Upcoming Events

The Asian Studies Center sponsors, announces, or otherwise supports a number of Asia-related events throughout the year. Keep an eye on this space for more information! If there's an event you would like advertised, please contact Rachel Jacobson at rej16@pitt.edu.

Faculty members or student organizations who wish to request ASC sponsorship or support for their events should fill out the Event Request Form and submit it to Rachel at rej16@pitt.edu.

Wednesday, September 27

English | Japanese Language Social Hour
Time:
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Presenter:
Asian Studies Center and the English Language Institute at the University of Pittsburgh
Location:
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with English Language Institute
Contact:
Asian Studies Center
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

Join us for an afternoon of language and cultural exchange between Pitt students and visiting Japanese students. Participants of all language learning levels are encouraged to attend. Free pizza and drinks will be provided.

Does Your Soul Have A Cold?
A film on mental illness in Japan
Time:
7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
Presenter:
Clark Chilson, Department of Religious Studies
Location:
Cathedral of Learning G24
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Toshiba International Foundation and Japan Iron and Steel Federation and Mitsubishi Endowments
Cost:
Free and open to the public
Contact:
Shashank Srivastava
Contact Phone:
412-648-7963
Contact Email:
shashank.srivastava@pitt.edu

Documentary, 2007. Director: Mike Mills

Starring Hiyaso Hayashiguchi, Michiko Ishikawa, Taketoshi Hayashiguchi.

Running time: 1 hr 22 min.

Part of the "From Madness to Medicine in Japanese Culture Conference." 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 the full schedule, see https://sites.google.com/view/mental-health-conference/conference-overview.

Thursday, September 28

From Madness to Medicine in Japanese Culture
Time:
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location:
Gold Room, University Club
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
Contact:
Shashank Srivastava

“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.
“Mental illness” and “mental health” have been preoccupations of modern societies the world over as individuals, communities, and nations seek to describe these terms. Mental healthcare professionals have sought to define, diagnose, and treat “mental illness.” Although medicine has made revolutionary discoveries related to the physiological conditions linked to a variety of behavioral problems in communities and to psychological suffering, the biomedicalization of “mental health” and “mental illness” also has the serious consequence of removing lived experience from its cultural and historical contexts, and rendering “mental illness” as universal reified objective fact. Such universalization has the pernicious effect of ignoring the culturally construed interpretations of those afflicted with mental anguish.
The biomedicalization of mental illness has too often led to a failure to recognize how cultural and linguistic contexts influence the conceptualization and treatment of mental illness. Studies in the history of medicine and in medical anthropology elucidate the complex role culture and particular social circumstances play in the interpretation of mental experiences. They also challenge a variety of ideas assumed to be objectively true; among these are ideas about classificatory schemes used to diagnose mental conditions as scientific rather than cultural constructions, the universality of definitions of illness, and where the boundary between wellness and illness lies in any given context.
In the modern history of Japan, for example, we find in the early 20th century physicians commonly diagnosing patients as having neurasthenia (shinkei suijaku 神経衰弱) while rarely giving a diagnosis of depression (utsubyō 鬱病). In the early 21st century, however, we find the exact opposite: Japanese patients are now rarely diagnosed with neurasthenia while commonly being diagnosed with depression.
This symposium brings together a group of scholars from across the disciplines of anthropology, film, history, literature, the performing arts, and religious studies to interrogate the meanings of mental illness as they have been defined and transformed throughout Japanese history. Our intention is to bring intensive scrutiny to the particular cultural case of Japan. We begin with the premise that mental illnesses are in part cultural constructs, ones that have been the subject of interest and concern from earliest times. By engaging scholars across disciplines, we hope to identify places where disciplinary boundaries often limit our understanding of key concepts used to characterize behavioral anomalies, concepts like madness (kyōki 狂気), insanity (kichigai 気違い) mental illness (seishinbyō 精神病), and mental disability (seishin shōgai 精神障害). Further, we look not simply at the contemporary moment, but the historical layers that have contributed to Japanese descriptions of mental health, layers which inherently underpin and complicate modern terminologies, nosologies, and medical practices. We are interested in tracing how ideas about mental health emerged and were described, as well has how they influenced treatments throughout Japanese history. Some of the questions we explore are as follows: How have the Japanese defined and treated those whose mental states are not “healthy”? How have Japan’s interactions with other cultures and other cultural models affected definitions of mental health and illness? How can we see Japan’s historical experience with “mental health” as a touchstone in understanding the vital culturally specific dimensions to biological models of mental health and illness so universally prevalent today? How is globalizing biomedical ideas adapted and interpreted in distinctive ways in Japan?
To answer these questions, we will hold a two-day symposium, which will include 12 to 14 presentations by scholars of Japan working in a variety of fields.

Friday, September 29

From Madness to Medicine in Japanese Culture
Time:
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Location:
Gold Room, University Club
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
Contact:
Shashank Srivastava

“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.
“Mental illness” and “mental health” have been preoccupations of modern societies the world over as individuals, communities, and nations seek to describe these terms. Mental healthcare professionals have sought to define, diagnose, and treat “mental illness.” Although medicine has made revolutionary discoveries related to the physiological conditions linked to a variety of behavioral problems in communities and to psychological suffering, the biomedicalization of “mental health” and “mental illness” also has the serious consequence of removing lived experience from its cultural and historical contexts, and rendering “mental illness” as universal reified objective fact. Such universalization has the pernicious effect of ignoring the culturally construed interpretations of those afflicted with mental anguish.
The biomedicalization of mental illness has too often led to a failure to recognize how cultural and linguistic contexts influence the conceptualization and treatment of mental illness. Studies in the history of medicine and in medical anthropology elucidate the complex role culture and particular social circumstances play in the interpretation of mental experiences. They also challenge a variety of ideas assumed to be objectively true; among these are ideas about classificatory schemes used to diagnose mental conditions as scientific rather than cultural constructions, the universality of definitions of illness, and where the boundary between wellness and illness lies in any given context.
In the modern history of Japan, for example, we find in the early 20th century physicians commonly diagnosing patients as having neurasthenia (shinkei suijaku 神経衰弱) while rarely giving a diagnosis of depression (utsubyō 鬱病). In the early 21st century, however, we find the exact opposite: Japanese patients are now rarely diagnosed with neurasthenia while commonly being diagnosed with depression.
This symposium brings together a group of scholars from across the disciplines of anthropology, film, history, literature, the performing arts, and religious studies to interrogate the meanings of mental illness as they have been defined and transformed throughout Japanese history. Our intention is to bring intensive scrutiny to the particular cultural case of Japan. We begin with the premise that mental illnesses are in part cultural constructs, ones that have been the subject of interest and concern from earliest times. By engaging scholars across disciplines, we hope to identify places where disciplinary boundaries often limit our understanding of key concepts used to characterize behavioral anomalies, concepts like madness (kyōki 狂気), insanity (kichigai 気違い) mental illness (seishinbyō 精神病), and mental disability (seishin shōgai 精神障害). Further, we look not simply at the contemporary moment, but the historical layers that have contributed to Japanese descriptions of mental health, layers which inherently underpin and complicate modern terminologies, nosologies, and medical practices. We are interested in tracing how ideas about mental health emerged and were described, as well has how they influenced treatments throughout Japanese history. Some of the questions we explore are as follows: How have the Japanese defined and treated those whose mental states are not “healthy”? How have Japan’s interactions with other cultures and other cultural models affected definitions of mental health and illness? How can we see Japan’s historical experience with “mental health” as a touchstone in understanding the vital culturally specific dimensions to biological models of mental health and illness so universally prevalent today? How is globalizing biomedical ideas adapted and interpreted in distinctive ways in Japan?
To answer these questions, we will hold a two-day symposium, which will include 12 to 14 presentations by scholars of Japan working in a variety of fields.

South Asian Initiative Year 2 Speaker Series
Time:
3:00 pm
Presenter:
Prof. Anand Pandian
Location:
4130 Wesley W Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
Contact:
Shashank Srivastava
Contact Phone:
412-648-7963
Contact Email:
shashank.srivastava@pitt.edu
Between Here and There: Thinking Through the Area of Area Studies
Time:
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Presenter:
Anand Pandian, Department of Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
Cost:
Open for all

What resources for comparative understanding and critique may be gleaned from our scholarly work in particular regions? Answers to this question turn in part on how we take “area” to matter in area studies: as a geographic domain of expertise, or instead as an acknowledgement that our knowledge is necessarily shaped by the contexts in which it arises. This exploratory talk will seek to draw out potential sources of insight into this problem and its implications by reflecting on three anthropological projects pursued between the United States and south India over the last fifteen years.

Post-Socialist Women Filmmakers Festival Opening
Time:
4:00 pm
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Room 125
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Global Studies Center along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Film Studies Program, Humanities Center, Cultural Studies Program, Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies Program, GOSECA and Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at the Ohio State University

This keynote address will introduce the weekend's film festival, celebrating the amazing film work being done women in the Balkans and Central Asia. The keynote speaker for this event is Yana Hashamova, the chair of the Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at Ohio State University.

"Thirst" Screening
Post-Socialist Women Filmmakers Festival
Time:
5:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Room 125
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Global Studies Center along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Film Studies Program, Humanities Center, Cultural Studies Program, Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies Program, GOSECA and Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at the Ohio State University

Post-screening discussion with Ingeborg Bratoeva-Daraktchieva, Film Critic, Bulgaria

Saturday, September 30

"Our Everyday Life" Screening
Post-Socialist Women Filmmakers Festival
Time:
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Room 125
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Global Studies Center along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Film Studies Program, Humanities Center, Cultural Studies Program, Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies Program, GOSECA and Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at the Ohio State University

Our Everyday Life (Bosnian: Naša svakodnevna priča) is a 2015 Bosnian drama about family Susic who lives everyday Bosnian story. Their life begins to fall apart because of father's dissatisfaction after his company is sold on the stock exchange, Sasa's negligent attitude towards work and family, Marija's breast cancer diagnose.

Post-screening discussion with the director, Ines Tanovic.

"Nagima" Screening
Post-Socialist Women Filmmakers Festival
Time:
3:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Location:
Cathedral of Learning 232
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Global Studies Center along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Film Studies Program, Humanities Center, Cultural Studies Program, Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies Program, GOSECA and Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at the Ohio State University

Post-screening discussion with director, Zhanna Issabayeva

Sunday, October 1

"Ryna" Screening
Post-Socialist Women Filmmakers Festival
Time:
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Location:
Cathedral of Learning 232
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Global Studies Center along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Film Studies Program, Humanities Center, Cultural Studies Program, Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies Program, GOSECA and Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at the Ohio State University

Post-screening discussion with Sunnie Rucker-Chang, Assistant Professor of Slavic, Director of European Studies, University of Cincinnati, Ohio

Post-Socialist Women Filmmakers Festival Closing Roundtable
Time:
1:00 pm
Location:
Cathedral of Learning 232
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Global Studies Center along with Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures, Film Studies Program, Humanities Center, Cultural Studies Program, Gender Sexuality & Women's Studies Program, GOSECA and Department of Slavic and East European Languages and Cultures at the Ohio State University

Roundtable, facilitated by Nancy Condee, Chair, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures

Gandhi Day: International Day of Nonviolence
Gandhi Jayanti
Time:
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Cloister and Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center and Global Studies Center

It is the birth anniversary of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi aka Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in India on 2 October 1869. He fought with British imperialism using his acts of nonviolence. He is world known for his ideas of nonviolence, Martin Luther Jr. quoted him several times in his speeches.

Please join us for an afternoon of activities celebrating the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi and his teachings. Enjoy tea and conversations with Pittsburgh organizations at 2:00 pm, followed by cultural performances, inter-faith presentations, and a panel discussion with authors, scholars, and educators.

Thursday, October 5

The Politics of Imaging Asia in the Americas: The Global Contours of Orientalism and Yellow Peril in Early 20th Century Peru
China & Latin American Relations
Time:
3:00 pm
Presenter:
Ana Maria Candela, Assist. Professor of Socioloy, Binghamton Univ.
Location:
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center and Center for Latin American Studies
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

During the 1910s and 1920s, a wave of Orientalism took root in Peru. Peruvian diplomatic officials dispatched to Eastern Asia turned their homes into self-fashioned Asian art museums, donned Kimonos and published travel narratives of their adventures in the “Orient.” Indigenista intellectuals imagined Japan and China as sites of revolutionary inspiration for a post-colonial global politics. Simultaneously, labor movements and state officials targeted Chinese and Japanese businesses and dwellings as sources of theft, contamination and social degradation. This talk explores how the 1930s global economic crisis and expansion of US hegemony shifted the politics of imagining Asia in the Americas.

ANA MARIA CANDELA is a historian of Modern China and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Binghamton University. Her research focuses on Chinese migrations to Latin America and on the global dimensions of Chinese history and China’s social transformations. Her current book project Intimate Others: Peruvian Chinese Between Native Place, Nation and World examines the translocal histories and nationalist imaginaries forged by two generations of Cantonese migrant elites in Peru during an era of expanding industrial capitalism, settler colonialism and nation making

Tuesday, October 10

The Road to Sleeping Dragon: Learning China from the Ground Up
Time:
2:30 pm to 4:00 pm
Presenter:
Michael Meyer, Associate Professor, Department of English
Location:
G23 Public Health Building
Announced by:
Asian Studies Center on behalf of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Department of English
Contact:
Patricia Szczepanski
Contact Email:
pattis@pitt.edu

In 1995, at the age of twenty-three, Michael Meyer joined the Peace Corps and, after rejecting offers to go to seven other countries, was sent to a tiny town in Sichuan. Knowing nothing about China, or even how to use chopsticks, Meyer wrote Chinese words up and down his arms so he could hold conversations, and, per a Communist dean’s orders, jumped into teaching his students about the Enlightenment, the stock market, and Beatles lyrics. Soon he realized his Chinese counterparts were just as bewildered by the country’s changes as he was. With humor and insight, Meyer puts readers in his novice shoes, winding across the length and breadth of his adopted country -- from a terrifying bus attack on arrival, to remote Xinjiang and Tibet, and his future wife's Manchurian family, and into efforts to protect China's heritage at places like "Sleeping Dragon," the world's largest panda preserve.

In the last book of his China trilogy, Meyer tells a story both deeply personal and universal, as he gains greater – if never complete – assurance, capturing what it feels like to learn a language, culture and history from the ground up. Meyer will recount his 20-year journey via photographs, as well as talking about the challenges of reporting from China and how a freelance writer can fund and produce books that reach a wide audience.

KHOON DIY BAARAV
Blood leaves its trail
Time:
5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Presenter:
Iffat Fatima
Location:
407 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with IndoPacific Council, Asian Studies Center, Film Studies, Cultural Studies and Department of English

Khoon Diy Baarav enters the vexed political scenario in Kashmir through the lives of families of the victims of enforced disappearances. The film is a non-sequential account of personal narratives and reminiscences ruptured by violence, undermined by erasure, and over-ridden by official documents that challenge truth. Made over nine years it explores memory as a mode of resistance, constantly confronting and morphing- from the personal to political, individual to collective. It looks at the ways in which those affected by violence have no choice but to remember.

Friday, October 13

Hands-on Ichigenkin Workshop and Shakuhachi workshop
Time:
3:00 pm to 4:30 pm
Presenter:
Devon Tipp
Location:
Bellefield Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh PA
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center

Experience ichigenkin and shakuhachi as they were originally played for spiritual enlightenment, heard directly under the player's ear.

Voices from Japan: Arts in the Aftermath of Tragedy
Time:
4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Presenter:
Devon Tipp
Location:
Bellefield Auditorium, University of Pittsburgh PA
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center

Listening to Brown's composition Aki Meguri Kite and looking at Voices from Japan, a collection of tanka poetry written by survivors of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, this workshop examines the power and necessity of the arts in dealing with devastation.

Shakuhachi and Ichigenkin: Discovery in a Single Tone
Time:
8:00 pm
Presenter:
Elizabeth Brown and Ralph Samuelson
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center and International Week

With roots in the principles of Zen Buddhism and in spiritual practice, these traditional Japanese instruments share and underlying aesthetic concept: the discovery of the world that lies within one note, one sound. The program includes traditional music and new compositions by Japanese and American composers.

This program is supported through the Japan Iron and Steel Federation and Mitsubishi endowments at the University of Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, October 25

Career Toolkit Series: Applying for Graduate Studies Abroad (for Students)
Time:
3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location:
4209 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center and Global Studies Center
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Joel Garceau
Contact Phone:
4126485085
Contact Email:
jdgarceau@pitt.edu

Have you considered graduate school abroad? Learn the pros and cons and the tips and tricks to successfully apply for graduate programs abroad. Discuss ways to tailor your applications with admissions councilors and members of admissions committees.

Friday, October 27

CERIS Book Discussion: EXIT WEST
Book Discussion for Faculty and Graduate Students
Time:
5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Presenter:
Rachel Sternfeld, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Facilitator)
Location:
Greensburg Room, Administration Building, Seton Hill University
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Global Studies Center along with Consortium for Educational Resources on Islamic Studies (CERIS) and Seton Hill University
Contact:
Elaine Linn
Contact Phone:
412 648-2113
Contact Email:
eel58@pitt.edu

Faculty, graduate students, K-16 educators and librarians are invited to attend the CERIS fall 2017 complimentary dinner and book discussion. The discussion will be facilitated by Rachel Sternfeld, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Participation via the Internet is also an option. Please register at https://cerisnet.secure.pitt.edu/resource/faculty-readers-forum. A limited number of free copies of the book are available. A dinner, hosted by Seton Hill University and CERIS will take place at 5:00 PM in the Greensburg Room of the Administration Building and the book discussion will follow in the Reeves Learning Commons to follow at 6:30 PM

Thursday, November 2 to Saturday, November 4

International Career Toolkit Series: Trans-Atlantic University Trip
Time:
(All day)
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center and Global Studies Center
Contact:
Steve Lund
Contact Email:
slund@pitt.edu

Join the European Studies Center to UNC to learn about graduate studies abroad at Trans-Atlantic University. Contact slund@pitt.edu for more information.

Thursday, November 9

Career Toolkit Series: UCIS Alumni Networking Reception (for Students)
Time:
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Location:
4217 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center and Global Studies Center
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Joel Garceau
Contact Phone:
4126485085
Contact Email:
jdgarceau@pitt.edu

Friday, November 10

Career Toolkit Series: UCIS Alumni Panels
Time:
(All day)
Location:
GSC
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center and Global Studies Center
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Joel Garceau
Contact Phone:
4126485085
Contact Email:
jdgarceau@pitt.edu

Career path discussions, insights on working overseas, & more!

Friday, November 17

International Career Toolkit Series: Boston Career Forum 2017
Time:
(All day)
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center and Global Studies Center
Contact:
Emily Rook-Koepsel
Contact Email:
rookoepsel@pitt.edu

Join the Asian Studies Center at the largest career fair for Japanese-English bilinguals in Boston. Contact rookoepsel@pitt.edu for information.

Thursday, February 8

Legacies of 1968 (tentative)
Time:
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Presenter:
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University
Location:
Location to be announced
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, European Studies Center, European Union Center of Excellence and Global Studies Center
Cost:
Free and open to the public