Faculty, Student, and Alumni News

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!

 Echo Strategies has recently partnered with the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures to offer a local internship to Japanese language majors. This internship involves pilot-testing questionnaires targeted at Japanese audiences and translating responses into English. Jessica Shilling and Emma Lurye are the first two Japanese majors to serve as interns for Echo Strategies.

On November 10-12, the University of Pittsburgh was honored to host Riva Ganguly Das, the India Consul General of New York. Consul General Das and Consul Trade Sreenivasa Rao met with senior University administration, the School of Medicine, the Innovation Institute, the Swanson School of Engineering, and others, gaining a broad understanding of the University’s strengths and its ties to India. They also attended a reception in their honor and met with members of the local Indian community. We hope that this visit will strengthen the University’s connections to the local and academic South Asian community.

On October 7-8, the Asian Studies Center, the China Council, and the Film Studies Program will host a workshop on the Everyday Politics of Digital Life in China. Professor Guobin Yang (Sociology, University of Pennsylvania) will present a keynote lecture titled "Enchantment and Disenchantment in the Everyday Politics" on Friday at 5 p.m. in Conference Room A of the University Club; on Saturday, a series of panels will address subjects such as networks and power, digital virality and volatility, and eco-media. The full program and description can be viewed here.

Dr. Emily Rook-Koepsel joins the Asian Studies Center as the Assistant Director of Academic Affairs, replacing Katherine Carlitz, who retired last spring.  After discovering a passion for South Asian history, Emily has pushed herself over the course of her career to learn Hindi and Urdu, earn a Ph.D. in South Asian History, and travel extensively on the Indian subcontinent. She will be advising certificate students as well as the East Asian IDMA students and administering all of our faculty grants and student fellowships.

To build upon the growing interest in South Asia both on the campus and throughout the region, the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh will showcase the university’s new area of strength with three years of thematic programming. These programs will include invited speakers, film screenings, exhibitions, mini-courses, roundtable forums, and much more. Through these programs, the Center hopes to facilitate communication and collaboration between students and faculty and provide opportunities for more active engagement with the local community. Please visit http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/asc/events/southasia for more details.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Pittsburgh welcomed 33 new teachers to Pittsburgh last week! We are delighted to welcome this new batch of teachers to the US. CI-Pitt is a language and culture center dedicated to supporting the learning of Chinese language and culture for the greater public and serves some 4,000 students in the K-16 arena in Pennsylvania and Ohio to create a platform to better understand and learn about China and the Mandarin Language. To learn more, please visit http://www.ucis.pitt.edu/cipitt/discover.

The University of Pittsburgh and Central China Normal University have signed a memorandum of understanding to promote international collaborations in innovative educational research between Pitt’s Learning Research and Development Center (LRDC) and the Chinese university’s National Engineering Research Center for E-Learning (NERCEL).

Established by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, NERCEL is China’s only national research center in the field of education. Its strength is the development of digital technology for use across schools in China. Pitt’s LRDC specializes not only in learning technology but also in the sciences of learning and education.

Central China Normal University is located in Wuhan, an industrial base and major hub of transportation and communication in Central China. The university’s chancellor, Ma Min, visited Pitt on May 5 to sign the memorandum with Beeson.

The partnership may enable longer-term international projects and lay the groundwork for joint research with other schools at Central China Normal University such as its School of Psychology.

James Cook, acting director of the Asian Studies Center, played an instrumental role in moving the collaboration forward and will continue to provide his expertise as the collaboration develops.

For the full text of this announcement, please see here.