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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

May 2008

Faculty News

  • Christopher I. Beckwith (Central Eurasian Studies) presented his paper “Dialectic in Buddhist and Islamic Central Asian Philosophical Texts” at the American Oriental Society in Chicago in March. The Buddhist texts he discussed are preserved as Chinese translations by Hsuan Tsang (Xuanzang). He has also been invited to give a series of lectures at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris in May and June, including two lectures on Sinological topics: “Old Chinese Loanwords in Proto-Tibetan and the Problem of Old Chinese Dialects” and “On the Name and Identity of the Tokharians or Yüeh-chih/Yuezhi: The Solution to an Old Philological and Historical Question.”

  • Ho-Fung Hung (Sociology) will present the paper “Grandpa State instead of Bourgeois State: Fictitious Patrimonial Politics in China’s Age of Commerce, 1644–1839” at the “Lineages of Patrimonial Politics, Then and Now” conference organized by the Center for Comparative Research at Yale University in May. His article “Rise of China and the Global Overaccumulation Crisis” will be published in the May 2008 issue of Review of International Political Economy.

  • Heejoon Kang (Business Economics and Public Policy, Kelley School of Business) will retire in May after twenty-eight years at IU. He plans to remain in Bloomington and will continue his research in applied econometrics. He will also do some part-time teaching in Korea.

  • Scott Kennedy (EALC and Political Science) has received a Fulbright Scholars award to support his research in China during the 2008–09 academic year. He will be completing research on his book project, “Mandarins Playing Capitalist Games,” which examines the growing role of Chinese government and industry in global economic governance.

  • Ethan Michelson (Sociology and EALC) received an IU Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, a campus-wide award for those who show promise of achieving great distinction as scholars or artists.

  • Klaus Mühlhahn (History) edited an article titled “The Limits of Empire, New Perspectives on Imperialism in Modern China,” which appeared in the 2008 issue of LIT Verlag. He also presented a number of papers and talks this semester: “Rituals of Deterrence–Punishment and Society in Late Imperial China,” at Freie Universität in December; “Contested Rights: The Politics of Law in China, 1949–?,” together with Li Ke for the East Asian Colloquium series in January 25; “’Repaying Blood Debt’– Criminal Justice in Mao’s China, 1949-1968” for the Law and Society Workshop at IU in January; “Hunger, Starvation and State Violence in the PRC, 1949-1979” for the “Hunger, Nutrition, and Systems of Rationing under State Socialism (1917–2006)” at the University of Vienna in February; “New Perspectives on Republican Chinese History: the Role of the Concentration Camps,” for the Li Ka-shin workshop on Republican History at University of California Berkeley in February and March; and “The Dark Side of Globalization: Concentration Camps in Republican China,” at the University of Chicago in April.

  • A photo from the series Osamu James Nakagawa (Fine Arts) premiered his new work Banta at Sepia BantaInternational in New York City this spring. His work is part of the COURSE exhibition, which features solo exhibitions exploring humanity’s relationship with water. Nakagawa’s photography centers on the island of Okinawa and its “banta,” precipitous cliffs that drop hundreds of feet to the ocean. In his photography these cliffs, scarred by battles from World War II, are a metaphor for Okinawa’s history and a representation of his feeling of fear and awe as he stood at their base for the first time.

  • Heidi Ross (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) was recognized for excellence in mentoring students at the School of Education’s Celebration of Teaching ceremony.

  • Dick Rubinger’s (EALC) book, Popular Literacy in Early Modern Japan (University of Hawai’i Press, 2007), by is now available in paperback and will be available in Japanese translation later this spring. The Proceedings from the Indiana Conference on Popular Literacy will also soon be available in hard copy and online.

  • Aaron Stalnaker (Religious Studies) published “The Mencius-Xunzi Debate in Early Confucian Ethics” in Teaching Confucianism (Oxford University Press, 2007), edited by Jeffrey L. Richey. He also gave a number of talks: “Response to panelists” at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion as part of a panel of critical appraisals of his book Overcoming Our Evil: Human Nature and Spiritual Exercises in Xunzi and Augustine (Georgetown University Press, 2006) in November; “Equality, Mastery, and Dependence: Overview of Work in Progress” at the annual meeting of the Society of Christian Ethics in January; “Xúnzǐ on kě 可, yù 欲, and zhì 志” at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in March; and “Law and Virtue Revisited: Inspiration, Coercion, and Paternalism in Early Confucianism” during the “Confucian Virtues at Work” conference at the University of Oregon in March.

  • Michiko Suzuki (EALC) is the EALC recipient of the Trustees Teaching Award. This award was established by the IU Board of Trustees in 2001 to recognize outstanding teaching. EALC awards one Trustees Teaching Award each year, based on a review of the previous year’s teaching accomplishments.

  • Yasuko Ito Watt (EALC) will retire in June after sixteen years at IU. After spending a year in Japan, she will return to Bloomington.

  • George Wilson (EALC and History) will present a paper titled “Bakumatsu Japan and the Ethics of Assassination” at the “Assassination as Sacrifice” conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in May.

New Faculty Profile: Heike Frick
Visiting Lecturer, EALC

Heidi FrickHeike Frick, whose research centers on the arts, women, and childhood in modern China, feels strongly that Western academics have as much to learn from Chinese scholars as they have to learn from us. She has noticed, for example, that the Marxist paradigms that Chinese scholars used to rely on are slowly losing ground as younger researchers increasingly engage highly sensitive topics and adopt Western theories and methods. This cross-cultural exchange of ideas could be more two-way. “In many regards the Chinese are trying to catch up on an ‘international’ discourse on China, but I think it is equally essential [for Western scholars] to integrate the Chinese view and perspective on China,” she said. “Chinese researchers deliver different arguments, paradigms, and frameworks that should be seen as impulses to rethink many of our theoretical biases.”

One of her particular attractions to studying childhood in China is that it has only scarcely been explored, requiring her to start her research from scratch and build up a basic body of knowledge. Despite the difficulties, Frick finds the topic to be a fascinating one, as the study of a culture’s view of childhood provides a glimpse into the central values of people in a specific time and place. In addition, she believes, the challenge for the future is to “bring together the concepts of childhood with the reality of children to develop a comprehensive social history of childhood.” Here too, she sees the value of a comparative approach, and in her fall semester course, EALC’s E505 History of Childhood and Education in China, she plans to examine the underlying assumptions of Western ideas of childhood as well so that students can learn to be aware of their biases and approaches to childhood in China. Her other fall course, A160 Introduction to East Asian Art offered through the School of Fine Arts, will give her an opportunity to lead students in an exploration not only of how artists within the region learned from each other, but also of the conversation between Western and East Asian art.

New Faculty Profile: Misako Matsubara
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures

Misako MatsubaraEver since junior high school when she participated in two home stay visits to the United States, Misako Matsubara has known that she wanted to live abroad. Her interest in foreign cultures led her to study German as an undergraduate at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, where, through a student teaching experience, she also realized how much she enjoyed teaching. Seeing a career in teaching Japanese as a way to combine her love of teaching with her desire to live abroad, she returned to the United States for an M.A. in applied linguistics from Indiana State University and an M.A. in linguistics from Michigan State University. She joined the EALC department this year as a lecturer in Japanese.

This year Matsubara taught the lecture courses for first- and third-year Japanese and has been struck by the variety of her students’ responses and their questions about the language. “For students in Japan, saying something different or wrong isn’t really good,” she explained. “But here, it’s different. The responses I get from the students are really interesting, and they tell me what I forgot to do or what I need to focus on in class.” Meeting the needs of each particular class makes teaching as much a challenge as a joy for Matsubara as she strives to set her students off on their own adventures of studying and living abroad.