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A SIAN STUDIES PROGRAM Florida International University

2015– 2016 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

2015-2016 Highlights Asian Studies Events


National Endowment Grant


Faculty News


Graduate & Undergraduate News


Clubs & Organizations


Graduation Announcements


Japanese Language Proficiency Test @ FIU December 4, 2016 Click here for more info!


MARCELA LOPEZ BRAVO Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

DR. STEVEN HEINE Professor and Director Asian Studies

DR. LI MA Senior Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

DR. TOM BRESLIN Professor International Relations

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

NAOKO KOMURA Senior Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

DR. AMY BLISS MARSHALL Assistant Professor History / Asian Studies

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

MASAKO KUBOTA Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies Modern Languages

DR. ERIC MESSERSMITH Lecturer History Asian Studies

CLAUDIA LAU Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies


KEN TSENG Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

DR. JULIE ZENG Associate 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

REBECCA RICHKO Program Assistant Asian Studies

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

JENNIFER BEATY Digital Assistant Asian Studies

DR. LIDU YI Assistant Professor Art & Art History

LISA NIVEN Teaching Assistant Asian Studies

DR. HITOMI YOSHIO Assistant Professor Asian Studies Modern Languages

BIANCA TRIFOI Teaching Assistant Asian Studies


J a pa n Fo u n dat i o n G r a n t G oa l s Ye a r 3


IU’s Asian Studies Program received the Japan Foundation’s Institutional Program Support (IPS) Grant, for a collaborative project called “The South Florida Partnership in Japanese Studies (SFPJS) Housed at FIU.” This project, lasting from 2013-2017, has significantly enhanced knowledge and critical analysis of Japanese history and culture through developing an interdisciplinary curriculum and supporting a multi-institutional consortium for promoting research, teaching, and outreach. During the third year of the project, additional library acquisitions and digital resources were purchased for FIU. The Southern Japan Seminar was held at FIU on February 26 and the Japan Foundation Grant Workshop was held on April 15. At the Workshop, thirteen FIU researchers and four FAU researchers presented their research and contribution to the Japan Foundation Grant. Volume XX of the Japan Studies Review is out for publication in Summer 2016. A series of events were coordinated with non-profit external advisors from Morikami Museum, the Japanese Consulate, Japan Business Association, SEUSJapan in FL, Chinese Language Teachers Association, and other associations. 44


he Omar K. Carrion Scholarship for Asian Studies was established through a $50,000 gift made by Hilda G e r i “ G i G I ” R o s s and Fernando Carrion, parents of A n d D r . S t e v e n H e i n e Omar Carrion, as an endowment memorializing their son who passed away in 2013. Omar was 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. 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 misses him every day and hope this scholarship will inspire others to pursue their dreams no matter the obstacles. The first Omar K. Carrion Scholarship was awarded to Geri “GiGi” Ross (shown left, with Dr. Heine), a highly qualified undergraduate student in September 2015 during the Florida Japan Summit. Geri graduated in Fall 2015 with a BachOmar K. elor of Arts in Asian Studies, majoring in Japan Carrion Area Studies, and a second major in English. Scholarship 9


Congratulations to the 2015-2

Fu Foundation Scholarship is an award tions for Asian Studies. It is intended for, and culture in Asia. Students who are aw $400 towards FIU opportunities for study programs or summer sessions). This year $2,400.00. For more information about the

David Dayton is an Asian Studies graduate student who conducted research in Bangkok, Thailand during Summer 2016 for his Asian Studies Master of Arts essay, which focuses on daily religious practices at Arawan Shrine and Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Bianca Trifoi is an Asian Studies graduate student who is enrolled in a ten-week intensive language program at the Korean Language Education Center of Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea.

Franklin Hernandez recently graduated with his BA in Asian Studies, majoring in Chinese Area Studies. He recently completed a two-month intensive language course at Soochow University in Suzhou, China. He is now pursuing his MA in Asian Studies. 6

2016 Fu Foundation Scholars!

for students with outstanding qualificabut not limited to, studies of humanities warded this scholarship can receive up to y in Asia (available for semester exchange the total amount that will be awarded is Fu Foundation Scholarship, visit our site. Jadiel Hernandez is pursuing an International Relations BA, a minor in Asian Studies, and a certificate in Japanese Studies. Jadiel spent a full academic year studying abroad at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.

Jana Nudelman is double majoring in Asian Studies, specializing in East Asian Studies, and International Relations. Jana is studying abroad at Beijing Language and Culture University in Beijing, China.

Joshua Seidler recently graduated with his BA in Asian Studies, majoring in Japanese Area Studies. Joshua experienced cultural immersion in a twoweek study abroad program in Beppu, Japan this summer. 7

Anne Allison Duke University

Raji Steineck Universität Zßrich

Dorothy Wong University of Virginia

Kip Fulbeck University of California

Ken Okaniwa Consulate General of Japan in Miami

Steven Heine & Hitomi Yoshio FIU



outhern 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, SJS was held on February 26, 2016 with opening remarks by Dr. Steven Heine and Ken Okaniwa from the Consul General of Japan in Miami. As usual, there was an outstanding turnout of students and faculty for the event. The presentations, in order of appearance, were: Dr. Anne Allison (Duke University) “Greeting the Dead: Managing Solitary Existence in Japan” Dr. Raji Steineck (Universität Zürich) “Visiting the Dragon King: Thinking Myth through Medieval Japanese Mythologies” Dr. Dorothy Wong (University of Virginia) “Horyūji Temple Wall Paintings in the East Asian Art Context”

Consul General Ken Okaniwa (Consulate General of Japan in Miami) “Japan’s Foreign Policy” Kip Fulbeck (University of California at Santa Barbara) “Hafu & Happa Identity: Challenging Cultural Definitions” Steven Heine & Hitomi Yoshio (FIU) “Tokyo: High City and Low City: 2016 NEH Summer Institute” Rebecca Richko (FIU) “Social and Economic Factors Influencing Japanese Women’s Childbearing Decision in Post-Bubble Japan” Rayna Rusenko (FIU) “Homeless and the Re/Formation of Vagrancy Law in Meiji Era Japan”




he Asian Studies Program rec on Tokyo, entitled Tokyo: Hig Institute for College and Uni signed to lead participants in the literary, religious, and philosophic invisibly—contributed to the construct platform in each session for a focused y ers of tradition and modernity in Japan fused college teachers with new critical perspectives on Japanese identity. The 1, 2016. In addition to structured sessions ther immersed in the traditions, history ple artistic and cultural events and excu the weekend. Through a reading of ke sources, participants will engage in (Approaches, Authority, Aesthetics, an to examine the variegated developmen over the past one hundred and fifty ye Institute was titled “Find my Tokyo,” encouraged to focus on a specific part o curriculum. Visit the project website for


yo: High City and Low City

ceived a grant for a Summer Institute gh City and Low City: A NEH Summer iversity Teachers. The Institute was dean in-depth humanistic exploration of cal movements that have visibly—and tion of modern Japan. By providing a yet flexible investigation into the markn’s capital city, the Summer Institute inl knowledge of diverse local and global Institute was held from June 4 to July

and study, participants also were fury and heritage of Japan through multiursions organized for the evenings and ey literary works and select secondary focused study of four main themes nd Ambiguities of the cultural history) nts in Tokyo’s High City and Low City ears. The overall theme of the Summer where researchers and teachers were of Tokyo to include in their research or r more information.


Sep 2 2015

Sep 14 2015

Sep 18 2015

Sep 30 2015

Oct 2 2015

Geri Ross (center) won the Florida Statewide Japanese Speech Contest with her emotional speech entitled “Wakayama Love.” After the contest, we held the 12th Annual FloridaJapan Summit, as well. This annual summit program provided an opportunity for Floridians to learn about and exchange information regarding business, education, and cultural ties between Florida and Japan through presentations and a networking reception in a state-wide context. "Japan: Food in Film" highlighted: "Ramen Samurai," "The God of Ramen," The Mourning Recipe," and "A Tale of Samurai Cooking". The event was cosponsored by the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, Japan Foundation, FIU's Asian Studies Program and Department of Modern Languages and the Japan Club. Check out this article about the event! Dr. Steven Heine gave a lecture to undergraduate and graduate students about his book, entitled “Sacred High City, Sacred Low City: A Tale of Religious Sites in Two Tokyo Neighborhoods.”

Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ) held a Logo Contest. The logo to the left was selected as the winner!

Dr. Matthew Marr presented a lecture, “Exiting Homelessness in Two Global Cities,” where he discusses his new book, “Better Must Come.” In the book, Dr. Marr reveals how social contexts at various levels combine and interact to shape the experiences of transitioning housing program users in two of the most prosperous cities of the global economy, Los Angeles and Tokyo. 12 12

Oct 6 2015

Masako Kubota presented during the Global Indigenous Colloquia on "Legacy of Fuchi: Why and How Japanese Ainu Elderly Women Maintain Their Roots.” Kubota is an adjunct instructor in Asian Studies and the Department of Modern Languages. She specializes on the cultural anthropology of the Ainu, the indigenous peoples of northern Japan. Later that day, US Ambassador to Singapore, the Honorable Kirk Wagar (shown right), discussed Singapore's role as a global financial hub, as well as the country's role in the broader economy and geopolitics of Southeast Asia and East Asia. The event was moderated by FIU President Mark B. Rosenberg.

Jan 26 2016

Jan 28 2016

Feb 12 2016

The Workshop on Grant Writing in the Humanities consisted of four FIU faculty members who have been PIs on recent National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grants. These presenters included Dr. Steven Heine (Asian Studies), Dr. April Merleaux (History), Dr. David Rifkind (Architecture), and Dr. Renee Silverman (Modern Languages). Masako Kubota presented for a second time during the Global Indigenous Colloquia, on “Meet the Ainu: Indigenous People of Japan.” During the presentation, Kubota Skyped with an Ainu tribe, who performed traditional songs and dances while playing instruments called tonkori and koukin at the theater called chise for the audience to experience firsthand! Also on this day, Wang Gen Ming, a prominent scholar from the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of China, presented “Islam in China: An Overview Over a Forgotten Identity.”

Golden Buddha Jazz Band along with FIU’s top student jazz group performed on campus, celebrating Jazz in the US and China. That same day, FIU held a 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. 13 13

Feb 25 2016

Dr. Anne Allison lectured on “Remainderless Death: Facing the Precarity of Dying Alone in Japan.” She observed the position facing individuals towards the end of their life. in Japan. Taking a holistic approach, she details the historical factors that led to Japan’s fragility, and weaves in the modern day plight of the voiceless hidden away from view.

Mar 24 2016

A panel discussion was held on The Chinese Diaspora in Cuba which invited scholars from the University of Miami, New Jersey, the University of Puerto Rico, and Rutgers University.

Mar 30 2016

Mar 31 2016

March 2016 was the five-year anniversary of the great east Japan earthquake. The film, Tohoku Tomo, tells the story of the tragedy that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011. The event was co-hosted with the Florida JET Alumni Association and offered two locations to view the film: one at FIU and one in Orlando. Susan Southard presented her book, “Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War.” Her book had just been awarded the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, administered by the Columbia University School of Journalism and Harvard University’s Niemen Foundation for Journalism. It is a powerful account of the enduring impact of nuclear war told through the stories of those who survived.

Apr 10 2016

The 9th Annual Florida International Chinese Speech & Skit Contest was very successful! Co-sponsored by FIU Asian Studies and Modern Languages, Miami Dade College Confucius Institute, CLTA-FL and FIU Chinese Club.

Apr 15 2016

At the Japan Foundation Workshop, thirteen FIU researchers and four FAU researchers presented their research and contribution to the Japan Foundation Grant. Topics ranged from Japanese language, history, sociology, art, and international relations.

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National Consortium for Teaching About Asia 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. The workshops are directed by Dr. Steven Heine with the assistance of Claudia Lau, an Asian Studies Adjunct Instructor. 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 María Sol Echarren at, or visit

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 2016 issue (Volume XX) features six articles with varied interdisciplinary topics, including an analysis of the dramatizations of Genji kuyō and portrayals of Murasaki Shikibua, a philosophical view of the pervasiveness of nihilism as a literary response to crises in Southeast Asia, the renewed security strategy of Japan in Asia, the function of storytelling in post-3/11 online “amateur” manga, perspectives on Japan’s new English Education Reform Plan, and a literary analysis of Murakami Haruki’s “The Elephant Vanishes.” It also features two essays, one concerning George Kennan’s influential 1905 depictions of Korea and Japan, and another one on Sino-Japanese politics and security relations. There are also three book reviews, pertaining to Japan’s role during Pearl Harbor, the political changes after the March 11 catastrophe in Japan, as well as the culture of globalization by the novelist Haruki Murakami. 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 15 15

Japan Exchange and Teaching Program


auren Sorondo, JET Program Coordinator from the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, and Bahia Simons-Lane, Florida JET Alumni President, held an Information Session on September 11, 2015 to familiarize FIU students with the application process and answer any questions. The Fall 2016 JET Information Session will be on September 12, 2016 (9AM) in GC 288.

Congratulations to the following FIU students who were accepted to the JET Program for 2016-2017: Alumni Luna Azaret Graduate Students Rebecca Richko Noelle Rogers

Undergraduate Students Riley Banciella Vikash Jailal Virginia Montiel Dayana Soler Pamela Suguimitzu For more information about the JET Program, please visit their website. 16 16

FIU L anguage Day

The first Annual Language Day held was on November 20, 2015, promoting cultural diversity through language. Events included a round table discussion, meet & greet, trivia, and games. It was a fun day to share the languages you learn with your FIU family. Thank you to all the Asian Studies students who participated!

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Cool Japa


ool Japan @ FIU was a two-day event held in Spring 2016. The event was dedicated to celebrating Japanese traditional and p ture. Students and community members joined together at FIU’s cam weekend of fun and games, including a cosplay fashion show and c grand prize for the fashion contest was two pairs of 4-day passes to the perCon, held during the summer in Miami. Congratulations to Sherif was the winner of the grand prize! Attendees sipped Japanese tea while enjoying taiko drum performa shu Daiko and other traditional and popular music. Some of the other a cluded trivia, video games, films and karaoke. There were martial arts p es and demonstrations, specifically kendo and karate. Among the num making sessions, attendees could join in making bracelets, chopstick chimaki, calligraphy and origami. This was a major event hosted by the Asian Studies Program, M guages Department, JapaNetwork, Japan Club, and Geek Club. The eve sponsored by the Consulate General of Japan in Miami, AFTJ, Florida Su pan Business Association of Miami, JTB, H.I.S. Travel, OCS ANA Group Sushi Maki, iiiCareer, Japan Exchange and Teaching Association, JETA Motor Distribution Latin America, Nakatsukasa Kayoko and WRGP Rad 18 18

an @ FIU

popular culmpus for a contest. The e Florida Sufa Ali, who

ances by Fuactivities inperformancmerous craft design, ha-

Modern Lanent was also uperCon, Jap, ARKRAY, AA, Yamaha dio. 19 19

Japan Imm

20 20

mersion Day


Chinese New Year Celebration 春节 February 12, 2016 — This was the second year of a new tradition to celebrate Chinese New Year as part of the FIU Asian Studies Program. The whole Chinese community of South Florida were invited to participate.

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Dr. Shenggao Wang and Dr. Li Ma successfully planned and led the event.

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r. Asuka Mashav is the Assistant Director of Language Programs, Japanese Language Instructor, and Director of the new Summer Study Abroad Program at Asia Pacific University, which she was instrumental in establishing. Dr. Mashav also recently completed her dissertation on “An Exploration of the Reasons and Purposes of NonJapanese Undergraduate Students for Taking a Beginners' Japanese Language Course.” The purpose of this study was to explore the motivations of non-Japanese undergraduate students for taking a beginners’ Japanese language course. In-depth onehour semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve participants before the fall semester of 2014 (Phase I) and ten after the semester (Phase II). Two major themes emerged from the inductive analysis of the data: attraction to Japanese culture and utility of using the Japanese language. Sub-themes for attraction to Japanese culture were anime and manga, martial arts and various types of games. Sub-themes for utility of using the Japanese language were study abroad and employment which both require residing in Japan. In particular to Phase II, three other themes emerged: a sense of community, openness to others, and investment of time. In Spring 2016, Dr. Mashav taught the first Hybrid course in Japanese Calligraphy in which 38 students enrolled. She is also the director of the Association for Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ) and aided in the highly successful event, Cool Japan@FIU. Dr. Mashav also completed her doctoral degree in Education with a dissertation on the topic of motivations of university students to study Japanese. 24 24

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Dr. Nathan Katz spent a semester on a tour of Himalayan regions of India. He also led a Jewish-interest tour of India and lectured on Indo-Judaic Studies at the American Center in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Rollins College, Wesleyan University, California State University and UCLA. He organized and ran two international seminars, the first on Torah and Science at The Shul in Florida, and another on Heart and Mind - Mystical and Medical Perspectives in Dialogue, and Sivananda Yoga Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Dr. Amy Bliss Marshall, Assistant Professor of Japanese History, has been working on an article entitled “How Useful is Fascism? A Concept, the Historiography on Japan, and What to Make of It?” Additionally, she has begun working on a second book entitled Freewheeling in Japan: A Social History of Leisure. Dr. Marshall also served as an advisor or committee member for four graduate students, developed two new courses, and received Global Learning designation for three new courses.

Marcela Lopez Bravo, adjunct instructor for Asian Studies, graduated in Spring 2016 with her Master of Arts degree in Asian Studies and two graduate certificates, one in Asian Globalization and the other in Japanese Studies. Additionally, she published her co-authored article entitled “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language: A Classroom Study on the Timing of Grammar around a Task,” in Chinese as a Second Language Research. 26 26

Mitzi Uehara Carter, adjunct instructor for Asian Studies, translated her article entitled "Black Okinawans and Civic Hacking Between Encampments: Recoding Imaginaries of Blackness in Militarized Spaces” into Japanese. It is included in Volume 3 of Dismantling the Race Myth. She also published a short autobiographical article entitled “A Multicultural History in Texas,” in The New York Times. Click here for the article! Dr. Eric Messersmith was awarded the Foreign Ministers Commendation in 2016 for his 12 years of service in teaching Japanese culture, politics, and history, as well as, his 30 years of teaching Japanese tea ceremony. He is also the president of the Chado Urasenke Tankokai of South Florida association, which promotes Urasenke tradition and Japanese tea ceremony. He was also interviewed by CNBC about the Japanese crime syndicate in September 2015.

Congratulations to Dr. Eric Messersmith (shown above, center right) on receiving the Foreign Ministers Commendation in Spring 2016. Dr. Eric Messersmith and his wife was joined by Dr. Steven Heine (center), his students Jennifer Beaty and Jonathan Hardy, among others. 27 27


"Drawing from his impressive expertise and mastery of Chan literature, Steven Heine has written a tour de force. In this first extensive scholarly treatment of the Blue Cliff Record Koan collection, Heine explores how the text, with its open-ended rhetoric of uncertainty, functions to extricate its readers from all assumptions and promote the existential doubt that precedes religious awakening. Scholars and Chan/Zen practitioners alike will relish this innovative and groundbreaking achievement." -Christopher Ives, author of Imperial-Way Zen





his book provides an in-depth textual and literary analysis of the Blue Cliff Record, a seminal Chan/Zen Buddhist collection of commentaries on one hundred gongan/koan cases, considered in light of historical, cultural, and intellectual trends from the Song dynasty (960-1279). Compiled by the disciples of Yuanwu Keqin in 1128, the Blue Cliff Record is considered a classic of East Asian literature for its creative integration of prose and verse as well as hybrid or capping-phrase interpretations of perplexing cases.The collection employs a variety of rhetorical devices culled from both classic and vernacular literary sources and styles and is particularly notable for its use of indirection, allusiveness, irony, paradox, and wordplay, all characteristic of the approach of literary or lettered Chan. However, as instrumental and influential as it is considered to be, the Blue Cliff Record has long been shrouded in controversy. The collection is probably best known today for having been destroyed in the 1130s at the dawn of the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) by Dahui Zonggao, Yuanwu's main disciple and harshest critic. It was out of circulation for nearly two centuries before being revived and partially reconstructed in the early 1300s. In this book, Steven Heine examines the diverse ideological connections and disconnections behind subsequent commentaries and translations of the Blue Cliff Record, thereby shedding light on the broad range of gongan literature produced in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries and beyond.�





Coral Gables location September 28, 2016 (8PM)




r. Heine was named an "FIU Top Scholar" in spring 2016 and had numerous publications, lectures, grants, and awards during this past academic year. He published the edited volume, Dogen and Soto Zen (Oxford University Press) and released Chan Rhetoric of Immediacy in the Blue Cliff Record, a lengthy critical analysis of the seminal Zen Buddhist koan collection commentary, also with Oxford. Heine has signed contracts for three additional volumes on the history and thought of Zen Buddhism with Oxford and Columbia University Press. Grad student Yuko Wakayama and ProfesHeine has published refereed artisor Shudo Ishii (Komazawa University) cles in Journal of Chinese Philosoand Dr. Steven Heine phy and Educating About Asia, in addition to several book chapters in prominent edited volumes and book reviews in Philosophy East and West and Monumenta Nipponica. He was invited to present an intensive graduate seminar on the philosophy of Zen Master Dogen at the University of Zurich and also presented lectures at meetings of the American Academy of Religion, the American Historical Association, and the Association for Asian Studies, in addition to the University of Pittsburgh, the University of North Florida, and the Upaya Zen Center. He continued to chair the innovative Zen Reading Group session held in conjunction with the American Academy of Religion annual conference. While completing the directorship of the third of four years of a prestigious Japan Foundation grant, Heine (along with Hitomi Yoshio) is co-PI on a National Endowment for Humanities Summer Institute for "Tokyo: High and Low City," which involves in-depth workshops on the cultural history of Tokyo for 25 college teachers. He advised or helped mentor a dozen Asian Studies MA students who graduated in the past year. 30 30

Dr. Steven Heine with kimono fashion designer Hiromi Asai at the Consulate General’s residence for the Emperor’s Birthday Celebration

Dr. Steven Heine teaching a seminar on Japanese Phi-



rogram Coordinator for Asian Studies, María Sol Echarren, traveled to Japan in July 8-18, 2016 to present in a panel at the 2016 International Symposium on Social Science in Kyoto, Japan, and in relation to her duties as editor of the Japan Studies Review journal, she visited several museums and historical sites in Tokyo. Having worked in Asian Studies for six years, it was her first time in Asia. This allowed Maria Sol to gain a broader perspective and firsthand experience of Japanese language and culture that was both inspiring and enriching for her academic as well as her professional career. 31 31

Congratulations to the recipients of the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs Awards! The awardees are shown above, with Dr. Heine (center), from left to right: Graduate Award of Academic Excellence Marcela Lopez Bravo Undergraduate Award of Service Excellence Franklin Hernandez Undergraduate Award of Academic Excellence Victor Bernal Graduate Award of Best Thesis Rebecca Richko 32 32

The South Floria Urasenke Chado Tankokai Association and Friends of the Miami Garden held a tea ceremony event at Ichimura Gardens on January 10, 2016. Three of FIU’s Alumni participated in the ceremony (Jennifer Beaty [right], Jonathan Hardy [above], and Adrianne Thompson). This event was to raise money to aid in building a new tea house to replace the one that was destroyed in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1995.

Kimono fashion designer Hiromi Asai held a fashion show at the Museum of Science and Discovery in Fort Lauderdale in conjunction with the Museum’s Asian Pacific Heritage Celebration. Several FIU students/alumni volunteered as models, including current students Freddy Navaro and Nicole Stone, and alumni Rebecca Richko, Shalisha Witherspoon, and Shonda Witherspoon. Video of the fashion show is available online. 33 33

Jennifer Beaty conducted research in Japan on yabusame (mounted archery) and its continued presence in modern society as part of her Master’s essay. She has performed a number of Japanese tea ceremony demonstrations for the Asian American Advisory Board of Miami Dade County and Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Miami Dade College and received a competitive scholarship to study for a year at Urasenke Gakuen in Kyoto, Japan for 2016-2017. Tania Gonzalez wrote her Master’s essay on her experience engaging in professional trade with China, which she claims that knowledge of guanxi, or Chinese business practice, is becoming less essential as China becomes more internationally involved in commerce. She also participated in a professional workshop for her business “PartsNet:China,” where she explained the services her international business provides in both English and Spanish.

Lisa Niven in the picture to the left taken from a brochure for one of the FIU study abroad programs, and shows during her study abroad semester, making Japanese ceramics. Lisa is currently an Asian Studies MA student, Teaching Assistant, and the President of the Asian Studies Graduate Student Organization.

Join the Asian Studies Graduate Student Organization via OrgSync or Facebook to stay up-to-date! 34 34

Ana Galiano is an Asian Studies Master’s and International Relations Doctoral candidate. She presented her Master’s essay, entitled “Japan’s Constitution: An Exercise in the Power of Law to Protect Women’s Rights,” at two International Studies Abroad conferences (one in California and one in Georgia). Ana graduated with her Master’s in Spring 2016 and is now beginning her doctoral research.

Bianca Trifoi won second place in an international research paper contest on Korean Studies hosted by the Academy of Korean Studies in South Korea. She also completed a series of Mentor Seminars hosted by the Gordon Institute at FIU. Bianca studied Korean at the Korean Language and Education Center of Seoul National University in Seoul, South Korea, for which she received funding from the Fu Foundation, for 2016.

Rebecca Richko conducted research in Japan for her thesis on “Social and Economic Factors Influencing Japanese Women’s Childbearing Decision in Post-Bubble Japan,” which she presented at four separate conferences: Women, Sexuality and Gender Studies Association 16th Annual Conference, Southern Japan Seminar, and Japan Foundation Workshop (2015 and 2016). She successfully defended her thesis with honors in Spring 2016 and will be teaching English in Japan next year through the JET Program. 35 35

World’s Ahead Graduate (Fall 2015) Being raised in an isolated environment, amidst poverty and family difficulties, GiGi Ross, 23, might not seem the likeliest candidate for a degree in Asian Studies. College friends exposed her to Japanese anime but it was a visit to the tiny city of Gero, Japan, famous for its hot springs, which solidified her passion for the country, its culture and language. She visited Japan two more times, including a semester at Kansai Gaidai University in Osaka. She later hosted Japanese exchange students and tutored others in Japanese, a rarity for a non-native speaker. Gigi’s dedication to Japanese culture led her to become the first recipient of the Omar K. Carrion Scholarship for Excellence in Asian Studies at FIU, as well as first place winner of the 2015 Florida Statewide Japanese Speech Contest, for which the Japanese government awarded her an all-expense paid trip to Wakayama Prefecture, Florida’s sister state in Japan. During her talk, Gigi told the story of Tama-chan or “Little Treasure,” a calico cat credited with saving a Wakayama train station after thousands of tourists flocked to see her, leading to her designation as honorary stationmaster. A Japanese official said Gigi’s presentation on Tama-chan brought tears to his eyes. After graduation, she will participate in the Disney College Program in Orlando, where she will attend leadership classes and, based on her proficiency in Japanese, assist visitors from Japan. Eventually, GiGi hopes to teach English in Japan through the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. 36 36

Ja pa nese Nat iona l Hono r S o cie t y Congratulations to all the students who received honors from the Japanese National Honor Society! Riley Banciella Victor Bernal Tana-Kaye Campbell Nicolette Cook

Ginnie Diaz Barbara Lopez Michelle Lopez Rodrigo Rossie

Joshua Seidler Pamela Suguimitzu Leonard Torres

For more information about the JNHS, please visit their website.

Dean’s List Congratulations to the following student’s on achieving recognition for the Dean’s List for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016! An asterisk indicates students who received the Dean’s List Award for both semesters. In order to achieve this academic accomplishment, students must enrolled in nine or more credits and earn a 3.5 or higher semester GPA. Jennifer Baker*

Jorge Garrido*

Eshrat Nikrooye-Asli*

Victor Bernal*

Ana Gomez

Jennifer Nino*

Daniel Campbell

Georgiana Grecea

Maxsim Ousmanov*

Michael Charur

Geraldine Hernandez

Anthony Rodriguez

Marco Chin

Claudia Huarcaya

Geri Ross

Samuel Cohen

Franz Leschhorn

Joshua Seidler*

Chiho Cotton*

Sylvanna Loo

Michelle Snudden

Nisha Cunningham*

Michelle Lopez

Rene Soto

Edward Dennard*

Aurelia Luchkan

Isalys Suarez*

Ginnie Diaz*

Nerissa Mae Mape*

Ai Suenaga

Ari Epstein

Virginia Montiel

Johan Tovar

Catalina Fernandez

Adrian Morales*

Aaron Velazquez

Christopher Fernandez*

Wesley Morrone

Cameron Webb*

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Chinese Speech and Skit Contests

As in past years, the 9th Annual Florida International Chinese Speech & Skit Contest was a well-attended and highly successful event. The event was sponsored by FIU Asian Studies and Modern Languages, Miami Dade College Confucius Institute, CLTA-FL, and the Chinese Club at FIU. Congratulations to the winners of this year’s contest! 1st Place [Skit Level 4] – James Hall 1st Place [Speech Level 6] —Rebecca Rodriguez 2nd Place [Speech Level 2] – Emely Pietri 2nd Place [Speech Level 6]— Ana Almudena Morera Rodriguez 3rd Place [Skit Level 3] – Breanna Grey and Eshrat Nikrooye-Asli 3rd Place [Skit Level 4] – Nicole Consuegra 3rd Place [Speech Level 6] – Jana Nudelman

Thank you to all of the coordinators and judges of the Chinese Speech and Skit Contest for your hard work and congratulations on such a successful event!

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Ja pa nese Spe ech Co nte st Congratulations to the winners of the AFTJ 2016 Florida Statewide Japanese Speech Contest! Speech Level 1: 1st Place – Freddy Navarro Karaoke Video: 1st Place – Jeremy Mobley

Critical Language Scholarships Congratulations to the recipients of the U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarships!

Nicole Consuegra, study of Chinese language in Xi'an, China Franklin Hernandez, study of Chinese language in Suzhou, China Ian Iglesias, study of Hindi in Jaipur, India Click here for the press release! For further information about the CLS Program or other exchange programs offered by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please their CLS and Study Abroad websites.

Scholarship Recipients Congratulations to Fabian Perez on receiving the Freeman Foundation and the Institute of International Education’s Freeman-ASIA 2016 Award! Fabian will study of language and culture in China in summer 2016. Congratulations to Anna Seerey! Anna was awarded the Chinese Government Scholarship by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Houston. Anna will spend one year for study abroad in China.

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The FIU Kendo Club held their first meeting in Spring 2016!


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Click below to join a club and become involved in the events and activities! Aikido Club

Contact or FIU Aikido Facebook

Asian Studies Graduate Sign up via OrgSync! UndergraduStudent Organization ates are welcome to join too! Asian Student Union Join their Facebook page Chinese Club Also join the Chinese Corner@FIU Go Club at FIU

Japan Club

Join via email at or Twitter Join via, Twitter or Wordpress, too!

Kendo Club Visit their site for more info! Korean Culture Club Visit their Facebook page Study Abroad Club @ FIU

Contact Office of Study Abroad or Facebook

Tae Kwon Do FIU Taekwondo Facebook Vietnamese Student Association Join their Facebook page

For a full list of student organizations, please visit the Council for Student Organization’s website.

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he Asian Studies Graduate Student Organization promotes Asian Studies and all it has to offer within FIU and beyond. The organization is dedicated to educating the student body (of all cultures) about Asian issues, history, and culture, through creative and engaging activities. In addition, the Asian Studies GSO strives to bring together the Asian community through educational and social activities. Finally, ASGSO encourages dedicated, educated, and well-rounded members to apply their unique knowledge, talents and acquired skills for the benefit of the greater social/global community. In addition to many dedicated graduate student and alumni members, and with the guidance and support of the Asian Studies department, ASGSO is led by: President: Lisa Niven Treasurer: Marcela Lopez Bravo Coordinator: Rebecca Richko Secretary: Jennifer Beaty

Current students and alumni can join via OrgSync! Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date! 42 42

In Fall 2015, the Asian Studies Graduate Student Organization presented a workshop on “How to Conference Successfully.” The workshop was a wonderful event which detailed the steps required in presenting research at a conference, specifically how to find conferences, how to prepare and submit proposals, get funding, present, and network. To view the PowerPoint slides used during the workshop, please visit the Asian Studies website. In Spring 2016, ASGSO presented a workshop on “Making my Asian Studies Diploma Work for Me!” This event provided information to graduate and undergraduate students about how to go about post-graduation employment or continuing education and included presentations by FIU’s Career Services.

A.S.G.S.O. held a small presentation on the history of tea and kimono’s in Professor LopezBravo’s Introduction to East Asia

Course in Spring 2016. The FIU alumni presenters included Marcela Lopez-Bravo, Randall Tallent, and Jennifer Beaty.

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2015-2016 Asian Studies Graduates CONGRATULATIONS to this year’s graduates of Asian Studies academic programs! MASTER OF ARTS IN ASIAN STUDIES Jennifer Beaty David Dayton Ana Galiano

Tania Gonzalez Marcela Lopez Bravo Fred Quintana Edward Quinto

Rebecca Richko Rayna Rusenko Randall Tallent

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ASIAN STUDIES Fall 2015 Cherise Bell Ana Gomez Georgiana Grecea Vikash Jailal Lyanne Maldonado Rachel Reitano Geri Ross Leandro Travieso

Spring 2016 Jennifer Baker Riley Banciella Victor Bernal Wesley Creel Nisha Cunningham Ginnie Diaz Ariel Drayton Christopher Fernandez


Jorge Garrido Barbara Lopez Michelle Lopez Alexander McCarty Danielle Robinson Rodrigo Rossie Dayana Soler Pamela Suguimitzu Georgia Talania Leonard Torres

Summer 2016 Denzel Alvarado Catalina Fernandez Franklin Hernandez Josue Oliva Lynn Rodriguez Joshua Seidler



Maria Sophia Staubli

Barbara Lopez



Pamela Suguimitzu

Emmanuel Lopez-Gonzal

Jean Vergara

Ingrid Luna-Sarmiento

Leslie Barney

Jennifer Beaty

Jonathan Boone

Marcela Lopez Bravo


Michael Martinez

Stephany Cuellar

Rebecca Richko


Alexander McCarty

Marjorie De La Cruz

Randall Tallent

Denzel Alvarado

George Pearson

Leslie Barney

Lydia Quijada

Lyanne Maldonado

William Ermilus Philip Guerreiro


Nicole Consuegra

Danielle Robinson

James Hall


Ariel Drayton

Geri Ross

Abigail Hill

Britney Fernandez

Joshua Seidler

Stefan Ignacio


Jorge Garrido

Rohan Jani

Riley Banciella

Dayana Soler

Philip Guerreiro

Kevin Kilcoyne

Joshua Brown

Jessica Suchecki

Christine Gulsaran

Pamela Suguimitzu

Valerie Lara

Nicole Consuegra

Cindy Guzman

Christina LaRocca

Nisha Cunningham

Georgia Talania

James Hall

Leonard Torres

Juan Lopez

Ariel Drayton

Franklin Hernandez

Leandro Travieso

Catilin Martinez

Catalina Fernandez

Christina LaRocca

Markyesha McQueen

Christine Gulsaran

Fernando Valesquez

Stephanie Mendez

Jean Vergara

Jose Munoz

Christina LaRocca

Rachel Reitano

Rebecca Vilan

George Pearson

Emmanuel Lopez-Gonzal

Danielle Robinson

Anna Saviano

Ingrid Luna-Sarmiento

Vernon Williams

Lexis Shields

Shalisha Witherspoon

Lexis Shields

Laura Ortiz

Georgia Talania

Shonda Witherspoon

Jessica Suchecki

Rachel Reitano

Leila Vargas

Jean Vergara

Danielle Robinson

Lydia Yan

Rebecca Vilan

Maikta Rova


Matthew Villegas

Dayana Soler



Vernon Williams

Leandro Travieso

Eric Arango

Jimmy Zeledon

Juan Velasquez

Cherise Bell



Victor Bernal


Vanessa Bertin

Alexander McCarty

Wesley Creel

Leandro Travieso




Alicia Etheridge

Tania Gonzalez

James Hall

Marcela Lopez Bravo

Jimmy Zeledon

Nisha Cunningham Marjorie De La Cruz

Salome Garcia

Gerardo Delgado

Emmanuel Lopez-Gonzal Stephanie Mendez

Christopher Fernandez Shadeh Ferris-Francis Ana Gomez

Woobens Noel

Victor Hernandez

Laura Ortiz

Vikash Jailal

Joshua Seidler

Kevin Kilcoyne 45 45

September 2015  Florida Statewide Japanese Speech Contest  12th Annual Japan Summit  JET Program Information Session  “Japan: Food in Film”  “Sacred High City, Sacred Low City” - Lecture by Dr. Steven Heine  AFTJ Logo and Character Contest October 2015  “Exiting Homelessness in Two Global Cities” - Lecture by Dr. Matthew Marr  “Legacy of Fuchi: Why and How Japanese Ainu Elderly Women Maintain Their Root” - Presentation by Masako Kubota  “Singapore’s Global Future” - A Conversation with Ambassador Kirk Wagner  Asian Studies Graduate Student & Alumni Research Workshop  JET Program Statement of Purpose Workshop November 2015  Ready to be a Gaijin in Japan?  “How to Conference Successfully” Workshop  1st Annual Language Day

December 2015  Japan Immersion Day January 2016  Workshop on Grant Writing in the Humanities  “Meet the Ainu: The Indigenous People of Japan” - Lecture by Masako Kubota  “Islam in China: An Overview of a Forgotten Identity”

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February 2016  Golden Buddha Jazz Band Performance @ A Cultural Exchange in the Language of Jazz  Chinese New Year Celebration—Year of the Monkey  National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) Seminar 2016  “Remainderless Death: Facing the Precarity of Dying Alone in Japan”  “International Noir: Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance”  Southern Japan Seminar (SJS) 2016  Cool Japan @ FIU March 2016  “Chinese Diaspora in Cuba” - A Panel Discussion  Tohoku Tomo Movie Screenings  Lecture by Susan Southard, Author of Nagasaki: Life after Nuclear War April 2016  9th Annual Florida International Chinese Speech & Skit Contest 2016  FIU @ Miami Beach Botanical Gardens Japanese Spring Festival  “Making my Asian Studies Diploma Work For Me“ Workshop  Japan Foundation Grant Workshop May 2016  書道 Shodō Class (Japanese Calligraphy) Spring Semester - Exhibit at the FIU Library  “The Art of Video Games” - Exhibition at FIU’s Frost Art Museum June 2016  ”Tokyo: High City and Low City” - National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer Institute  NCTA Seminar—Summer 2016

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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.

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Ja pa nese L a nguage Proficie ncy Te st FIU has been selected as a new site for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) for 2016. Test Date: December 4, 2016 Registration Dates: August 29 through October 3 Click here for test site and registration information. Please visit the American Association for Teachers of Japanese website for general information about the JLPT.

Upcoming Events & News

13th Annual Florida-Japan Summit  Japan Studies Review (Volume XXI) 2017 National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) 2016-2017  Lecture on Japanese Ainu Nov. 4, 2016  Southern Japan Seminar 2017  Japan Foundation Grant Activities (Year IV) 

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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


Profile for Asian Studies

FIU's Asian Studies Program Newsletter 2015-2016  

Florida International University's Asian Studies Program - Newsletter for Academic Year 2015-2016

FIU's Asian Studies Program Newsletter 2015-2016  

Florida International University's Asian Studies Program - Newsletter for Academic Year 2015-2016

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