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Indiana University

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EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

May 2013

Student Updates

Undergraduate Award Winners

Congratulations to the following undergraduate EALC majors and minors who have received EALC scholarships:

  • Brad Wissler (EALC), Japanese; Grace Jaroscak (EALC; Economics), Chinese; and Dillon Smith (EALC; Anthropology; Linguistics), Japanese were awarded Uehara Scholarships. This scholarship was created in honor of the late professor Toyoaki Uehara for undergraduates showing excellence in East Asian studies.
  • Kelsey Lechner (EALC) received the Yasuda Scholarship, which was created in honor of Professor Emeritus Kenneth Yasuda for undergraduates demonstrating excellence in Japanese studies.
  • Sha Huan (EALC; Linguistics) was awarded the Korean Visiting Scholars’ Award. This award was made possible by the IU Korean Visiting Scholars Association and was established to help promote excellence in the study of Korean language and culture.
  • Elizabeth Feliciano (EALC; Biology) received the Gines Scholarship for her excellence in Chinese and the Kelley School of Business, an award given by James Gines and his wife, Noriko, to undergraduates combining excellence in an East Asian language with excellence in pre-professional school studies.

The following EALC undergraduate students received EASC prizes for excellence in East Asian studies:

  • Cassandra Harner (EALC; Fine Arts)—the SOFOKS Award for Korean Studies
  • David Bowen (EALC; Linguistics)—the Alpine Prize for Japanese Studies
  • Frank Linville (EALC; Linguistics)—the Undergraduate Award for Chinese Studies

Congratulations to all for their hard work!


Summer 2013 and Academic-Year 2013-14
FLAS Fellowships

EASC has awarded Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships to the following students:

Summer 2013 awardees

  • Anthony Ross (M.A., EALC) will be studying intensive Korean at Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea.

2013-14 academic-year awardees

  • Eveline Yang (Ph.D. student, Anthropology; Central Eurasian Studies) will study classical Chinese at IU.
  • Anselm Chen (Ph.D. student, Comparative Literature) will continue studying Chinese at IU. His interests in Chinese literature include late imperial fiction and modern literature and film.
  • Joshua Owens (M.A., EALC) will study Chinese at IU. He plans to research cross-Strait issues including politics & diplomacy, cultural identity and minority-language use and preservation.
  • Kevin Manning (M.A., EALC) will continue studying Japanese at IU. He is interested in contemporary Japanese art, culture, and new media.
  • Samson Lotven (Ph.D. student, Linguistics) will study Korean at IU. He plans to continue studying Korean while pursuing a doctorate in linguistics.
  • Michael O’Connor (M.A., EALC) will study Chinese at IU. He is interested in modern Chinese historiography and the non-Han dynasties in Chinese history.
  • James Wamsley (M.A., Linguistics) will continue pursuing his research interests including phonology, sociolinguistics, dialectology, and in particular, Chinese languages.

Thanks to our consortium partner University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), EASC granted three additional 2013-14 academic-year awards and one additional 2013 summer award. EASC is grateful to UIUC and their generosity to help EASC offer these additional awards. 

The FLAS program is administered by the U.S. Department of Education to make funds available for foreign language and area or international studies. The program has three main goals: (1) to assist in the development of knowledge, resources, and trained personnel for modern foreign language and area and international studies; (2) to support the development of foreign language proficiency; and (3) to develop a pool of international experts to meet national needs. The benefits of the FLAS Fellowships include a tuition fee remission, a stipend for living expenses, and enrollment in the graduate student health insurance program (for academic-year recipients only).

Applications for summer 2014 FLAS fellowships will be due February 1, 2014. FLAS information for undergraduate students will be posted on the EASC undergraduate FLAS Web page; information for graduate students will be posted on the EASC graduate FLAS Web page. The availability of 2014-15 academic-year FLASes is contingent on continued funding from the U.S. Department of Education.

2013-14 SOFOKS Graduate Fellowship
for Korean Studies

EASC has awarded the 2013-14 Society of Friends of Korean Studies (SOFOKS) Graduate Fellowship for Korean Studies to Marina Dmukhovskaya (M.A., EALC). Marina will be pursuing MA degree in East Asian studies at EALC. Her primary research interest is Korea, in particular the Olympic movement in South Korea.

The SOFOKS fellowship supports graduate training in Korean studies at IU and is funded by the Society of Friends of Korean Studies, a private fundraising organization based in Indianapolis. It is awarded annually to a Korean studies graduate student with an excellent academic record or to someone applying to pursue graduate studies in Korean language and culture at IU.

Applications for the 2014-15 SOFOKS fellowship will be due February 1, 2014. Application information will be posted on the EASC graduate student funding Web page.


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Other Student News

Wan-Ling Chang (Ph.D. student, School of Informatics and Computing) received EASC travel funds to present his paper “Potential Use of Robots in Taiwanese Nursing Homes” in March at the 8th Annual Conference for Basic and Applied Human-robot Interaction Research in Tokyo, Japan.

Tiphani Dixon (M.A. student, EALC) received the Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace to attend the Middlebury College Language School for Japanese this summer.

Xin Fan (Ph.D. candidate, History) accepted a tenure-track position in the history department at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

Yu-Yin Hsu (Ph.D. student, Linguistics) was awarded an EASC travel grant to deliver her paper titled: “External and Internal Topics - Focus in Nominals: Evidence from Mandarin” at the 39th Berkeley Linguistics Society in Berkeley, California in February.

Amy Klouse (M.A., EALC) received EASC travel funds to present her paper “Kobe Resurrected:  Popular Protest in Kobe After the Great Hanshin Earthquake” in February at the University of Hawaii-Manoa’s East-West Center's International Graduate Student Conference in Honolulu. Amy recently accepted the Technology and Information Coordinator position at the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago's Japan Information Center.    

EASC awarded Ke Li (Ph.D. candidate, Sociology) a travel grant to present her paper “In the Aftermath of Divorce:  Rural Women’s Struggles with the Legal and Social Consequences of Marital Dissolution in Contemporary China” at the 2013 Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies in San Diego in March.

Ching-Hui Lin (Ph.D. candidate, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) received EASC travel funds to present a paper titled “The Estimation of a Conceptual Model between the Role of Finances and Student Persistence in Taiwan’s Higher Education” at the 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society in New Orleans in March.

Andrew Shimunek (Linguistics and Central Eurasian Studies) successfully defended his dual Ph.D. dissertation on February 19, 2013, in the Distinguished Alumni Room of the IMU. The title of his dissertation is: The Serbi-Mongolic Language Family: Old Chinese, Middle Chinese, Old Mandarin, and Old Tibetan Records on the Hsien-pei (Xianbei) Languages and their Relationship to Mongolic, with Notes on Chinese and Old Tibetan Phonology.

Nathaniel Sims (B.A., EALC; Linguistics) received the 2013 Beinecke Scholarship for his exceptional academic performance as an undergraduate. Nathaniel is one of twenty students nationwide who received the scholarship and only the ninth IU student to receive the award since its inception in 1971. To read more about Nathaniel and his accomplishment go here.

Hsiang-ning Wang (Ph.D. candidate, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) was awarded an EASC travel grant to present her paper titled “The Struggles of Taiwanese Youth in School, Citizenship, Education, and Identity in Shanghai, China -- An ethnographical Study of Taiwanese Migrant Youth Enrolled in Taiwanese or Chinese schools that have Conflicting Political Ideologies” at the 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society in New Orleans in March.

Lei Wang (Ph.D. candidate, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) received EASC travel funds to present her paper titled “What Can a Rural Girl Do and Be?  INGO, Frictions, and Girls’ Imaginations” at the 2013 Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference in San Diego.

EASC awarded Yimin Wang (Ph.D. candidate, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) a travel grant to present her paper titled “Between the State and the People: NGOs and Girls’ Education in China” at the 57th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society in New Orleans in March.

Taylor Webster received a $14,000 David L. Boren Scholarship to study in Seoul, South Korea, for a year. She will primarily attend Korean language courses at Yonsei and Sungkyunkwan universities. Taylor is a senior on track for an Economics/EALC double major with a minor in Political Science. Boren recipients must work in a national security-related U.S. government position for a year after graduation. Taylor’s preference is the State Department.

Shuang Zhao (Ph.D. candidate, School of Public and Environmental Affairs; Political Science) received EASC travel funds to present her paper titled “China’s Foreign Policy: Economic or Political Diffusion?” at the 54th International Studies Association Annual Conference in San Francisco in April.

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Student Profile: Joannah Peterson

Ph.D. Candidate  in EALC

How does a young woman from Kentucky find herself “peeping” into the lives of Japanese aristocrats? Just ask Joannah Peterson (Ph.D. candidate, EALC), whose research investigates the trope of voyeurism ubiquitous in Heian period art and literature.
Joannah PetersonJoannah studied psychology and visual art at Centre College in Danville, KY, where she befriended exchange students. She points to these friendships as the impetus for learning Japanese. After enrolling for a semester of Japanese language, she spent a term in Japan, where, she admits, “I felt like I was in first grade again.” But Joannah became so enamored with Japan after that first journey that she decided she would rather be nowhere else.

Joannah spent two years in the JET program before deciding to attend IU for graduate school. She was attracted by the reputation of its Japanese program as well as the opportunity to go to school outside of her home state. At EALC Joannah flourished under the guidance of Professor Edith Sarra, who became a font of endless inspiration. “She made me a believer that Japanese literature is spectacular and that I could become a scholar in the field.”  Peterson’s first encounter with her topic of interest was a course taught by Sarra titled “Sex, Romance and Storytelling in Early Japanese Literature.” Based on this class she wrote her MA thesis on “looking” in The Tale of Genji, Joannah’s first brush with the trope of kaimami, or “peeping through the fence.” This initial work evolved into her current exploration of the intersection of visual and literary form in late Heian fiction. She focuses in particular on the late eleventh century tale Yoru no Nezame and the oldest extant picture scroll illustrating this tale, The Nezame Scrolls, to understand the ways in which socio-political tensions found expression in the highly encoded media of text and image. As chair of her research committee, professor Sarra notes “Joannah is the kind of student most faculty members dream of having: she loves learning, listens to feedback, and then goes beyond what is expected--as a student and as a writer-researcher.”

Besides engaging in research, Joannah has had the opportunity to hone her teaching skills as an instructor of both E100 and first and second year Japanese language. Although overwhelmed at times by the breadth and depth of knowledge expected of her, Joannah considers her teaching experience invaluable to her career as a college professor. “Not only does this experience make me look like a real teacher on paper, but also it has prepped me for some of the challenges I hope to face teaching at the university level,” she says.  Professor Sarra adds, “Joannah has already earned a reputation as a gifted teacher, and no wonder. She exudes positive energy in the classroom, the place lights up when she enters.” Thanks to receiving the Dissertation Year Research Fellowship for 2013-2014 from the College of Arts and Sciences, however, Joannah will be able to focus solely on her dissertation during the coming academic year.

Joannah is no stranger to recognition. Prior to her most recent award, she received the IIE Graduate Fellowship, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2011-2012, to conduct her dissertational research in Nagoya, Japan, a FLAS fellowship from EASC for the academic year 2006-2007, and travel grants to present her research at conferences. Joannah cites her experiences with EASC, faculty, and EALC as fine examples of institutional support she has benefited from during her time at IU. With regard to faculty, Joannah offers advice for students interested in pursuing a Ph.D.: “overcome the feeling of intimidation when interacting with faculty; their guidance is a critical element to your success”. Joannah continues, “fortunately, EALC faculty demonstrate a genuine interest in students, which can help lessen students’ feelings of intimidation”.   

Joannah’s experiences have taught her that teaching students goes beyond the sharing of knowledge. It also involves stimulating students’ ideas and interests and nurturing the spirit of learning. In her quest to complete her Ph.D., Joannah never imagined she would be researching voyeurism in Heian period art and literature but understands the path to getting there was made possible by not only her hard work and commitment but also the support of others.

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