Faculty, Student, and Alumni News

On April 7, Ambassador Gheewhan Kim, Consul General of Korea, visited the University of Pittsburgh. Ambassador Kim met with Asian Studies Center Staff, brunched with UCIS staff and faculty from across the University, and presented a lecture to students, faculty, and community members.
Ambassador Kim’s lecture was titled “Challenges in the Korean Peninsula.” He spoke on the subject of relations between South Korea, North Korea, China, and the United States, focusing particularly on issues related to trade and tensions surrounding North Korea’s provocative missile tests.

Memory is the bedrock of politics. Collective and individual memories—nostalgic, traumatic, or otherwise—pervade politics and, in turn, shape the political present in myriad ways. Reagan nostalgia has featured heavily in the rise of Donald Trump; while Maoist nostalgia has buttressed support for anti-corruption campaigns in China. The trauma of terrorism has affected the international discourse on nation-building and migration, and the trauma of war and genocide has shaped the way in which the world views human rights.
“Memory as Politics: An Interdisciplinary Conference” brings together experts on memory politics from various disciplines to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue in the field of memory politics. The conference will be on May 6 in the Alcoa Room of the Barco Law Building. Please see here for more details.

Please join us in welcoming our new South Asia Program Coordinator Dr. Shashank Srivastava. Shashank is relocating from Stevens Point, Wisconsin to join us at the Asian Studies Center. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Banaras Hindu University and is fluent in Hindi, Sanskrit and Bhojpuri. At ASC, he will divide his time between serving as a liaison with the local South Asian community and providing logistical support for our events and programs.

The annual Japanese High School Speech Contest is a collaboration between the Asian Studies Center and the Japan America Society of Pennsylvania, and is held each year on the Friday before Pitt’s Spring Break, in the William Pitt Union (this year, March 3). Pitt students, staff and faculty all participate along with faculty at CMU, Slippery Rock University and Robert Morris University, serving as judges and volunteers. The contest features a Poster Contest for students in their first year of Japanese or in a Japanese club at school, while the speech contest has four levels for students in their second year and beyond. This year’s poster contest theme was “The most fascinating Japanese technologies.” The Beginner Level speech, delivered by memory, is always a self-introduction. The upper level speeches, also delivered entirely by memory, followed the theme of “Imagine how Japanese society will change in the next 10 years.” The program also features a pedagogy workshop for the high school language teachers, booths and activities for the high school students, lunch and a cultural program prior to the awards ceremony. The Consul from the Consulate General of Japan, New York, always attends the program and awards an electronic dictionary to the Grand Prize winner of the speech contest.
Between 80-90 students from eight high school participated this year: Butler Area High School, Greensburg Salem High School, Norwin High School, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School, Pittsburgh Obama Academy, Shaler Area High School, University Prep High School, and Upper St. Clair High School.

The Asian Studies Center is currently seeking a Student Engagement Intern for the 2017-18 school year.
The Asian Studies Center (ASC) invites applications for the Student Engagement Intern. Applicants must be a currently enrolled Asian Studies certificate student of outstanding ability (QPA of 3.0 or above) for a tuition remission fellowship in the amount of one term’s in-state tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year.
The recipient of the fellowship will be required to work ten hours per week during the fall and spring terms. He/she will assist the Program Assistant and ASC staff with engaging students and promoting center events especially through social media platforms. For full details of the duties of this position, including how to apply, see the PDF here.

Join the University Center for International Studies for a teach-in about "The U.S. and the World: American Immigration and Trade Policy." The teach-in, open to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Pittsburgh, will inform about the historical context and implications of new trade and immigration policies. The event will be on Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. in room 144 Cathedral of Learning. For a full list of Pitt faculty-led presentations, go to www.ucis.pitt.edu/teach-in. This event is part of the University Forum on Current Issues series, designed to engage the Pitt community in respectful and civil discussions about today's most vital issues. Each forum will aim to incorporate a broad set of perspectives that will allow for a deeper understanding of challenging current affairs.

The Asian Studies Center offers a number of scholarships for Pitt undergraduate and graduate students studying China, Japan, Korea, and the Indo-Pacific region. The deadline for many of these scholarships is coming up on Monday, January 30! Visit our undergraduate and graduate funding pages to see if you qualify for any of them!

The Asian Studies Center has convened a new Undergraduate Advisory Council to increase activity that interersts and benefits undergraduate students. The Council is made up of undergraduate students who interface with Asia-related student groups, plan events, and make suggestions to Center staff to increase undergraduate engagement. They will be hosting a monthly How-To series to explore Asian arts and cultural performances. Their first event will be an Asian Dance Workshop on Friday, January 13, led by dancers from CSSA, FRESA, and more!

The Asian Studies Center and the Center for Russian East&European Studies are hosting a series titled "Exploration of Cultural Identity Along the Silk Road." This series began with a screening of the film Live from UB by director Lauren Knapp. It explored the story of Mohanik, an independent band from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. The series continues January 12 with a lecture from Dr. James Millward, who will speak on "Silk Road Journeys of the Eurasian Lute." Next, on February 10, Dr. Morgan Liu will speak on "How to Misunderstand Central Asian Islam (and How to Do Better)." On March 21, there will be a screening of The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma & The Silk Road Ensemble. Finally, the series will conclude on April 14 with a lecture by Dr. Rian Thum titled "The Islamic Practices that Shape Uyghur Nationalism." For full details, see the poster here.

Now you can keep up with ASC on our brand new blog! Visit pittasia.wordpress.com/ to read about what ASC is up to. This blog will include contributions from our new Undergraduate Advisory Council, but we welcome submissions of reviews of Asian media and overviews of local Asia-related events from other contributors as well!