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Indiana University

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EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

June 2014

Alumni Updates

Jonathan Bratt (EALC M.A., 2014) was accepted to the Arizona State University’s doctoral program in Geography and will begin his studies this fall.

Lisa Ferguson (EALC B.A., 2008) is graduating this May from the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) with an M.A. in International Relations and International Economics. Concentrating in China Studies, she recently completed internships with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs in the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs and the Office of Taiwan Coordination. Prior to her M.A., Lisa worked in international human rights advocacy with a nonprofit in Washington, DC and with the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. Last summer, Lisa traveled to Thailand and Cambodia with the SAIS International Law Program to interview government and civil society representatives on transboundary issues. She has also pursued her interest in corporate social responsibility as an intern at the New America Foundation where she researched privacy and transparency issues in the information and communications technology sector. Most recently, on a student-led fact-finding mission to Istanbul with the SAIS Human Rights Clinic, she investigated private sector efforts to combat child labor in Turkey.

Morgan Giles (EALC B.A., 2009) is a Japanese-English literary translator and has had a translation of Nao-cola Yamazaki's "Dad I Love You" published in The Book of Tokyo, a new anthology of short stories by contemporary Japanese authors, published by Comma Press (Manchester, England). Publication of the anthology is supported by the British Centre for Literary Translation and the Nippon Foundation.

Michael Graff (EALC B.A., 2004) was promoted to Senior Risk Analyst at eBay Enterprise, an eBay Inc. company in April 2014. He and his wife recently welcomed their first child, Emily Graff, in February 2014. Michael also completed a Master of Science in Predictive Analytics degree from Northwestern University last June.

Greg Johnson (EALC Ph.D., 2009) presented a paper "Life in Retreat: Japan’s Wartime School Evacuation in Practice" at the conference on Childhood, Education and Youth in Imperial Japan, 1925-1945 on January 12th, 2014 at Kyoto University.

Eric McLuhan and Peter Zhang (Communication and Culture Ph.D., 2008) published "Poetics Is Not a Subject but a Function" in China Media Research, 10(1), 2014: 59-71.

 

Alumnus Profile: Jonathan Bratt

East Asian Studies M.A., 2014

Hopping from Iowa to Michigan to Maryland, Jonathan Bratt spent his childhood on the move, giving him the chance to see America—culturally and geographically—from a variety of different angles. After graduating with a degree in history from Calvin College, Jon’s wanderlust led him on two more great adventures, first across the Pacific to China and then to Ethiopia. His next stop was IU, where he enrolled in fall 2012, and where he would transform his love of travel into scholarship on tourism in China.

Bratt relates that his experiences teaching in China were most significant for informing the line of research he would pursue at EALC. “The province that I lived in in China, Guizhou, has quite a large tourism industry, and I had a lot of chances to travel around the area and talk to people involved in tourism there,” he explained. At IU, he developed his interests by taking advantage of offerings in tourism studies, and applying theory to his lived experiences in China. He credits his advisor, Professor Scott O’Bryan, with greatly assisting his thesis work on the semiotics of tourism promotional materials from Guizhou, adding that “the environmental history seminar I took with him was a major factor in my decision to pursue further graduate work in geography.” Jon was also quick to point out the many ways that EASC facilitated successful completion of his degree, from “hugely beneficial” FLAS scholarships to special lectures that were “a great opportunity to learn from other scholars and get a broader sense of the research being done in East Asian Studies.” Besides these, he fondly mentioned the EALC-organized happy hours with fellow students and EALC’s 2013 end of year party, where now-retired Professor Robert Eno gave a farewell speech that left a deep impression on Jon.

Before he begins a Ph.D. in Geography at Arizona State University this fall, Jon has been spending the year at the International Chinese Language Program in Taiwan, one of the world’s premier Mandarin training programs. Besides polishing his language skills, Jon mentioned that he’s been enjoying traveling around the island and sampling the delicious Taiwanese cuisine. His philosophy on food—trying a little bit of everything—reflects his advice for newcomers to EALC’s M.A. programs: “Take advantage of the breadth of courses offered in the department and around the university, but at the same time, start thinking early about your thesis or project and how to develop the specialized skills and knowledge you’ll need to write it.” He also advocated networking as essential for success in graduate school. “Attend as many lectures, parties, and other events as you possibly can and meet tons of cool people.”

EASC wishes Jon all the best as he embarks on a new academic journey in fall. Stay in touch!

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