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A SIAN STUDIES PROGRAM Florida International University



2013-2014 Highlights Japan Foundation Grant


Asian Studies Events


Spotlight on Faculty


Worlds Ahead Graduate


Graduates & Student News


Alumni News


MASAKO KUBOTA Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

DR. STEVEN HEINE Professor and Director Asian Studies

PEI-HAN LEE Chinese Adjunct Instructor Modern Languages

DR. TOM BRESLIN Professor International Relations

DR. LI MA Chinese Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

ASUKA MASHAV Assist. Dir. of Language Programs, Japanese Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

AYESHA HUI Chinese Adjunct Instructor Modern Languages

DR. NATHAN KATZ SIPA Distinguished Professor Religious Studies

DR. MATTHEW MARR Assistant Professor Global & Sociocultural Studies / Asian Studies

NAOKO KOMURA Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

DR. ERIC MESEERSMITH Lecturer History Asian Studies 2

DR. OREN STIER Graduate Program Director Asian Studies Religious Studies

DR. HITOMI YOSHIO Assistant Professor Asian Studies Modern Languages

IAN VERHINE Adjunct Lecturer Asian Studies

DR. JULIE ZENG Assistant Professor International Relations


DR. STEVEN VOSE Assistant Professor Religious Studies

MARIA SOL ECHARREN Program Coordinator Asian Studies

DR. SHENGGAO WANG Chinese Language & Culture Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

KRISSY LOVEMAN Program Assistant Asian Studies

DR. BIN XU Associate Professor Global & Sociocultural Studies / Asian Studies

GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS: Alexandra Dvoriantchikova Maria Magdalena Jamass Claudia Lau

DR. LIDU YI Assistant Professor Art & Art History



J a pa n Fo u n dat i o n G r a n t G oa l s The Japan Foundation Institutional Program Support (IPS) Grant awarded for 20132017 has multiple initiatives that were accomplished already for

the first year.

Among these goals, the search for a new faculty position in Japanese history was completed (hiring Dr. Marshall) and new curriculum development and course infusions were established at FAU and FIU with Japanese cultural content (SYP 4454: Globalization & Social Movements and FIL 4843: East Asian Cinema). Additionally, new library acquisitions and digital resources were purchased for FIU. The Consultant, Dr. John Tucker, made the on-site visit to campus and reported grant activities on October 17. Of the events planned, SJS was held at FIU on March 7, the Workshop at Morikami Museum on April 23, and the Japan Summit on May 19. Moreover, volume XVIII of the Japan Studies Review is out for publication in July 2014, and the Study Tour faculty were also selected to travel to Japan over the summer. New linkages were established with FAU and other partners, in which a series of events were co-coordinated with non-profit external advisors from Morikami Museum, Japanese Consulate, Japan Business Association, SEUS-Japan in FL, Chinese Language Teachers Association, and other associations. Other goals accomplished included:

ďƒƒ The Japanese Area Studies Major initiated in the Fall 2013 is growing significantly ďƒƒ A new Japanese Studies Graduate Certificate is approved for the Fall 2014

Studies of Japanese Culture in Florida On October 2, 2013, Shigeko Honda, Curator of Education at the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, informed FIU students on the topic of Studies of Japanese Culture in Florida. Several FIU Japanese Professors and students were present. (Side image, left to right) Naoko Komura, Asuka Mashav, Shigeko Honda, Masako Kubota, and Dr. Hitomi Yoshio. 5

Dr. Amy Bliss Marshall As part of the Japan Foundation Institutional Support Grant project, FIU conducted the search for a new tenure-track position in pre-modern Japanese History in January 2014, hiring Dr. Amy Bliss Marshall as Assistant Professor (PhD in History, Brown University). Dr. Marshall specializes in 20th Century Japan, Social and Cultural History; Media, Gender, and Rural Studies. Dr. Marshall has a forthcoming book related to cultural history explaining the birth of mass culture in Japan, tracing its origins to two family magazines of the Interwar years (1918-1937). It is tentatively titled Creating Mass Culture in Interwar Japan. She also has an upcoming article titled, “Mothers, Menus & Methods: Keys to Household Rationalization in 20th Century Japan,” which she also presented at the Devouring Japan Conference at UT-Austin this past Spring 2014. Her expertise will aid in the development of the undergraduate and graduate programs of the Asian Studies Program particularly in Japanese history courses with an emphasis on the pre-modern period and engagement with transnational issues, encompassing the Edo period, concerning issues of national identity, state building, the early development of corporate economy, and international relations, in order to meet the ongoing demand for introductory and advanced studies of Japan. Dr. Marshall will teach up to four courses per year relating to Japanese history and culture, including a section of a core course at FIU, “Introduction to East Asia,” which enrolls over 400 students per semester in several sections, as well as “History of Japan,” all of which comprise an essential component to the curriculum of Asian Studies and the new Japanese Area Studies Major initiated last year. In addition, two new advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of History will be created: “History of Pre-Modern Japan,” which will fulfill an essential requirement in the degree programs of both Asian Studies and History, and “Japan and Transnationalism,” which will emphasize Japan’s role that extends beyond its traditional national boundaries, such as relations with China and South Korea and involvement in worldwide commercial and cultural exchanges. 6

Wo r k s h o p at M o r i k a m i M u s e u m  Sumiko Uo, Japanese Language & Culture Lecturer & Instructor. From FIU, the faculty selected to travel to Japan this summer as part of the grant’s Study Tour shared their main research projects:  Matthew Marr (Homelessness in American and Japanese global cities)  Bin Xu (Consensus crisis and state-society relations between China and Japan)  Hitomi Yoshio (Translations of Japanese works by Kawakami Mieko and Abe Kazushige)  Mali, Lidu Yi and Naoko Komura (Pedagogical exchange at Japanese universities & museums with Chinese programs and Zen aesthetics). In addition, Asuka Mashav and Masako Kubota talked about the planning for the FIU Career Fair on April 4 and its successful turnout. At the end of the workshop, Dave Woodward, Executive Director of the Florida Delegation of Southeast U.S./Japan Association, spoke about the 11th Annual Florida-Japan Summit held on May 19, where Dr. Heine commented on the overall growth of FIU’s Asian Studies Program.

An interdisciplinary Japanese Studies workshop was organized at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens on April 23, 2014. Faculty from the partner institutions and other community organizations participated in the workshop. Each presenter had an opportunity to share their current research and the activities accomplished this year as a result of the Japan Foundation’s Institutional Project Support Program Grant. Organized by Steven Heine, and Shigeko Honda (Curator of Education at Morikami Museum) the Japanese Workshop began with remarks about the benefits of the partnership between these institutions and the initiatives implemented by the grant. Several faculty members from FAU shared on the collaborative projects implemented to expand their program and the infusion of new courses in Japanese Studies at their university:  Michael Horswell, Assoc. Dean of Graduate Studies & Research  Kenneth Holloway, Assoc. Prof. of History  Marina Karides, Assoc. Prof. in Sociology  Gerald Sim, Assoc. Prof. in Communication and Multimedia Studies 77


S o u t h e r n J a pa n S e m i n a r Distinguished Japan-related visiting scholars as well as graduate students participated in the annual Southern Japan Seminar (SJS) on Friday, March 7th, 2014. Every year, SJS seeks to promote research and educational activities of Japan-related scholars in the Southeastern United States. This year’s event was held at FIU’s MMC Campus at the MARC Pavilion with a successful turnout of over 200 graduate and undergraduate students. With seven presenters, divided between the morning and afternoon panels, the audience was introduced to interesting and new ideas on Japanese topics, both theoretical and practical. The morning panel explored different components of Japanese literature and culture, in relation to aspects in translation and interpretation as well as Japanese philosophy and its cultural implication in the U.S. In the afternoon, speakers presented on Confucianism influences on Japanese society and values, including Buddhism in China and Japan. The presenters at the SJS event were: On-Cho Ng, Penn State University; John Tucker, East Carolina University; Kenneth Holloway, Florida Atlantic University; Hitomi Yoshio, Florida International University; Yumiko Hulvey, University of Florida; and doctoral students Kunimasa Sato and Yukinori Onishi from University of Miami. This year's SJS event was supported by the Japan Foundation Institutional Project Support Grant. SJS also helps support the peer-reviewed journal, Japan Studies Review.

Left: Dr. Yumiko Hulvey, Dr. Hitomi Yoshio, Dr. Kenneth Holloway, Dr. John Tucker, Dr. Steven Heine, Dr. On-cho Ng, and Dr. Eric Messersmith. Right: Dr. On-cho Ng. 99

J a pa n - R e l at e d Ev e n t s Several Japan-related events were organized this year at FIU. Scholars in the fields of Japanese history and literature were brought to campus to enrich students and faculty with a series of engaging and thought-provoking lectures.

Dr. Laura Nenzi and Dr. Heine Dr. Hitomi Yoshio, Masako Kubota, Dr. John Tucker and Dr. Steven Heine

Dr. Laura Nenzi (Associate Professor of History, University of Tennessee) gave a lecture on October 11, 2013, titled "Edo Townspeople's Dr. John Tucker (Professor of History, East Culture: Whose Space is it, Anyway?" Carolina University) spoke on the topic of "Confucianism and the 47 Ronin" on September 25, 2013.

Dr. Morten Schlütter (Associate Professor of Chinese Religion, University of Iowa) presented a lecture on “Zen Meditation: Kōan Contemplation versus Silent Sitting" on February 7, 2014. This talk addressed the differences between the two main approaches to meditation and enlightenment that is Dr. Morten Schltter best known from the Sōtō and Rinzai schools in Japanese Zen, but the first took shape in China in the twelfth century. Dr, Schlütter also discussed different koans and the

notion of inherent Buddha nature. Dr. Yoneyuki Sugita (Professor of History, Osaka Dr. Eric Messersmith and Univeristy gave a Dr. Yoneyuki Sugita talk on “9/11 and Japan’s Consistent Security Policies” on March 27, 2014 to discuss Japan’s security policies after the end of the Cold War, especially in the wake of 9/11. Moreover, Dr. Sugita had the opportunity to meet with faculty and graduate students in Asian Studies, giving a talk at Dr. Heine’s Modern Asia course and Dr. Messersmith’s Japan-US Relations course. 10

Japanese Literature: Traditional & Modern “JAPAN AND THE CULTURE OF THE FOUR SEASONS: NATURE, LITERATURE AND THE ARTS” & “TRANSLATION, NATIONAL LANGUAGE, AND LITERATURE IN MODERN JAPAN” Dr. Haruo Shirane and Dr. Tomi Suzuki from Columbia University came to speak at FIU on April 11, 2014 to discuss traditional and modern Japanese literature. Dr. Shirane’s talk on “Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons” included elegant representations of nature and the four seaDr. Yoshio, Dr. Haruo Shirane, Dr. Heine, sons that fill a wide-range of Japanese genres and Dr. Tomi Suzuki, and Dr. Lidu Yi. media. He demonstrated the richly encoded social, religious and political meanings behind each. Afterwards, Dr. Suzuki shared on the subject of “Translation, National Language, and Literature in Modern Japan” giving insight into the notions of national literature and language developed in Japan from the late 19th century via the process of translation with modern Western perspectives.

Roundtable: Europe and Asia "A COMPARISON







This roundtable held on February 11th at FIU featured Dr. Jeffrey Cox (Professor of History, University of Iowa) and Dr. Steven Heine (FIU) who discussed the sacred and secular in Northern Europe and J a p a n . MEUCE codirector Dr. R ebe cc a Friedman gave the introductory remarks. Dr. Cox raised imDr. Rebecca Friedman, portant quesDr. Heine, and Dr. Jeffery Cox



tions, one indicating the need to redefine what is considered a secular country in history, as in the case of Germany or England, where students receive religious education. To contrast, Dr. Heine pointed out the case of sacro-secularism of Buddhist temples in Japan in order to illustrate the ambiguous separation between “church and state” among these nations.

Asian Studies graduate students asked questions to Dr. Jeffery Cox 11

FIU Career/Internship fair

The Asian Studies Program and the Department of Modern Languages organized a Career/Internship Fair on Friday, April 4, 2014 at the SIPA Lobby. Japanese Instructors Asuka Mashav and Masako Kubota worked on networking with several Japanese and American companies in Miami to come to campus and interview students for possible part-time or fulltime employment.. Furthermore, an agreement was made between some of the companies and FIU to establish new internship possibilities for students to develop new skills and get hands-on experience, in addition to receiving undergraduate or graduate credit. Students had the chance to talk with representatives from each company and establish connections. About 150-200 students came prepared with their curriculum vitae and professional attire. Representatives from various companies participated in this event and students benefited greatly from this experience:

 AEON  Marubeni Business Machine, Inc.  ARKAY USA, Inc.  Morikami Museum  Brand Institute, Inc. &Japanese Gardens  Consulate General of Japan  Nippon Sogo Tours in Miami

 IACE  JET Program  JETAA-FL 12


 Ricoh Latin America, Inc.  SEUS-Japan  Sony Latin America, Inc.

Dr. Heine at B ooks & B ooks

Dr. Steven Heine presented his latest book Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Kōan in Zen Buddhism (Oxford University Press) on November 6, 2013 at Books & Books in Coral Gables. Dr. Heine’s book offers critical insight and a new historical perspective on “the koan of koans.” Kōans are dialogues that stand at the center of Zen Buddhist literature and are often used to provoke the “great doubt” in testing a trainee's progress. The Mu Kōan consists of a brief conversation in which a monk asks Master Zhaozhou whether or not a dog has Buddha-nature. This case is considered to be the most widely circulated kōan record of the Zen school that offers existential release from anxiety to attain spiritual illumination. Dr. Heine was also recognized on March 31, 2014 at the FIU Faculty Book Author Ceremony in Barnes & Noble at FIU.

JET Program Info Session Two 2013 Asian Studies M.A. graduates, Gabriela Romeu and Alexis Moore, were selected for the JET (Japan Exchange and Teaching) Program that started this September. Gabriela was appointed to the Okinawa Prefecture and Alexis was placed in the Hyogo Prefecture, with a job of teaching English to Japanese school children. Both FIU alumni are currently in Japan successfully continuing the Program.

Michael Herrero, JET Program Coordinator from the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, presented an Information Session on October 25, 2013 to FIU students to get familiarized with the application process and answer any questions.

Dr. Steven Heine with Gabriela Romeu and Alexis Moore (far left) and other FIU students. 13

NCTA S emina r 2013 -2014 The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) is a nationwide professional development program for K–12 teachers to encourage teaching and learning about Asia. NCTA is designed to give Florida K–12 teachers an introduction to the history and contemporary issues and problems of East Asia. The seminar focused on global and interdisciplinary perspectives for teachers of various disciplines to introduce and infuse different aspects of East Asian culture into their curriculum, particularly Chinese culture and language in comparative perspectives. Through the use of films and online resources, an understanding of traditional and modern Chinese culture in relation to other Asian perspectives in the context of globalized social history is created. Workshops are free of charge for qualified educators. Benefits include: instruction that covers the contemporary culture and society of East Asia, master



(where applicable), and InService Points for Broward and Dade County teachers.

NCTA Seminar participants for 2013-2014


NCTA S emina r 2013 -2014 This workshop was directed by Dr. Steven Heine with the assistance of Claudia Lau, an experienced Asian Studies and culture teacher who studied English literature in Taiwan and lived for several years in South America. In addition, she has experience teaching in the Miami-Dade public school system. The main objective is for teachers to understand Chinese cultural aspects to infuse Asian Studies into their curriculum through the use of Asian films and other resources online. Furthermore, this knowledge can be applied to specific and original lesson plans for incorporation into each teacher’s educational portfolio. Educators discussed the ways they have benefited from the program this year: Jim Aguilar, teaching at David Lawrence K-8, said that the “cultural information made learning the language make sense from a broader standpoint. I would definitely take the class again, and will encourage other teachers to do the same.” Pablo Perez, teacher at Dr. Rolando Espinosa K-8, was grateful for this seminar and mentioned that he “never thought that in just a few sessions I would be able to make so much progress in a language so different from the Western languages. I also gained a greater understanding of Chinese history, culture and modern society.” Iris Gari, teacher at Zelda Glazer Middle, appreciated that she “had the opportunity to understand and to know more about this amazing





Asian Studies Program at






Chinese Speech & Skit Contest The 7th Annual Florida International Chinese Speech & Skit Contest organized by Chinese Instructor Mali, was held on March 15, 2014 in GL 100 and had a successful turnout with several students participating. The FIU winners for each category were: Speech Contest: Level III 1st Place: Kevin Liguori Level V 1st Place: Kay-Ann Linton Skit Contest: Level I 1st Place: Sergio Fuenzalida, Shane Hernandez & Lynn Rodriguez Level II 1st Place: James Hall This event is supported by the Chinese Language Teachers Association in Florida (CLTA-FL), Miami Dade College Confucius Institute, Chinese Club at FIU, Asian Studies Program and Department of Modern Languages.

(Above): Chinese Instructor Mali sits with a student; (Right): Chinese Instructors Ayesha Hui and Dr. Shenggao Wang also participated in the event. 16

New Chinese Area Studies Major This is a new 36-credit, interdisciplinary major in Chinese Area Studies, which is a branch of the Asian Studies B.A. degree and will be offered beginning in Fall 2014. The major, which emphasizes Chinese language and culture as well as other courses in area studies, caps off the development of programs in Chinese language and nonlanguage courses. Core Requirements (6 credits) ASN 3410 Intro to East Asia ASN 4510 Dynamics of Asia OR ASN 4390 Modern Asia (Capstone) Chinese/Area Studies Electives (27 credits) — Choose 12 credits from the following approved list of Chinese-specific courses: ASH 4404 History of China ASN 3016 Introduction to China CHI 4930 Chinese Literature and Cinema CHT 3502 Chinese Culture and Society CPO 4541 Politics of China INR 4232 International Relations of China INR 4707 Political Economy of China REL 3318 Chinese Religion and Culture SYD 4654 State and Society in China — Choose 9 credits from the approved list of Asian Area Studies Electives courses:

ARH 4552 Art of China & Japan ARH 4990 Contemporary Chinese Art ASH 4300 East Asian Civilizations and Cultures ASN 4810 East Asian Texts in Translation ASN 3200 Asia Through Film. [Selected List of Courses, for a complete list, visit the Asian Studies website] Language Courses (9 credits of Level 3 or higher) — Students complete 9 credits of language. Chinese I and II are prerequisites. CHI 2200 Intermediate Chinese I CHI 2201 Intermediate Chinese II CHI 3400 Intermediate Chinese Conversation CHI 3410 Advanced Chinese I CHI 3440 Business Chinese. For more information about the new Chinese Studies major, please contact an Asian Studies advisor.

FIU Chinese Corner 中文角 The FIU Chinese Corner 中文角 is organized by Dr. Shenggao Wang. This group is created for students that are eager to practice and improve their Chinese language skills while engaging in practical conversations while learning more about China. For more information, or to join the Chinese Corner, contact Dr. Shenggao Wang. 1717

Dr. Heine’s Summer Research Dr. Heine took research trips to China and Japan this year to continue his ongoing studies of two different but complementary aspects of Zen Buddhism. One deals with the historical origins of Zen in China and its transmission to Japan in the 13th century through the translation of texts by monktravelers such as Dōgen. Heine toured the area in Zhejiang province where Dōgen visited Five Mountains (or Zen temples) between 1223 and 1227. After publishing a book in 2006 titled Did Dōgen Go To China, which raised doubts of historical validity about some of the legends surrounding the travels, he is planning another work tentatively titled When Dōgen Went to China to describe in detail the religious environment on the mainland at the time when Zen was the major sect. The other topic Heine researches involves contemporary Zen BudDr. Heine and a monk at Tiantong Temple - Ningbo. This shows where Dōgen entered China.

dhist temples in the Tokyo area. Although the city of Kyoto is generally better known for its sacred sites, Tokyo has many important temples. One of these is Sengaku-ji, known

as the burial site for the 47 Ronin who committed suicide after avenging the death of their warlord in 1703. These samurai were buried at the Zen temple, which is also known today for housing a lecture series on Zen philosophy and history. In addition, Dr. Heine consulted with Mali about the FIU study abroad program based in Hangzhou, and he also took part in conferences held in Tokyo and Osaka.


Dr. Heine at the Tomb of Rujing—Jingci Temple in Hangzhou, China.

Dr. Mali in West Lake in Hangzhou

Dr. Heine visits a marker at the port of Ningbo where DĹ?gen is said to have entered China in 1223.


J a pa n St u d i e s R ev i ew Japan’s role in counter-terrorism in South Asia, and additional translated works from KuThe Japan Studies Review (JSR), an annual rahashi Yumiko. peer-reviewed journal sponsored by the

It also contains essays dealing with is-

joint efforts of the Asian Studies Program

sues on the ethnography of the Ainus as well

and the Southern Japan Seminar, contin-

as the Japanese history textbook controversy.

ues to be both an outlet for publications

Several book reviews are included pertaining

related to Southern Japan Seminar events

to topics regarding Japan and global contexts,

and a journal that encourages submis-

new religions in Japan and the aesthetics of

sions from a wide range of scholars in the

Japanese fascism.


Submissions for JSR are accepted on an The 2014 issue (volume XVIII) con-

ongoing basis throughout the year. Articles,

sists of various subjects on Modern Japa-

essays, or book reviews on topics dealing with

nese industry, Japanese war propaganda,

Japan or comparative studies can be sent as an

Enlightenment ideals in Japanese Folk-

email attachment to

lore, Western contributors to the modernization of Meiji Japan, the Senkaku Island dispute





Japan Studies Review Archive:

For information on how to obtain a copy or to submit an article or book review, please contact our office at (305) 348-1914 or 20

J a pa n e s e S pe ec h & S k i t Co n t e st

(Left to right) Taeko-Ni and Ana Gomez. The Grand Champion was Ana Gomez, an FIU student pursuing the Asian Studies B.A./Japanese Area Studies Major as well as the Certificate in Japanese Studies. The 2014 Florida Statewide Japanese Speech & Skit Contest had several FIU students win First and Second Place for each Japanese Language Level: - Ana Gomez [Grand Champion, L-3]

- Shadeh Ferris-Francis [L-4, First Place]

「Love Culture(あいの文化)」

「Virtual Reality in Japan (日本のバーチャルリアリティ)」

- Juan Lopez [L-1, First Place]

- Paul Schneider [L-4, Second Place]


「My Study Abroad Plan(私の留学けいかく)」

- Aaron Velazquez [L-2, Second Place] - Tana-Kaye Campbell [L-4, Third Place] 「How I came to love Japanese culture (僕が日本文化を好きになったりゆう)」

「Insurance in Japan and America (アメリカと日本の保険)」

The Japanese Speech & Skit Contest is organized annually by the Association for Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ).

The American Assocation of Teachers of Japanese awarded FIU Honor Students to receive the Japanese National Honor Society’s Certificate:  Laura Gonzalez  Romina Herrera  Nasreen Hidmi  Jacqueline J. Joseph  Maria Perez  Vangelis Soriano 21


 Anime  Calligraphy  Chopstick decoration / Hachimaki  Ikebana (Flower arrangement)  Japanese bracelet making  Karaoke & DDR contest  Martial arts  Origami  Pocky decoration  Sumie (Brush painting)  Sushi making  Japanese food

The Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ) presented the 13th annual Japan Immersion Day on December 16, 2013 at FIU’s WPAC Concert Hall and GC Pit. It was a day solely dedicated to celebrate Japanese culture including traditional food, varied workshops and activities for the students, and this year, with a special Taiko Performance. The event was led by Japanese Instructor Asuka Mashav, Naoko Komura, Masako Kubota, and Eric Messersmith. Sponsored by the Association for Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ), Department of Modern Languages, Asian Studies Program, and the Consulate of Japan in Miami. Students were able to immerse fully in Japanese culture by learning from these different workshops:


J a pa n i m m e r s i o n Day

With funding from The Japan Foundation (Center for Global Partnership - Education Grant), Japan Immersion Day was able to host a Japanese cultural event entitled ¡Viva Japón! Taiko and Etc. in Miami. The dances performed at the Herbert and Nicole Wetrheim Preforming Arts Center Concert Hall included the following:

 Taiko & Koto  Taiko & Karate  Taiko & Flamenco  Taiko & Ikebana  Taiko & Oharabushi Dance Japan Immersion Day has been a mainstay of the Japanese Program’s cultural outreach efforts since 2000 and attracts a large number of students and faculty from both inside and outside the Asian Studies disciplines with its calligraphy demonstrations, sushi workshops, and kimono try-ons. The main mission of "¡Viva Japón! Taiko & Etc." is to introduce a Japanese cultural outreach event that can provide large-scale Japanese arts performances and workshops to complement the smaller-scale, more intimate activities of Japan Immersion Day. South Florida is home to Japanese cultural and musical artists from a variety of disciplines. Yet, strangely enough, there are no community-based events that bring all of them together in the name of promoting Japanese culture. For this reason, this event will feature local ikebana professionals, taiko artists, koto players, and Japanese martial arts experts. 23

Asian Studies Program is proud to announce that this year Dr. Li Ma (Mali), Chinese Instructor & Assistant Director of Chinese Cultural Programs, and Naoko Komura, Japanese Instructor / President of the Association for Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ), have both received a promotion to Senior Instructor. Congratulations to both! In addition, Naoko Komura was recently awarded the "Most Valuable Teacher" award at the annual Florida Foreign






2013. She was also selected as a Critical Language Scholarship Reviewer for Japanese.


Dr. Bin Xu, Assistant Professor of Sociology, was offered a very prestigious Postdoctoral Associate position for 2014-2015 by the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University (CEAS). During the period of appointment, Dr. Xu will be in residence at Yale to further develop his research agenda and pursue his publications. Dr. Xu was selected to present at the XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology Conference in Yokohama, as supported by the Japan Foundation IPS Grant Summer 2014 Study Tour. He had also conducted research at Fudan University in Shanghai in Fall 2013. Some of his recent publications include the following articles: “Consensus Crisis and Civil Society: The Sichuan Earthquake Response and State-Society Relations” (The China Journal); “For Whom the Bell Tolls: State-Society Relations and the Sichuan Earthquake Mourning in China” (Theory and Society). He also has two forthcoming publications: “Memory and Reconciliation






“Disaster, Trauma, and Memory” in Routledge Handbook of Memory Studies and Reconciliation in East Asia. 2525

Dr. Steven Heine Dr. Steven Heine, Professor and Director of Asian Studies, recently published Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Kōan in Zen Buddhism (Oxford University Press, 2014) and a translated version of White Collar Zen into Chinese was released in 2013 (originally published by Oxford UP, 2005). Dr. Heine has other forthcoming books, including: Zen Koans (University of Hawaii Press, in press, October 2014); Dōgen and Sōtō Zen, edited book (Oxford University Press, in press); Chan Rhetoric of Uncertainty: Sharpening a Sword at the Dragon Gate (under contract with Oxford University Press). Dr. Heine has published several articles during 2013-2014: An introduction [as Editor of Special Issue]: “Fourth-Wave Studies of Chan/Zen Buddhist Discourse,” Frontiers in History of China 8/3 (2013): 309–315; “Unintended Baggage? Rethinking Yuanwu Keqin’s View of the Role of Language in Chan Gongan Discourse,” Frontiers in History of China 8/3 (2013): 316–341; “On the Value of Speaking and Not Speaking: Philosophy of Language in Zen Buddhism, in Companion to Buddhist Philosophy, ed. Steven Emmanuel (London: Wiley Blackwell, 2013), 349-365. He also published a blog titled, “Is it a Dog’s World?” in the Oxford University Press' Blog: Academic Insights for the Thinking World based on his book Like Cats and Dogs on November 16, 2013. Moreover, he wrote a book review for Conspiracy Truth: The Zen of Narrative Cunning in the Platform Sutra (in press) for Asia Major on November 2013. He also participated in numerous conferences and lectures during this academic year. Most recently, he gave a lecture on Zen at the Japanese Cultural Performance Conference in Tel Aviv University (June 2014) and another lecture on the Lotus Sutra Influences on Zen Buddhism at Lotus Sutra Conference in Tokyo, Japan (May 2014). He presented a paper on Dogen's Philosophy and organized a panel on Zen Reading at the American Academy of Religion (November 2014). In January 2014, he gave a series of workshops in Germany on Zen Buddhist Philosophy and Sacred Sites at the University of Munich and University of Gottingen. He presented at many other national and international panels including Penn State, Komazawa U. and U. of Osaka.


Dr. Nathan Katz Dr. Nathan Katz organized several lectures this academic year year, including: “The Tenth International Conference on Torah and Science," with The Shul, Jerusalem College of Techology, held at The Shul, Surfside, Florida on December 2013; "Near Death Experiences and Life After Death," with Raymond Moody, Eben Alexander, Arthur Seltzer, Samani Unnata Pragya, Samani Shukla Pragya at the Sivananda Yoga Retreat in Bahamas on March 2014; and "The Impact of 'New Age Spiritualities' on American Judaism and Israeli Society" at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem on March 24-26, 2014.

Asuka Mashav Asuka Mashav, Assistant Director of Language Programs and Japanese Language Instructor, became a committee member for Sister City Committee (Kagoshima and Miami) this academic year. In December 16, 2013, she coordinated the Japan Immersion Day event and gave two Sushi Workshops, as she has previous experience working as a Sushi-Chef for ten years. In addition, she applied for and received the CGP Grant to have a special dance performance ¡Viva Japón! Taiko, Etc. on the same day, which had a successful turnout. Before this event, she planned a T-shirt Contest conducted with Naoko Komura in preparation for Japan Immersion Day. Furthermore, she received the Critical Language Scholarship Reviewer for Japanese. There were several of her students who received the Honor's for Japanese. She also organized and planned the April 4th Career Fair at FIU, working with Masako Kubota, to establish connections with Japanese and US companies. 2727

Dr. Matthew Marr Dr. Matthew Marr, Assistant Professor of Sociology, will have his book published soon, Better Must Come: Exiting Homelessness in Two Global Cities, which is forthcoming for 2015 with Cornell University Press. In the meantime, he has been conducting international comparative research on Labor, Housing, and Homelessness in Global Cities: Tokyo, Osaka, Miami, Manila Japan Society for the Promotion of Science: “A Comparison of Human Security at the Margins of American and Japanese Global Cities” (supported by the SSRC/Center for Global Partnerships - Abe Fellowship that he received last year). He will also continue doing research during the Fall semester in Japan. In addition, he was selected to present at the XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology Conference in Yokohama, Japan, as supported by the Japan Foundation IPS Grant Summer 2014 Study Tour, along with Dr. Bin Xu and other FIU professors. He has also published a news article in The Miami Herald titled, “To Help Miami’s Homeless, Increase Available Housing” on October 31, 2013. Dr. Marr also presented his research on homelessness in various global cities at the Morikami Workshop held in April Japan Foundation IPS Grant Summer Study Tour FIU Professors meet in Kyoto, Japan 28

Dr. Eric Messersmith Dr. Eric Messersmith, Asian Studies Lecturer, recetly published a textbook called The History of Japan: Ura and Omote. He is president of the South Florida Association of the Urasenke School and regularly attends international conferences in the field of Japanese culture and the arts. He is also a member of the Southeast US-Japan Society and the South Florida Kendo Club in Miami.

Dr. Shenggao Wang Dr. Shenggao Wang, Chinese Language and Culture Instructor, has published an article dealing with the effect of target language use in social media on intermediate-level Chinese language learners’ writing performance in the CALICO Journal. Another article he has been working on recently is titled, “Incorporating Facebook in an Intermediate-Level Chinese Language Course: A Case Study,” accepted by the IALLT Journal and published this June 2014. Furthermore, Dr. Wang presented a paper in the annual ACTFL Conference in November 2013. Also, Dr. Wang moderated a Roundtable discussion on April 8, 2014: “Shanghai Students Again Top Global Test” as part of the Global Learning for Global Citizenship series. Additionally, he has revamped ASN 3016 as a new course called “China Then & Now” and has exceptionally taught two sections of Chinese II and one section of the Intro to East Asia course, ASN 3410. He also has been leading the FIU Chinese Corner with several students that are part of this club. 29 29

Dr. Hitomi Yoshio Dr. Hitomi Yoshio, Assistant Professor of Japanese, has received the Wolfsonian Infusion Grant for her Summer 2014 ASN 3410: Intro to East Asia class. Dr. Yoshio submitted a grant letter in support for the forthcoming publication of The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa from Canarium Books, translated by Sawako Nakayasu. She also submitted a grant proposal for the Japan Foundation Support Program For Translation and Publication on Japan. On December 2013, Dr. Yoshio met with Emily Rosenberg and Noriko Yamamoto at the Japan Foundation, New York office to discuss Japan Foundation's IPS Grant, The South Florida Partnership in Japanese Studies (SFPJS). Dr. Yoshio, who completed her second year at Asian Studies, developed and taught ASN3329 “Women in Asia Society” in Spring 2014, and revamped ASN4810 “East Asian Texts in Translation” during Fall 2013, which she taught with newly developed graduate sections for each. She also received the Wolfsonian Infusion Grant for ASN3410 “Intro to East Asia” to be offered in the Summer A 2015 term. She published the following translated work: “The Little Girl Blows Up Her Pee Anxiety, My Heart Races" by Mieko Kawakami (The Nippon Foundation, 2014 pp.102-106). She also presented "The Art of Forgetting: National Literature, Authorship, and Gender in Natsume Sōseki's Kusamakura” for the 2014 Sōseki's Diversity Conference at the U. of Michigan. Her summer research is supported by the Japan Foundation IPS Grant as part of the Study Tour in Japan during June 2014. She was selected as leader of this group to travel with other faculty members, including Mali, Lidu Yi, and Sumiko Uo. This year she published two articles, presented at three conferences and also participated in two literary events. Moreover, Dr. Yoshio had the privilege of participating at the International Festival of Authors (IFOA) in Toronto, along with Japanese authors Mieko Kawakami & Kazushige Abe, as well as Dr. Ted GoosDr. Yoshio at the IFOA Conference in Toronto. sen at York University.


Ian Verhine M.A. 2011 graduate, Ian Verhine, was hired as Adjunct Instructor at FIU and has successfully taught ASN 3410 “Intro to East Asia” courses during Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.

Dr. Lidu Yi Dr. Lidu Yi, Assistant Professor in Chinese Art History, will be attending the Japan Foundation supported Faculty Research Trip in Japan during June 2014. She has been teaching new courses in Chinese Art and Art History, including ARH 4552 Art China & Japan, and ARH 4557 Contemporary Chinese Art.

Dr. Julie Zeng Dr. Julie Zeng, Assistant Professor of International Relations, has published a book titled, State-Led Privatization in China—The Politics of Economic Reform (London: Routledge, 2013). In addition, Dr. Zeng and graduate student in the PhD program, Yuanyuan Fang, co-authored an article titled “Between Poverty and Prosperity: China’s Dependent Development and the MiddleIncome Trap,” for the Third World Quarterly (forthcoming).


Asian Studies Program is proud to announce that for the 3rd year in a row, students in our degree programs have been recognized as FIU Worlds Ahead graduates by President Mark Rosenberg. In Summer 2013, it was Julia Beabout (M.A.) who has since travelled to China. Previously, Adam Johnson (M.A.), Karen Cespedes (M.A.) and Sky Choi (B.A.) were “Worlds Ahead� graduates recognized at Commencement.


Wo r l d s A h e a d G r a d uat e

Julia Beabout Asian Studies M.A. (2013) Julia Beabout was recognized as a “World Ahead Graduate” as she received her Master’s Degree and a Chinese Studies Certificate in summer of 2013. Julia’s curiosity in Asian culture began as a child when her father traveled frequently to China on business. As an adult, she lived in Hawaii where the strong Asian influences transformed her interest into a passion. Julia, an engineer, moved to Florida several years ago and decided to enroll in FIU’s Asian Studies program to pursue her passion and advanced career opportunities with Asia. Her time here led to three studyabroad programs in China, including FIU's Hangzhou program and two, 8-week, intensive, immersion language programs in Beijing and Xian. In the summer of 2012, Julia received the prestigious U.S. State Department's Critical Language Scholarship for Chinese language study. As a mature student venturing into a new and unfamiliar academic field, Julia's path towards a degree has been arduous. She credits professors Steven Heine, Thomas Breslin and Ma Li for providing excellent guidance and encouragement during times of challenge. She is also grateful to her friends, classmates and family, especially her husband, for their support. Even though Julia graduated last year, she has been continuing her Chinese language studies in Xuzhou, China. She is currently attending Jiangsu Normal University for a semester on a Confucius Institute Scholarship. She is also considering taking her studies to the Ph.D. level.


Lamarr Nuñez Undergraduate student Lamarr Nuñez was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for the Spring 2014 semester to attend Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan. Lamarr also received the JASSO Scholarship to fulfill his Japanese Studies Certificate and English major requirements. As a result of receiving these scholarships, Lamarr was able to study in Japan where he had the chance to improve his Japanese language skills and learn about the culture. With previous work experience as a tutor in a writing center and gaining field experience in schools, he hopes to pursue a career in Osaka as an English instructor.

Shalisha & Shonda Witherspoon Twin sisters Shalisha and Shonda Witherspoon have received recognition for their Study Abroad experience. They won several scholarships to travel to Kyoto, Japan for the very first time this Summer 2014, including Fund for Education Abroad, Gilman, Fu Foundation and FIU’s Office of Study Abroad scholarships. Both are pursuing the major in Information Technology and minor in Japanese Language and Literature, as well as the Japanese Studies Certificate. 34

Undergraduate Student News REBECCA FERNANDEZ

Rebecca was awarded with the College of Arts and

Sciences (CAS) Academic Excellence Award. This Spring 2014, she graduated with the B.A. in Asian Studies and a Chinese Studies Certificate. In 2012, she studied abroad in Hangzhou, China with Dr. Mali's China Language & Culture program. After graduation, she plans to pursue an MBA.


Nasreen received the Japanese National Honor's certif-

icate at graduation by American Association of Teachers of Japanese. This year, she was awarded the CAS Academic Excellence Award and graduated with the Japanese Studies certificate.


Jaqueline received the CAS Academic Excel-

lence Award and graduated with the B.A. as well as the Japanese Studies Certificate n Spring 2014. She hopes to find a career teaching English in Japan and apply for the M.A. in Asian Studies. She also studied abroad at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka, Japan.

Stephanie completed the B.A. this Spring 2014 along with


two certificates: Japanese Studies and Asian Globalization & Latin America. As she received the CAS Academic Excellence Award, she was grateful for all the Asian Studies events focused on religion, literature, and sociology.

Students from the ANIME ET CETERA! CLUB participated in Dr. Steven Heine’s book reading at Books & Books in Coral Gables last Fall 2013. Visit the club’s page here.

New Ko r ea n C u lt u r e C lu b Asian






Oca, Kenneth Calona and Alina Roque founded the Korean Culture Club of FIU this Spring 2014. The club was created for students interested in learning Korean language and culture through entertaining and informative activities. The club began raising money for two possible speakers, EatYourKimchi, to give a talk at FIU and raise Korean culture awareness. To learn more about the club, visit their Facebook page Join via 3535


As a student in the Asian Studies B.A., Guillermo attended a five-week intensive language and culture program for Summer 2014 at Ritsumeikan University. Guillermo is the first person in his family to graduate college. His goal is to immerse himself in the language and visit nearby temples.


Hangzhou, China

Rachel travelled to Hangzhou, China to study abroad in Zhejiang University for Summer 2014. She wants to improving her knowledge of Chinese language while learning about East Asian history and culture. She also took a trip to Shanghai to visit the city and have the chance to communicate with native speakers.


Chiba, Japan

Ana will be going to Kanda University in Japan for the Fall 2014. She is doing the Japanese Area Studies Major and Certificate in Japanese. She wants to grasp a deeper understanding of the language in order to become a translator, as she views this profession as a way of sharing and bridging cultures.


Osaka, Japan

Lisa will be attending Kansai Gaidai in Hirakata-shi, Osaka, Japan for two semesters (Fall 2014-Spring 2015) to complete her B.A. in Asian Studies and Certificate in Japanese. She is excited to have the opportunity to understand the Japanese culture and language first hand for a year. She hopes to apply to the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program and JASW organization.

Congratulations to the 2014 36


Kyoto, Japan

Kevin participated in the Kyoto Intensive Language and Culture summer study abroad program from May to June 2014. He desires to improve his knowledge in Japanese language and culture and plans to work in this region in the future. He is double majoring in International Relations and Asian Studies, in addition to doing a Certificate in Japanese.


Kyoto, Japan

Jean travelled to Kyoto for the Intensive Culture and Language program this Summer 2014. Her goal is to improve her abilities with the language and learn the culture to apply for the JET Program. During her time in Ritsumeikan University, she networked with natives and learned about Shinto and Buddhism, as well as Taiko drumming. She is pursuing the major in Japanese Area Studies.


Kyoto, Japan

Shalisha studied abroad at Ritsumeikan University during Summer 2014 in a five-week Intensive Language & Culture program in Kyoto. She is majoring in Computer Information Technology with a minor in Japanese Language & Literature and a Certificate in Japanese. In this trip, Shalisha’s goal is to reach fluency in Japanese language and attain a more profound perspective of the culture.


Kyoto, Japan

Just like her twin sister Shalisha, Shonda is an IT Software major with a minor in Japanese Language & Literature and a Certificate in Japanese. She participated this Summer 2014 in the Intensive Language and Culture in Kyoto. While at Ritsumeikan University, she wants to improve her skills in Japanese and apply for the JET Program.


Osaka, Japan

Geri will be travelling during the Fall 2014 to the International Student Exchange (ISE) Program at Kansai Gaidai University. She is pursuing the Japanese Area Studies Major and English, with a minor in Japanese Language and Literature. She looks forward to immersing in the language for an entire semester and hopes to apply afterwards to the JET Program to teach English in Japan.

4 Fu Foundation Students! 37 37

Maria Magdaline Jamass M.A. in Asian Studies Last summer, as Fu Foundation Recepient, Maria traveled to South Korea in order to learn Korean and do research for her thesis, Images and Perceptions of Muslims and Arabs in Korean Popular Culture and Society. As a graduate student, Maria worked as TA for Dr. Messersmith’s Fall 2012 & Spring 2013 courses “US-Japan Relations” and “History of Japan,” Instructor Kubota’s “Intro to East Asia” courses from Spring 2013 to Spring 2014, and Dr. Heine’s “Methods” and “Modern Asia” courses for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. Most of Maria’s research has focused on Korean history and society, perceptions of Islam and Arabs in South Korea, artwork produced by Korean Comfort Women, and the folktale of Chun-hyang. She has also received two certificates in Japanese Studies and Asian Globalization, in addition to receving the College of Arts and Science Academic Excellence Award. Following graduation, Maria will continue studying Korean in Seoul. In April, Maria was selected by the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education to teach English at an elementary school in South Korea. She will be heading to Korea in mid-August.


Alexandra Dvoriantchikova M.A. in Asian Studies

Alexandra will be receiving her M.A. degree in Summer 2014 with a focus on Central Asian dynamics. She will also receive four graduate certificates– Japanese Studies, Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies, Asian Globalization, and National Security. Most of her graduate work has involved postSoviet Asian countries and their relationship with each other and Russia. Alexandra’s M.A. Essay looks at the complexity of Central Asian identities by assessing clan affiliation and influence in Uzbekistan following its independence in 1991. In September 2013, Alexandra presented her research on Islam in Russian News Media and its affects on the image of Muslims in Russia at the International Studies Association Conference in Pasadena, California. As a graduate student Alexandra was also a teaching assistant for Dr. Eric Messersmith in his Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 courses “US-Japan Relations” and “History of Japan.” Following the graduation Alexandra will be traveling to Asia and Europe and preparing for a Foreign Service Exam in a pursuit of a career in the U.S. Department of State.


CONFERENCES: Share your research and network with scholars in your field. For graduate student funding opportunities to travel to conferences or professional development programs, visit

Zenel Garcia and Alexandra Dvoriantchikova at the ISA West Conference in Pasadena, California

Zenel Garcia at the ISA West Conference with fellow panelists 40

Asian Studies Graduate Students Present at the 2013 ISA Regional Conferences Asian







and eventually pursue a career in foreign relations of the United States.

va and Zenel Garcia presented their

Zenel is a joint Asian Studies

original research papers at the 2013

M.A. and International Relations Ph.D.

ISA (International Studies Association)

student. Zenel’s research focus is on

Regional Conferences.

the Chinese military modernization

Alexandra is a second year Asian

and East Asian relations. He presented

Studies M.A. student focusing on the

his paper, titled “Modernization of the

political, religious and cultural dy-

People's Liberation Army and Sino-

namics of Central Asia. She presented

Japanese Security Relations” at the ISA

her research on Islam in Russian news

West Conference on September 28,

media at the ISA West Conference in

2013. Zenel was also part of a panel at

Pasadena, California on September 28,

the ISA North East Conference in

2013. Alexandra will be graduating in

Providence, Rhode Island on Novem-

the Summer 2014 semester, after

ber 8, 2013. Zenel has completed his

which she plans to travel to Asia to

Master’s Thesis and received his M.A.

gain more experience in the region,

degree in Spring of 2014.

g r a d uat e st u d e n t I n vo lv e m e n t Asian Studies graduate students are actively involved with the Program’s academic events. In one particular event, students took time to meet and ask questions with outside scholar from Japan, Dr. Yoneyuki Sugita, coming from the University of Osaka. Students had a chance to ask Dr. Sugita questions at Dr. Eric Messersmith’s course on Japan-U.S. Relations.

Zenel Garcia, Dr. Eric Messersmith, Dr. Yone Sugita, Alexandra Dvoriantchikova, Cory Hardaker and Bryan Barber 41

Zenel Garcia graduated with the Asian Studies M.A. this Spring 2014. He has been an accomplished student among his peers. In the Summer 2013, he went to China with the Study Abroad Program led by Mali. In the Fall 2013, he presented his research papers at several conferences, including at the ISA West in Pasadena, California on September 27th and at ISA Northeast in Providence, Rhode Island on November 8th. In addition, he was accepted to speak at a panel in Australia on July 8, 2014 for the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) as well as another one in Temple, Arizona on October 8, 2014 at the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Western Conference. Zenel successfully defended his thesis with distinction on March 20th, titled, “China’s Military Modernization, Japan’s Normalization and its Effects on the South China Sea Territorial Disputes.” He received an Award for Best Thesis in Asian Studies as well as the Academic Achievement Award on April 27, 2014. He will continue at FIU towards his PhD in International Relations and travel to East Asia to supplement his research. 42

Graduate Student News BRYAN BARBER

Bryan received an M.A. in Geography from Oklahoma

State University before he travelled to Japan. Now, as a student in the M.A. in Asian Studies at FIU, he is currently working part-time teaching at Broward College.

William visited temples and caves in Thailand


associated with famous Thai monks such as Ajahn Mun and Ajahn Chah in 2013. He graduated this Spring 2013 and focused his Master’s Essay on “The Modernization of Theravada Buddhism: The Vipassana Movement as Secularized Spirituality.”


Marcela, pursuing the M.A. in Asian Studies

spent a semester in China during Fall 2014 to further her research in linguistic methodologies between Chinese and English.

Holly focused her Master’s Essay on “Aida Makoto: An Evolution in Self-Expression” and finished the M.A. in Asian Studies Spring 2014.


Devon graduated this Spring 2014 with the M.A. in Asian Studies. His Master’s Essay was titled, “No Climax, No Point, No Meaning: The Boys Love Manga Genre and Its Global Readership.” He also applied for the Inter-University Center (IUC) Exam for Japanese Language Studies.


Asian Studies Office Employees  María Sol Echarren—Program Coordinator (2010-present) M.A. in Spanish Literature & Linguistics (Spring 2012); Ph.D. Spanish (current student)

 Alexandra Dvoriantchikova—Graduate Assistant (2013-2014) M.A. in Asian Studies (Summer 2014)

 Maria Magdalena Jamass—Graduate Assistant (2012-2014) M.A. in Asian Studies (Spring 2014)

 Claudia Lau—Graduate Assistant (2013-present) M.A. in Asian Studies (Current Student)

 Kristina Loveman— Program Assistant (2013-2014) M.S. in International/Intercultural Education (Spring 2014)

 Ian Verhine—Adjunct Instructor / Office Assistant (2013-present) M.A. in Asian Studies (Summer 2011)

 Kimberly Zwez—Office Assistant (2014) M.A. in Religious Studies (Spring 2014) 4343


Aaron Benge Asian Studies B.A. (2011) International M.B.A. (2012) “I studied abroad in Kyoto, Japan, as an undergraduate and then again in China as a graduate student. I have an obsession with finding new things and after having studied abroad, the idea of finding something new is inspiring. My first study abroad experience motivated me to pursue my masters because I wanted to become more educated. As a scholar, you grow and learn instantaneously everything that you can about a culture that is interesting and shocking, but that you would nonetheless obtain only through an experience abroad. Being outside of your comfort zone opens you to trying new foods and adapting to different customs. My experience taught me to be more grateful and helped me become the person that I am today.” At the end of 2012, Aaron moved to Japan to pursue a management opportunity at a school in Osaka.

Alexis Moore Asian Studies M.A. (2013) “I was accepted to the JET program in 2013 to teach English in Japan. I live in a small town named Sayo, in Hyogo Prefecture. I only teach at one school, Sayo Senior High School. My high school has around 600 students total and I am the only ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) at this school. My students are not only from Sayo Town but other areas in the Nishi-Harima region of Hyogo Prefecture as well, with some students even commuting over an hour to come to school every day.” Alexis has extended her JET contract so she will be staying in Japan at least one more year.


Gabriela Romeu Asian Studies M.A. (2013) Gabie was featured in an Okinawa Times newspaper article in September: “Enthusiastically Interested in Okinawan Culture.” She has been appointed by the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program to teach English at three elementary schools in Ginoza Village starting in September. Every day she brings a bento (packed lunch) to school and engages in fun cultural exchanges with the students during lunchtime. Gabie studied abroad at Ritsumeikan University [in Kyoto] and is interested in Japanese culture as well as Okinawan history and nature. She is glad to live in Ginoza Village and states, “I want to learn more about Okinawan history and enjoy its scenery.” Gabie describes her impression of Okinawa’s children as “funny and cute.” She is also excited to teach Basic English and share some of her experiences living in Miami, Florida (USA) with Japan. In November AJET Connect magazine published her article, "Nationalism: By the Books," which addresses the strained relations between China and Japan. Gabriela reflects on the recent developments in the East Asian region, as well as the ongoing Chinese resentment of Japan’s actions in WWII. The tension rose in 1965 when Japan began to publish textbooks that distorted and downplayed the accounts of the war atrocities it had committed, such as the Nanjing massacre. Recently, more historically correct textbooks have been adapted, but several issues on the basis of nationalism remain between the East Asian neighbors.


2013-2014 Asian Studies Graduates

CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s graduates of Asian Studies academic programs! MASTER OF ARTS IN ASIAN STUDIES Julia Beabout William Colachicco Alexandra Dvoriantchikova Zenel Garcia

Maria M. Jamass Alexis Moore Min Mossman

Holly Rodriguez Devon Rudolph Tian Zeng

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ASIAN STUDIES Rachel Anchieta Andres Baca Gloria Bailon Jason Chamberlain Tracey Diaz Amanda Feijoo Rebecca Fernandez Laura Gonzalez Nick Harnamji

Merim Imamovic Jacqueline Joseph Blake Lococo Samantha Marcinski Yuliediz Martinez Maria Jose Mieles Judith Perez Edward Quinto Valeria Rendon


Brittany Steele Curtis Stewart Yuriko Takano Ana Vegaga Cameron Viscovich Ralph Villanueva Stephanie Visi Carla Zavala Sarahit Zerpa Saranhais Zerpa

JAPANESE STUDIES CERTIFICATE Rachel Anchieta Jessica Ciocon Tracey Diaz Amanda Feijoo Laura Gonzalez Nick Harnamji Carlos Hernandez Nasreen Hidmi Ramiro Jauregui Jaqueline Joseph Yuliediz Martinez Luz Paiz Edward Quinto Valeria Rendon



Marlene Ruiz Vangelis Soriano Curtis Stewart Ana Vegaga Ralph Villanueva Stephanie Visi Carla Zavala Sarahit Zerpa Saranhais Zerpa

ASIAN STUDIES CERTIFICATE Christopher Dominguez Bowen Dai Samantha Gallego Martine Louis Rene Padron

Alejandro Cruz GRADUATE Rebecca Fernandez CERTIFICATE IN Adriana Mieres ASIAN GLOBALIZATION Sebastian Salcedo Stephanie Bowles Piero Sarmiento Alosilla Alex Dvoriantchikova Helen Su Shum Maria M. Jamass Sarahit Zerpa Krissy Loveman Min Mossman


Luisa Barros Carrie Bower Antoine Colmenares George Garcia Adriana Mieres Saade Mitchell Luz Paiz Anthony Paz Michael Rodriguez Vangelis Soriano Analicia Wong

ASIAN GLOBALIZATION & LATIN AMERICA CERTIFICATE Samantha Gallego Anthony Paz Sebastian Salcedo Stephanie Visi Melissa Yepes

GRADUATE CERTIFICATE IN ASIAN STUDIES Michael Bender Lukas Danner Priyanka Ramlakhan Bahia Simons-Lane

S F P J S Pa r t n e r s Asian Studies Program received the Institutional Project Support Program Grant from the Japan Foundation for 2013-2017, for a collaborative project called "The South Florida Partnership in Japanese Studies (SFPJS) Housed at FIU." The SFPJS partners include Florida Atlantic University (FAU), the Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, and the Florida Delegation of the Southeast U.S./Japan Association (SEUS/Japan). The SFPJS also collaborates with outreach organizations including local community colleges, such as Miami-Dade College, in addition to the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese, Miami Hoshuko, and the Japan Business Association of Miami.



September 2013 09/25/13 — “Confucianism and the 47 Ronin” Lecture by Dr. John Tucker (Professor of History at East Carolina University) exploring Confucianism within the tale of the 47 Ronin. 09/30/13 — ”Sacred High City, Sacred Low City” Lecture by Dr. Steven Heine (Professor and Director of Asian Studies) on his recent book, Sacred High City, Scared Low City, exploring scared sites in two Tokyo Neighborhoods.

October 2013 10/02/13 — “Studies of Japanese Culture in Florida” Lecture by Shigeko Honda, Curator of Education at Morikami Museum, on Japanese Culture in Florida. 10/11/13 — "Edo Townspeople's Culture: Whose Space is it, Anyway?" Lecture by Dr. Laura Nenzi (Associate Professor of History, University of Tennessee) 10/25/13 — “JET Program Info Session” Info session for the Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program that offers students the opportunity to work in Japan. Organized by the Consulate General of Japan in Miami.

November 2013 11/05/13 — "Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Kōan in Zen Buddhism" Book reading by Dr. Steven Heine at Books & Books on his new book, Like Cats and Dogs: Contesting the Mu Kōan in Zen Buddhism. 11/16/13-6/7/14— National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) Seminar A nationwide professional development program for K-12 teachers to encourage teaching and learning about Asia.

December 2013 12/10/13 — “Asian Studies Holiday Reception” Reception for Faculty and Graduate Students in Asian Studies. 12/16/13 — “Japan Immersion Day" Japanese culture event presented by the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ). 50

February 2014 02/07/14 — “Chinese Zen Meditation: Koan Contemplation versus Silent Sitting Lecture presented by Dr. Morten Shlütter (University of Iowa) on the differences between the two main approaches to meditation and enlightenment. 02/11/14 — “A Comparison of Sacred and Secular in Northern Europe and Japan” Lectures by Dr. Jeffery Cox (Professor of History, University of Iowa) and Dr. Steven Heine (Professor and Director of Asian Studies, FIU)

March 2014 03/07/14 — “Southern Japan Seminar" The annual Southern Japan Seminar (SJS) presented research and educational activities of Japanrelated scholars in the Southeastern United States. 03/15/14 — “Chinese Speech & Skit Contest” Chinese Speech & Skit Contest presented by Chinese Club, Asian Studies, Modern Languages, and the Confucian Institute of Miami Dade College 03/27/14 — ”9/11 and Japan’s Consistent Security Policies” Lecture by Dr. Yoneyuki Sugita, visiting scholar from Osaka University, on Japanese security policy in the wake of 9/11 and with the context of U.S./Japan relations 03/29/14 — “Japanese Speech & Skit Contest” Florida Statewide Japanese Speech & Skit Contest organized by the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ).

April 2014 04/04/14 — “Career/Internship Fair” Students were given the chance to network with Japan related companies and present their CV for internship opportunities or full-time or half-time employment. 04/08/14 — “Shanghai Students Again Top Global Test” A Roundtable discussion moderated by Dr. Shenggao Wang, Chinese Language and Culture Instructor, as part of the Global Learning for Global Citizenship series. 04/11/13 — Japanese Literature, Traditional and Modern A discussion on traditional and modern Japanese literature led by Dr. Haruo Shirane and Dr. Tomi Suzuki from Columbia University .

Japan Studies Review XVIII 2015  National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) 2014–2015  Southern Japan Seminar 2015  Japan Foundation Grant Activities 2014–2015 


ASIAN STUDIES PROGRAM Florida International University Modesto A. Maidique Campus SIPA Building, Room 505 11200 SW 8th Street Miami, FL 33199 Phone: (305) 348-1914 Fax: (305) 348-6586 Email: SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS


FIU's Asian Studies Program Newsletter 2013-2014  

Florida International University's Asian Studies Program - Newsletter for Academic Year 2013-2014

FIU's Asian Studies Program Newsletter 2013-2014  

Florida International University's Asian Studies Program - Newsletter for Academic Year 2013-2014