miércoles, 17 de diciembre de 2014

UCLA: Asia Institute!

December 17, 2014
Holiday Greetings from the Asia Institute!
As 2014 draws to a close, I would like to provide you with some updates from the year and notify you of some upcoming activities. As you know, the Asia Institute supports innovative research, graduate training, international collaborations, and public programs on East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central Asia that cross conventional geographic and disciplinary boundaries, putting UCLA at the cutting edge of scholarship, research and teaching about Asia.
We have organized our work during the past year around three initiatives:
·        Asia in the Humanities, the Humanities in Asia addresses questions about how Asia fits in the humanities, and how the humanities as practiced in Asia can provide fruitful avenues for inquiry and dialogue.
·        Asia in World Development proceeds from the understanding that Asia now includes developed and developing countries with relations to countries in other world regions that revise an earlier division of the world between a developed North and developing South.
·        The Program on Central Asia (PoCA) cultivates a space at UCLA for the social, cultural, religious and economic dimensions of Central Asian studies.
Some highlights from this year give a taste of how the Asia Institute is carrying out its mission:

ü  Asia in the Humanities/Humanities in Asia Annual Forum: The Crisis in Humanities: What Can the Study of Asia Offer?  with Ping-chen Hsiung, Director of the Research Institute of the Humanities at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and David Schaberg, UCLA Dean of Humanities   (Asian Humanities Initiative)
ü  The Institute developed a new seminar on “Water and the City in Asia” for the East Asian Studies Interdisciplinary Program with funding from the Mellon Foundation-supported Urban Humanities program. (Asia in World Development Initiative)
ü  The Asia Institute and the Center for African Studies jointly organized a series of three lectures and a forum with invited speakers on the topic of “Economic Change and Emerging Asia-Africa Interactions.” (Asia in World Development Initiative)
ü  The Program on Central Asia held a two-day international conference, From Sufis to Taliban: The Trajectories of Islam in Afghanistan, organized by Program on Central Asia director Nile Green with support from the American Institute of Afghanistan Studies. (Program on Central Asia)
ü  The Institute launched an innovative summer workshop on reading Chinese archival materials from the 1950s, co-taught by Professor Shuji Cao of Shanghai Jiaotong University and myself. Participants included students from UCLA, SJTU, and other North American universities. A second workshop will be offered in Shanghai in 2015.
ü  Through our fellowship and faculty grant programs, seventeen students (2 undergraduate, 15 graduate) received Foreign Languages and Area Studies fellowships through our Title VI grant for training in East Asian languages and area studies (Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Tibetan languages).  Another eight students and three faculty members were awarded other grants for research in fields including anthropology, comparative literature and urban planning.

We are particularly pleased that our work was recognized this year with renewed support by the US Department of Education as an East Asian National Resource Center under the Title VI program for a further four years (2014–2018). We look forward to launching new programs to strengthen East Asian language and area studies on campus, including the development of a new language certificate program through the Asian Languages and Cultures department and a new East Asia track for professional school students. Working with campus partners, we will expand access to UCLA’s resources to the community through the development of seventh-grade Common Core curriculum resources on East Asia with the School of Education’s History-Geography Project; offer a high school summer program in Japanese for heritage speakers with the Center for World Languages; and develop new programs with California community colleges to support international education and prepare transfer students to enter our East Asian and international majors more easily. 
We are also excited to announce the new Taiwan Studies Lectureship, a three-year project which the Asia Institute will lead in collaboration with the Division of Humanities with support from the Taiwan Ministry of Education, which will connect the study of contemporary Taiwan both to the classical tradition from which it in part emerges and to the broader region of which it is a vital part. The program will support collaboration between scholars from UCLA and Taiwan, curriculum design, and graduate student research in Taiwan.

In the more immediate future, we are particularly excited to let you know about three events coming up. Please look for announcements in the new year, and check our website for more information about our various activities http://international.ucla.edu/asia/:

ü  January 12: Narcotics and Empires: Opium in English Literary and Chinese Political Imaginations, The annual Asia in the Humanities/Humanities in Asia forum featuring Professor James Chandler, Director of the Franke Institute for the Humanities at the University of Chicago talking about the role of British opium in China as an invisible inspiration in literature and film, from Charles Dickens to D.W. Griffith. Commenting on his presentation, I will contrast the political and economic significance of the Opium War to Britain in the 1840s with its political and economic significance to China today. (Asian Humanities Initiative)

ü  March 13: Classical Ideals and Historical Realities: Approaches to Chinese Pasts and Present, the inaugural Taiwan Studies Lectureship program, featuring a moderated discussion with distinguished professors Benjamin Elman (Princeton) and Wang Fansen (Vice President, Academia Sinica, Taipei).

Finally, as 2014 ends and we make the transition to a new year, I would like to inform you of a transition here at the Asia Institute. After eight years as Executive Director, Nick Menzies will be retiring from UCLA to return to his own field of research and writing on environmental history in China and neighboring southeast Asia.  Elizabeth Leicester will be staying to take over from him to ensure a smooth transition and we are recruiting now for a new Assistant Director so that the Asia Institute will have a full complement of staff in the New Year.

I hope to see you at many of our events in 2015!

With best wishes to you and your family for the holiday season,


R. Bin Wong,
Director, UCLA Asia Institute
Distinguished Professor of History
Distinguished Guest Professor, Fudan University Institute for Advanced Study in Social Sciences
11292 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487

UCLA Asia Institute 
11288 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1446
Phone: (310) 825-0007
Fax: (310) 206-3555
Email: asia@international.ucla.edu