Faculty, Student, and Alumni News

Local Students Excel at the 2019 High School Japanese Speech Contest

The Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania (JASP) and the University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center jointly hosted the 22nd Annual High School Japanese Speech Contest on Friday, March 1st at the William Pitt Union on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. This year 52 students from Western PA competed in this daylong competition. Austin Keller from Norwin High School won the grand prize in the Advanced Plus level. The present for him was an electronic Japanese-English dictionary donated by the Consulate General of Japan in New York. University of Pittsburgh East Asian Language & Literature faculty once again participated as judges; Sachiko Howard, Noriko Kowalchuck, and Junzo Oshimo were part of the judging team, and Stephen Luft led a one-hour workshop for the language teachers on “Japanese Language Learning with Talkabroad: Connecting students with native speakers.”
This event is made possible through the generous support of the Elliott Group, Perryman Company, Temple University Japan Campus, Japan Foundation Los Angeles, the Japanese Consulate General of New York, University of Pittsburgh Asian Studies Center, the Japan Iron & Steel Federation and Mitsubishi Endowments at the University of Pittsburgh, and all participating schools, students and volunteers.
For the full press release, please see here.

Dangdut Cowboys to perform in Indonesia as part of cultural exchange program

The Dangdut Cowboys, a Pittsburgh-based band made up of Pitt and CMU faculty, alumni, and graduate students, will perform music in Indonesia as part of a cultural exchange program sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta. The band will perform in Indonesia’s three largest cities – Jakarta, Surabaya, and Medan – from March 8 to March 18, 2019. Performances include concerts, television broadcasts, school presentations, and other media events. Dangdut is the most popular genre of music in Indonesia, a country made up of some 17,000 islands and a population of over 260 million people.  The Dangdut Cowboys cross musical borders by mixing Indonesian dangdut songs with country, blues, rock, and reggae.  Formed by Andrew Weintraub in 2007, the band aims to introduce the intoxicating music and exuberant dance of dangdut to audiences everywhere.

Conference on Himalayan Environmental Education and Policy

On November 29 through December 1, a group of over 15 international scholars met in Mussoorie, India to produce informed insight on experiential educational programs that take advantage of the Himalayan region as a vast, outdoor classroom, highlighting the challenges of climate change and the importance of conservation and sustainable, environmentally conscientious development. The Himalayan Environmental Education and Policy conference was sponsored by the Study Abroad Office, University of Pittsburgh; a Year of Pitt Global Grant from the University Centre for International Studies, University of Pittsburgh; Faculty Development Funds from the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pittsburgh; the Asian Studies Centre, University of Pittsburgh; and the Hanifl Centre for Outdoor Education and Environmental Study. Results of the conference, along with a list of speakers and other information, can be found here.

BUILDING DEVELOPMENT FOR A NEW ERA available now

Available for download here, Building Development for a New Era: China's Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Caribbean is the result of a truly global partnership between three institutions: the University of Pittsburgh, the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), and the Renmin University of China. It contributes a detailed analysis of China's infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). These projects are the latest and most ambitious phase in the increasingly complex relationship between LAC and China. It is been edited by Dr. Ariel C. Armony (Pitt), Enrique Dussel Peters (UNAM), and Shoujun Cui (Renmin) and has been called "Essential reading for scholars, foreign investment policy analysts, and all interested in China's efforts to remake the global system."

ASC Receives National Resource Center and Foreign Language Area Studies Fellowships

The Asian Studies Center has been designated a National Resource Center for East Asia by the U.S. Department of Education. This four-year grant recognizes the ASC for outstanding contributions to undergraduate Asian studies and supports research, outreach, course development, and other academic activities. In addition, the ASC has received funding for Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships. The funding covers three undergraduate fellowships and three graduate fellowships for the academic year along with three summer fellowships.

Vice Provost Armony writes on Chinese-Latin America Relations

Dr. Ariel Armony, Vice Provost for Global Affairs, has written an article in Dialogo Chino on the subject of China-backed infrastructure worldwide, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean. The article discusses the Belt and Road Initiative and how the recently published book, Building Development for a New Era: China's Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Caribbean, analyses the phenomenon of China-funded infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean and its central trends and challenges. The article can be read here.
(Image credit: MRS Movimiento Renovador Sandinista)

ASC Student Internships for AY 2018-19 are now open!

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.

Annual High School Japanese Speech Contest a success!

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.

EALL seeks part-time Chinese language instructors

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 Documentary Film Award Welcomes Submissions!

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!