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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

May 2013

Alumni Updates

Barb Belsito (EALC, B.A., 2008; School of Informatics and Computing, M.S., 2013) accepted a full-time Interaction Designer position with StubHub (eBay inc.) in San Francisco. Before starting her new job, Barb will travel to Thailand and Japan this summer. To read more about Barb and her design work you can visit her website here.

Greg  Johnson (EALC, Ph.D., 2009) presented a paper “Molding the Student Body: Japan’s Wartime ‘Junior Citizens’” at the Association for Asian Studies Conference in San Diego. In April he was appointed to the graduate faculty at Otsuma Women's University.

The Periodical Press in Treaty-Port Japan: Conflicting Reports From Yokohama, 1861-1870, by Todd Munson (EALC, M.A., 2000, Ph.D., 2004), was recently released by Brill Publishing. Read a description here. Todd Munson is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and director of the Asian Studies program at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.






Alumnus Profile: Amanda Bates

EALC M.A., 2012

Bloomington’s own Amanda Bates caught Japan-a-mania early: As a middle school student she developed an interest in anime and video games that was to propel her into Bloomington South HS’ Japanese language program. While a student there Bates was able to study abroad in Tokyo, and has been hooked on Japan ever since this eye-opening experience.

Bates fused her interest in Nipponica with a love of film during her undergrad years at Vassar College, but was limited in her ability to do interdisciplinary work by the size of the school. Drawn to IU on account of the many strengths of its Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Bates entered the MA program in Japanese intending to study literature. Soon after her first film class, however, Bates realized that she would rather pursue film: “I took a few Japanese film classes with Professor Michiko Suzuki, and several of the films she screened starred the actress Hara Setsuko, who became the subject of my thesis,” Bates notes. Her final project examined Setsuko in three films from the immediate postwar period of Japan, Late Spring, Early Summer and No Regrets for Our Youth, linking her popularity as an actress in those films to the changing expectations for women under the Occupation's new policies.Given the strength of cinema studies at IU, home to the world class IU Cinema, Bates was in the perfect location to conduct her research. Asked about her favorite films, she responds “This is always a dangerous question to ask film people…I’m a fan of older films, so many directed by Ozu and Kurosawa make the list”.

Extra-curricular programming such as the EASC-IU Cinema cosponsored EA Film Series has enriched her work in film studies. Bates recalls the visits of two benshi, or silent film narrators, to IU during her time in the program, an experience that helped ignite her interested in silent Japanese cinema. The most recent benshi visit, featuring Kataoka Ichiro, was a memorable experience for Amanda, because she served as an interpreter for Ichiro during a benshi workshop, as well as for a Q & A session after the An Inn in Tokyo screening at the IU Cinema. See link here. Bates also thanks EASC for providing her with a summer FLAS for study at the Inter-University Center in Yokohama, a program which, she noted, “helped with my Japanese immeasurably.” Following graduation, Bates was hired as an adjunct instructor by the Japanese language program and taught J101. She found the experience immensely rewarding and a great way to brush up on Japanese grammar. “I’d love to teach Japanese again if I ever get the opportunity,” Bates related.

Amanda’s teaching and academic background motivated her to pursue doctoral study in IU’s Department of Communication and Culture, where she will be begin working on a Ph.D. in Film Studies this coming fall. Given her four year tenure in EALC, Bates emphasized the vast resources on offer at IU that students should seek out. “I’ve graduated already, and I’m still finding new collections and opportunities. Take advantage of everything you can, and keep an eye out for new discoveries.” Good luck as a CMCL’er, Amanda!

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