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Indiana University

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Director’s Letter

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A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

May 2012

Letter from the Director

Dear EASC Colleagues and Friends,

さよなら, 再见, 안녕히 가세요  to another vibrant academic year that has brought to Bloomington’s campus an impressive roster of guest speakers, symposia, and performances showcasing the arts, cultures, political systems, transnational alliances and tensions, and societies of East Asia.  With this newsletter we salute the rich teaching, learning, research, and outreach opportunities afforded our community by our many partners, including EALC, the Chinese Flagship Program, the Research Center on Chinese Politics and Business, the Pan Asia Institute, the IU Cinema, the IU Art Museum, the Asian Culture Center, and our Title VI National Resource Center counterparts.

2012 is shaping up to be a year of significant EASC transitions.  In January Dr. Hye-Seung Theresa Kang arrived in Bloomington to assume the position of EASC’s associate director.  She brings to the Center abundant energy and creativity, deep knowledge of contemporary Korean and Japanese societies and languages, and academic and professional training and involvement in human resource development studies.  Tim Liao, UIUC Professor of Sociology and Statistics, will soon join our Title VI consortium as 2012-2013 interim director of UIUC CEAPS while Elizabeth Oyler is on leave.  In addition, we look with anticipation to the Center’s inclusion, along with many other College units, including EALC, into IUB’s new School of International and Global Studies.  With 60 full faculty members and 35 associate members from across the IU system, EASC, working in concert with EALC, will seek to play a central role in the gradual realization of the School’s potential for strengthening East Asian studies programs and degrees, and what we hope is the concurrent development of a new interdisciplinary area and transnational studies model at IUB.  Furthermore, East Asian studies-related faculty searches slated for Fall 2012, covering China, Japan, and Korea, will sustain our programs’ strengths in teaching, learning, scholarship, and generating financial support for new initiatives.

Speaking of such initiatives, EASC continues to seek new collaborative partners and sources of outside funding.  Next year’s projects include UIUC-IU joint teaching of advanced Korean, and we are enormously grateful to the Freeman Foundation for supporting the 15th year of our National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminars.  Since its inception in 1998, NCTA’s aim of encouraging and facilitating teaching and learning about East Asia in elementary and secondary schools nationwide has reached over 16,000 teachers in all 50 states; those teachers have in turn taught over 5,000,000 students.  In addition to our key foundation and federal supporters, EASC is exploring funding for programs with South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Cultural Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago, and the PRC Consulate.

The success of EASC’s outreach and academic programs, and its strong track record in securing grants to insure that our efforts remain responsive to new institutional, national, and international needs and demands, depends primarily on the involvement and reputation of EASC faculty affiliates and EALC faculty. We thank you for your steadfast commitment to East Asian studies and your generous support of EASC.  Finally, as you turn to the stories and updates in this newsletter, please join me in celebrating the achievements of our students.  Their accomplishments and awards are a testament to our inspiring community of scholarship, service, and trans-cultural understanding and engagement.

Heidi Ross