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EASC Newsletter

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A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

May 2009

Director’s Letter

EASC is 30 Years…Young!

What a turbulent, mind-bending year for the world and our own little corner of it!

I hope that you enjoy this newsletter and its portraits of programs, symposia, new initiatives, and especially of EASC faculty and students travelling and engaging the globe.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the entire EASC community for its participation in an extraordinarily rich set of multidisciplinary and international colloquia, conferences, and outreach efforts this semester. Our exchange partnerships with institutions in East Asia are burgeoning, and most recently East Asian Studies faculty have played a key role in bringing to fruition a newly established Australian National University-Indiana University Pan-Asia Studies initiative, which over the next three years will involve faculty and students from both universities in research, teaching, and study that places expertise in particular Asian countries, regions, and localities within a vision that embraces the whole continent. Emerging areas of common interest include the study of Southeast Asian and Central Eurasian languages, environment and sustainable development, law and constitutions, classical languages and translations, security, insurgency, and terrorism, the Mongol empire, Islam and Islamist networks, Indian Ocean commerce, and ethnicity and education.

The global financial crisis has created a flurry of concern about funding sources for East Asian Studies, and we remain vigilant in seeking support that enhances faculty and student interests and programs, and sustains our nationally recognized contributions to educational and community outreach. As many of you know, EASC is entering a very important Title VI reapplication year with its Illinois counterpart, EAPS. Two weeks ago, EASC and EAPS executive committees and key staff met in Terre Haute for a day-long “retreat” to sketch out the main contours of our joint programs. During the coming months we will be calling upon many of you for assistance and ideas as we refine our plan into a winning Title VI proposal.

Speaking of Title VI, EASC was established as an entity to administer Title VI funds and activities three decades ago, and EASC will be celebrating its 30th anniversary during the 2009-2010 academic year. We are looking to the Confucian legacy, in all of its complexities, as one of our inspirations as we move forward. Confucius knew, or so the Analects tell us, that the real journey of life does not begin until thirty. It is not until forty, he concluded, that we acquire from experience a new sense of purpose and focus. At fifty—the anniversary of the national Title VI program—we find our right and useful place in the world. At sixty the ever-emerging human being is in tune with the universe, and at seventy she finds her inner self, now free from striving, in harmony with Heaven.

Believe me, we have a long way to go around here before we are free from striving. But please join us in taking a firm stance—and wishing EASC a Very Happy Birthday!

子曰:吾十有五而志于學, 三十而立, 四十而不惑, 五十而知天命,                    
六十而耳順, 七十而從心所欲, 不踰矩.

At fifteen, my heart and mind were set on learning.
At thirty I took my stance.
At forty I was no longer of two minds.
At fifty I understood Heaven’s place for me.
At sixty my ear was attuned.
At seventy I could give my heart-and-mind free reign without overstepping the mark.

                                                                                     (Analects, Book 2:4)

I wish you all a wonderful summer, Heidi Ross