Skip to: search, navigation, or content.

Indiana University


EASC Newsletter


A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

November 2010


EASC Awarded $2.4M Title VI Grant

In August EASC received a four-year $2.4 million Title VI grant from the U.S. Department of Education, along with its Title VI consortium partner, the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (CEAPS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This grant designates EASC and CEAPS as the Illinois/Indiana (IL/IN) East Asia National Resource Center (NRC) Consortium, which was first established through the 2006-09 Title VI grant. The IL/IN NRC is one of 21 such centers identified as being among the premier centers for the study of East Asia and Asia. The IL/IN NRC was also successful in securing Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships for undergraduate and graduate students.

NRC funds will enable the IL/IN consortium to advance education and research on East Asia through a wide range of activities serving local, regional, and national communities, including cross-campus teaching programs, national dissertation workshops, Frontiers in Research and Teaching Symposia, and the development of online Japanese and Korean placement and proficiency tests. In addition, EASC will support Japanese pedagogy workshops, a new East Asian Film Series, enhanced career development programs for students with East Asian language and area studies skills, and professional development for K-12 educators, among other programs.

The IL/IN NRC comprises the largest East Asianist faculty concentration and one of the most vigorous East Asian studies training programs in the Midwest, with more than 130 faculty and nearly 300 graduate and 600 undergraduate students focusing on East Asia. Reflecting on the success of the Title VI competition, EASC director Heidi Ross commented, “I suppose most NRC directors have their moments, when they consider with dismay the hundreds and hundreds of hours of thinking, planning, and writing (not to mention the continuous collection of supporting data throughout the grant cycle) that go into the creation of a Title VI proposal. On such days one concludes that surely we should be mobilizing our talents and time in directions with greater positive impact on the lives and intellectual engagement of students, colleagues, and community supporters. Like all federal grants of high visibility, accountability and assessment requirements place a huge burden on EASC staff. It takes a lot of work securing the funding—and then it takes a lot of work spending it. Even so, you can imagine how relieved and how gratified we felt upon receiving the news that our IL/IN partnership was awarded NRC designation and funding. Numbering among the nation’s 21 East Asia-related NRCs testifies to the strength of our programs and our dedicated staff and faculty. Speaking on behalf of the IL/IN NRC, I hope we live up to your expectations in support of scholarship on and outreach and education about East Asia; please let us know when we do not, and what you would like to see us do to more effectively use, improve, and grow our collective resources, energies, creativity, and knowledge on behalf of East Asian Studies locally, regionally, and nationally.”

Read more about IU’s success in the Title VI competition here.

Return to top of page >

Summer 2011 and Academic-Year 2011-12 FLAS Fellowships

As part of its 2010-13 U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant, EASC has been awarded $565,500 for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships to support academic-year funding for graduate students and summer language study for undergraduate and graduate students.

The FLAS 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 2011 FLAS fellowships and 2011-12 academic-year fellowships will be due February 1, 2011. FLAS information for undergraduate students is posted on the EASC undergraduate FLAS Web page; information for graduate students is posted on the EASC graduate FLAS Web page.

Return to top of page >

Assessing our East Asian Studies Program: Coping with Rankings

By Heidi Ross (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies; director, EASC) and Yimin Wang (Ph.D. student, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies)

Whether we like it or not, rankings and assessment are permanent features of the higher education landscape, and we feel their pressure at EASC.  Not a day goes by that some journalist, blogger, or policy maker does not weigh in on the accuracy, significance, and/or hypocrisy of the international rankings game. For the past two decades the state and federal governments, too, have been pressing institutions to demonstrate—and “prove” to a public pushing back on increasing tuition and worried about their children’s stake in an uncertain future—that graduates can communicate, solve problems, and think critically. It was a very short step from the No Child Left Behind Act to Margaret Spellings’ Commission on the Future of Higher Education, and despite a change in administration, colleges and universities face increasing challenges to develop effective assessment measures and communicate them powerfully to their constituencies. Innumerable forums have been convened and reports and scholarly articles written on how to accomplish these ends. In this larger context, it’s not surprising that mandated assessment accompanies almost everything we do at EASC, and the hours devoted by staff to compiling reliable data for that purpose is breath-taking.

Just what genuinely good assessment of excellent education is and how to account for knowledge production, teaching, learning, and community service in the definition of excellence is far beyond the scope of this review. And, ironically, the answers would likely tell us to do what we are only partially doing here: be critical of ranking schemes and anchor any assessment mechanism where it counts—in student engagement and outcomes. The fact of the matter is we are often called upon in our reports to provide outside evidence of the strength of our programs.  One of the most straightforward ways of doing so is to respond that EASC has been selected by the Department of Education as one of 21 East/Asian area studies centers. After all, the Title VI program seeks to “establish, strengthen, and operate language and area or international studies centers that will be national resources for teaching any modern foreign language.” At least, this designation suggests some indicator of quantity and scarceness, if not excellence, because “although fewer than 3% of the nation’s higher education institutions that offer modern foreign languages have Title VI National Resource Centers, these institutions represent 23% of all undergraduate enrollments in the less commonly taught languages and 59% in the least commonly taught languages,” and “NRCs account for 59% of all graduate enrollments in the LCTLs, and 81% in the Least CTL.”  But, of course, reiterating these numbers doesn’t work when we need to re-apply for Title VI funding!  How else might we show that we are “measuring up”?

The first problem we face is that the field/program of East Asian Studies is not a separately ranked unit in established international university program ranking systems, such as the U.S. News & World Report rankings of graduate programs or the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) produced by Shanghai Jiaotong University. The “fields” and “disciplines” identified in program-level ranking systems include areas such as business, law, medicine, engineering, education, the natural sciences, library and information studies, social sciences and the humanities, health, public affairs, and fine arts. Another alternative, as we noted in our 2007 Newsletter, is to turn to the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, a relatively new scholarly index that was designed to be an “objective” measure of academic productivity. In the 2007 ranking, the East Asian Languages and Cultures program at IU was ranked number seven nationwide. Of course, you already guess the complication: demonstrable evidence that faculty research productivity leads to excellent student learning outcomes eludes researchers. Most recently, the “data-based assessment of research-doctorate programs in the U.S.” conducted by the National Research Council (NRC) includes both East Asian Studies programs and specific programs within East Asian Studies, such as Chinese and Japanese Studies. Unfortunately, East Asian Studies programs belong to one of three fields for which “a full set of data was collected,” but for which “rankings” were not calculated in both the regression-based ranking category (R ranking) and in the survey-based ranking category (S ranking). The explanation given is actually comforting in its wisdom: East Asian Studies belongs to a set of “[fields of] languages, societies, and cultures, for which rankings could not be calculated because of the heterogeneity of subfields, which made the calculation of rankings for the field as a whole impractical.” This reference to “heterogeneity of subfields” goes a long way to explain why East Asian Studies programs have not been included as separate units in most ranking systems. We do recommend, however, that you look at results from IU’s Chinese and Japanese programs, as well as those of other programs, including the East Asian Language and Literature programs at Ohio State University, University of Arizona, University of Chicago, and Princeton University, among others. Although there is no ranking calculation available for these programs, the dataset for all 20 measures1 included in the ranking system are available, so category-specific comparisons are possible.2  Unlike the situation in the U.S., the U.K.-based ranking system, The Complete University Guide, is comprised of two parts, the “University League Table” and the “Subject Table.” The latter includes “East & South Asia Studies” as a separate ranking unit. In their most recent ranking or 2010, Cambridge, Oxford, and SOAS at the University of London were ranked at the top for the subject of “East & South Asia Studies.” Four measures3 used in the subject ranking category include “student satisfaction, research assessment, entry standards, and graduate prospects.”

Finally, a related ranking system is the “Online Ranking of Asian Studies Organizations: a quarterly scorecard (ORASO)” which “systematically monitors and collects information about the relative online ranking (the so called ‘PageRank’) of the top 30 Asian Studies’ institutions, organizations, specialist information resources, and research networks indexed by Google’s Search Engine []. . . . The PageRank of a given web address measures the site’s relative importance within the world-wide archipelago of other web sites dealing with a given topic (the lower the PageRank, the greater the importance or relevance of the indexed site.”4 This project, part of the Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library, reveals the “relative importance” of some East Asian programs’ online resources and presence. As of September 2010, the Department of East Asian Studies at Cornell University, the Department of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina, the Asian Studies Center (ASC) at the University of Pittsburgh, the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, and the Asian Studies Center at Michigan State University ranked among the top ten, along with some professional organizations, such as the Association for Asian Studies (AAS).5

1 These 20 measures include the characteristics of the faculty, such as their publications, citations, grants, and diversity; characteristics of the students, such as their GRE scores, financial support, publications, and diversity; and characteristics of the program, such as number of Ph.D.’s granted over five years, time to degree, percentage of student completion, and placement of students after graduation.

2 The dataset is available at

3 Nine measures are used in University League Table (University-level ranking), which are student satisfaction, research assessment, entry standards, student-staff ratio, academic services spending, facilities spending, good honors, graduate prospects, and completion.

4 Information retrieved from

5 Information retrieved from

Return to top of page >

New EASC Facebook Page

Come join our new Facebook page! Created for IU students, alumni, and anyone else interested in learning about EASC events and East Asia-related job openings and funding opportunities, the number of our “friends” grows every week. To join us, just search for “East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University” in the Facebook search box, and click “like” at the top of the EASC page. You can also find us by clicking on the Facebook logo on the EASC home page.

Return to top of page >

Symposium on “The East Asian Developmental State: Separating Fact from Fiction”

In November EASC and the IU Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business (RCCPB) cosponsored a symposium, “The East Asian Developmental State: Separating Fact from Fiction.” The symposium featured panel presentations followed by Q & A on the role of the developmental state in the “East Asian Miracle” from four experts on East Asian economic policy. Rick Doner (Political Science, Emory University) began by examining institutions and policies as the two key developmental approaches to state-led economic development. Heon Joo Jung (EALC) discussed how South Korea has moved away from the developmental state in recent years and dispelled the myth of a harmonious and cooperative relationship between South Korean bureaucracy and its leadership. Scott Kennedy (EALC and Political Science; Director, RCCPB) explained the strategies China has used to promote economic development, such as creating incentives for extensive competition and maintaining a relatively open economy in comparison to other East Asian countries. Greg Kasza (EALC and Political Science) explored how the international diffusion model was the model used by Japan to develop its economy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The event was chaired by Jeffrey Hart (Political Science).

Return to top of page >

IL/IN Film Festival: “Visualizing Tibet”

The Illinois/Indiana East Asia National Resource Center Consortium, in conjunction with the Asian Educational Media Service and the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois, presented the “Visualizing Tibet” film festival in Urbana in November. Featuring special presentations by documentary filmmaker Lynn True, who introduced her film Summer Pasture, Elliot Sperling (Central Eurasian Studies), and Arjia Rinpoche (Director, Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center), the festival showcased documentary and feature films from Chinese, Tibetan, and American directors that portray Tibetan history, culture, and way of life. Read more about “Visualizing Tibet” here.

Visualizing Tibet Film Festival Poster

Return to top of page >

IL/IN STIP Conference on “East Asian Biosciences: Transnational Competition and Collaboration”

In October the IL/IN East Asia National Resource Center Consortium held the final event of the STIP (Science and Technology in the Pacific Century) project, funded by its 2006-09 Title VI grant. Titled “East Asian Biosciences: Transnational Competition and Collaboration,” the conference took place at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and focused on historical and contemporary perspectives on transnational relations and development in the biological sciences in East Asia. Taken together, the ten multidisciplinary papers showed how these sciences are taken up in specific ways in different temporal, spatial, and (trans)national sites.

Charis Thompson (Gender and Women’s Studies; Rhetoric; Co-Director, Science, Technology, and Society Center, University of California, Berkeley), a leading scholar in the fields of reproductive technologies, bioethics, genomics, and stem cell research, delivered the keynote address, “Asian Regeneration? Stem Cell Research and Medical Tourism in Emerging Asian Bio-Economies.” Joan Fujimura (Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison), a specialist in biomedicine and genomics, gave the closing address titled “Different Differences: Human Populations and the New Genomics.”

Return to top of page >

East Asian Career Night

In October EASC cosponsored its fourth annual East Asian Career Night at the IU Career Development Center. Attended by nearly 50 students, the event featured seven panelists with professional experience in East Asia. Inchul Choi, executive director of Korean-American Community Services in Chicago discussed volunteer opportunities at his organization. Bob Mason, vice president and international sales manager of the Ford Meter Box Company explained the global reach of his company and job opportunities for those with East Asian language skills and area studies knowledge. Kate Schramm (Ph.D. student, Folklore and Ethnomusicology) provided information about the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) program and her experience as an assistant English teacher at a high school in Shiga Prefecture. Professor Richard Rubinger (EALC) shared the career paths of his three daughters who have successfully pursued careers in East Asia and the resources available to students seeking jobs and internships in East Asia. John Howe, assistant director of the IU Chinese Flagship Program, presented an overview of the Flagship program, which provides Chinese language and area studies training for students seeking professional careers in business, law, policy, and academia. A representative from AIESEC explained AISEC’s internship program and its offerings in East Asia. Finally, a representative from the Central Intelligence Agency’s Open Source Center concluded the panel by describing the rewards and challenges of his job as an intelligence analyst of Korean- and Japanese-language materials and suggested avenues for pursuing an East Asia-focused career in the federal government. The panel discussion was followed by Q & A and an informal networking session with the presenters.

Return to top of page >

New Undergraduate Exchange Program at Doshisha University
Doshisha University Hall
Clarke Memorial Hall, Doshisha University

IU has established a new undergraduate overseas study program at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. To begin in September 2011, the program will offer intensive Japanese language study and courses on Japanese culture and society at Doshisha’s Center for Japanese Language and Culture.

Located in the center of the ancient capital Kyoto, Doshisha University is one of the most prominent private universities in Japan and is home to more than 27,000 students, including 550 international students.

To learn more about the program, costs, and application requirements, see the PDF.

Return to top of page >

Chinese Instruction for Pre-K through 8th-Grade Students

In conjunction with the Center for the Study of Global Change, IU’s Center for Chinese Language Pedagogy and EASC are sponsoring Chinese language classes for pre-kindergarten through 8th-grade students and their families in Bloomington. The classes take place at the Monroe County Public Library, on the IU Bloomington campus, and at the Bloomington Project School. The Chinese program is part of a larger project of the Center for the Study of Global Change—Bridges: Children, Languages, World, which also provides instruction in other less-commonly taught languages, such as Arabic, Mongolian, Dari, and Swahili. See the Chinese Bridges Web site for additional information.

Return to top of page >

Geography and History of the World Workshops

To help prepare Indiana high school teachers to teach to the Geography and History of the World state standards, EASC and IU’s Center for Social Studies and International Education, along with four other IU area studies centers (African Studies Program, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center, and Russian and East European Institute), provide day-long professional development workshops for social studies teachers.

In November EASC helped lead two workshops on the theme of “Innovations and Revolutions” (Standard 6), one in New Albany and one in Fort Wayne. At each workshop Geoffrey Goble (Ph.D. candidate, Religious Studies) gave a presentation on “Asia and the Origins and Diffusion of Innovations,” which was followed by a teaching strategy session delivered by curriculum specialist and CSSIE associate director Arlene Benitez. For more information on the workshops, see the Web page.

Return to top of page >

2009-10 Pinnacle Award Honorable Mention for ISIS Program

The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration awarded the Center for the Study of Global Change, EASC, and several other area studies programs at IU Bloomington the 2009-10 Pinnacle Award Honorable Mention for IU’s International Studies in Schools (ISIS) program. This award is given annually to programs and organizations that provide excellent standards-based interactive videoconference programs to K-12 classrooms.

Organized by the Center for the Study of Global Change, ISIS is a distance learning program that uses interactive video technology to connect community groups and K-12 classrooms throughout the country with scholars, specialists on international topics, and international students. This program enables teachers to incorporate a unique global dimension into their curriculum at no cost to them. Learn more about ISIS here.

Return to top of page >

Global Indiana’s “China Wave VII” Trip

In October Global Indiana sponsored its seventh Key Educational Leaders Trip to China, also known as the “China Wave VII” trip. Twenty-four K-12 principals and teachers from Indianapolis, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Hamilton, Columbus, and Nashville participated in the tour, which included visits to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hangzhou. EASC supported the pre-departure orientation program by providing presentations on Chinese language and culture and the Chinese education system.

The aim of the China Wave trips, which have been taking place since 2006, is the establishment of school-to-school partnerships that will lead to more opportunities for travel and educational exchanges for teachers and students. Global Indiana is a non-profit organization based in Indianapolis whose mission is to prepare Indiana students to participate successfully in the global community by infusing curriculum with a global perspective, promoting the study of global economics, and creating international travel and educational exchange opportunities.

K-12 educators interested in participating in future trips should contact Phil Boley, Executive Director of Global Indiana, at, or Chris McGrew, President, at

Return to top of page >

EASC Supports Chinese and Japanese Instruction in K-12 Schools in Gary, IN

Since 1990 the Gary Community School Corporation has offered summer language programs designed to introduce K-12 students to the languages and cultures of parts of the world quite far from northwestern Indiana. The Study Alternative International Languages and Spanish (SAILS) program gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in one of six languages (Arabic, German, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, and Spanish), to learn about the language, history, cultural practices, and daily life of people in a different country, and, occasionally, to visit the country of study. This summer EASC supported the Chinese and Japanese programs in SAILS by providing instructional materials and supplies. The program served 27 students of Chinese and 37 students of Japanese who attended class for four hours per day, 90 minutes of which was spent on language instruction. Two daily “culture scope” sessions, one devoted to geography and history and one to art, music, and dance, also made up the day. EASC plans to continue this support during the current 2010-13 Title VI grant cycle.

Return to top of page >

NCTA Study Tour to China

From June 12 to July 2, EASC led 20 middle- and high-school teachers, all alumni of EASC’s National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) Teaching about Asia seminars, on a three-week study tour of China. Beginning in Hong Kong, the tour made stops in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Xi’an as well as scenic cities such as Guilin and Suzhou. John Frank (history teacher, Center Grove High School, Greenwood, IN) served as the tour leader and curriculum consultant, and Richard Bohr (History; Director, Asian Studies, College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University) returned as the faculty expert. EASC outreach assistant Cathy Gao (now outreach coordinator) and EASC program assistant Kimberly Gaugler also travelled with the tour as assistants.

The tour included visits to cultural landmarks such as the Great Wall and the Terra Cotta Warriors, museums such as the Shanxi Provincial Historical Museum and the Shanghai Museum, a Beijing hutong, an old-style neighborhood of narrow streets, and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The highlight of the trip was visiting schools in Shenzhen, Guilin, and Xi’an, where the group observed classes and student activities and exchanged ideas about education in China and the United States with school administrators, teachers, and students. In addition, teachers were given free time to pursue individual research interests and develop curriculum projects and outreach strategies for their local communities.

The tour was a great success, as evidenced by one participant’s comment: “This was one of the most rewarding and educational experiences of my life. . . . Working to create partnerships throughout the world for cooperation, peace, and understanding is always relevant and important work.”

The study tour was made possible through the generous support of the Freeman Foundation.

2010 Study tour

Return to top of page >

Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School Workshop

EASC hosted its twelfth annual workshop on Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School in July, funded by the Freeman Foundation. Twenty-two high school English and world literature teachers from around the country participated in this intensive week of lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities, led by Chinese literature specialist Gary Xu (EALC and Comparative Literature, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), China historian Kai-Wing Chow (EALC, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Japanese literature specialist Andra Alvis (independent scholar), Japan historian George Wilson (emeritus, EALC; former director, EASC), and Korean literature and history specialist Sean Kim (History and Anthropology, University of Central Missouri). Teaching strategy sessions were led by curriculum consultant Cecilia Boyce (English teacher, Hillsborough High School, Tampa, FL). In addition to attending lectures and discussions, the participants took part in cultural activities such as an ikebana session and Taiji as well as screenings of East Asian films. As a final activity, participants used works such as Shen Congwen's “Xiaoxiao,” Yasutaka Tsutsui’s “Standing Woman,” and Korean Sijo poetry, to create syllabi designed to introduce high school students to the richness of East Asian literature. You can find information about the July 2011 workshop here.

Return to top of page >

NCTA Teaching about Asia Summer Seminar

In July EASC held a weeklong residential National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) Teaching about Asia seminar at the IU Bloomington campus for 21 K-12 teachers from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky. Scott O’Bryan (EALC and History) taught the course, which provided an in-depth survey of the history and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea. By the end of the seminar, each of the participants had a better understanding of the early cultural and intellectual traditions that inform contemporary East Asian societies as well as the long historical connections among the people of East Asia. Participants took advantage of Bloomington’s many Asian resources, including curricular materials in EASC’s resource room, the Asian gallery at the IU Art Museum, and East Asian film screenings. For information about upcoming NCTA seminars, see the NCTA seminar Web page.

Return to top of page >

NAHF/NCTA Study Tour to South Korea

In July three alumni of EASC’s National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) seminar program joined 18 other NCTA alumni from around the country for a 10-day study tour to South Korea. Sponsored by the Northeast Asian History Foundation (NAHF) and NCTA, the study tour included visits to sites of major historical and cultural significance such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, the Unmunsa Temple in Gyeongju, the Hahoe Folk Village in Andong, and the DMZ. The three EASC NCTA alumni who participated were Jenna Bergren (AP World History, Geography and History of the World, Fishers High School, Fishers, IN), Jona Hall (Ancient World History, Language Arts, Marietta Middle School, Marietta, OH), and Susan Smith (World History, AP Government, Maple Grove Senior High School, Maple Grove, MN).

Return to top of page >