new exhibits at the museum: Take Me There: ® China and Terra Cotta Warriors: The Emperors Painted Army. Scholarships for the Educator Institute (June 23 – June 27) have been made available to five teachers. Participants will explore China, past and present, through the museum’s exhibits and will visit Chicago’s Chinatown to explore Chinese-American history. Participants will receive two units of study.

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