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.

Tuesday, September 18

English| Japanese Language Social Hour
Time:
4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Location:
4130 Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center

Friday, September 21

'What if Batman was from Chennai' and other Stories: Language, Cultural Regions, and Digital Media Platforms
South Asia Initiative Speaker Series - Year 3
Time:
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Presenter:
Aswin Punathambekar, University of Michigan—Ann Arbor
Location:
407 Cathedral of Learning
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Phone:
412.383.3062
Contact Email:
lyk12@pitt.edu

This paper explores the significance of linguistic and cultural regions for the global expansion and localization of digital media platforms. Bringing enduring concerns of cultural difference to bear on digital media in South Asia, I explore the industrial and cultural logics at work when platforms like YouTube recognize and value southern India's linguistic and cultural diversity. Focusing on Tamil internet culture, I explore how one specific YouTube channel (Put Chutney) leveraged algorithmic knowledge as well as industry lore about south Indian internet users to produce a series of videos that articulated three distinct and at times competing conceptions of the region - a peninsular region of south India, a linguistic region revolving around the Tamil language, and an urban region centered in Chennai, a powerful global media capital. More broadly, I argue that platform localization is the contingent outcome of the interaction of algorithmic and representational logics that structure the operations of digital platforms.

ASWIN PUNATHAMBEKAR
Aswin Punathambekar is an associate professor of media studies and founding director of the Global Media Studies Initiative at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His books and articles explore the impact that globalization and technological change have on the workings of media industries, audience and user practices, and cultural identity and politics. He is the author of From Bombay to Bollywood: The Making of a Global Media Industry (NYU Press, 2013) and co-editor of Global Bollywood (2008, NYU Press), Television at Large in South Asia (2013, Routledge), and Global Digital Cultures: Perspectives from South Asia (forthcoming, University of Michigan Press). He is currently working on his next book, provisionally titled The Digital Popular: Media, Culture, and Politics in Networked India. He is an editor of the peer-reviewed journal Media, Culture and Society and also co-edits the Critical Cultural Communication series for NYU Press.

Sunday, September 23

Silk Screen Film Festival: Mori, The Artist's Habitat
Time:
5:00 pm
Location:
Seventh Floor Auditorium, Alumni Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Cost:
Admission is free for Pitt students and faculty
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2018 | Japan | 99 minutes | Drama
Director: Shuichi Okita

SYNOPSIS: Painter Mori and his wife Hideko live surrounded by gardens and pastures away from the hustle and bustle of city life for their 52 years of marriage. For the last 30 years, Mori has scarcely left his home, preferring to lay among the critters around his home, painting while Hideko attends to visitors. But when developers decide to build a condominium next door, the small paradise the couple have created is at risk, so Mori and Hideko decide to take action to protect the garden that they cherish. Taking place in the more affable social atmosphere of the 1970's, Mori, the Artist's Habitat humorously depicts a summer-day-in-the-life of an elderly couple you'll grow to love and root for.

Silk Screen Film Festival: The Return
Time:
5:30 pm
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Cost:
Admission is free for Pitt students and faculty
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2018 | Denmark/South Korea | 85 Minutes | Drama/Hybrid
Director: Malene Choi

SYNOPSIS: Based on director Malene Choi's personal experience and on stories shared by adoptees Malene encountered in Seoul while shooting the film, The Return tells the story of two Danish-Korean adoptees returning for the first time to the country where they were born. Intrigued by the spirit of their motherland and confronted with the personal stories of the fellow adoptees they meet in Seoul, Karoline and Thomas are hurled into an emotionally disorienting journey that forces them both to question their own identity and destiny. Quirky, yet understated and touching, The Return asks us to consider the nature vs. nurture debate on a more personal level than ever before.

Silk Screen Film Festival: Marlina the Murder in Four Acts
Time:
7:30 pm
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Cost:
Free for Pitt Students, Faculty and Staff
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2017 | Indonesia, France, Malaysia, Thailand | 93 minutes | Revenge Thriller
Director: Mouly Surya

SYNOPSIS: In the deserted hills of an Indonesian island, Marlina, a young widow, is attacked and robbed of her cattle. To defend herself, she kills several men of the gang. Seeking justice, she goes on a journey of empowerment and redemption. But the road is long especially when the ghost of her headless victim begins to haunt her. This gripping revenge thriller shows Marlina in a personified feminist rage like no other that will audiences talking about it for years to come.

Friday, September 28

Silk Screen Film Festival: Missing Johnny
Time:
6:30 pm
Location:
Seventh Floor Auditorium, Alumni Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Cost:
Admission is free for Pitt students and faculty
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2017 | Taiwan | 104 Minutes | Drama
Director: Huang Xi

SYNOPSIS: Following Hsu's move to Taipei by herself, she starts receiving a series of wrong-number calls for the mysterious Johnny. As her emotions stir, Hsu attempts to put Johnny's life together piece by piece. Lee, her landlord's son, becomes increasingly obsessed with Hsu and her new bird. Feng is a wandering foreman hired by Lee's mother to start a renovation site nearby their apartment, who becomes overcome with paranoia when his car breaks down on the way to Lee's. The three Taipei residents' lives merge and intertwine due to Hsu's lost bird, and the transient beauty from the exchange blooms into serendipity and awe.

Silk Screen Film Festival: Alifu Prince/ss
Time:
8:30 pm
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

Alifu is a Taiwanese-indigenous, twenty-something man who works at a salon in the city. He has a dream—to fully transition into a woman. However, as an only "son" he is under pressure to succeed his father as chief of the tribe. Peizhan, a lesbian and Alifu's roommate and colleague, is always on his side. However, she gradually finds out her feelings toward Alifu are not so platonic after all.

Alice the Prince/ss treats our heroes as human beings yet still captures the struggles of the LGBT community with eloquence and poise.

Silk Screen Film Festival: Daha
Time:
9:00 pm
Location:
Seventh Floor Auditorium, Alumni Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2017 | Turkey | 115 minutes | Drama

In Onur Saylak's debut feature, fourteen-year-old Gaza helps his domineering father smuggle refugees from war-torn countries to Europe, giving them temporary lodgings and scant food until they attempt the crossing. Gaza dreams of escaping this life, but can't help being drawn into a dark world of immorality, exploitation, and human suffering. Gritty and disturbing, Daha asks the question: can you avoid becoming a monster when you've been raised by one?

Saturday, September 29

Silk Screen Film Festival: Mori, The Artist's Habitat
Time:
3:00 pm
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Cost:
Admission is free for Pitt students and faculty
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2018 | Japan | 99 minutes | Drama
Director: Shuichi Okita

SYNOPSIS: Painter Mori and his wife Hideko live surrounded by gardens and pastures away from the hustle and bustle of city life for their 52 years of marriage. For the last 30 years, Mori has scarcely left his home, preferring to lay among the critters around his home, painting while Hideko attends to visitors. But when developers decide to build a condominium next door, the small paradise the couple have created is at risk, so Mori and Hideko decide to take action to protect the garden that they cherish. Taking place in the more affable social atmosphere of the 1970's, Mori, the Artist's Habitat humorously depicts a summer-day-in-the-life of an elderly couple you'll grow to love and root for.

Silk Screen Film Festival: Mayurakshi
Time:
5:00 pm
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Cost:
Admission is free for Pitt students and faculty
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2017 | India | 100 Minutes | Drama
Director: Atanu Ghosh

SYNOPSIS: Mayurakshi follows Aryanil, who has traveled from Chicago to Kolkata to meet with and care for his aging father, Sushobhan, who is in poor health. With dementia phasing out his immediate past, Sushobhan tends to be silent, irritable, and fretful. The son, with his failed marriages behind him, faces life numbly and without hope. When Sushobhan starts asking for the mysterious Mayurakshi, Aryanil realizes he has more on his plate than he originally anticipated.

Silk Screen Film Festival: Ava
Time:
7:00 pm
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2017 | Canada and Iran | 103 Minutes | Drama/Thriller

SYNOPSIS: Sadaf Foroughi's semi-autobiographical film debut focuses on teenager Ava's coming of age in a strict, traditional society and an even more strict, traditional household. After committing an act of rebellion, Ava must navigate her relationship with her parents, peers and teachers as her rage grows against both the people in her life and social restrictions in Iran. Dark and riveting, Ava explores the youths' need to be heard and understood.

Silk Screen Film Festival: Dynamite Graffiti
Time:
9:00 pm
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with Silk Screen Asian Arts & Culture Organization
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

2018 | Japan | 138 Minutes | Drama
Directed by: Masanori Tomonaga

SYNOPSIS: In the 1980's, Akira Suei achieved fame as the chief editor for several pornography magazines, although his reputation as a trendsetter was under constant scrutiny due to the magazines' taboo material. The film follows Suei from a traumatic event in his youth (involving his mother, the next door neighbor, and a bundle of dynamite) to Tokyo, where he climbed the ladder from lowly graphic designer to the chief editor of his own magazine due to his aggressive, raw style which attracted a variety of talented people who helped bring about a revolution in the Japanese magazine industry.

Sunday, September 30

Gandhi Day: International Day of Nonviolence
Time:
2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Presenter:
Ambassador Richard Verma
Location:
Cloister and Auditorium, Frick Fine Arts Building
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center along with AHINSA
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Phone:
412.383.3062
Contact Email:
lyk12@pitt.edu

Join us for tea and conversation from 2-3 pm in the Cloister. Visit the information and activity tables from Pitt and local community groups. The program will start at 3 pm and include interfaith prayers, a keynote speech, and cultural performances in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium.

Chief Guest: Ambassador Richard Verma who is Vice Chairman and Partner at the Asia Group where he leads the firm's growth in South Asia. He previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India from 2014-2017, where he is credited for the historic deepening of bilateral ties. A leading expert on trade and diplomacy in Asia, Ambassador Verma has 25 years of experience across the senior levels of business, law, diplomacy, and the military.

Chuseok Korean Thanksgiving Day
Time:
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:
Kurtzman Room & Ballroom
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center

Looking for an opportunity to learn more Korean culture and taste delicious food? Come and join us celebrating Korean Thanksgiving Day!!! Free food, activity booths and lots of games!!!!!

Saturday, October 13

UCIS 50th Anniversary Celebration
Time:
1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Presenter:
UCIS
Location:
Cathedral of Learning 1st Floor Commons
Sponsored by:
African Studies Program, Asian Studies Center, Center for Latin American Studies, Center for Russian and East European Studies, Director's Office, European Studies Center, Global Studies Center, International Week, Nationality Rooms, Office of International Services and Study Abroad Office
Contact:
Jeff Whitehead
Contact Email:
whitehead@pitt.edu

In 1968, the University Center for International Studies (UCIS) was created as the University of Pittsburgh’s encompassing framework for all its multidisciplinary international programs. To commemorate our 50th anniversary, we will be holding a celebration open to both the University and larger Pittsburgh community.

Join us for an afternoon of international performances, sweet treats from around the globe, children’s activities, and more!

Friday, October 26

South Asia Initiative Speaker Series - Year 3
Time:
3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Presenter:
Laura Kunreuther
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
Keynote Address
Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society
Time:
4:30 pm
Location:
David Lawrence Hall 121
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Confucius Institute along with Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), School of Education, World History Center, University of Pittsburgh Press and Central Eurasian Studies Society
Contact:
Kiersten Walmsley
Contact Phone:
4126477407
Contact Email:
crees@pitt.edu

Conference registration required.

Saturday, October 27

Majlis Podcast: Central Asia in Current Affairs
Time:
12:45 pm
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Confucius Institute along with Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), The World History Center, the University of Pittsburgh Press, and the School of Education and Central Eurasian Studies Society
Contact:
Kiersten Walmsley
Contact Phone:
4126477407
Contact Email:
crees@pitt.edu

The Majlis Podcast is Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's in-depth weekly current affairs talk show focusing on Central Asia.

Hosted and produced by Muhammad Tahir, RFE/RL's Media Relations Manager, every week the podcast brings the most relevant experts to discuss the pressing issues of the day involving its target region.

As part of the Special Events Series of the 2018 conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society, RFE/RL will record an episode on a current affairs topic with discussants and a live audience.

Conference registration is NOT required.

Premiere with Q&A: Ingushetia, the Speech of the Voiceless
CESS 2018 @ Pitt Special Events Series
Time:
5:30 pm
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Confucius Institute along with Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), The World History Center, the University of Pittsburgh Press, and the School of Education and Central Eurasian Studies Society
Contact:
Kiersten Walmsley
Contact Phone:
4126477407
Contact Email:
crees@pitt.edu

The conflict in the North Caucasus has echoed throughout the Middle East, Europe, and even in the USA (Boston bombing). The Russians claim it is just another page of the war on terror.

The general consensus is that the conflict has its origins in Muslim resistance to Russian colonization in the 19th century, known as the Caucasian war. Is it actually that simple though? No one doubts that the Caucasian war took place, but was the resistance really Muslim?

For 200 years, one Caucasian nation has been denied the possibility to be heard: Ingushetia. Now, it is time to let them tell their story. Ingushetia: The Speech Of The Voiceless is a documentary produced on the basis over 10 years' worth of research. It presents the discovery of the evolution of Ingushetia from a democratic nation to the one put in a context of Russia's war on terror. The premiere of the documentary will be followed by a Q&A session with Mr. Magomet Albakov, one of the key figures behind this documentary.

While open to the broader public, this documentary will be of special interest to those studying Ingushetia and the Caucasus, the Caucasian War, the Crimean War, or Russia's war on terror.

Ingushetia: The Speech Of The Voiceless is part of the Special Events Series of the 2018 Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society. Registration at CESS 2018 is NOT required.

Screening and Panel Discussion: Not in Our Name
CESS 2018 @ Pitt Special Events Series
Time:
7:30 pm
Presenter:
Multiple
Location:
Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center, Center for Russian and East European Studies and Confucius Institute along with Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), World History Center, University of Pittsburgh Press, School of Education and Central Eurasian Studies Society
Contact:
Kiersten Walmsley
Contact Phone:
4126477407
Contact Email:
crees@pitt.edu

An initiative of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Not in Our Name is the first documentary project ever produced on counter-extremism in Central Asia. With the goal of empowering communities to stand up to violent extremist recruiters who claim to represent them, the RFE/RL team traveled to diverse regions and explored how residents can work together from the local to the national level to prevent the spread of violence. Not in Our Name features video portraits of those who lost family members in Syria and Irak and follows discussions among youth from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan as young people in these countries reflect on experiences from a nearby conflict in town hall meetings.

The challenge Central Asian communities face from extremist groups is real. According to recent estimates, countries of the former Soviet Union were the single largest source of foreign fighters in the Syria/Iraq conflict -- more than neighboring states in the Middle East. With over 4,200 Central Asians joining the conflict, communities across the region have been and will continue to be exposed to the horrors of war and extremist ideological tendencies. The documentary follows Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Tajik, and Uzbek youth as they come to a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and consider what their options for collective action so that their communities can take a stand and declare "Not in Our Name."

This event is part of the Special Events Series of the 2018 Annual Conference of the Central Eurasian Studies Society. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with contributors. Conference registration is NOT required.

Moderator: Muhammad Tahir, Media Relations Manager, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Thursday, November 1

South Asia Initiative Speaker Series - Year 3
Time:
3:00 pm
Presenter:
Kavita Singh
Location:
4130 Wesley W Posvar Hall
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu

Friday, February 15

Gallery Talk: Africans in India: From Slaves to Generals and Rulers
Time:
4:30 pm
Presenter:
Sylvaine Diouf and Ken Robbins
Location:
125 Frick Fine Arts Auditorium
Sponsored by:
Asian Studies Center
Contact:
Lynn Kawaratani
Contact Email:
asia@pitt.edu