Faculty, Student, and Alumni News

The Asian Studies Center has opened application for multiple graduate and undergraduate internships for the 2018-19 academic year. Currently we have five student openings available: a graduate community outreach internship, a graduate event coordination internship, a graduate grantwriting internship, a graduate or undergraduate media internship, and a graduate or undergraduate Chinese media intern. Please visit our staff openings page for full details.

The annual High School Japanese Speech Contest was held in conjunction with the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania in the William Pitt Union on Friday, March 2.
This year's contest brought together 52 students from eight high schools to present speeches and posters in Japanese. The contest included a full day of Japanese activities and games for the participants, including a kendo demonstration by Shusuke Kawakubo and Joshua Patishnock. Tomofuki Horiki, Cultural Attaché from the Consul General of Japan in New York, presented the grand prize of an electronic dictionary to Jacob Joseph Herrup, a 12th grade student at Pittsburgh Allderdice High School. Dr. Joseph Alter, the director of the Asian Studies Center, congratulated the winners and encouraged students to continue their language studies.

The Chinese Program of the East Asian Languages & Literatures Department is looking for part-time instructors of language classes for Fall 2018. Candidates must have native language proficiency, have at least a bachelor’s degree and be authorized to work for the University. Background and experience in teaching foreign languages, language pedagogy and second language acquisition is highly desirable. If interested, please send a resume or CV to xuyi@pitt.edu before March 23rd 2018 to receive full consideration. 

The Japan Council of the University of Pittsburgh invites submissions for the first University of Pittsburgh Japan Documentary Film Award. The first award winner will be announced Sep 15, 2018.  This biennial prize will be awarded to one exemplary documentary film promoting the understanding of Japan and Japanese culture.  Films should focus on the geographic region of Japan, although topics could include contemporary or historical cultural or social phenomena, practices, or events. The award is available to films of all lengths, from all countries, and in all languages. Please click here for more details or to apply!

Azize Altay Harvey, who is currently in 2nd year Japanese, has won the 3rd place prize for Most Artistic in the American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ) Nengajo contest at the university/college level. The AATJ Nengajo Contest is a nationwide contest for students in elementary school, middle school, high school, and university. Students submit nengajo, or new year’s cards, that they have created. This year a total of 837 cards were submitted. Congratulations Azize!

 

Join TEDx University of Pittsburgh for our first ever Salon. New this year, Salons will be a series of events meant to foster conversation around ideas worth spreading. (This event is open only to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Pittsburgh. Please purchase tickets at this link using your @pitt.edu email).
On Sunday, February 4 at 2:00 p.m., Clark Chilson, Associate Professor of Religions Studies, will speak on "Mindfulness of Care in Our Lives: Intro to Naikan Meditation." The quality of our lives is largely dependent on the quality of our thoughts. When we learn to meditate, we learn how to regulate our attention, and hence our thoughts. Mindfulness meditation, which derives from a Buddhist practice and is currently popular in North America, focuses on giving attention non-judgmentally to the present moment. The term “mindfulness,” in “mindfulness meditation” is a translation of sati, a Pali word used in Buddhist texts to connote “holding in mind” and which literally means “memory.” In meditation we can “hold in mind,” or be mindful of not just the present moment, but memories as well. A form of meditation that focuses on memory is Naikan, which originated in Buddhism in Japan. Naikan entails remembering the care we have received, how we have cared for others, and how we at times have been less than caring. Like mindfulness in North America, Naikan has been used in Japan as both a meditative practice for self-cultivation and as a psychotherapeutic intervention. This talk introduces Naikan, how to practice it, and how it works to enhance psychological well-being.

In November, a Pitt delegation including Chancellor Emeritus Mark Nordenberg and Vice Provost for Global Affairs Ariel Armony visited three Indian cities to foster collaboration between Pitt and Indian university and government organizations. The delegation discussed potential collaborations with Ashoka University, Science Health Allied Research Education (SHARE), and the Indian School of Business. In Hyderabad, they hosted an alumni networking event.
Most importantly, Pitt has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) to establish a Chair of Indian Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Under the MOU, Pitt will host a distinguished visiting professor from India for one semester each year for five years to conduct teach courses and conduct lectures, seminars, and workshops on various subjects related to different aspects of India. It one of the first such Chairs of Indian Studies in the United States. The MOU was signed by Chancellor Emeritus Mark Nordenberg, Vice Provost for Global Affairs Ariel Armony, and Director General of ICCR, Riva Ganguly Das. It will deepen cooperation and further strengthen relations between India and the United States.

Internships in Japanese companies are an exciting opportunity for university students.  Interns not only gain valuable work experience but also will learn about the culture and business practice of Japan.  Here are new paid internship offers that we have received:
NEW: Osaka Gas Co, Ltd. Is offering a 6 month position for Researcher/Research Assistant for the Thermal Engineering Team:

  1. Most daily conversation is the required Japanese proficiency level.
  2. This internship would begin in September 2018.
  3. Majors: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Central Glass has an offer for their Matsusaka Active Expert Center:

  1. Matsusaka plant: producing English language documents and teaching English; general affairs; 6-12 month from June 2018
  2. Most daily conversation is the required Japanese proficiency level.
  3. This internship would begin in June 2018; 6-12 month internship

(We have sent students from both CMU and Pitt to this company for the last several years, and one student now works for the Tokyo office of Central Glass.)  
Note: Applicants must be proficient in Japanese daily conversation for any internship; minimum of two years of formal Japanese or the equivalent will be required. Applicants must take a language proficiency evaluation if they are applying for an internship.
Deadline to contact Program Manager: ASAP. The application deadline is late January for the Central Glass position; late February for the Osaka Gas position.
Contact:  Students must interview for this program with the program manager to begin the application process.  Contact Dr. Jordan in the Asian Studies Center: jordanb@pitt.edu.

The quarterly Journal of Asian Studies, published by the Association for Asian Studies, has published the best empirical and multidisciplinary work on Asia for nearly 70 years. The November 2017 issue includes multiple articles by faculty with Asian Studies Center ties. Nicole Constable, Professor of Anthropology at Pitt and former Director of Asian Studies, wrote "Revisiting Distant Divides and Intimate Connections in Asia: Comments on Enseng Ho's 'Inter-Asian Concepts for Mobile Societies.'" David Luesink, formerly a Visiting Assistant Professor in Pitt's Department of History and currently an ASC Center Associate, wrote "Anatomy and the Reconfiguration of Life and Death in Republican China." Finally, Siddharth Chandra, formerly Director of Pitt's Asian Studies Center and currently Director of Michigan State University's Asian Studies Center, wrote "New Findings on the Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966."  Please join us in congratulating our colleagues on these important publications.

As part of our continued collaboration with ELI, the Asian Studies Center will be co-hosting a Japanese Coming of Age Ceremony (Seijin-no-Hi) held in early January. Inspired by the Japanese tradition, we will be congraulating and celebrating ELI students from Yasuda University that have reached the age of maturity (20 years old), who will be missing the ceremony in Japan. A local government official will preside over the ceremony here in Pittsburgh and a Yasuda University student will give the student address. The ceremony is open not only to the ELI students, but also Pitt students, especially those studying Japanese, who are turning 20 (between April 2, 2017 and April 1, 2018). The event will take place in Ballroom B of the University Club from 7-8:30pm. (Photo credit)