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EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

December 2014

Faculty Updates

Professor Christopher I. Beckwith (Central Eurasian Studies) recently published “The Aramaic Source of the East Asian Word for ‘Buddhist Monastery’: On the Spread of Central Asian Monasticism in the Kushan Period” in the Journal Asiatique 302.1 (2014), pages 109-136. His monograph, “Greek Buddha: Pyrrho’s encounter with Early Buddhism,” has been accepted for publication by Princeton University Press and is due to appear in spring 2015.

Professor of Practice Joseph Coleman (Media School, Journalism) has authored Unfinished Work: The Struggle to Build an Aging American Workforce, forthcoming from Oxford University Press in February 2015. The book, built on four years of reporting and research, examines the aging of labor forces in advanced industrial societies, featuring interviews with older workers, the companies that employ them, government officials and experts in the field. Coleman, a former foreign correspondent and Associated Press bureau chief in Tokyo, traveled to Japan, France, Sweden and around the United States with funding from two Abe Fellowships financed by the Japan Foundation’s Center for Global Partnership and awarded by the New York-based Social Science Research Council.

Associate Professor Sara Friedman (Anthropology and Gender Studies) was awarded a TECO travel grant for her upcoming paper presentation titled “‘Marrying Out’ of Family and Nation: Immigrant Husbands across the Taiwan Strait" at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting on December 3-7 in Washington, DC.

Assistant Professor Jennifer Goodlander (Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance) recently performed “Dimba and Dimbi,” a Balinese shadow puppet show, at the UNIMA Asia-Pacific International Puppet Festival in Nanchung, China, where her troupe won an award for group performance. Afterward she spent another week in China researching shadow puppetry in Chengdu, Kunming, and Shanghai. Her recent publications include “Local Traditions and National Identity: Youth and Dance in Bali,” included in Nationalism and Youth in Theatre and Performance (Routledge, 2014), and“Plaza Indonesia: Performing Modernity in a Shopping Mall,” in Play and Performance: How Institutions Structure Ludic Spaces (Routledge, 2014). She has been invited to contribute to sections in Routledge’s 2015 edition of the Handbook on Asian Theatre on “Women Dalang in Indonesia,” “Fate of Traditional Performance in Southeast Asia” and “Contemporary Theatre in Laos.” She also provided review comments for the section on “Contemporary Theatre in Cambodia.” On December 12 she will kick off an exhibit at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures on Indonesian Puppetry called “Still/Moving: Puppets and Indonesia.” The exhibit is co-curated with students from the theatre department’s Museums and Performance course.

Assistant Professor Ling-yu Hung (Anthropology, EALC) is a resident scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences at National Taiwan University from July to December, 2014. In late July, she presented theories on the origins of Chinese civilization at the Institute’s international workshop themed “The Chinese Consciousness in the East Asian Sphere.” In late August, she delivered an invited talk about her research on the Majiayao Culture at Academia Sinica in Taipei. In September, she presented a paper, titled “The Production and Circulation of the Majiayao, Banshan, and Machang Painted Pottery,” at the International Forum on the Majiayao Culture, an event held in Lintao, Gansu Province, China that commemorated the 90th anniversary of the discovery of the Majiayao archaeological site. Professor Hung was also awarded a TECO travel grant for her upcoming paper presentation titled “People of the Central Taiwan Highlands: Insights from Archaeology” at the Taiwan: The View from the South conference on January 6-9, 2015 at Australian National University.

Assistant Professor Michael Ing (Religious Studies) was awarded an EASC travel grant for the presentation of his paper “The Limits of Moral Maturity” at the American Philosophical Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia on December 27-30.

Assistant Professor Adam P. Liff (EALC) has deferred his formal start date at IU for one year to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in the Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program. Since the last newsletter Adam has presented his research to audiences at the American Political Science Association’s annual conference, the U.S.-Japan Program and Reischauer Institute at Harvard University, and a conference on China’s People’s Liberation Army in Washington, D.C. He has also published articles on U.S.-China relations (Foreign Affairs), security affairs in the Asia-Pacific region (International Security), and Japanese security policy (PacNet).

Assistant Professor Manling Luo (EALC) was awarded a TECO travel grant for her recent paper presentation titled “Women in the Complete Records of Court and Country” at the Annual Meeting of the American Oriental Society Western Branch on October 30-November 1 at Stanford University.

Assistant Professor Rowland Ricketts (Fine Arts) was awarded an EASC travel grant for the presentation of his paper “Looking Back to Move Forward: The Challenges and Potential of a Sustainable Practice” at the Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium in Los Angeles on September 8-14.

Associate Professor Michiko Suzuki (EALC, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies) was an invited participant at the Scholars' Day Workshop held in October at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in conjunction with the exhibition "Kimono: A Modern History."

Assistant Professor Henghua Su (EALC) was awarded an EASC travel grant for the presentation of her papers “Linking, motivation in Chinese with national standards for foreign language learning” and “Motivation in SLA and TCFL: Where we are and where we are going” at the 2014 International Conference on Teaching Chinese as a Second Language in Taipei on December 23-28.

Associate Professor Mieko Yamada (Sociology, IPFW) will be publishing The Role of English Teaching in Modern Japan: Diversity and Multiculturalism through English Language Education in a Globalized Era through Routledge Press in 2015. More information about her forthcoming book may be found here.

Faculty Profile
Scott Kennedy
Professor, East Asian Languages & Cultures

EALC professor Scott Kennedy doesn’t just see the world in black and white: he also looks to the shades of gray in between. Now the time has come for Indiana University to bid farewell to this prolific and celebrated China scholar, who in 14 years of service at Indiana University has taken on a wide range of academic and extra-academic projects, all with the unifying goal of illuminating how China’s post-Mao economic reforms have changed China and the world and continue to do so today. Through focusing on corporate realities in contemporary China and contextualizing them in the broader discourse of global business and politics, Kennedy has filled a conspicuous gap in scholarship and policy that lies between “elite politics” analysts and pure economists. Instead of laboring over hypotheticals – such as what it will take to democratize China, a question that makes Kennedy uncomfortable because “it’s hard to research something that hasn’t happened” – he prefers exploring more tangible issues of what he calls “corporate governance” – that is, who has power and influence in Chinese society, how they obtained it, and how they use it.

Kennedy has found a suitable place to continue this line of research at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), where next January he will assume the role of Deputy Director of China Studies as well as direct the Center’s Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy. During his time at IU, Kennedy has benefited both from fellow faculty – among whom one of his greatest inspirations has been former EASC director and current UC-Irvine professor Jeffrey Wasserstrom, whom Kennedy describes as “a bridgebuilder, a scholar and a public servant” – as well as the flexible academic environment and unflagging support of the College. In 2007 the university supported his efforts to found the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business by providing initial funding, which was later bolstered by further funding from the Henry Luce Foundation. Recently the Henry Luce and Ford Foundations provided funding for a range of programs at the Center geared toward researching the budding field of Chinese philanthropy. As part of the “Initiative on Philanthropy in China,” the RCCPB used this funding to support 11 different research projects on the subject, and hosted (in partnership with IUPUI’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy) the Chinese Philanthropy Summit at the IUPUI campus on October 31 and November 1, 2014. IU has also supported Kennedy by allowing him to teach online courses while conducting research in China, thus obviating the need to take leave. IU also assisted in the opening of an RCCPB office in Beijing in 2011, which later moved into IU’s China Gateway office upon its opening in May 2014.

The work of CSIS, a non-partisan think tank established in the early 1960s at Georgetown University and later made independent, centers on framing discussions on international issues such as security, diplomacy and the global economy. By improving the “quality of debate,” CSIS aims to raise the standard of American foreign policy. At CSIS Kennedy will have the opportunity to put his strong academic background and expertise in Chinese studies to use, but this time a degree removed from academia’s “ivory tower”: though continuing research in the same field, instead of writing primarily for the academic community, Kennedy’s work will now be disseminated to a new audience of Congress representatives, diplomats, policymakers and other stakeholders. He will assist CSIS in its efforts to generate ideas and share research results through bringing together experts in various disciplines to the public and private events it sponsors. In this way, CSIS aims to think ahead 12-18 months to anticipate “highly policy relevant” issues that might “come across policymakers’ desks that they’re going to need to grapple with.” For Kennedy, working at CSIS presents “a big opportunity to have impact in an area that’s been lacking in Washington,” an opportunity to spice up the international dialogue with an “on the ground, down in the trenches view of how things actually unfold” in corporate China.

Kennedy perceives the two diametric depictions of a China that is “all evil and a threat to world peace” or “the brightest, most successful example of development in world history that will revive the Middle Kingdom and set East Asia and the world on a path toward harmony here-ever-after” as equally ridiculous. One of his missions at CSIS is “to show people what the hills and valleys look like, where things are going and what the trends are, who the different actors are and why we need to see China in shades of gray rather than black and white.” Another mission is to reframe dialogues on Sino-American issues, positioning them in a global light instead of viewing them exclusively “through a bilateral prism where there’s a list of things that we want China to do, and then we measure the progress of the relationship by how many of those are ticked off the box.” Kennedy wishes to “broaden the discussion and make sure that we’re addressing not just the superficial problem but the more fundamental issues.” He pointed to the global regime of intellectual property rights, which can be so overprotective of IP owners that the common citizen ends up losing out, causing predicaments such as individuals being unable to afford the medicine that was designed to treat their afflictions because the cost is kept so high. He concluded, “We need to have a conversation about what the [global] intellectual property rights regime is really like, what kind of regime we want in general, what problems exist in China, the US and elsewhere towards meeting that goal, and then work with the Chinese and others to modify that regime. Then based on that standard, then see where China compares to what we really want.”

In addition to controversy surrounding its IPR legal framework, China has also experienced other “growing pains,” Kennedy noted. The proliferation of cars causes air pollution, and that’s just one small aspect of China’s massive environmental problems. China has historically emphasized manufacturing and low-end labor, and this coupled with the fact that its educational system does not instill innovation or independent thinking skills makes it difficult for the Chinese economy to move up the industrial ladder. “The government’s ability to address problems is limited – this gap must be filled by philanthropy,” he explained. This was the seed of interest that sprouted into the well-funded “Initiative on Chinese Philanthropy” described above.

These are but a few of the major contributions Kennedy has made to the field. As one of the few experts of China researching issues of economic policy from a corporate perspective, Indiana University’s loss will certainly translate into CSIS’s gain. We at EASC offer a heartfelt thank you for all Professor Kennedy has done while at IU, as well as best wishes for future success at his new post in Washington.

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