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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

November 2007

Student Updates

Summer 2007 and Academic-Year 2007-08 FLAS Awards

Last spring, EASC awarded two IU graduate students summer Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships and three IU graduate students academic-year FLAS Fellowships.

Summer 2007 awardees:

  • Curtis Ashton (Ph.D. in Folklore) received a FLAS to study Chinese at Brigham Young University.
  • Erika Kuever (Ph.D. in Anthropology) used her FLAS to study Chinese at the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University.

2007-08 academic-year awardees:

  • Suzy Cincone (M.A. in EALC) was awarded a FLAS for the study of Japanese. She is focusing her work on the experiences of Japanese who migrate to Southeast Asia.
  • Jen Pearl (M.P.A. in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs) received a FLAS to study Mandarin. She is interested in U.S.-China diplomacy efforts, in particular, how nonprofits, NGOs, the government, and the private sector conduct diplomacy.
  • Andrew Shimunek (Ph.D. in Linguistics) is using his FLAS to study Chinese with a research focus on the Chinese used during the Liao Dynasty (907—1125 C.E.) and other versions of Late Middle Chinese.

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/international studies; (2) to stimulate the attainment of foreign language acquisition and fluency; and (3) to develop a pool of international experts to meet national needs. The benefits of the FLAS Fellowships include 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 2008 and academic year 2008-09 FLAS fellowships are due February 1, 2008. Information is available on the IU FLAS Web page.

Undergraduate News
  • Megan Greischar (Biology and Math) and James Hartzell (Philosophy, Computer Science, and EALC), both recent graduates, have been selected to participate in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET) as Assistant Language Teachers. Greischar is working in Saitama prefecture, directly north of Tokyo, while Hartzell is in Kure-shi, Hiroshima prefecture.

  • Drew Machowicz (Linguistics, EALC, and French), the 2006-07 recipient of the EASC Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Chinese Studies, is studying this fall in Shanghai, China. Machowicz, who is interested in languages, plans to spend his spring semester in Egypt to study Arabic and the following summer in France or Quebec to study French. He is currently taking intensive third-year Chinese and a sociology class on Chinese society and is enjoying living in Shanghai, for both linguistic and cultural reasons. A blog of Drew’s experiences abroad can be found here.

  • Shannon Shapiro (English) took a position this fall as an English teacher at the Nova English school in Kumamoto City in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan. She graduated from IU in May with a degree in English but became interested in Japan through a number of comparative literature courses she took with Sumie Jones (EALC and Comparative Literature).

Graduate Student News
  • Charles Andrews (Ph.D. in EALC) was awarded an EASC conference travel grant to present “The Merchant Courier Inokuchiya and the Politics of Communications in Tokugawa Japan” at the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs in October.

  • Yu-Min Chen (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature) was awarded an EASC conference travel grant to present “Body, Money and Power in Feudal China: Ideological Mutation in Eileen Chang’s Golden Cangue” at the Southeast Conference Association for Asian Studies in January.

  • Christopher Frey (Ph.D. in Education) successfully defended his dissertation this summer on Ainu schooling in the Meiji Period. He is now an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Development at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

  • Greg Johnson (Ph.D. in EALC) presented “The Mobilization of American Childhood during World War I” at the biennial conference of the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth in June at Linköping University in Sweden. He also presented “Mapping the Maternal Space in Kyoko Mori’s Polite Lies” at the Language Culture Association of Japan’s annual conference at Senshu University in Tokyo in July.

  • David Nelson (Ph.D. in History) defended his dissertation this fall on early modern crime and punishment in Kanazawa. He is now an instructor in the History and Philosophy Department at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.

  • Hanyoung Park (Ph.D. in Linguistics) was awarded an EASC conference travel grant to present “Neutralization in the Perception and Production of English Coda Obstruents by Korean Learners of English” at the 154th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America in November.

  • Joanne Quimby (Ph.D. in EALC and CMLT) was awarded an EASC conference travel grant to present her paper “Women’s Poetry vs. Feminist Poetry: The Women’s Poetry Movement, Japanese Feminism and Itō Hiromi” at the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs in October.

  • Tim Rich (Ph.D. in Political Science) taught a Lifelong Learning course in September titled “Emerging China: Threats, Challenges, and Possibilities of a Rising Superpower” through the School of Continuing Studies. He also received an EASC conference travel grant to present his paper “Pushing the Boundaries: Cross-Strait Relations since Taiwan’s Democratization” at the American Political Science Association this summer.

  • Jeeyoung Shin (Ph.D. in Communication and Culture) presented a lecture titled “New Korean Cinema and Cultural Hybridity: Transnational and Trans-cultural Dialectics in the Process of Globalization” for the Asian Culture Center’s Monday Table Topics series. The presentation addressed the construction of cultural hybridity and its manifestations in new Korean cinema.

  • Nicole Willock (Ph.D. in Religious Studies and Central Eurasian Studies) was awarded an EASC conference travel grant to present her paper “Negotiating New Territory—The Life of Tshetan Zhabdrung Jigme Rigpe Lodro (1910-1985)” at the American Academy of Religion’s annual meeting in November.

    Ran Zhang (Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies and Educational Psychology) was awarded an EASC conference travel grant to present “Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies and Practices in Educational Institutions in China” at the Gender and History in China conference this winter.

Student Profile: Tim Rich

On one end of the spectrum is North Korea. With its secretive government and closed borders, its mystery appeals to the tourist in Tim Rich (Ph.D. in Political Science), who is curious and adventurous enough to consider visiting North Korea one day in the name of ground-level international diplomacy. “There’s something very appealing about seeing a country that sees very few outsiders,” he explains. “The few Koreans that you would be allowed to meet would realize that Americans aren’t evil, so there are positives . . . as long as you don’t cause an international incident.” On the other end of the spectrum is Taiwan, which appeals to the researcher in Rich. He has found Taiwanese government officials to be surprisingly helpful about providing data. “If you contact a Taiwanese official, you’ll probably get a response in a few days,” he says. “They’ll always send you data, and I thought that this is something I’d be interested in continuing. It’s amazingly quick.” It was this ease of acquiring data for research that first made Rich consider Taiwanese politics and cross-strait relations as a future path for research.

Tim Rich His interest in Taiwan deepened as he thought more about his dissertation work on political parties. Although Taiwan has a strong party system, it has been the focus of very few comparative studies. This interest has provided him with one-of-a-kind experiences, such as meeting the president of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian, in 2006 as a member of a mayoral election observation tour organized by the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, a U.S.-based Taiwan advocacy organization.

Not everything comes easy, however, and part of Rich’s duties as co-president of the Department of Political Science Graduate Student Association is to help his fellow graduate students prepare for the job market. Through his position, he encourages graduate students to publish papers and present at conferences, beginning with regional conferences to build confidence before moving on to large national conferences.

He offers similar advice for submitting papers, observing that graduate students could save time by sending only the very best papers to the upper-tier journals.  “If you think you have a great idea, shoot high, and if they reject you, move your way down and take into account their suggestions,” he says. “If you don’t care about a piece but want to get it published, send it to a less-respected journal. If it gets rejected then you know it won’t go very far, and you’ll have saved time.” Another tactic he offers is to submit to foreign journals that tend to receive fewer submissions from Americans and may be more likely to accept them. “You should shoot higher later, but you need at least one thing when you go on the market,” he advises. “Anything over that makes you look good.”