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Indiana University


EASC Newsletter

A publication of the East Asian Studies Center, Indiana University

June 2016


East Asian Book Workshops Continue to Bring Students and Scholars Together


In Spring 2014, Indiana University’s East Asian Studies Center began a new program to complement its Colloquium Series, the East Asian Book workshop. Unlike the colloquium and various special events held by the East Asian Studies Center, the book workshop is a specialized program which allows the students to get a more thorough grasp on the subject matter by allowing them to meet with the authors of academic works to explore the details with the scholars.


This semester EASC was happy to host Ethan Segal (Michigan State University) and Charlotte Eubanks (Penn State) and allow student to engage directly with works on East Asia and the scholars who wrote them.


EASC hosted Ethan Segal on Friday, February 5th. Professor Segal is an Associate Professor of History at Michigan State University. His research focuses on economic history, nationalism, women and gender, history and film, and contemporary popular culture. For the book workshop six students were able to sit down with Professor Segal to discuss his first book, Coins, Trade, and the State: Economic Growth in Early Medieval Japan (2011) which re-examines money, trade, and evolving medieval political and social institutions in early medieval Japan.


The second Book Workshop featured Charlotte Eubanks, an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature, Japanese, and Asian Studies at Penn State. Prior to meeting with Professor Eubanks nine students from EALC, CEUS, and Religious Studies read Miracles of Book and Body: Buddhist Textual Culture and Medieval Japan (2011). During their meeting with Professor Eubanks the group discussed material culture, Japanese and Buddhist literature and what it means to ‘read’ religious texts and how literature can ‘map’ and cultivate the mind.


The East Asian Studies Center looks forward to the continued success of the East Asian Book Workshop series during the Fall 2016 semester. For additional information on the Spring or Fall 2016 programs, please email




EASC at Asian Fest 2016!


On Saturday, April 16, next to the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market, Asian Fest blossomed with an abundance of performances and cultural activities for all ages. The event, which took place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., welcomed families of the Bloomington community to experience different Asian cultures. The annual event was sponsored by The IU Asian Culture Center, the City of Bloomington Safe and Civil Program, and the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market.


Attendees were constantly engaged during the event. Many gathered around the stage for performances that consisted of dances, songs, and martial arts or stopped by the cultural tables. EASC was one of the many tables at the event and was continuously visited throughout the day. Attendees learned about the various Chinese artifacts displayed on the table, such as the Chinese stamp seal, Chinese papercutting, fans, and the evolution of Chinese characters. Visitors excitedly flipped through the pages of a custom made binder by EASC volunteer, Amy Jen, as she happily explained the history of the displayed artifacts. Children who attended the event were able to have their names written in Chinese, enjoyed trying on paper Terracotta masks, and created Japanese origami. 


The EASC table was also greeted by Bloomington Mayor, John Hamilton, and his wife. The mayor thanked EASC for participating in the event and sharing our cultural knowledge with the community.



EASC and SGIS Offer Inaugural Kayageum Workshop


To celebrate the opening of the Korea Conference Room at the School of Global and International Studies (SGIS), EASC offered its first ever six-week Kayageum Workshop. The workshop runs from April 13th to May 21st with one-hour classes twice a week. Classes are open to beginners of all ages for a $60 fee. Kayageum is a traditional Korean string instrument dating back to the 6th century. The workshop consists of seven participants and is led by Kayageum master, Eunsun Jung.


Participants began the workshop by learning the basics of the 12-string kayageum, one of the many variations of kayageum. Each class added additional hand positions until participants were introduced to all the skills necessary to play the instrument. Gayageum is played by pressing the left hand on the strings on one side and the right hand plucking and plunking the strings on the other. Those taking the class can anticipate knowing how to play the traditional Korean folk songs, Arirang and Minyo, by the end of the workshop.


For information about future Kayageum or other EASC workshops, check out our Programs & Events page for updates!


NCTA Offers Two Day Enrichment Program


In April, two dozen educators from around the country joined NCTA (National Consortium for Teaching About Asia) at Indiana University and the Sejong Cultural Society for a two day enrichment in Glenview, IL. The event, titled Sijo Workshop: Korean Poetry, Literature, Music, and Dance, introduced K12 educators to sijo, a poetic form that flourished during the Joseon dynasty and is still written today. Saturday presenters included David McCann (Emeritus Professor, Harvard University), who led sessions on sijo history and composition; Lucy Park (Executive Director, Sejong Cultural Society), who gave an overview of Korean history, and Elizabeth Jorgensen (English teacher, Arrowhead Union High School), who introduced strategies for teaching sijo in the high school classroom.

Participants also had the chance to sample Korean cuisine while enjoying the sijo-infused beats of Elephant Rebellion, a collective of artists that empower communities through the power of arts & education. An evening performance by SoriBeat, a Chicago-based samulnori group, rounded out Saturday’s schedule.


The workshop concluded with Sunday sessions on modern Korean literature led by Ohio State University Professor Chan Eung Park. Park also led participants in singing a sijo. Reception of the workshop was overwhelmingly positive, with participants praising the “excellent balance of cultural/historical information about sijo as well as Korean history, literature, and language.”


Teachers who participated received a certificate for professional development and will be eligible for mini-grants to purchase classroom resources.


East Asian Film Series Draws Spring Crowds


The East Asian Film Series is an annual event sponsored by EASC, IU Cinema, and other Indiana University departments. It is screened at the IU Cinema during the academic year in Bloomington.


During the spring semester the series filled the 300 seat IU Cinema for three films. The semester began with a screening of Seok-jae Hong’s 2014 film Socialphobia on February 1st. Near the end of February the audience was treated to Johnni To’s 2012 film Drug War. The final film in the series, Kanji Nakajima’s acclaimed film The Clone Returns Home aired on March 21st.


The East Asian Film Series will continue during Spring 2016 semester with more exciting and educational films!


IU Cinema is a world-class facility and program dedicated to the scholarly study and highest standards of exhibition of film in its traditional and modern forms. For more information on the facility or programs, call 812-856-9540, visit, or contact EASC at



Summer Photography in Japan


The Department of Studio Art is offering students an opportunity to study abroad in Japan this summer. The course, “Photography and Video in Japan: Exploring the Past and Present” offers the opportunity for students to experience the integration of modern technology and ancient history in Japan.  Rich in museums and galleries full of classic Japanese and contemporary art, Japan is home to many internationally acclaimed artists. In this summer program, students will study in The Kyoto University of Art and Design, a highly reputed art university in Japan. They will engage in lectures and critiques with professional Japanese artists and also explore various cities from Osaka to Tokyo to Hiroshima.


For more information about the program please visit the School of Art and Design’s webpage.


Travel Awards Granted to Students and Faculty


A number of faculty and students were granted Travel Awards through the East Asian Studies Department.


For faculty travel support, the following individuals were approved for $500 of support;

Heather Blair (Department of Religious Studies)

Stephanie DeBoer (Cinema and Media Studies, Media School)

Michael Foster (Folklore and Ethnomusicology)

Ling-Yu Hung (Anthropology)

Michael Ing (Religious Studies)

Natsuko Tsujimura (EALC)


Because they received $200 last semester in support, Tie Xiao (EALC) and Yasuko Akiyama (EALC) will both also receive an additional $300 of support.




Korean Conference Room Opens at Spring Fest


On April 9th in the Global and International Studies Building, the EASC and the Korean Students Association  (KSA) hosted a Spring Festival to commemorate the coming installation of the Korea Conference Room (한국의 ), a Korean Studies resource room funded by the Korean Consulate in Chicago. The goal of this event was to bring together the various Korean Student Organizations across the campus in a day of friendly competition.  The student groups each prepared a different activity from karaoke translation to Omok, a Korean board game similar to Go. Students were treated to lunch catered by the local Korean-owned business Sushi Haru before closing out the evening with a Golden Bell quiz competition and a Running Man scavenger hunt.



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