Faculty, Student, and Alumni News

On September 28 and 29, the University of Pittsburgh will host the conference "From Madness to Medicine in Japanese Culture." The academic conference is interested in contextualizing ideas about madness and mental health in the fields of literature and art as well as anthropology and medicine, particularly the history of medicine. Our goal is to more clearly articulate what the boundaries of “health” and “illness” are and how those definitions have fluctuated through Japan’s experience of modernity and post-modernity. For more details, including the conference schedule, please see the conference website.

This council will consist of a group of currently enrolled certificate students passionate about Asia, who will advise the center.  The council will plan and promote cultural events and other activities on campus and in the community. They will spearhead our How To: Asia series where students will learn a specific cultural skill from Pitt's international community. For more information, please contact asia@pitt.edu. To apply, please fill out an application via this link. Due date will be September13, 2017.

The Asian Studies Center is seeking a student worker to assist us with both event logistics and administrative tasks. This position is a great opportunity to develop professional skills that relate to your interest in Asia. To apply, please click on the following link.

Please join us in welcoming the new academic year at our annual reception on Friday September 8 from 3-5 pm in 4130 Posvar Hall. We will provide center updates, introduce new faculty, and enjoy conversation and good food together. Shamisen music will be provided by ASC alumna Yuko Eguchi.

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.