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A SIAN STUDIES PROGRAM Florida International University

2014– 2015 S T E V E N J. G R E E N S C H O O L O F I N T E R N A T I O N A L A N D P U B L I C A F F A I R S


2014-2015 Highlights National Endowment Grant


Asian Studies Events


Faculty Updates


Graduates & Student News


Graduate Student Spotlight


Alumni News


Upcoming Event! The 12th Annual Florida-Japan Summit September 2, 2015 For more information, visit our website.


NAOKO KOMURA Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

DR. STEVEN HEINE Professor and Director Asian Studies

MASAKO KUBOTA Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

DR. TOM BRESLIN Professor International Relations

MARCELA LOPEZ BRAVO Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

MITZI CARTER Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

DR. LI MA Chinese Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

AYESHA HUI Chinese Adjunct Instructor Modern Languages

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

DR. NATHAN KATZ SIPA Distinguished Professor Religious Studies

DR. AMY BLISS MARSHALL Assistant Professor History / Asian Studies


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

DR. LIDU YI Assistant Professor Art & Art History

DR. ERIC MESSERSMITH Lecturer History Asian Studies

DR. HITOMI YOSHIO Graduate Program Director Assistant Professor Asian Studies Modern Languages

IAN VERHINE Adjunct Instructor 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

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

KIMBERLY ZWEZ Program Assistant Asian Studies GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANTS: Claudia Lau Rebecca Richko Rayna Rusenko


The Asian Studies Program has received a grant for a Summer Institute on Tokyo, entitled Tokyo: High City and Low City: A NEH Summer Institute for College and University Teachers. The Institute is designed to lead par-

ticipants in an in-depth humanistic exploration of the literary, religious, and philosophical movements that have visibly—and invisibly—contributed to the construction of modern Japan. By providing a platform in each session for a focused yet flexible investigation into the markers of tradition and modernity in Japan’s capital city, the Summer Institute will infuse college teachers with new critical knowledge of diverse local and global perspectives on Japanese identity. The Institute will be tentatively held from June 4

to July 1, 2016 and applications will be accepted through March 1, 2016. Visit the project website for more information.


In addition to structured sessions and study, participants will also be further immersed in the traditions, history and heritage of Japan

through multiple artistic and cultural events and excursions organized for the evenings and the weekend. Through a reading of key literary works and select secondary sources, participants will engage in focused study of

Dr. Steven Heine and Dr. Hitomi Yoshio collaborated on the grant.

four main themes (Approaches, Authority, Aesthetics, and Ambiguities of the cultural history) to examine the var-

iegated developments in Tokyo’s High City and Low City over the past one hundred and fifty years. The overall theme of the Summer Institute will be “Find my Tokyo,” where researchers and teachers will be encouraged to focus on a specific part of Tokyo to include in their research or curriculum.


Asian Studies Alumni & Friends The FIU Asian Studies Alumni Association was founded in October 2014 and has established an online forum to showcase and connect alumni. The goals of this organization are: (1) to provide a network of current alumni members along with friends among the general community, (2) to create opportunities for those connected with the Alumni and Friends Association to update one another and communicate about their postgraduation activities, (3) to help identify potential philanthropic donors who may be interested in providing support for the program’s continued pursuit of academic excellence. Like us on Facebook: Alumni Board Members:  Umer Rahman, President (MA ’13)  Bryan Barber  Julia Beabout (MA ’13)  Augusto Bejar (MA ‘15)  Karen Cespedes (MA ’13)  William Colachicco (MA ’14)  Steven Crowe (MA ’12)  Alexandra Dvoriantchikova (MA ’14)  Yuanyuan Fang (MA ’11)  Jennifer Garcia (MA ’11)

Alumni Association President Umer Rahman and Asian Studies Director Dr. Steven Heine

 Zenel Garcia (MA ’14)  Maria Jamass (MA ’14)  Masako Kubota (MA ’09)  Marcela Lopez Bravo (MA ’12)  Krissy Loveman (Cert. ’14)  Ansen Steiner (MA ’09)  Maria Gabriela Romeu (MA ’13)  Bahia Simons-Lane (Cert. ’14)  Grace Taylor (BA ’09)  Ian Verhine (MA ’11)


Omar K. Carrion Scholarship The Omar K. Carrion Scholarship for Asian Studies was established through a $50,000 gift made by Hilda and Fernando Carrion, parents of Omar Carrion, as an endowment memorializing their son who passed away in 2013. The first Omar K. Carrion Scholarship will be awarded to a highly qualified undergraduate student in September 2015 during the Florida Japan Summit. Omar Kahil Carrion was born January 28, 1985 in Miami, FL. He grew up in a tight-knit family with his mother, Hilda, father, Fernando, and his younger sister, Tatiana. He was a family guy, and had a great relationship with his parents, sister and extended family. He was always a happy child. His favorite hobbies were playing video games and playing outside with friends, especially baseball. His friends called him the “Number One Marlin’s Fan”. Omar was also a bright student. He graduated high school in 2003 and immediately started classes at FIU. He grew a love for Japan and pursued his bachelor’s in Asian Studies. He gained new friends and experiences, like teaching English to students in Japan. He was later hired by J. Silny and Associates as a Foreign Credential Advisor. He was thankful for his career but longed for something that he was always passionate about: filmmaking. He quit his job and followed his dreams. After he wrote and directed his own short

film, he helped to create “Phyxius Pictures”. While filming with Phyxius Pictures, he wrote, directed, and edited a few short films and an episode. Unfortunately, his dream was short lived. On March 2, 2013, Omar, who was on his way to play baseball with friends at Tropical Park, was hit by a drunk/ drugged driver. He was killed instantly. His family miss- Fernando Carrion presents the Omar K. Carries him every day and hope this scholarship will inspire on Scholarship for Asian Studies to the Asian others to pursue their dreams no matter the obstacles.


Studies Program. The image of his son, Omar, can be seen in the background.

J a pa n Fo u n dat i o n G r a n t G oa l s : Ye a r

The Asian Studies Program received the Japan Foundation’s Institu

(IPS) Grant, for a collaborative project called “The South Florida Partner

(SFPJS) Housed at FIU.” This project, lasting from 2013-2017, will greatly

critical analysis of Japanese history and culture through developing an int

and supporting a multi-institutional consortium for promoting research, tea

During the second year of the project, additional library acquisitions a

purchased for FIU. The Southern Japan Seminar was held at FIU on Februa

dation Grant Workshop was held on April 17. At the Workshop, 12 FIU r

searchers presented their research and contribution to the Japan Foundati the Japan Studies Review is out for publication in Summer 2015. A series of events were coordinated with non-profit external advisors

the Japanese Consulate, Japan Business Association, SEUS-Japan in FL, Ch Association, and other associations.



r 2

utional Program Support

rship in Japanese Studies

y enhance knowledge and

terdisciplinary curriculum

aching, and outreach.

and digital resources were

ary 27 and the Japan Foun-

researchers and 5 FAU re-

ion Grant. Volume XIX of

from Morikami Museum,

hinese Language Teachers

9 9

Southern Japan Seminar (SJS) promotes the research and educational activities of Japan-related scholars in the Southeastern United States. SJS fosters critical inquiry, multi-disciplinary discussion, and the dissemination of knowledge, concerning all Japan-related topics, both theoretical and practical. This year, Southern Japan Seminar was held on February 27, 2015, with opening remarks by Dr. Steven Heine and Shinji Nagashima from the Consul General of Japan in Miami. As usual, there was an outstanding turnout of students and faculty for the event. The morning session, titled “Cultural Contexts of East Asia,” consisted of presentations by: Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University Confucianism and Environmental Issues in East Asia Dr. Don Baker, University of British Columbia Transformation of Religion in 20th-century Korea Dr. Annette Fromm, FIU Museums in Korea The afternoon session was titled “Current Research on Japanese Studies.” Included in this panel were: Dr. Amy Marshall, FIU Consumer Culture and Transwar Japanese Magazines Dr. Hitomi Yoshio, FIU Osaki Midori and Japanese Literary Modernism Mitzi Carter, FIU Mixed Race Okinawans and Their Obscure In-Betweeness 10

Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker

Dr. Don Baker

Dr. Annette Fromm

Yale University

University of British Columbia


Dr. Amy Marshall

Dr. Hitomi Yoshio

Mitzi Carter





Asian Studies Events “Always: Sunset on Third Street 3” The Consulate General of Japan in Miami showed a Japanese film, “Always: Sunset on Third Street 3”, set in Tokyo 1964, a period of rapid economic growth for Japan.

“Right to Wynwood” Dr. Matthew Marr, who conducted fieldwork as a Social Science Research Council/Center for Global Partnership Abe Fellow in Japan, showed the film "Right to Wynwood," in Kamagasaki, Osaka to stoke debate about art and gentrification in global cites.

Two Tokyo Temples Dr. Steven Heine held a lecture titled “Two Tokyo Temples: Samurai Memorials and Iconic Cats at Sengakuji and Gotokuji" on November 3, 2014 at the Frost Art Museum. Many of the prints selected for this exhibit of Koizumi Kishio's views of Tokyo in the 1930s highlight serene urban landscapes at temples, shrines, gateways, gardens, parks, fields, rivers, and bridges. However, two of the temples have as a legacy the most spectacularly violent deaths in Japanese history: at Sengakuji, we find the graves of the 47 Ronin who committed mass suicide after avenging their warlord's demise in 1703; and at Gotokuji, there is a memorial for famed samurai Ii Naosuke who was assassinated in public in 1860 for having signed accords with America. Moreover, these temples are also known for symbolic images of cats, including the iconic Beckoning Cat now sold in stores throughout the world. (Above) Students pose with Dr. Heine and Dr. Lidu Yi after Dr. Heine’s lecture. 1212

Asian Studies Events Scholarly Perspectives on Asian Studies Graduate students joined as a panel and presented their upcoming and current research. Greg Bryant: Chinese Trade David Dayton: Southeast Asian Societies Rayna Rusenko: Sociological Studies in Japan and Malaysia Ian Verhine: Japanese Translation

Sebastian Masuda Visit & Lecture Students posed for a group photo with Sebastian Masuda (center front), Japanese Contemporary Artist & Founder of Harajuku Kawaii Culture, after his lecture in Spring 2015.

Kimono Lecture and Demonstration Hiromi Asai (pink kimono) is a kimono stylist and founder of Kimono Hiro in FL. She provided a lecture on the history of kimono and later showed how to put on a hakama and haori (for males) and a furisode (for females).

JETAA-FL Movie Screening: The Taylor Anderson Story Students gathered to view a documentary film about Taylor Anderson, an extraordinary young American woman who taught Japanese children at seven schools in Ishinomaki as a participant on the JET Program, and Montgomery Dickson, who was also a JET in Rikuzentakata. Both Taylor and Monty lived their dreams right up to the events of March 11, 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan . 1313

Asian Studies Events

Chinese New Year Celebration Students and the general public enjoyed traditional Chinese performances such as the Lion Dance and Group Lanterns’ Dance, Er Hu, Chinese Sword Dance, and Chinese Mu Lan Fan in Tai Chi Style to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Martial Arts Lecture and Calligraphy Demonstration Students had the opportunity to hear a martial arts lecture and see a demonstration of calligraphy penmanship from Kazuaki Tanahashi and then were able to practice the calligraphy themselves. Asia Immersion Day Students celebrated East Asian culture, including the Chinese New Year, a K-pop dance-off, and live taekwondo demonstrations. The event was a collaborative effort between Budokan Club, Chinese Club, FIU Taekwondo Club, Geek Culture Club, Japan Club, Korean Club, and was funded by the Council for Student Organizations. Japan Foundation Grant Workshop The Japan Foundation Grant Workshop was held Spring 2015, and consisted of 12 FIU researchers, 5 FAU researchers, 1 presenter from University of Massachusetts Boston, and 1 presenter from the Florida Delegation of Southeast U.S./Japan Association. All presenters discussed their research and contribution to the Japan Foundation Grant. 1414

Ja pa Ne t wo rk JapaNetwork is a new project sponsored by FIU’s Asian Studies Program in collaboration with community organizations that help to promote Japanese culture and society in South Florida. The first meeting was held in Spring 2015, and brought together partners from across public, private, and educational sectors under a vision of advancing our mutual interests in Japan-US interaction and exchange. Their goal is to pool the wisdom and strengths of all institutional partners in a network capable of building capacity for the expansion of a common mission. JapaNetwork would like to thank the participation of the Consulate Office including Mr. Nagashima, Mr. Ogino, and Mr. Takagi, in addition to all attendees: Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ) Florida Atlantic University (FAU) Florida International University (FIU) FIU Asian Studies Alumni Florida JET Alumni Association Ichimura Garden Japan Business Association (JBA) Japan Travel Bureau (JTB) Miami Hoshuko Miami-Kagoshima Sister City Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens Southeast US/Japan Association Photos (top to bottom): Consul General Nagashima; Dave Woodward of Southeast US/Japan Association; Former Curator of Morikami Museum Tom Gregersen; Dr. Steven Heine from FIU. 15 15

Dr. Heine at B ooks & B ooks

Dr. Steven Heine presented his latest book Zen Koans (Oxford University Press) in Spring 2015 at Books & Books in Coral Gables. In his book, Dr. Heine introduces and analyzes the classic background of texts and rites and explores the contemporary significance of koans to illuminate the full implications of this ongoing tradition. He delves deeply into the inner structure of koan literature to uncover and interpret profound levels of metaphorical significance. At the same time, he takes the reader beyond the veil of vagueness and inscrutability to an understanding of how koan writings have been used in pre-modern East Asia and are coming to be evoked and implemented in modern American practice of Zen.

JET Program Info Session

Michael Herrero, JET Program Coordinator from the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, held an Information Session on September 24, 2014 to familiarize FIU students with the application process and answer any questions. 1616

The Florida Japan Exchange and Teaching Program Alumni Association hosted an application workshop for applicants interested in the JET Program on October 20, 2014. Students brought in their draft applications for review, had their questions answered, and received suggestions for letters of recommendation and statements of purpose. Students accepted to JET Program for 2015 include: Jhonathan Baez, Reza DaneshPajooh, Sarah Daut, Camilo Guerra-Tejo, Kearney Kilcoyne, Brandon Lodenquai, Michael Ramirez, and Paola Torres.

NC TA S em ina r 20 1 4 - 2 015 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 offers an introduction to Asian culture, history, and society that demonstrates to teachers how to infuse Asian materials into their classrooms. This workshop was directed by Dr. Steven Heine with the assistance of Claudia Lau, an Asian Studies graduate student and experienced teacher. The main objective of the workshop is for teachers to understand Chinese cultural aspects, encouraging them to infuse Asian Studies into their curriculum through the use of Asian films and online resources. Furthermore, this knowledge can be applied to specific and original lesson plans for incorporation into each teacher’s educational portfolio. To apply for the next session, contact the Asian Studies Program at, or visit our website at:

NCTA Seminar participants for 2014-2015

Asian Studies Featured in FIU Magazine The Asian Studies Program was featured in the FIU Magazine’s article titled “Interest in Asian Studies at FIU Explodes”. The article highlights the experiences of an Asian Studies alum, Jennifer Garcia (MA ‘09), discusses the growth of the program since its introduction in 2002, and talks about the immense student involvement in in and outside of the classroom. As the articles states, “Today, Asian studies enrolls 150 undergraduates, plus 200 minors and certificate students. The seven-year-old master’s degree program has 25 students and is graduating eight to 10 graduate students each year. Heine has recently put forth a proposal to develop a Ph.D. program in the future. “ To read the full article, visit the website. 17


Chinese Speech & Skit Contest The 8th Annual Florida International Chinese Speech & Skit Contest organized by Chinese Instructor Ma Li, was held on March 21, 2015 at the MMC campus and had a successful turnout with several students participating. The FIU winners for each category were: Speech Contest: Level III—1st Place: Cindy Guzman, Danielle Robinson, & Lynn Rodriguez Level IV—1st Place: Anna Seerey Skit Contest: Level VI—1st Place: Sylvanna Loo This event was 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. Photos: the audience included students, faculty, and staff, as well as community members and families.



Q i pao L ec t u r e & D e m o n s t r at i o n Professor Jingping Guo (far right) from Miami Dade College Confucius Institute hosted a lecture and demonstration on Oriental Beauty Manifested by Chinese Qipao. Qipao is a traditional costume for Chinese women. On April 17, Professor Guo introduced the history of Chinese qipao, the variety of styles and the new trends of qipao evolution. The qipao manifests Chinese women’s beauty and elegance, representative of Chinese culture.

Chinese Area Studies Major This interdisciplinary major in Chinese Area Studies Major was established in Fall 2014 as a branch of the Asian Studies B.A. degree. The major, which emphasizes Chinese language and culture as well as other courses in area studies, caps off the devel-

opment of programs in Chinese language and non-language courses. Since its’ start in Fall 2014, over 60 undergraduate majors have pursued this track. For more information about the Chinese Area Studies major and its requirements, please visit our website.

Study Abroad at Zhejiang Gongshang University For the first time, FIU students had the opportunity to study abroad at Zhejiang Gongshang University this past summer! These students were: Raisa Chauca Oscar Fleites Stephen Garrett Tania Gonzalez Shane Hernandez Franklin Hernandez Leila Vargas Daniel Vazquez 1919

New Korean L anguage Course Korean is the official language of North and South Korea and spoken in Korean communities living in China, Japan, Central Asia and the U.S. The Korean I language course will be offered for the first time at FIU during the Fall 2015 semester as KOR 1990 and will be taught by Instructor Heeseon Lim. For more information about the Korean I language course, please visit: Photo (below): Hyangwonjong Pavilion, Lake Seoul, South Korea

Korean Culture Club The Korean Culture Club completed its first year at FIU! Asian Studies students Stephanie Montes De Oca, Kenneth Calona and Alina Roque founded the Korean Culture Club of FIU in 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 and join via 2020

Japanese Speech & Skit Contest The Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ), organized the annual Florida Statewide Japanese Speech & Skit Contests at FIU. The competition awarded students from middle school, high school, and college levels, ranging from Level 1 to Level 7. The FIU winners were: Karaoke Video: 1st place - Thais Torquez Promotion Video: 1st place - Jana Nudelman

Stu dy Ab road in Ja pa n Students who attended Japan’s summer program at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto included: Giovanni Chevali Jorge Garrido Abigail Hill Hannah Leyton Daniela Llaque

Ingrid Luna-Sarmiento Lydia Quijada Amanda Raude Katie Rocco Jeremy Strothmann

FIU and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University are working on a student exchange program, which would allow students the opportunity to study abroad in Beppu, Japan.

Ja pa n Stu d ies Rev iew Japan Studies Review is a refereed journal published annually by the Southern Japan Seminar and Asian Studies at FIU. The 2015 issue (Vol XX) consists of articles on various subjects including empire building through postage stamps, Hiroshi Senju’s wa-

terfall paintings, wine manga and the Japanese sommelier’s rise in the French wine world, and Japanese government subsidies for sickness insurance. It also features essays Japanese political terminology during the Meiji era and on Nun Abutsu’s Yoru no Tsuru. Several book reviews are included pertaining to topics on the Women’s Liberation Movement in Japan, modern Japanese Buddhist thought, baseball as “softpower diplomacy” in 1930’s Japan, and MacArthur’s role in post-war Japan.

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 or21

Japan Immersion Day South Florida is home to Japanese cultural and musical artists from a variety of disciplines. Japan Immersion Day serves as a great community-based event that brings all of them together in the name of promoting Japanese culture, and has been a mainstay of the Asian Studies Program’s cultural outreach efforts since 2000. The event is held annually at FIU, 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 tryons. Japan Immersion Day is an educational and cultural outreach event that consists of performances and workshops, where students can learn about different aspects of Japanese culture and engage first-hand with a wide variety of Japanese arts. This year, Japan Immersion Day was held on December 15, 2014 in conjunction with the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ), Consulate General of Japan in Miami, FIU’s Department of Modern Languages and Asian Studies Program. The event held a tea ceremony and tasting (top left), as well as a kendo demonstration


and practice (middle left). Students were able to try on kimono (bottom left), and practice chopstick decoration, or hachimaki. Workshops were also held on origami (top right), sushi-making, sumie (Japanese brush painting), calligraphy (bottom right), martial arts, anime, and video games. Attendees also enjoyed Japanese boxed lunches and were treated to a Soran Dance.

 Anime  Calligraphy  Chopstick decoration / Hachimaki  Japanese bracelet making  Kendo  Kimono  Origami  Sumie (Brush painting)  Sushi making  Video Games Photos (counterclockwise): tea ceremony, kendo, kimono try-on, hashimaki, calligraphy, soran demonstration, and origami.


Dr. Heine’s Summer Research Dr. Heine once again took research trips to China and Japan this year to continue studies related to two new publications. One is a book titled Chan Rhetoric of Uncertainty in the Blue Cliff Record, a comprehensive study of the premier Zen Buddhist collection of one hundred kōan cases with prose and verse commentary. The Blue Cliff Record was originally produced in the 1100s at Mount Jiashan, a Buddhist temple in a remote part of Hunan province, also known for initiating the fusion of Zen and Tea. There is much controversy about the origins and distribution of the collection in the twelfth century, when it was supposedly destroyed by the author’s main disciple for being overly erudite, as well has how the text made its way to Japan during the following centuries. In any event, the Blue Cliff Record has long been celebrated for its innovative discursive structure that expresses a philosophy based on embracing “uncertainty,” or the fundamentally ambiguous and indeterminate nature of reality in a way that recalls modern Western concepts expressed in literature and philosophy of science. In China, Dr. Heine visited the temple in Hunan where he saw the famed Blue Cliff Spring that inspired both the origins of Tea and the production of the Blue Cliff Record. Here (next page, bottom left) is a photo from the site visit. Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Dr. Heine conducted research at Komazawa University on a forthcoming edited volume, Zen and Material Culture. Even though Zen is known as a utopian mystical tradition, its training practices and rituals rely heavily on the use of religious instruments, implements, and devices, such as the staff made either of wood or metal that is used in symbolic ways to scold incorrigible disciples or to draw imaginary figures in the air. 24

Jiashan Temple, Hunan Province, China, where the Blue Cliff Spring is located Dr. Heine with a Buddhist calligrapher who wrote a poem based on Dr. Heine’s name in Chinese, "Hai yin," which means "Ocean causality."

At the Zen Research Institute at Komazawa University in Tokyo, Japan

At the Blue Cliff Spring


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 of Japanese History. Since Fall 2014, Dr. Marshall has taught

graduate and undergraduate students in her Introduction to East Asia, History of Japan, and [Spring 2015] classes. She also aided in the acquisition of a number of library and digital resources. Dr. Marshall has also worked on manuscript revisions on her book Creating Mass Culture in Interwar Japan, as well as an article entitled "Fascism and its Conceptual Utility in Contemporary Historiography on Japan." In addition, she traveled to Japan in July for research on a new project.


Dr. Hitomi Yoshio, Assistant Professor of Japanese, was announced as the new Graduate Program Director of Asian Studies. She published the article "Performing the Woman Writer: Literature, Media, and Gender Politics in Tamura Toshiko's Akirame and Onna sakusha," which appeared in Japanese Language and Literature. Her article on Virginia Woolf's essay, "The Tale of Genji: The First Volume of Mr. Arthur Waley's Translation of a Great Japanese Novel by the Lady Murasaki," is forthcoming in Reading The Tale of Genji: Sources From the First Millennium (Columbia University Press, 2015). In addition, she published multiple translations of fictional works by the Japanese writer Mieko Kawakami in the literary journals Monkey Business: New Writings from Japan and Words without Borders, and has another piece forthcoming in Denver Quarterly. This academic year, Dr. Yoshio presented papers in three national conferences in Milwaukee, New York, and Chicago, as well as at the annual FIU Southern Japan Seminar. At FIU, Dr. Yoshio coorganized a national conference titled "Literature and Crisis," which brought speakers from all over North America and Europe, including four noted scholars of Japanese literature. She also received the Wolfsonian Infusion Grant to incorporate the museum's rich resources into her undergraduate course ASN3329 Women in Asian Society and graduate course ASN5431 Studies of Women in East Asia, and took a class trip to the Wolfsonian Museum on Miami Beach. Photos (top to bottom): Dr. Yoshio with Sebastian Masuda after his lecture that she helped to arrange; with her class after their trip to the Wolfsonian; with Professors Ma Li and Lidu Yi on a research trip in Kyoto; Dr. Yoshio from her Words Without borders article.



Dr. Steven Heine In other scholarly activities this past academic year, Dr. Steven Heine led a weekend workshop on Zen Master Dōgen at a retreat outside Paris, presented at a conference on the translation of major worldwide religious writings at the University of Zurich, participated in panels held at the American Academy of Religion and Association for Asian Studies, and conducted research at the East Asian Library of UC Berkeley. In addition, Dr. Heine served as a reviewer for the US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center competition in the area of East Asian Studies. He also gave a lecture on Chinese Buddhist Poetry at the University of Chicago. Dr. Heine also published the book Zen Koans, and the articles “Ishii Shūdō’s Contributions to Dōgen Studies: Chinese Influences on the Kana and Kanbun Texts,” “Dōgen on the Language of Creative Textual Hermeneutics,” and “Does Even a Rat Have Buddha-Nature? Analyzing Key-Phrase (Huatou) Rhetoric for the Wu Gongan.”

Dr. Thomas Breslin Dr. Thomas Breslin, Professor of International Relations, delivered a paper entitled, "The South China Sea: Cauldron of War, Neighborhood Hot Pot, or Academic Exercise?" at the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Charlottesville, Va., on January 15, 2015. He also published in the Southeast Review of Asian Studies reviews of Ernest Young, Ecclesiastical Colony: China's Catholic Church and the French Religious Protectorate, and Robert D. Kaplan, Asia's Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific. In addition, HDiplo, the diplomatic historians' chat room, has posted his INR 4232 International Relations of China syllabus, as an item in its Teaching Resources syllabus project. 28

Dr. Eric Messersmith Dr. Eric Messersmith, Lecturer in Asian Studies, has two new publications; “Pursuing (Wa): A History of US-Japan Relations” (First Edition) Paperback – July 22, 2014; and Zen

and Tea Ceremony; The Same Taste. He also attended the Hatsugama at Urasenke in Kyoto in Spring 2015 and did research on several famous pottery areas in Kyushu and Honshu.

Dr. Nathan Katz Dr. Nathan Katz is a Distinguished Professor, the Bhagwan Mahavir Professor of Jain Studies, Director of Jewish Studies and Academic Director of the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU, and founder and director emeritus of the Program in the Study of Spirituality. Dr. Katz was a principal in a recently-released documentary film, "Is There Room at the Inn? Muslims, Jews and the Holy Land," by Red Lotus Films, Inc. Dr. Katz is leading an international research team project on the impact of 'new age ‘spiritualties on Judaism in America and Israel, a joint project of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and FIU. He also organized and led a symposium on "Feminine and Masculine in the World's Spiritual Traditions" at Sivananda Yoga Ashram Bahamas in Nassau, Bahamas. A reception was held at the end of April 2015 for Dr. Katz’s retirement. In this deeply moving ceremony, he was recognized for his contributions to the university by Provost Kenneth Furton, SIPA Director John Stack, and Religious Studies Director Eric Larson. 29

Naoko Komura Naoko Komura, Japanese language instructor, received "Teacher of the Year of Japanese" by Florida Foreign Language Association this year as well as "Most Valuable Teacher Recognition Award."

Mitzi Uehara Carter Mitzi Uehara Carter, adjunct instructor for Asian Studies, published an article entitled "Mixed race Okinawans and

their obscure in-betweens" in Journal of Intercultural Studies (2014). In the Fall semester, she arranged for rapper, radio personality, and TV producer Akiko Urasaki (Awich) to speak to her class via google hangouts.

Dr. Steven Vose Dr. Steven Vose, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, traveled to India, acquired about 300 volumes in Jain Studies for our library and conducted research for his next monograph on Jain temple building practices. He also met with the four FIU students who attended the Jain Vishwa Bharati study abroad group.


Student Awards Greg Bryant, M.A. Academic Excellence College of Arts & Sciences

Claudia Lau, M.A. Service to the Department College of Arts & Sciences

Kevin Quinn, B.A. Academic Excellence College of Arts & Sciences

Sarah Daut, B.A. Academic Excellence College of Arts & Sciences


Fu Foundation Scholarship is an award for students with outstanding qualifications for Asian Studies. It is intended for, but not limited to, studies of humanities and culture in Asia. Students who are awarded this scholarship can receive up to $500 towards FIU opportunities for study in Asia (available for semester exchange programs or summer sessions). This year the total amount that will be awarded is $2,500.00. Tokyo, Japan

Jennifer will attend an intensive language program at KCP International in Tokyo, Japan during Summer 2015. Jennifer is an Asian Studies graduate student and is also receiving a graduate certificate in Japanese Studies.



David will attend the Chinese Language Program at the Chinese Language Education Center at the National Taipei University of Education during Summer 2015. David is an Asian Studies/Global and Sociocultural Studies graduate student.


Kyoto, Japan

Ana will attend the Buddhist Studies Program at Antioch University in Kyoto, Japan during Fall 2015. Ana is a Religious Studies major.


Congratulations to the 201 32






Hangzhou, China

Franklin will study Chinese Business and Chinese Culture and Language in Hangzhou, China at Zhejiang Gongshang University during Summer 2015. He is receiving a certificate in Chinese Studies.

Marcela will attend the Chinese Language Program at the Chinese Language Education Taiwan Center at the National Taipei University of Education during Summer 2015. Marcela is an Asian Studies graduate student. Kyoto, Japan

Pamela will attend the FIU Intensive Language and Culture Program in Kyoto, Japan during Summer 2015. Pamela is an Asian Studies major

Tokyo, Japan

Randall will attend an intensive language program at KCP International in Tokyo, Japan during Summer 2015. Randall is an Asian Studies graduate student and is also receiving a graduate certificate in Japanese Studies.

5 Fu Foundation Students! 33


Graduate Spotlight Greg Bryant Asian Studies M.A. (2015) Greg Bryant graduated with a Master’s in Asian Studies in Spring 2015. He received the “Best Thesis Award” from the College of Arts and Sciences for his thesis, titled “Examining Perspectives on

China’s Near Monopoly of Rare Earths.” In his thesis, Greg examined the underlying causes behind China’s rise to the staDr. Steven Heine, Director of Asian Studies (left) with Greg Bryant (right) after Greg received his award from the College of Arts and Sciences

tus of rare-earths near-monopolist, examining various domestic, international, and geopolitical factors related to the topic. The

study concluded with a synthesis of the factors influencing China’s rareearths-related behavior in the overall context of support and direction by China’s Central Government. Greg also received the “College of Arts and Sciences Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in Asian Studies.” Greg’s achievements were recognized at the commencement ceremony in Spring 2015. 34


Claudia Lau graduated with her Claudia Lau Master’s degree in Spring 2015. Her Master’s essay was based on the development of an online course on Chinese Business culture. She received an Award for Service to the Department from the College of Arts and Sciences. During her time as a graduate student, Claudia served as a Teaching Assistant and also helped with the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), a nationwide professional development program for K–12 teachers. Marcela Lopez-Bravo is pursuing an M.A. in Asian Studies, and spent a semester in Taiwan during Summer 2015 to further her research in linguistic methodologies between Chinese and English. She was also interviewed three times on CNN’s “Realidades en Contexto,” to discuss social and cultural contemporary issues in China and Japan in Spanish.

Marcela Lopez-Bravo

Rebecca Richko is pursuing a MasRebecca Richko ter’s degree in Asian Studies. She served as a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the 2014-2015 academic year. Rebecca was also awarded funding from the Japan Foundation Grant and spent six weeks in Tokyo, Japan to collect data for her thesis on the low birthrate in Japan during Summer 2015. Rayna Rusenko, a student in the Asian Studies MA/Global and Sociocultural Studies PhD program, was a Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Asian Studies Program for the 2014-2015 academic year. Rayna conducted archival research in Tokyo, Japan in Summer 2015 to learn more about the history of 19th-century poor relief laws and 20th-century vagrancy roundups as they relate to homelessness. Her research was supported by the Japan Foundation Institutional Support Program Grant.

Rayna Rusenko



Undergraduate Jorge Mejia Oscar Galindo Itzayana Solorzano Miguel Rischmai

Undergraduate students (photo above, left to right) Jorge Mejia, Oscar Galindo, Itzayana Solorzano, and Miguel Rischmai attended the Intensive Language and Culture in Kyoto, Japan during the Summer 2015 semester. Miguel, Jorge and Itzayana were awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship so that they may pursue study abroad opportunities. In addition, Miguel also received the Office of Study Abroad Scholarship and the Accessing the World Scholarship for his study abroad opportunity.

Victor Bernal (right) received an internship opportunity in Japan during the Summer 2015 semester. Through the internship, Victor was able to experience Japanese business culture firsthand, as he interned for a Japanese air conditioning company. He was also featured in The Gaidai newspaper for his role as an intern. 36 36

e Student News

Students who attended the study abroad programs in Kyoto, Japan for Summer 2015.


Students who attended Japan’s summer

program at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto included: Giovanni Chevali, Jorge Garrido, Abigail Hill, Hannah Leyton, Daniela Llaque, Ingrid LunaSarmiento, Lydia Quijada, Amanda Raude, Katie Rocco, Jeremy Strothmann. Lisa Niven also enrolled in the Understanding Jainism in India Summer Program at the Jain Vishva Bharati Institute.


Students accepted to the JET Program for 2015 include: Sarah Daut, Paola Torres,

Jhonathan Baez, Kearney Kilcoyne, Reza Danesh-Pajooh, Brandon Lodenquai, Michael Ramirez and Camilo Guerra-Tejo.


Lyanne Maldonado received an intern-

ship with the Washington Center, located in Washington, DC during Summer 2015.

37 37

ALUMNI Sandy Avila (MA ‘08) pursued a Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of South Florida after graduating from the program in 2008. She is currently working as an Academic Librarian. She presents regularly at state and national conferences and will publish a book chapter, entitled “Library Instruction and Apps: The Key to Connection”, in early 2016. She also teaches Information Literacy courses at Ashford University and Religion and Philosophy courses at Florida Technical College, often infusing lessons with experiences from her time spent in Asia. Julia Beabout (MA ‘13) received a Confucius Institute Scholarship to continue her Chinese language studies at Jiangsu Normal University in Xuzhou, China after graduating from FIU. She is currently serving as an Advisor to the China-US Energy Efficiency Alliance, a San Francisco-based nonprofit. In Fall 2014, she helped organize the first-ever US Department of Commerce certified trade mission to China focused on the energy efficiency market sector. In addition to participating in the mission, she wrote a market briefing on China's EE sector for the trade mission delegates and assisted with the translation.

Alex Dvoriantchikova (MA ‘14) is employed by the FIU Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship Studies, which specializes in certifying students in National Security, as well as North American Studies and Public Policy Studies. Her role in the Institute includes assisting the director on all program matters, speaking on behalf of the program in classroom visits, organizing program events, and advising students on program certificates, internships and other related opportunities. In Fall 2014, she took 3 months to travel to India, Israel, Turkey, and Iceland. 38

I NEWS Yuanyuan Fang (MA ‘11) is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy degree in International Relations at FIU. She is writing her dissertation on U.S.-Japan-China relation within the regional institutional framework. She also serves on the board of Asian Studies Alumni and Friends Association. More information about the Alumni Association on page 4.

Jennifer Garcia (MA ‘11) spent two years in Japan as part of the JET Program. Jennifer’s experience in Japan was highlighted in an article “Interest in Asian Studies Explodes,” published in the FIU Magazine. Afterwards, she moved to Spain with the goal of continuing the promotion of intercultural exchange as an English language assistant.

Zenel Garcia (MA ‘13) is currently pursuing a PhD in International Relations at FIU. Zenel presented his thesis in Perth, Australia in Summer 2014 for the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) as well as Tempe, Arizona for the Western Conference for the Association of Asian Studies (WCAAS) in October 2014. Zenel first traveled to China in Summer 2013 to continue studying Mandarin, returned again in Summer 2014 for vacation and once more in Summer 2015 to present a paper at a conference. 39

ALUMNI Maria Jamass (MA ‘14) is an English teacher at a public school in the Gangnam area of Seoul, Korea. After she completes her teaching contract in Korea, she plans to move to Spain to teach in Málaga, as well as to conduct research and study Islamic history in Spain, before applying to graduate programs in Iberian Studies. Ultimately, Maria hopes to earn a PhD in the field focusing either on Moorish identity in medieval to early modern Spain, or on the contemporary Muslim experience in Spain. Wendy Lo (MA ‘09) currently works at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens and was recently promoted to the Curator of Education, where she continues to promote Japanese culture through museum programs, outreach, and collaborations with community organizations. This past year, she worked with the Morikami Museum’s curatorial department on a summer exhibit on Japanese robots in Japanese society and pop culture.

Krissy Loveman (Graduate Certificate in Asian Globalization ‘14), former Program Assistant in the Asian Studies Office, is currently working as an Education Abroad Advisor for programs in Asia and Pacifica at the University of South Florida. Prior to becoming an Education Abroad Advisor, she was an exchange student at Kansai Gaidai in Japan and later spent two years teaching English in rural Japan with the JET Program after graduation. Now, in her spare time, she does mixed media art and works on her side projects JET Program Dekita ( and Almost Tadaima (


I NEWS Gabriela Romeu (MA ‘13) has been an English teacher in Okinawa, Japan for the past two years as part of the JET Program. As an English teacher by day and an Okinawan dancer by night, Gabriela strives to teach not only English, but also to represent naturalized Americans, and to promote internationalization in Japan through cultural exchange and dialogue. Grace Taylor (BA ‘09) is currently working as Program Coordinator for the Office of Study abroad at FIU, where she advises students through the study abroad process, facilitates workshops and assists students with their scholarship essay writing. Recently, she went to Brazil with the OSA team for a site visit to Centro Universitário Una in Belo Horizonte. Grace has also been accepted to the English Master’s Program at North Carolina State University, where she will be a Graduate Teaching Assistant and will be teaching First-Year composition courses in her second year. Sharon Thieman (MA ‘13) was recently accepted to the Visual Art Master’s Program at FAU, where her concentration will be painting. Her program begins in Fall 2015.

Erin Weston (MA ‘07) took some time to travel the world, including many Asian countries, after her graduation. She is currently employed in the Religious Studies Department at FIU as a Digital Instructor. As a Digital Instructor, she creates and teaches online classes, including a new online class, “Survey of Buddhism.”


2014-2015 Asian Studies Graduates

CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s graduates of Asian Studies academic programs! MASTER OF ARTS IN ASIAN STUDIES VeAngela Ashley Bryan Barber Augusto Bejar Greg Bryant

Erwin Escobar Cory Hardaker Ignacio Jimeno Claudia Lau

Stephen Rodoquino Noelle Rogers Carol Roman Charles Simeon

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ASIAN STUDIES Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Jhonatan Baez David Arroyo Barbara Joens Horace Beacham Sandra Barsalini- Laura Perez-Arias Cardova Jessica Ciocon Kevin Quinn Elisa Dominguez Guillermo Bonilla Jessica Riggan Zachary Cawn Chris Keener Fenix Rodriguez Kearney Kilcoyne Jonathan Chin Ariel Vecino Sarah Daut Judith Perez Michael Wells Jonathan Hardy


Summer 2015 Jacob Burns Miguel Hill Phillip Long Lisa Niven David Powell Katie Rocco




Nemy Aimable

Cory Hardaker

Jhonatan Baez

Daniela Blagoeva

Claudia Lau

Guillermo Bonilla

Alejandra Barrera Kevin Cabrera Bevin Campbell Rodney Castillo Sheyla Castillo Rood Cirmus Allison Crummy

Zachary Cawn


Jonathan Chin Jessica Ciocon Allison Crummy Reza Danesh-Pajooh Sarah Daut Elizabeth Geary

Davia Dormer


Jennifer Garcia

Kyree Castano

Kearney Kilcoyne

Elizabeth Geary

Sheyla Castillo

Claudia Lau

Daniel Gonzalez

Paula Espita

Yunior Martinez

Christopher Herring

Phillip Long

Lisa Niven

Reza Danesh-Pajooh Alethea Devencia

Yunior Martinez

Jonathan Hardy Miguel Hill Barbara Joens

Judith Perez Kevin Quinn

Franco Pejoves


Franklin Sandrea-Rivero

Jhonatan Baez

Fenix Rodriguez

Gainya St. Clair

Horace Beacham

Ernesto Villacis

Paula Espita

Marisol Orcino

Cindy Guzman


Agustin Laphitzondo

VeAngela Ashley

Phillip Long

Chris Keener

Chyann McFarlane Gainya St. Clair


Katie Rocco


September 2014 Sept 17 – Sacred High, Sacred Low City, Dr. Steven Heine Sept 24 – JET Program Information Session

October 2014 Oct 3 – Japanese Film, Always: Sunset on Third Street 3

Oct 17 – Visitors from Renmin University, China Oct 27 – Japanese Social Psychology and Comparison to the US, Dr. Steven J. Heine

November 2014 Nov 16 – Chinese Language Teachers Association (CLTA-FL) Fall Conference Nov 19 – Scholarly Perspectives on Japanese Studies, Graduate Student Conference

December 2014 Dec 15 – Japan Immersion Day


January 2015 Jan-May – 2015 NCTA Workshop for K-12 Teachers Jan 21 – Zen Koans Book Signing, Dr. Steven Heine

February 2015 Feb 6 – JETAA-FL Movie Screening: Taylor Anderson Story Feb 12 – Chinese New Year’s Celebration Feb 12 – Xu Bing at Frost Art Museum in Exhibition, Curated by Dr. Lidu Yi Feb 20 – Asia Immersion Day Feb 26 – “The Globalization of Korean Popular Music,” Dr. Don Baker Feb 27 – Southern Japan Seminar

March 2015 March 4 – Martial Arts lecture and Calligraphy Demonstration, Dr. Kazuaki Tanahashi March 18 – “China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa,” Dr. Howard W. French March 21 – Japanese Speech Contest March 21 – Chinese Speech Contest

April 2015 April 17 – Chinese Qipao Demonstration April 17 – Lecture on Japan and World Affairs, Dr. Paul Kowert April 17 – Japan Foundation Grant Workshop, Research by Faculty and Graduate Students

12th Annual Florida-Japan Summit  Japan Studies Review (Volume XX) 2016  National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) 2015–2016  Southern Japan Seminar 2016  Japan Foundation Grant Activities 2015–2016 


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.


Flo rida - Ja pa n S um m it

Further Information: or (786) 235-8289 Or visit

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

 Claudia Lau—Graduate Assistant (2013-2015) M.A. in Asian Studies (Spring 2015)

 Rebecca Richko—Graduate Assistant (2014-2015) M.A. in Asian Studies (Current Student)

 Rayna Rusenko—Graduate Assistant (2014-2015) M.A. in Asian Studies (Current Student)

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

 Kimberly Zwez—Office Assistant (2014-2015) M.A. in Religious Studies (Spring 2014) 47

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


FIU's Asian Studies Program Newsletter 2014-2015  

Florida International University's Asian Studies Program - Newsletter for Academic Year 2014-2015

FIU's Asian Studies Program Newsletter 2014-2015  

Florida International University's Asian Studies Program - Newsletter for Academic Year 2014-2015