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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

December 2014

Alumni Updates

Greg Johnson (EALC Ph.D., 2009) presented “Expanding the Space of Modern Education: Militarism, Patriotism and Cultural Edification in the Emergence of School Travel in Japan” and   “Evacuation made visible - Images of Children, Parents and Teachers from WWII Evacuations in Japan” at the conference ‘Education, War and Peace,’ International Standing Conference for the History of Education 36, University of London, 23-26 July 2014.

Kirsten Olson (Chinese/Theatre B.A., 2009; Kelley School of Business M.B.A., 2014) began a new position as the Co-Operations Director of the Sino-US Diabetes Center at Zhejiang Hospital in Hangzhou, China.

Liora Sarfati (Folkore and Ethnomusicology/EALC Ph.D., 2009) was promoted to the position of Lecturer (equivalent to Assistant Professor in the American system) in the Department of East Asian Studies at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Roger Thomas (EALC Ph.D., 1991), Professor of East Asian Studies at the Illinois State University, has been appointed Distinguished Lecturer of Arts and Sciences for this academic year. He is a well-known as a translator of Japanese literature, having received the Japan-US Friendship Commission's Japanese Literature Translation Prize in 2000 for his translation of A Tale of False Fortunes by Enchi Fumiko.

Peter Zhang (CMCL Ph.D., 2008) recently published “Meditations on Media Ecology” in China Media Research 10.3 (2014), pages 94-104; “McLuhan and I Ching: An Interological Inquiry” in Canadian Journal of Communication 39.3 (2014), pages 449-468; “Poetics Is Not a Subject but a Function” (with Eric McLuhan) in China Media Research (2014); and “Aristotle's Fourfold Causality, Tetralemma, and Emergence” (with Bill Guschwan) in ETC.: A Review of General Semantics, (2014); and “Vitalism in Ivie,” ETC 71, No. 2 (2014): 162-164. 

Former Student Now Directing Korean Education in Midwest

Yu Kyung Ha, a holder of a Harvard master’s degree in international education policy and a former doctoral student at Indiana University, was appointed in August 2014 as the director of the Korean Education Center (KEC) at the Chicago Consulate General, one of six such centers in the United States. The Chicago Center handles Korean educational activities in 13 Midwest states, including Indiana.

Her central role as KEC director is to foster education regarding Korean language and culture. To this end, KEC engages in various tasks, such as promoting Korean schools (there are approximately 130 Korean schools in 13 U.S. states that play a vital role in teaching Korean language and culture to young Korean-Americans, helping them to establish their cultural identity and value their heritage); supporting Korean language programs in public American school curricula; offering Korean language and culture courses for young adults; and promoting English programs (such as TaLK – “Teach and Learn in Korea” – a program that recruits young professionals to work as assistant teachers in after-school English programs in Korea’s rural elementary schools) to enhance Korean public education. In addition, KEC also facilitates the exchange of educational information to diffuse successful educational practices throughout the region.

As part of its educational repertoire, KEC offers two unique resources for locals that warrant mention: One is financial support for opening and maintaining Korean language classes in American public schools. Currently, KEC is funding eight schools which offer Korean language classes to K-12 students. KEC also organizes Korean language and culture classes that are open to the public. At present, the Center is offering classes in Chicago, Wheeling, and UIC (University of Illinois Chicago) for young adults who wish to learn more about Korea.

This past October 4th, Director Ha visited the IUB campus to participate in the university’s second annual Korean Night. She describes her experience of Korean Night as “absolutely amazing.” She was especially impressed by IU students’ working closely with local Korean people, and was also pleased to meet many children and parents from Korean schools in the Bloomington area. Although it was only the 2nd Korean Night, she remarked, the programs were diverse and well organized. “I appreciate all the hard work of the EASC,” she said.

Director Ha further noted, “I am so honored to greet the IU community through EASC’s newsletter. I am looking forward to finding every opportunity to work with the EASC.” We at EASC feel honored as well, and we too look forward to many future collaborations with the Korean Education Center!

Alumnus Profile: Hugo Yu Hsiu Lee

Literacy, Culture, and Language Education Ph.D., 2010

Professor Hugo Yu-Hsiu Lee was destined for a career related to East Asian studies: it runs in his blood. His great-grandfather, Senator Li Xin Cun, represented the Japanese-Taiwanese government when the Nationalist troops settled in Taiwan from 1945-1949. Before that, the family of his grandfather, Dr. Li Ru Yu, were the official investors in a metal factory in Northeastern China for Puyi, the Last Emperor of China. Professor Lee, however, would pursue a career in academia, graduating from IU first with an M.S. in Language Education (2007), and then with his Ph.D. in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education (2010). His dissertation research was motivated by one main question: “What are the problems faced by Southeast Asian women learning Chinese in Taiwan?” Exploring this topic, he was able to identify interesting patterns in bilingual literacy development among diaspora Chinese. His work has contributed to our understanding of how immigrant women learn to read and write in two languages. Particularly, his dissertation categorized some patterns of their learning of reading and writing in two languages: Chinese and their respective S.E. Asian language/s.

Instrumental to his scholarly success, Professor Lee notes, was the role of EASC, which he dubbed a “symbolic capital.” He notes that the center supported his research and helped him present it internationally through travel grants he received in 2008 and 2009. Hailing the center as “one of the best” such institutions in the US, he reminisced about the many colloquia, films, and other activities he attended that helped him to broaden his perspectives on the region. Professor Lee’s time at IU was marked as much by passion for research as by a spirit of service to the community. He claims a number of “firsts” while a graduate student, including co-founding the Chinese Conversation Club (2006); founding the Chinese language tutorials at the Wells library (2007-2009); and becoming the first Taiwan national to serve as student president of International Students Inc. (2006-2010).

Based on his groundbreaking research, Professor Lee was appointed Lecturer at NIDA, the National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok in 2010. He is currently Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics there. The Institute has an interesting IU connection, as Prof. Lee explained: “NIDA was founded on April 1, 1966 by His Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the Ford Foundation, and Indiana University, which was led at the time by Herman B Wells.” Lee mentions that he enjoys his life in Thailand, and is especially proud of his little Hoosier, Chaiyani.

Asked about his upcoming projects, Lee mentioned his forthcoming book, Language and Minority in the Making of Modern Thailand: Voices from the Margin. He has authored two other pieces in 2014: “Losing Chinese as the First Language in Thailand,” Asian Social Science, 10 (6), pp. 176-19; and “Speaking like a love entrepreneur: Language choices and ideologies of social mobility among daughters of peasants in Thailand’s tourist sites,” Language, Discourse and Society, 3(1), pp. 110-143. In the future, he would like to research language learning issues among ethnic Malay/Indians in Thailand. “Helping Thailand understand equalizing language learning for minoritized individuals and groups,” he said, is his passion and a guiding principle of his work.

Given his interest in literacy education, Lee concluded our talk with advice for learners of E. Asian languages: “East Asian language education should gradually move the focus from the teaching of skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing of the E.A. languages) and the teaching of country knowledge toward the students’ reflections on social relations--why the L1 & L2 learners want to learn Chinese or Japanese or Korean and what social impact and social relationship they want to develop by the use of the E.A. language/s.”

EASC wishes Prof. Hugo Lee continued success in his career!

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