Tag Archive for College of East Asian Studies
by Olivia Drake •
The College of East Asian Studies sponsored cherry blossom festival (Hanami) April 21 at the Mansfield Freeman Center for East Asian Studies. The annual event is attended by students taking Japanese courses, students from Japan and students and faculty who are interested in Japanese culture.
Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying flowers (hana) and generally involves an outdoor celebration. This year, the group enjoyed sushi and other Japanese foods.
The event was sponsored by the College of East Asian studies and Japan Society.
(Photos by Rebecca Goldfarb Terry ’19)
by Lauren Rubenstein •
Four Wesleyan students recently participated in the Five College Korean Speech Contest, and three went home with prizes. The contest was held April 1 at the University of Massachusetts–Amherst and included students from Amherst, Mount Holyoke, Smith and Hampshire colleges, and the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.
The contest is sponsored by the Five College East Asian Language Program. Students in the Five College Consortium, and others in the New England area who are currently enrolled in Korean language classes, are eligible to participate, except for native Korean speakers or heritage learners. Participating students must write their own short speeches in Korean. Visiting Assistant Professor of Korean Hyejoo Back served as a judge in the contest last year, and upon returning to Wesleyan, immediately introduced the contest to all her students.
At the elementary level, David Cabanaro ’19 won second place with a speech titled, “My Precious Korea,” and Yuhan Wang ’19 won third place with a speech on “My Trip to Korea.” At the intermediate level, Sasha Guo ’18 won first place with a speech on “Banana.” Also participating was Sifana Sohail ’18.
by Cynthia Rockwell •
More than 60 students gathered in Beckham Hall for the College for East Asian Studies Student Conference, “Environment in Asia,” co-sponsored with the Center for Global Studies and the Center for Pedagogical Innovation on March 25.
Professor of Government Mary Alice Haddad, Associate Professor of Music Su Zheng, and Associate Professor of Film Studies Lisa Dombrowski offered their discipline as a lens through which to view environmental concerns in the region— from using political action to regulate pollution, to music videos that call attention to smog concerns, to films that highlight the surreal aspects of man-made structures that change the landscape.
Following the talks, students adjourned small discussion groups. The conference was unique in offering conversation in each of four languages, noted Haddad, who is also chair of the College for East Asian Studies and professor of East Asian studies and professor of environment studies.
“At Wesleyan, we have enough language competency for students to engage in meaningful, intellectually rigorous discussions in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean,” said Haddad. “We have enough diversity on campus that any given session will likely have no fewer that four nationalities represented.”
After the sessions, the students and professors then convened to bring their observations back to the group—and to plan similar events.
Haddad was pleased with the conference, calling it “an extraordinary event that highlighted everything that is so special about Wesleyan.” She said, “Students from around the globe interacted in multiple languages discussing one of the most important issues of our time. Faculty from different disciplines illuminated and discovered new insights as we discussed our work in the interdisciplinary panel.
She also noted that student identity groups were the primary organizers of the event, “generating the ideas and the energy underneath everything. It was one of those moments in which everything comes together.”
Haddad also places the event in context of growth: “The CEAS received two large institutional grants this year. One was from the Japan Foundation to hire a new tenure track faculty member in traditional Japanese literature. The other was from the Korea Foundation to hire a new tenure track faculty member in Korean political economy. Although neither of the grants had funds for student conferences, and thus were not direct funders of the events, some of the inspiration for the event came from our wish to celebrate the growth and vibrancy of our new College.”
See additional photos of the conference below: (Photos by Olivia Drake)
by Olivia Drake •
The Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life and Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a visit of former Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki on Oct. 13 in the Mansfield Center for East Asian Studies. Several Wesleyan faculty, students and visitors attended the program, “Walk in the U.S., Talk on Japan.”
Fujisaki served as the Ambassador from 2008-12. While at Wesleyan, Fujisaki met with various business and academic groups to talk about a number of issues facing Japan and its relationship with the U.S. His team made presentations on topics ranging from Abenomics to military policy, followed by a question-and-answer session.
Photos of the program are below: (Photos by Will Barr ’18)
by Olivia Drake •
The College of East Asian Studies (CEAS) received two major, multi-year grant awards to hire new faculty and improve library resources.
The Korea Foundation has awarded the CEAS a $314,330 five-year grant to support the hiring of a tenure-track faculty member in Korean political economy. The mission of The Korea Foundation is to promote better understanding of Korea within the international community and to increase friendship and goodwill between Korea and the rest of the world through various exchange programs. Located in Seoul, the foundation was established in 1991 with the aim to enhance the image of Korea in the world and also to promote academic and cultural exchange programs.
The Japan Foundation has awarded the CEAS a four-year grant to support a tenure-track faculty position in pre-modern Japanese literature as well as fund the library’s acquisition of new Japanese language digital materials, managed by EunJoo Lee, head of access services, at Olin Library. During the first year, Wesleyan will receive $197,125.
The new databases include JapanKnowledge, a large collection of language dictionaries, encyclopedias, biographical dictionaries, and other Japanese reference works for Japanese-only searches of historical terms and figures; the Kikuzo II Visual for Libraries Database, which provides access to the newspaper Asahi Shimbun (full text from 1984 to the present); and the Yomidas Rekishikan database, which provides the full text of the Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun from its initial publication in 1874 to date, as well as full text of the Daily Yomiuri, its English language equivalent, and a biographical dictionary of modern Japanese figures.
The Japan Foundation, based in Tokyo, aims to deepen the mutual understanding between the people of Japan and other countries/regions. The foundation was established in 1972 as a special legal entity supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the objective of promoting international cultural exchange through a comprehensive range of programs in all regions of the world.
The faculty searches for both faculty positions will begin this fall with the new hires starting in the fall of 2016.
Mary Alice Haddad, chair of the College of East Asian Studies, professor of government, associate professor of environmental studies, is overseeing the CEAS awards.
by Lauren Rubenstein •
Vera Schwarcz, the Freeman Professor of History and East Asian Studies, professor of history, delivered the 40th Annual Mansfield Freeman Lecture on April 16. She spoke in Daniel Family Commons on “The Human Dot on Yellow Mountain: Re-thinking 45 Years of China Study.” (Photos by Dat Vu ’15.)
by Olivia Drake •
Master printmaker Keiji Shinohara, artist in residence, will have three solo exhibitions in 2015.” The title is “Keiji Shinohara: Woodcut.”
The first will be at the Odakyu Shinjuku Art Salon in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan March 11-17. For more information call 03-3342-1111 (Japan).
The second show will be at Art Zone-Kaguraoka in Kyoto, Japan May 9-May 25. For more information call o75-754-0155 (Japan).
The exhibition will return to the United States and be on display at the Visual Arts Gallery at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I. throughout the month of October.
In addition, Shinohara will be demonstrating Japanese Ukiyo-e printmaking and techniques at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston from noon to 3 p.m. April 6 and April 19. He’ll also lead a workshop at the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, N.C. Aug. 9-21.
Shinohara teaches in the Art and Art History Department and the College of East Asian Studies. While living in Kyoto, he trained for 10 years in the traditional Japanese woodblock printing style known as Ukiyo-e. The technical foundation for his artwork is rooted in that training, accompanied by techniques of contemporary western printmaking, yet the imagery itself is very different from historical Ukiyo-e.
According to Shinohara’s artist statement, “the story behind the work is very important; there is a sense of narrative that is very private. The feelings and emotions that I convey through these abstract landscapes matter most to me. Almost always my images are of nature, but it is the essence of the landscape that I want to express, not realistic accuracy.”
by Olivia Drake •
Masami Imai, professor of economics, professor of East Asian studies, is the co-author of an article titled “Attribution Error in Economic Voting: Evidence from Trade Shocks,” published in the January 2015 edition of Economy Inquiry, Volume 53, Issue 1, pages 258-257.
Rosa Hayes ’13, currently a research analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, also is one of the paper’s co-authors.
This article exploits the international transmission of business cycles to examine the prevalence of attribution error in economic voting in a large panel of countries from 1990 to 2009. Masami and his co-authors found that voters, on average, exhibit a strong tendency to oust the incumbent governments during an economic downturn, regardless of whether the recession is home-grown or merely imported from trading partners.
The authors also found an important heterogeneity in the extent of attribution error. A split sample analysis shows that countries with more experienced voters, more educated voters, and possibly more informed voters—all conditions that have been shown to mitigate other voter agency problems—do better in distinguishing imported from domestic growth.
by Olivia Drake •
Japanese-born choreographer/dancer Eiko Otake, visiting instructor in dance, recently accepted a three-year appointment in the Dance Department and College of East Asian Studies. Otake has a 13-year performance history at the Center for the Arts, which began with a three-hour performance of “Offering,” Eiko & Koma’s response to 9/11, in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery. Since then, Otake has visited campus many times as a Center for Creative Research Artist-in-Residence, and then as a Wesleyan University Creative Campus Fellow to teach, to offer workshops, to curate events, and to give lectures.
Since 1972, Otake has collaborated with Takashi Koma Otake in creating a unique theater of movement out of stillness, shape, light, sound, and time. Eiko & Koma have received two New York Dance and Performance Awards, or “Bessies,” as well as Guggenheim, MacArthur and United States Artists Fellowships.
by Olivia Drake •
Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, professor of history, is the author of a new book titled Colors of Veracity: A Quest for Truth in China, and Beyond, published by the University of Hawai’i Press in November 2014.
In Colors of Veracity, Schwarcz condenses four decades of teaching and scholarship about China to raise fundamental questions about the nature of truth and history. In vivid prose, she addresses contemporary moral dilemmas with a highly personal sense of ethics and aesthetics.
Drawing on classical sources in Hebrew and Chinese (as well as several Greek and Japanese texts), Schwarcz brings deep and varied cultural references to bear on the question of truth and falsehood in human consciousness. The book redefines both the Jewish understanding of emet (a notion of truth that encompasses authenticity) and the Chinese commitment to zhen (a vision of the real that comprises the innermost sincerity of the seeker’s heart-mind). Works of art, from contemporary calligraphy and installations to fake Chinese characters and a Jewish menorah from Roman times, shed light light on the historian’s task of giving voice to the dread-filled past.
Following in the footsteps of literary scholar Geoffrey Hartman, Schwarcz expands on the “Philomela Project,” which calls on historians to find new ways of conveying truth, especially when political authorities are bent on enforcing amnesia of past traumatic events.
Schwarcz, who was born and raised in Cluj, Romania, was one of the first exchange scholars to study in China in 1979 and has returned to Beijing many times since then.
For more information on the book or to order, visit the University of Hawai’i Press website.
Schwarcz will be speaking about her book at 4:15 p.m. Nov. 19 at the Wasch Center. The event is open to the public.
by Olivia Drake •
Uncover the hidden stories of East Asia’s religion and folklore at a new exhibit, “Not of This World,” at the College of East Asian Studies’ gallery. To inaugurate the new College of East Asian Studies, students curated this exhibition of the most compelling artworks from the college’s collection.
“Not Out of This World” is on display Sept. 10-Dec. 5 and features aesthetically pleasing pieces that reveal spiritual worlds filled with love, betrayal and faith. A ghost woman who searches for her husband, an immortal trapped in a peasant’s body, and a wheel that spins prayers are examples of the East Asian artwork displayed that weave the supernatural with mystical elements.
The gallery is open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays. The gallery will be closed Oct. 18-21 and Nov. 25-Dec. 2. For more information call 860-685-2330.
Photos of the show’s opening are below: (Photos by Dat Vu ’16)