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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter


A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

November 2008


EASC Awarded Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative II Grant by Freeman Foundation

EASC was recently awarded a two-year $400,000 grant from the Freeman Foundation to build upon the growth in the undergraduate East Asian studies program achieved under its first Undergraduate Asian Studies Initiative grant from 2002 to 2007. New programs to be funded by this grant include a course and study tour (Challenges of World Class Schooling in Japan and China, jointly offered by EALC and the School of Education), the seeding of a new Chinese Linguistics position in EALC, development of an Environment in Asia course, study abroad scholarships for juniors majoring in EALC, and special events to enhance undergraduate courses.

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25th Anniversary of the Society of Friends of Korean Studies

In 1983 a group of business professionals and IU faculty in Indianapolis formed a private fundraising organization named Society of Friends of Korean Studies (SOFOKS) to encourage the development of Korean studies at IU. Since its founding SOFOKS members have donated more than $190,000 to support students and faculty engaged in studying Korean language and culture, providing for, among other things, an annual fellowship for graduate students and an annual Excellence in Korean Studies award for undergraduates. To honor the contributions of SOFOKS members, EASC hosted a 25th anniversary celebration in October. The evening began with a performance by IU Samulnori, a Korean percussion ensemble, at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures. At the dinner following this performance, the founder of SOFOKS, Dr. Heun Yune (School of Medicine, IUPUI), shared a fable he wrote in commemoration of the longstanding commitment between the once-fledgling Korean studies program and its supporting community of SOFOKS members. View a timeline of the development of Korean studies at IU.

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IL/IN Science and Technology in the Pacific Century (STIP) Activities

In June the IU section of the Illinois/Indiana Title VI-funded project on Science and Technology in the Pacific Century (STIP) focused on pilot research on the state of Chinese academic science research and the role played by U.S.-Chinese institutional partnerships. Two project teams visited science departments and laboratories at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou and Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, each team consisting of a specialist in Chinese studies, a historian of science or an ethnographer, a bench scientist, and a graduate assistant with native language skills. The Sun Yat-sen team was made up of David Hakken (Informatics), David Daleke (Medical Sciences Program), Sue Tuohy (Folklore and Ethnomusicology), and Dasen Hu (Informatics). The Zhejiang team comprised Heidi Ross (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies), Maxine Watson (Biology), Nancy Abelmann (Anthropology, EALC, and Women’s Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Gary Zhou (Ph.D. student, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies). Each team conducted interviews with administrators and scientists from multiple disciplines at their research sites. The results of this research will be presented in an upcoming IL/IN STIP seminar and public lecture.

STIP activities continue this spring. Two public talks are currently planned, including one by Joan Fujimura (Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison) in April. Additionally, the STIP team, the IU Center for International Business Education & Research, and the Research Center on Chinese Politics & Business are coordinating a visit in April by specialists in scientific developments in the context of the expansion of Chinese corporate activity. The project steering committee will also work with its Illinois partners in planning an international STIP conference in 2009–10.

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New Tech High School’s Chinese Language Program

For the past six months EASC has been collaborating with New Tech High School to establish Bloomington’s first secondary-school Chinese language program. As part of this initiative, visiting scholar Xiaoyang Huang (Ph.D. student, Institute of Applied Linguistics, Zhejiang University) is working at New Tech for ten months to develop extracurricular activities that will pique students’ interest in formal language study, which will begin in the 2009–10 school year. Planned activities this year include film viewings, instruction in traditional Chinese arts such as paper cutting, calligraphy, and knot tying, and establishing an after-school Chinese Club in which students can begin to learn some basic vocabulary and phrases. Funded by the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, Huang works at New Tech three days per week, and in her spare time she conducts dissertation research on the cognitive processes of reading among English as a Foreign Language students.

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Japan-in-America Exhibit at UIUC

Greg Waller’s (Communication and Culture) exhibit, Japan-in-America: The Turn of the Twentieth Century ran throughout September at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This exhibit sampled the vast number of images, stories, performances, and accounts of Japan that circulated in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Postcards, illustrated books, magic lantern slides, editorial cartoons, and a range of other media reflect this rich and complex historical period for both nations, when Americans were becoming increasingly aware of Japan’s modernization and its new geopolitical role, particularly after its victories in the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War.

At UIUC Waller also delivered a lecture titled “Constructing Japan-in-America,” in which he spoke about the development of his project and some of the practical and theoretical concerns of staging a public exhibition of these types of materials. For more information on Japan-in-America and to see some of the displayed artifacts, please visit the exhibit’s Web site.

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East Asian Career Night

With experiences ranging from conducting publicity for an auto company to taking pictures for a glossy magazine, four panelists shared their professional experiences in East Asia with twenty-six students at the second annual East Asian Career Night, sponsored by the Career Development Center and EASC. This year’s panel featured three faculty members: Gardner Bovingdon (Central Eurasian Studies and EALC), Jim Bright (Journalism), and Steve Raymer (Journalism), and one graduate student, Thomas Moore (Ph.D. student, SPEA). This East Asian Career Night was the first of a year-long series of events the Career Development Center is co-sponsoring with IU area studies centers to highlight career opportunities abroad.

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Religion in China: Confucianism and Beyond

This fall Cheryl Cottine (Ph.D. student, Religious Studies) taught a Lifelong Learning Course to the Bloomington community, Religion in China: Confucianism and Beyond. Participants in the class explored Confucianism’s origins, evolution, and values, investigated how other modern-day religions in China challenge or compliment core Confucian values, and looked at a contemporary ethical issue—the environmental crisis—from a Confucian perspective. The course was sponsored by EASC through the Office of Continuing Studies.

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Voices and Visions: Islam and Muslims in World Contexts

To help increase understanding about Islam, one of the world’s fastest growing religions, IU’s Center for the Study of Global Change, with support from EASC and a number of other IU area studies centers and units within IU, is directing the Voices and Visions: Islam and Muslims in World Contexts project, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York through the Social Science Research Council. This multi-faceted project presents educational content about Islam to the general public and business communities through podcasts, a Web site, film screenings, workshops, and art exhibits. Through a partnership with local NPR affiliate WFIU, two podcast series provide glimpses into the everyday lives of Muslims throughout the world and debunk common myths about the Islamic faith in brief, informational segments.

EASC faculty member Gardner Bovingdon (Central Eurasian Studies and EALC), an expert on the Muslim population in Xinjiang, is a member of the project’s advisory board and has contributed significantly to the development of this project. He was a main presenter at a November Imagining Islam workshop at the Monroe County Public Library, which explored representations of Islam in art, film, and other imagery. See the calendar of events.

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Chinese Pedagogy Institute

Student practicing calligraphy at the CPI Taste of ChineseIn July twenty-two middle and high school students from the Bloomington area took a final bow on stage at a public “Chinese Performance Night,” marking the end of a memorable eight-day Taste of Chinese course designed to introduce them to the Chinese language. It also closed out an intensive two-and-a-half-week STARTALK-funded Chinese Pedagogy Institute (CPI) designed to help train middle and high school Chinese language teachers. Led by Jennifer Liu (EALC), Mike Everson (Teaching and Learning, University of Iowa), and Claire Kotenbeutel (consultant, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction), twenty-four teachers from around the country spent the first week of CPI studying pedagogical theory, discussing classroom management, and developing lesson and unit plans. The following week the teacher trainees tested their plans in the Taste of Chinese class made up of middle and high school students with no previous knowledge of Chinese. The success of CPI was evident in the quality of the performances put on by the students and their own and their parents’ pride in what they had accomplished in just eight days of language study.

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NCTA Teaching about Asia Seminar in Bloomington

This July EASC held a weeklong residential National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) Teaching about Asia seminar in Bloomington, providing an alternative for teachers from small towns in the Midwest who have been unable to attend the semester-long NCTA seminars held in metropolitan areas during the school year. Twenty-four teachers from Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio participated and were taught by Jeff Johnson, a history teacher at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis. In addition to the intensive study of East Asian history and cultures, the group took excursions to the IU Art Museum and the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center. As one participant remarked, the summer seminar was “a great week of information and infusion into Asian culture.”

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NCTA Study Tour to Japan and Korea

Thanks to generous funding from the Freeman Foundation, nineteen middle and high school teachers from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Alabama who had completed the NCTA Teaching about Asia seminar traveled to Japan and Korea for three weeks this summer. They were led by Qiong Jiang (outreach coordinator, EASC), faculty expert Michael Robinson (EALC), and curriculum coordinator John Frank (U.S. history teacher, Center Grove High School, Greenwood, IN) and assisted by Jeeyoung Shin (outreach assistant, EASC) and Kazumi Hayakawa (M.A. student, Second Language Studies).

The group visited several schools in Japan and South Korea, including Gwacheon Foreign Language High School in Gwacheon, South Korea and Kisogawa Senior High School in Nagoya, where they observed classes and student activities and had meetings with school teachers and administrators, through which the group learned much about the educational system and practices in each school and country. They also took in historical and cultural sites, such as the DMZ and Andong Hahoe Village in Korea and Himeji Castle, the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and the Edo-Tokyo Museum in Japan. At the Hiroshima Peace Museum the group heard the story of an atomic bomb survivor, and in Nagoya Kazumi Hayakawa invited the group to a tea ceremony at her mother-in-law’s one-hundred-year-old house. These nineteen teachers are now sharing their adventures with their students through the lesson plans they developed after the tour concluded, ensuring that their experience will continue to enrich lives in the years to come.School Visit for NCTA Study Tour

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Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School Workshop

On their first evening in Bloomington, twenty-four English and world literature teachers contemplated the spatial relationships of the heaven, earth, and man elements in their ikebana arrangements, kicking off a week of intensive study and discussion. These teachers were in Bloomington for the tenth annual Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School workshop, which provides a broad overview of the literary traditions of China, Japan, and Korea and delves deeply into a selection of texts from each culture. In addition to studying literary texts, the participants learned about the history and cultures of the region and discussed classroom strategies for teaching these texts to secondary students. The week was rounded out with cultural activities, such as the introduction to ikebana and a demonstration on the martial art taiji. Many participants had been commissioned by their schools to design courses on East Asian literature or to broaden existing courses with East Asian material, and they said this workshop effectively and enjoyably prepared them for the task. Next year’s literature workshop will take place July 12–18, 2009. Applications are available online.

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U.S.–China Principal Shadowing Project

EASC, in association with China Exchange Initiative (CEI) and the Indiana Association of School Principals, organized an orientation in Indianapolis in November for Indiana school administrators who are participating in this year’s U.S.-China Principal Shadowing Project. The orientation helped participants learn how to host principals from the cities of Anshan and Shenyang, who will visit Indiana schools in early February 2009.

The U.S.-China Principal Shadowing Project is co-sponsored by CEI and the China Education Association for International Exchanges in China’s Ministry of Education. The project provides a unique opportunity for school administrators to learn about and observe one another’s educational systems close up. Every year principals from China visit schools in the United States. After attending a series of lectures on American education, they shadow school administrators on the job, live with host families, visit classes, and participate in a variety of school and community events. The American administrators reciprocate with visits to their counterparts in China several months later. For more information, visit

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Next Steps to Building School Partnerships Seminar

In November EASC, in association with Global Indiana and the China Exchange Initiative, offered a Next Steps to Building School Partnerships Seminar to NCTA China study tour participants and administrators and teachers who have visited China through Global Indiana Key Educational Leader Trips sponsored by Global Indiana and the U.S.-China Principal Shadowing Project sponsored by the China Exchange Initiative. Guest speakers and study tour participants discussed next steps in building relationships with Chinese partner schools.

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