Faculty, Student, and Alumni News

Mindfulness of Care in Our Lives: Clark Chilson to give TEDx Talk February 4

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.

Pitt signs MOU with Indian Council for Cultural Relations

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.

Japan Internship Offers, Spring 2018

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.

ASC faculty contributions to Journal of Asian Studies

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.

Coming of Age Ceremony

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)

International Toolkit Site Visit: WholeRen

As part of this year's International Career Toolkit Series, UCIS is organizing monthly site visits in the transnational city of Pittsburgh. Please join the Asian Studies Center on November's site visit to WholeRen to learn about their work on integrating and promoting Chinese-American educational opportunities and find out about potential ways that you can get  involved. WholeRen, headquartered in Pittsburgh, was founded by Chinese and American professional educators in 2010. The site visit will take place on Tuesday November 28 from 4:00 - 5:00 pm. Please register online here. Space is limited to 10 students and will require a refundable $10 cash deposit.

Call for Papers: 6th Annual Pittsburgh Asia Consortium Undergraduate Research Conference

The University of Pittsburgh will host the 6th annual PAC Undergraduate Research Conference on February 24, 2018. The Asian Studies Center and the Pittsburgh Area Consortium invite undergraduate students to present their research on Asia!
Papers will be welcome from students in any discipline and on any part of Asia including the Middle East. We also welcome students who are in the process of researching a longer paper, or who have just begun to explore Asia. In the past we have featured the work of students in their first year of college, as well as students presenting parts of their undergraduate capstone papers! For more information, click here.
Proposals can be submitted here. Students should plan to submit a title and faculty sponsor (faculty do not need to send letter or plan to attend the conference). For more information on how to apply like us on Facebook, follow our website (ucis.pitt.edu/pac) or send an email to Emily Rook-Koepsel (rookkoepsel@pitt.edu)

Pitt to You Student Ambassadors - Applications due Monday!

The Pitt to You program is seeking current undergraduate Pitt students who are willing to serve as student ambassadors to welcome incoming Chinese international students. The trip will depart from Pittsburgh and host workshops in two Chinese cities - Beijing and Shanghai. 
The Pitt to You program has two purposes: to welcome incoming international students to the University of Pittsburgh and to provide Pitt students with an international leadership opportunity especially those who have limited international experience. This opportunity will span two academic years (2017-2018 for training and preparation, 2018-2019 for engagement with incoming international students). Students selected for the program will cultivate relationships with international students before they arrive on campus and then maintain these connections throughout the next academic year.
Application Requirements: Student applicants must be a full-time undergraduate sophomore or junior with a minimum of 24 academic credits completed on a Pitt campus; a 2.5 cumulative GPA; and a clear disciplinary record. Preferred experiences include: an understanding of and experience with United States culture, mentoring, and commitment to cultural diversity.
For more details and to apply, see this page.

Conference: From Madness to Medicine in Japanese Culture

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.

Apply for the ASC Student Advisory Council

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.