FIU's Asian Studies Program Newsletter 2020-2021

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2020-2021 NEWSLETTER Faculty/Staff New! Japan Foundation and D&E Program Highlights Director's Research Faculty News Students News Degree Programs & More 20-21 Graduates Overview

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Dr. Li Ma Teaching Professor Modern Languages

Faculty&Staff Dr. Matthew Marr Associate Professor Global & Sociocultural Studies

Dr. Steven Heine Professor and Director Asian Studies

Dr. Asuka Mashav Teaching Professor Modern Languages

Dr. Tom Breslin Professor International Relations

Dr. Eric Messersmith Dr. Mitzi Carter

Assistant Teaching Professor Asian Studies

Assistant Teaching Professor Global & Sociocultural Studies

Dr. Shenggao Wang Dr. Rae Choi Assistant Professor Global & Sociocultural Studies

Naoko Komura Teaching Professor Modern Languages

Associate Teaching Professor Asian Studies/Mod. Lang.

Dr. Lidu Yi Associate Professor Art & Art History

Dr. Qing Lai

Dr. Julie Zeng

Associate Professor Global & Sociocultural Studies

Associate Professor International Relations

Jhonatan Baez

María Sol Echarren

Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies/Mod. Lang.

Program Manager Asian Studies

Elisa Romulo Borges Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

Nanda Singh Program Assistant Asian Studies

Sungmin Cho Adjunct Instructor Korean Language & Culture

Raul Caner Cruz Office Assistant Asian Studies

Maytinee Kramer Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

Ivan Jimenez Graduate Assistant Asian Studies

Masako Kubota Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies/Mod. Lang.

Ryan Norton Graduate Assistant Asian Studies

Claudia Lau Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

Fatima Osman Elkadri Rachel Levine

Graduate Assistant Asian Studies

Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

Logan Walker Dr. Marcela Lopez Bravo Adjunct Instructor Asian Studies

Graduate Assistant Asian Studies



Japan Foundation Grant

Dr. Asuka Mashav, Assistant Director of Language Programs and Japanese Language Teaching Professor, was awarded a Japan Foundation educational grant for the 2021-2022 academic year. This grant advances Japanese language courses with local high schools via the Dual Enrollment program. Since 2013, the Asian Studies Program has received over 1 million dollars in founding from Japan Foundation.

D&E Foundation Award The Asian Studies MA Program offers a Teaching Assistantship in the field of Chinese Studies, awarded by D&E Foundation. Asian Studies gives special thanks to Mr. Alex Xiao, Chair of D&E Foundation, for this gift donation.

The 2020-2021 recipient of the D&E Award is: Ivan Jimenez

"It is an honor and a blessing to work for the FIU Asian Studies Program while completing my MA degree. If someone told me 5 years ago that I would speak, write, and read Mandarin, travel to Taiwan, and serve as a Teaching Assistant under two Chinese professors I would have never believed it, yet here we are. Dr. Li Ma and Dr. Shenggao Wang's guidance has given me multiple opportunities to develop myself as a leader for the local FIU community, and I can never thank them enough for that. The responsibilities involve teaching courses, grading students' linguistic and cultural quizzes, and hanzi essays.

Currently, I am the sitting President for both Chinese Salon and Chinese Club. Prior to the pandemic, I would organize in-person cultural and linguistic biweekly meetings with international and local students and build cultural bridges. We are continuing these sessions online through Zoom while maintaining active group chats with international students. We are honored to have students from other universities learning Chinese and interacting with us in the group chats, so we can still actively support and help each other during these challenging times. I can't wait to go back when it is safe for everyone again! " -- Ivan Jimenez

ASIAN STUDIES "c.o.i.l." Courses The Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses at FIU are innovative global learning courses that utilize technology and the Internet to connect students and faculty with their peers across national borders. COIL courses connect students to universities from around the world and foster diversity without incurring any additional cost. This academic year, there has been a growth of new courses offered as COIL. Below is a list of relevant courses in Asian Studies taught under this innovative classroom experience. We congratulate our faculty for immersing our curricula through this dynamic teaching style! To learn more, click here to access the FIU COIL website.

ASN 3410 Intro to East Asia Instructor: Claudia Lau FIU, Brazil & China

GEA 3704 Geography of East Asia Instructor: Young Rae Choi FIU & Japan

IDH 3034 Honors Seminar: The Japanese Sense of Beauty Instructor: Masako Kubota FIU & Japan

ASN 3143 Corporate Culture of China Instructor: Claudia Lau FIU & China Claudia Lau received the 2020 FIU CIBER award for this COIL course!

Southern japan Seminar

Southern Japan Seminar promotes the research and educational activities of Japan-related scholars in the Southeastern United States. On February 24, 2021, this special webinar focused on "Research Strategies for East Asian Studies in the Time of COVID" with presentations by two notable speakers: Paula Arai, Professor of Religious Studies at Louisiana State University, is an expert on Japanese religions and culture known for her work on gender studies. participant observation methodology, arts and science, and social biography. Her most recent book is Painting Enlightenment: Healing Visions of the Heart Sutra The Buddhist Art of Iwasaki Tsuneo (Shambhala Publications). James Mark Shields, Professor of Comparative Humanities and Asian Thought and former Inaugural Director of the Humanities Center at Bucknell University, is an expert on the role of social theory and philosophy in relation to modern Japanese society as well as the connections between religion and ethics in response to globalization. His latest publication is Against Harmony: Progressive and Radical Buddhism in Modern Japan (Oxford UP).

Co-sponsored by Asian Studies Program Dorothea Green Lecture Series Moderator: Dr. Steven Heine, Professor and Director of Asian Studies

Dialogue on Japan’s Marginalized:

Ainu and Okinawans Dialogue on Japan's Marginalized: Ainu and Okinawans

On April 13, 2021, three faculty experts on Japanese society gave an informal discussion and conversation regarding Ainu and Okinawans in terms of diverse issues, including sociopolitical history and cultural identity, human rights, immigration, and related topics. The webinar also included a live musical performance by Dr. Ueunten. This virtual colloquium included the following panelists: Wesley Ueunten, Professor of Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University Mitzi Carter, Assistant Teaching Professor of Anthropology, Global & Sociocultural Studies and Asian Studies Masako Kubota, Japanese Instructor Moderator: Dr. Steven Heine. Co-Spoonsored by Asian Studies and Global and Indigenous Forum.

ALUMNI Events Movements and (Dis)Placements: Travel Experiences in Studies of Japan On March 12, 2021, our program held an interactive virtual colloquium designed for interdisciplinary Asian Studies students to learn about the different travel experiences in studies of Japan. The panel included a discussion with insightful commentary on Japanese travels through literary analysis in global and pedagogical perspectives.

PRESENTERS (from left to right): Japanese Diaspora in Cuba Elisa Romulo Borges, Instructor and Alumna of Asian Studies at FIU, is currently pursuing her PhD in Global and Sociocultural Studies. Her research focuses on analyzing the Japanese and Okinawan descendants living in Cuba. Japanese Travelers to South America Matías Chiappe Ippolito, Adjunct Professor and Research Assistant at Waseda University in Tokyo, holds a Ph.D. in International Studies. His dissertation is titled “Primitive, Primeval, and Peripheral: Images of Latin America in Japanese Literature.” Place-Making in Teaching Japanese Classical Texts Marcela Lopez Bravo, Alumna of Asian Studies at FIU, is a Research Associate at Waseda University, where she recently completed her PhD. Her dissertation is titled, “Using Virtual Reality to Teach Interactively the Role of Place in Tale of Genji.”

ALUMNI Events A S I A N S T U D I E S Alumni Connections On November 23, 2020, we organized a virtual panel featuring three of our distinguished graduate alumni who discussed their academic and professional achievements since completing their Asian Studies degree. Dr. Heine, along with Claudia Lau, moderated the discussion. We hope that their pursuits can inspire you!

WENDY LO graduated from FIU with an MA in Asian Studies in 2009. She lived in Toyama prefecture for three years, teaching English through the Japan Exchange Teaching Program (JET). Wendy is the Curator of Education at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. At the Morikami, she is responsible for managing the Education Department, the museum docent program, the management of the classes, lectures and workshop, and other educational programs. JENNIFER GARCIA graduated in 2011 and subsequently lived and worked around the world before returning to Miami in 2018. In that time she has been an ESL, an Associate Producer, a Production Manager, a Content Marketing Specialist, and is currently a Senior Copywriter. She credits much of the success in her career to methodologies learned during her MA in Asian Studies, the application of East Asian principles, and her experiences abroad. JULIA BEABOUT is CEO and Creative Director of Novaby, a global digital art production studio and creative technologies company specializing in 3D/AR/VR. With a deep background in and an affinity for the built environment and design, she is passionate about transforming spaces into places using Augmented Reality (AR). As an industry leader in AR Placemaking, she has spoken at MIT Media Lab, the U.S. State Department, the Architects Institute of America, the University of Washington, and the VRAR Association.

"I'm Not a Virus" Teach-In

On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, FIU’s Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment and the Asian Studies Program, with the collaboration of the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, hosted “I’m Not a Virus: A Teach-In on Anti-Asian / Asian American Racism.” Guet speakers included actor and comedian Margaret Cho, along with a full panel of activists, scholars, and artists. Two of our FIU Asian Studies faculty were part of this important discussion: "A Buddhist Teaching" Dr. Lidu Yi "Nappy Routes & Tangled Tales: A Personal Reflection on Anti-Asian Violence and White Supremacy" Dr. Mitzi Carter

This was a timely and significative discussion that brought our community together to open up about these issues. Stop AAPI Hate, an organization that tracks harassment and violence against Asian Americans, has received nearly 3,000 reports of hate incidents since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a study by researchers at Cal State, San Bernardino, hate incidents against Asian Americans increased an alarming 150% during 2020. The anti-Asian racism emerging around the pandemic is unfortunately just the latest iteration of a much deeper problem. Read more about this event here.

Korean Studies New Korean Course! Exploring Korean Langauge Through Culture Summer 2022 (KOR2XXX) Sungmin Cho, Instructor

Explores practical application of language acquisition and travel as students learn and use Korean language in the context of Korean culture.

Featured Korean Organizations & Events Korean Language Empowerment Club

Korean Culture Club

April 9th, 2021 | Employment and Scholarship Opportunities in Korea and Q&A Session. Employment in South Korea. Study Abroad opportunities.

December 28th, 2020 | Third Annual Korean Festival Singing & Dance Performances by Lynx. Culture presentations and Korean speeches.

Follow KLEC and KCC on social media!

New Course Offering

ASN 3210: K-Pop and J-Pop Culture Instructor: Maytinee Kramer Fully Online Course!

This course examines the global dissemination, visibility, and prominence of the Korean Wave and Japanese pop culture (music, dramas/film, video games, manhwa and manga, fashion/beauty and food). What is K-pop and J-pop? How do they reflect contemporary Korean and Japanese culture and identity? What issues do they cause? How did the Korean Wave overtake Japan in the pop culture wars? Students will gain a newfound appreciation for these media products and have a better understanding of Korean and Japanese pop culture. This course does not focus on history or language, but acknowledges how they help shape the content, style and aesthetics of Asian pop culture.

japan studies review )([)

VOLUME XXV The Japan Study Review is a refereed journal published annually by the Southern Japan Seminar and Asian Studies at FIU. JSR features interdisciplinary scholarly works in traditional and contemporary Japanese studies. The 2021 issue (Volume XXV) contains four articles that explore intriguing topics such as: "Selections of Zen Buddhist Poetry in Kanbun Reflecting Early Medieval CrossCultural and Cross-Sectarian Trends" (Steven Heine); "Embodied Survival and Demythologization in Kirino Natsuo’s Tokyo Jima” (Juliana Buriticá Alzate); "Making Movies for the Chinese: Japanese Directors at Manying” (Yuxin Ma);

JSR Journal Archive:

and one final article, "Ishikawa Tatsuzō and Shimazaki Tōson: Two Writers/Travelers to South America in the Eye of Imperial Discourse” (Matías Chiappe Ippolito). This issue also has two essays, includign “Swallowtail Butler Café: Cosplay, Otakus, and Cool Japan in Contemporary Japan" (Kinko Ito and Paul A. Crutcher); and “Jack London’s Positive Portrayals of the Japanese in His Early Fiction Defy His Reputation as a Racist" (Daniel Métraux). There are also four reviews from books by Mari Yoshihara (Wayne E. Arnold), Yuki Matsuda (Kinko Ito), Meredith Oda (Daniel A. Métraux), and Melissa Anne-Marie Curley and Justin R. Ritzinger (Kedao Tong).

To obtain a copy or to submit an article or book review, please email

japan studies review )([) V O L U M E X X V [ I S S U E 2 0 2 1 ]

Here are excerpts from two articles published in this issue. Read the full version here.

"Ishikawa Tatsuzō and Shimazaki Tōson: Two Writers/Travelers to South America in the Eye of Imperial Discourse” Matías Chiappe Ippolito

"Embodied Survival and Demythologization in Kirino Natsuo’s Tokyo Jima” Juliana Buriticá Alzate

"The aim of this article is to analyze and compare the works of Ishikawa Tatsuzō and Shimazaki Tōson about South America. Both Japanese writers visited the region during the Empire of Japan’s expansion throughout Asia and Central and South America via migration and settlers’ projects. Ishikawa Tatsuzō (1905– 1985) traveled to Brazil as a correspondent in 1930, a journey that would result in his celebrated novel Sōbō (1935). The book criticized the ill-treatment that Japanese migrant delegations to Brazil suffered during the previous decades. As for Shimazaki Tōson, he traveled to Argentina with the Japanese government’s sponsorship in 1936 to participate in the International PEN Club Congress, an official voyage that sought to develop deeper ties with South American countries and mitigate the militarist image that Japan had developed in the previous years. The product of the trip was Shimazaki’s travel account, Junrei (Pilgrimage, 1936). In essence, the works of these two writers are inseparable in terms of colonial discourse as they both envisaged in South America a standpoint from where to write about colonialism and modernization."

"[T]his article analyzes embodied, gendered experiences, such as pregnancy, childbirth, and mothering, relating to survival from a feminist perspective and argues that through debunking and reinterpreting myths, Kirino’s Tokyo jima reimagines the survival of an alternative sexual, maternal, embodied femininity. Namely, it contests hegemonic, ideal, and naturalized views of womanhood and motherhood. Tokyo jima’s setting is a new take on the real-life incident of Anatahan, a Pacific island in the Northern Marianas, where Higa Kazuko was the only woman among thirty-one male World War II soldiers who continued to fight after Japan surrendered. Kirino’s novel features a group of people building a community, reconstructing a patriarchal society in conditions close to an ideal 'original' state of nature; that is to say, 'primitive' and 'uncivilized.'' [ HARD COPIES ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE ]

director's Research Over this past year, Dr. STEVEN HEINE's scholarly achievements have continued to mount. At FIU's Faculty Convocation ceremony in October 2021, he was awarded an Excellence in Research Award, and he was lead speaker at a multinational workshop on "Developing a Process for Successful Academic Writing," cosponsored by China's Duke Kunshan University. In November of 2020, he featured on the FIU School of International and Public Affairs' news website on account of the American Academy of Religion's 2020 panel in honor of his four decades of contributions to Zen studies and Dōgen studies (see next page). During the panel, celebrated scholars of East Asian religions met to discuss selected fragments from Dr. Heine's body of work, which boasts 35 books and edited volumes and over 100 articles.

This past year, Dr. Heine also cofounded two international research groups for the study of medieval Buddhist texts, the Chan Studies Workshop and the Dōgen Reading Group, and published two books: Flowers Blooming on a Withered Tree: A Translation of Guin’s Verse Comments on Dōgen’s Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Oxford UP, 2020) and Readings of Dōgen's "Treasury of the True Dharma Eye" (Columbia UP, 2020). Another book, Dogen: Japan's Original Zen Teacher (Shambhala Publications), is scheduled for December 2021. In addition, Dr. Heine is preparing another book project, tentatively titled "Taking the Ancient Road to Jinshan," which refers to the ancient footpaths to secluded temples in China that Japanese pilgrims traveled. For more on Dr. Heine's research, visit:

REcent Publications Readings of Dōgen’s “Treasury of the True Dharma Eye” (Columbia University Press, 2020) Flowers Blooming on a Withered Tree: Verse Comments on the Treasury of the True Dharma-Eye (Oxford University Press, 2020) Dogen: Japan's Original Zen Teacher (Shambhala Press, 2021)

director's Research American Academy of Religion Tribute Panel Organized in November 2020 by Pamela Winfield and the Society for the Study of Japanese Religions, this panel had five leading scholars of Japanese and East Asian religions, including Jacqueline Stone (Princeton), Richard Jaffe (Duke), Michaela Mross (Stanford), Morten Schlutter (Iowa), and Albert Welter (Arizona), discuss selections from Dr. Heine’s oeuvre and reflect on its influence on the field in terms of interregional flows, historical period studies, and methodological approaches.

Other Major Conferences, Lectures, & Podcasts Duke Kunshan University, lecture, October 2020 Stanford University Research Workshop, January 2021 European Buddhist Studies Workshop, January 2021 Logos(ish) podcast, interview, February 2021 San Francisco Zen Center, lecture series, June 2021 Every Minute Zen podcast, interview, June 2021

Research Research director's's'sRsearch Flowers Blooming on a Withered Tree: Giun's Verse Comments on Dōgen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (2020) is Dr. Steven Heine's new translation of Giun's commentary




Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō. Followers of Zen scholarship may obtain the book through Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780190941345

"It is brilliant. It is relatively easy reading too, especially for folks with some prior familiarity with Zen poetry and symbolism." Treeleaf blog

"Flowers Blooming on a Withered Tree [...] has the potential to transform the study, practice, and teaching of the Shōbōgenzō." "Wild Fox Zen" blog

Flowers Blooming on a Withered Tree Giun's Verse Comments on Dogen's Treasury of the True Dharma Eye

Provides the first translation of the Verse Comments on the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, an important medieval Japanese Zen Buddhist text Offers the first overview of the history of pre-modern commentaries on the Treasury, the masterwork of the founder of the Soto Zen sect Examines the relationship between the Zen philosophies of meditation and poetry

"Steven Heine's recent monograph, Flowers Blooming on a Withered Tree, is a welcome addition to his already prolific scholarship on Dogen (1200–1253) and Zen poetry, offering an accessible, engaging, and poetic study that pursues new directions in Dogen studies...Within a relatively slim volume, Heine provides a comprehensive study on the formation of Dogen's Treasury and the significance of its commentarial tradition, along with his lively translations and insightful glosses on Giun's verses." Reading Religion

Faculty Spotlight Dr. Mitzi Carter GLOBAL






Our program is very grateful for the outstanding efforts of Dr. Mitzi Carter as part of the Asian Studies faculty. During this past year, she became the new director of FIU’s Global Indigenous Forum and helped write the application for the prestigious Mellon grant to fund the Global Indigenous Forum Podcast Network. She was also invited to the Japan on the Record Podcast (January 23, 2021) and moderated a panel for the Japan Society of Houston and New York.





In January 2021, Dr. Carter was awarded a stipend for being a part of the “Race and Multiculturalism in Contemporary Japan” Manuscript Workshop through the 21st Century Japan Politics and Society Initiative, presenting a book chapter. On February 18th, she was also moderator for the JETAA, JET-Chicago, and Sasakawa Fund event on “Mixed Multitudes.” In addition, she was one of the featured panelists for the "I Am Not a Virus" teach-in on anti-Asian violence and racism held on March 30th. (next page)

Faculty Spotlight Dr. Carter has been writing a chapter for the forthcoming book, Anthropology of White Supremacy. In addition, she is writing a book this summer that will trace her mother’s journey from war-torn Okinawa to a racially segregated US South as a lens for capturing Black Okinawan life (and afterlives) in the “Black Pacific.” She also hosted and collaborated on several events across various departments in FIU, including Asian Studies, Global and Indigenous Forum, Global and Sociocultural Studies Department, and the Center for Humanities in an Urban Environment.

NEW COURSE ON ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES @ FIU Dr. Carter is designing a new Asian American Studies course for next academic year. It will be the first class focused on Asian Americans at FIU. Across the country, there is more of a demand for a course like this as the spike in hate crimes against Asian Americans has pushed communities to learn more about the history of marginalization and Asian Americans in general. In South Florida, there are many types of Asian Americans — from first generation students to Asian Americans from across the US to Latin America and the Caribbean. Asian American students are starving for courses that reflect their experiences in this country and they

want to understand their own lives better by exploring how migration patterns from across Asia have shaped their American experience, how such a culturally, linguistically, and ethnically diverse group of people build solidarity in the US and how and when they fracture, where stereotypes of Asians began and how they get revived, and how Asian Americans have resisted and continue to contribute to and shape the US today. Non-Asian American students will also benefit from a course like this to help them build their global perspectives, one of the main goals of our university. >>>Expected for Fall 2022 !

Faculty News Dr. ASUKA MASHAV, Assistant Director of Language Programs and Japanese Teaching Professor, was awarded a Japan Foundation educational grant that advances Japanese language courses with local high schools via the Dual Enrollment program. Dr. Mashav also served in the AFTJ’s 2021 Spring Online Japanese Speech Contest, where several FIU students were awarded. Through the Japanese Language Program, she is working with the Japanese Consulate of Miami on an initiative for Virtual Schools and Dual Enrollment programs, promoting the teaching of Japanese language and culture in South Florida and throughout the state at K-12 and university levels.

Dr. LI MA, Chinese Teaching Professor, received the “Remote Teach Ready” Badge in May 2020. She served as a Project THINC cohort member for 20-21 (revamped CHI 3400 Intermediate Conversation), combining Service Learning and COIL connecting FIU and Zhejiang Gongshang University in China. She has also trained for the new FIU Online LIVE modality this Summer 2021.

Faculty News

MASAKO KUBOTA, Japanese Language and Culture Instructor, presented her research on Japanese Ainu for ASP and GSI’s event, “Dialogue on Japan’s Marginalized: Ainu and Okinawans,” in April 2021, and for a film screening and discussion event based on a Japanese film titled “Ainu My Voice” in October 2020. She also implemented a COIL program with a university in Tokyo and the FIU Honors College.

NAOKO KOUMURA, Japanese Teaching Professor, continued serving as a reader for the Critical Language Scholarship (since 2013). This year she served in the Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese (AFTJ)’s 2021 Spring Online Japanese Speech Contest and organized the Senpai Kohai event in February 2021, connecting Japanese learners of all levels.

Faculty News

Dr. YOUNG RAE CHOI, Assistant Professor of Global and Sociocultural Studies, implemented COIL in her GEA 3704 Geography of East Asia course. FIU students met via Zoom with students from Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, discussing themes related to the pandemic, pop culture, and globalization.

CLAUDIA LAU, Asian Studies Instructor, received the 2020 FIU CIBER’s award for the COIL course ASN 3143 Corporate Culture of China, connecting FIU and Qingdao University. She has also taught ASN 3410 as COIL, connecting students in Brazil and China. This year, Claudia has embedded ASN 3143 and ASN 3414 with the new Virtual Study Abroad component. She also gave a series of talks in Spanish about global learning for the Universidad del Sinú in Colombia (September 2020) and the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla (October 2020). In 2021, she served at the FIU Commencement ceremonies as a narrator.

Faculty News Dr. MATTHEW MARR, Associate Professor of Sociology, continued another year with the Japan Foundation CGP grant project titled “US-Japan Service Hub Network.” On May 13, 2021, he organized a talk about this project for a webinar titled “Fighting Homelessness through the COVID-19/System Inequality Syndemic,” featuring a panel of researchers and experts from this network. Dr. Marr also published two prominent peer-reviewed articles on homelessness in cities in Japan and the US.

SUNGMIN CHO, Korean Language and Culture Instructor, taught highly enrolled Korean courses for ASN and Modern Languages. This year she has created a new summer Study Abroad program to South Korea, but it has been postponed for Summer 2022 due to Covid-related travel restrictions. Students enrolled in this program will take a three-credit course, “Exploring Korean Language through Culture.”

ELISA ROMULO BORGES, Asian Studies Instructor, was accepted into the Global & Sociocultural Studies PhD program at FIU as of Fall 2020. This year she gave two talks on her research based on Japanese and Okinawans living in Cuba: ASP’s “Movements and (Dis)Placements: Travel Experiences in Studies of Japan” (March 2021) and Cuban Research Institute’s event “Ethnic Minorities in Cuba” (April 2021).

Faculty News

Dr. MARCELA LOPEZ BRAVO, Asian Studies Instructor, alumna of the Asian Studies Program at FIU (2016), received her PhD in International Studies this March 2021 at Waseda University in Tokyo. Her dissertation is on “Using Virtual Reality to Teach Interactively the Role of Place in Tale of Genji,” and Dr. Heine served as a member of her research committee. She has been credentialed to teach new graduate courses, including ASN 5431 Studies of Women in East Asia and ASN5932 Special Topics, while successfully teaching several undergraduate courses, including Introduction to East Asia, Spirituality of Japan (taught with V.R.), East Asian Texts in Translation, Virtual Reality of East Asia, History of Japan, and Women in Asia. As of Fall 2021, she will be offering courses under the new FIU Online LIVE teaching modality and Virtual Study Abroad.

graduate student News KRISTIN HYNES (MA, 2021) graduated this year with the MA in Asian Studies and is already part of the joint doctoral program with International Relations at FIU. She will continue her project on the impact of Korean popular culture on postcolonial Korea-Japan relations, especially since the economic crash of 1997.

AMANTE TOLBERT (MA, 2022) was recently accepted into the 2021 JET Program and will be moving to Japan soon. Amante is expected to graduate with the MA in Asian Studies next year and she looks forward to traveling again.

FATIMA OSMAN ELKADRI (MA, 2021) completed her MA in Asian Studies this past Spring while working as Graduate Assistant. She will be moving to Budang, South Korea to teach at an English Institute.

LOGAN WALKER (MA, 2021) has worked as Graduate Assistant for our program, finishing the Asian Studies MA this summer with a research project on the prospects for the remilitarization of Japan. Logan will be joining the International Relations doctoral program at FIU to continue his studies on East Asia.

Omar K. Carrion



The Omar K. Carrion Scholarship for Asian Studies was established through a $50,000 gift made by Hilda and Fernando Carrion, parents of Omar, as an endowment memorializing their son who passed away in 2013. Omar was a bright student, graduating from high school in 2003 and immediately starting classes at FIU. He developed 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. His family misses him every day and hopes this scholarship will inspire future generations in their studies of Asia.

In honor of Omar K. Carrion

2020-2021 Recipient

Kate Fracke Kate Fracke is an undergraduate student majoring in Asian Studies. She has taken courses on Japanese history, language, and culture. In 2018, she traveled to Japan and visited various cities throughout the country. Kate hopes to study abroad at a Japanese university in the coming year. While visiting Japan, she gained new appreciation for the culture, in addition to improving her language skills.

ALUMNI News MALIK HALL (BA, 2021) presented at FIU’s 2021 Undergraduate Research Conference. His topic was titled “Seclusion and Self-Cultivation: The Embodied Philosophy of Mendicants and Traveling Warriors in the Early Edo Period,” which marked the culmination of his ongoing research of traditional Japanese religion and martial arts. He will continue this topic in future scholarly projects.

MAYTINEE KRAMER (MA, 2020) is working as a schoolteacher in Miami and has also been teaching a successful new course at FIU on K-Pop and J-Pop (ASN 3210).

RACHEL LEVINE (MA, 2019) has joined a doctoral program in East Asian Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Rachel also currently teaches a popular course for Asian Studies on Japanese Anime and Manga (ASN 3202)

ALUMNI News LISA MULLER (MA, 2019) defended her dissertation proposal for the FIU Global and Sociocultural Studies Program in summer 2020. She submitted an article based on her Asian Studies MA thesis to a peer-reviewed journal. The article is titled “Local Roots, Global Vines: Human Rights Museums in Western Japan as Expressions of Identity.” She also gave birth to a son in the summer.

Dr. RAYNA RUSENKO (PhD, 2020) an Asian Studies MA alumna, defended her dissertation in the Global and Sociocultural Studies doctoral program on the topic, “The Legacies of Vagrancy Law in Contemporary Homelessness Regulation: A Global Historical Examination of Tokyo, Japan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia” in summer 2020. She also published an article in the leading journal Antipode: “Homelessness Regulation and Neoliberalism’s Imperial Past: The Janus Face of Anti-Homeless Urbanism and Tokyo’s Modern Socio-Spatial Development.”

ERIN WESTON (MA, 2006) has traveled to many countries in Asia, including: India, Nepal, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Through these travels she was able to photograph many sacred sites for her teaching. She is currently teaching as an Instructor in the Department of Religious Studies at FIU. In addition to other topics, she teaches Survey of Buddhism, Studies in World Religions, and a number of Asian-infused classes, such as Religion in Film and Meditation and Mystical Traditions.

ALUMNI News RAUL CANER CRUZ (MA, 2019) is the new Asian Studies Program Assistant, in addition to his current position as Adjunct Instructor for the Department of History, teaching EUH 2021 Medieval to Modern Europe since Fall 2020. Raul has been recently credentialed to teach ASH 3631 The Pacific War in Asia this Fall 2021. NANDA SINGH (MA, 2019) has worked as Asian Studies Program Assistant until Summer 2021, when she began her new full-time position as Advisor for FIU SIPA serving the Department of International Relations.

AMAYA BUENO (MA, 2019) is currently working for a Japanbased company for academic learning. She had previously worked at FIU as an Advisor for SIPA in Asian Studies and Global and Sociocultural Studies (GSS). GREY FERNANDEZ (MA, 2020) was hired at FIU as an Academic Advisor for the Department of International Relations in SIPA in August 2020. As of March 2021, she is now the new GSS and Asian Studies Advisor.

Alumni Feedback Wendy Lo (M.A., 2009) Curator of Education, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens “I appreciate that the FIU Asian Studies Program and staff in the Green School at FIU were always very supportive in assisting all their students’ endeavors, ranging from study abroad to internships and career opportunities. The M.A. program also provided a great opportunity to study with many talented professors and attend various special events organized by Asian Studies. Being part of the Asian Studies Program opened doors for me to work with various Asian cultural organizations that led to a career dealing with Asian cultural and historical resources in a contemporary setting, specifically involving Japanese arts and society.”

Lisa Niven (M.A., 2017) Education Program Coordinator, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens “When I decided to go back to graduate school, I found that the multidisciplinary class offerings, study abroad programs, and student community groups were the components that attracted me to the Asian Studies Program at FIU. The department helped mold my specific interests into a curriculum tailored to specific academic needs by studying Japanese culture and art as well as the role of East Asia in social and environmental affairs. Serving as president of the Asian Studies Graduate Student Organization was also an outstanding opportunity for me to learn and lead. In my current position at the Morikami Museum, I am happy to say that FIU’s Asian Studies Program prepared me more than I could have imagined for this career path.”

Alumni Feedback Jennifer Garcia ((M.A., 2011)) Senior Copywriter and Content Specialist, Nobox “Studying for a graduate degree in Asian Studies in the Green School at FIU was a tremendous opportunity for me not only to learn about the traditional and modern culture and language of Japan, but to develop various skills in the comparative analysis of cross-cultural perspectives within a global context that continue to serve me well and help provide a competitive edge in all my work. Whenever I apply for an account or propose a new project, I am able to call upon the ability to investigate creatively and grasp insightfully the significance of the material, whether or not this is part of an Asian context, because of my experiences in the Asian Studies Program.”

Julia Beabout ((M.A., 2014)) CEO & Creative Director, Novaby in Seattle “The Asian Studies Program at FIU changed the course of my career from being an engineer to working in cultural communications. I not only gained the linguistic skills needed to succeed in a China-US work environment, but also the cultural competence and confidence to do so. Through the support, encouragement, and expertise of my outstanding professors, the program’s multidisciplinary approach taught me new ways of thinking along with valuable research and analytical skills that I utilize every single day. I always say that I got trained with my engineering degree, but truly educated with my Asian Studies degree, and I really mean it.”

Alumni Feedback Randall Tallent ((M.A., 2015)) Teaching foreign languages in Kyushu, Japan “It was the tremendous support from as well as classes taken with Dr. Heine and other faculty, especially Dr. Marshall and Dr. Yoshio, that I value most from the time studying for my M.A. degree in Asian Studies in the Green School at FIU. The Asian Studies Program greatly fostered the appreciation and knowledge of Japanese history and culture that has contributed so much to the development of my international work experience, and I have tremendous admiration and respect for how tirelessly everyone in the department worked for the benefit of all of the students seeking to develop their professional and career goals.”

Tania Gonzalez ((M.A., 2016)) Director, PartsNet USA Corp. "I was planning to start a business of international trade with China but did not have sufficient prior knowledge of their customs, language, and culture. My life changed when I received a call from the department of Asian Studies in the Green School at FIU to inform me of my admission into the M.A. degree program so that I could advance my education while learning Mandarin and traveling for a summer internship to China. Asian Studies provided me with the necessary tools and skills to gain a new perspective of a country that has been having a tremendous global impact. Thanks to FIU, I have been able to be successful in my business, since I now have an excellent command of Chinese and knowledge of their society."

Alumni Feedback Miwako Patton((M.A., 2021 ) Public Relations & Cultural Affairs Advisor, Consulate General of Japan in Miami “I have greatly benefited from working with the Asian Studies faculty in the Green School at FIU, particularly Dr. Asuka Mashav and Dr. Steven Heine, while in pursuit of my Masters' degree in the Asian Studies Program at FIU. In-depth studies and various research projects have enhanced significantly my academic understanding of the role of language and linguistics in relation to area studies of Japan as reflected in higher education in the U.S. This, in turn, contributes to my ongoing work at the Consulate office on expanding Japanese language and cultural programs throughout the state of Florida at all education levels (K-16), in addition to promoting cultural activities in diverse venues.”

Join the FIU Asian Studies Alumni & Friends page!

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 post-graduation activities, and (3) to help identify potential philanthropic donors who may be interested in providing support for the program’s continued pursuit of academic excellence.

Asian Graduate Student Organization Studies ASGSO promotes Asian Studies and all it has to offer within FIU and beyond. The organization is dedicated to educating the student body about Asian contemporary issues, history, and culture through creative and engaging activities. It 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.

ASGSO 2020-2021 E-BOARD: President: Ivan Jimenez Treasurer: Fatima Osman Elkadri CSO Representative: Ryan Norton

Along with other FIU clubs, ASGSO connects students to several East Asian cultural and academic events on campus. If you are interested in joining the E-Board in the next academic year, please contact the Asian Studies office :)

Covid-19 pandemic Statement The Asian Studies Program has experienced significant, incremental growth during 2020-2021, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our program has evidenced higher student interest and engagement, especially with new online platforms, remote courses, and ongoing Zoom advising sessions. In terms of courses and student enrollments, numbers have increased in the total graduates at the BA and MA levels. The director, core and affiliated faculty, graduate assistants, and office staff are fully committed to encouraging student success by promoting the development of the program based on research and scholarship, curriculum development, and advising.

JET Program The Japan Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program has awarded an FIU student for the 2021-2022 academic year:

Amante Tolbert Amante has also recently started the Asian Studies MA degree last Fall 2020. Over the past few years, an average of 7 FIU students have been selected for the JET Program fellowships each year. However, due to the pandemic, the 2020-2021 cohort has experienced postponed departures until further notice.

Undergraduate Degree Program As of Fall 2020, the Asian Studies BA degree has been updated to include the following three revised tracks with new specifications: (1) Asian Area Studies (2) East Asian Studies (3) Asian World Affairs < CHECK OUT OUR PROGRAM WEBSITE FOR MORE DETAILS >

Asian Area Studies Core courses (6 credits) -ASN 3410 -ASN 4510 OR ASN 4390

East Asian Studies Core courses (6 credits) -ASN 3410 -ASN 4510 OR ASN 4390

Asian World Affairs Core courses (6 credits) -ASN 3410 -ASN 4510 OR ASN 4390

ASN Prefix courses (9 credits)

ASN Prefix courses (9 credits)

ASN Prefix courses (9 credits)

Asian Area Studies Courses (9 credits)

Asian Area Studies Courses (9 credits)

Main concentration (6 credits) - level 1 and 2 of an Asian langauge

Main concentration (6 credits)

Asian Area Studies Courses (9 credits) Main concentration (6 credits) Asian language (6 credits) - level 3 and higher

Asian language (6 credits) - level 3 and higher of another Asian language

Asian language (6 credits) - level 1 and 2 of an Asian language



Asian Studies Certificate (18 credits) Students are required to take 2 semesters of an Asian Language (Levels 1 &2), along with 4 courses (12 credits or coursework in Asian Area Studies.

Now Available Online!

Japanese Studies Certificate (18 credits) Now Availa ble Online !

Students are required to take 4 semesters of Japanese Language, along with 2 courses in Japanese/Asian Area Studies

Asian Globalization & Latin America Certificate (18 credits) Students are required to take 2 semesters in one Language family (Latin American or Asian), and 1 semester in the other language family, along with 1 Latin American Studies Course, 1 Asian Studies course and 1 Global and Comparative course.

Chinese Studies Certificate (18 credits) Students are required to take 4 semesters of Chinese Language, along with 2 courses in Chinese/Asian Area studies

South and South East Asian Studies Certificate (18 credits) Students are required to take 6 courses related to South and South East Asian Studies. Up to 2 semesters of Language can be used (6 credits).

graduate degree programs The Master of Arts in Asian Studies at FIU is a growing interdisciplinary program in the prestigious Green School of International and Public Affairs drawing on excellent faculty resources in various departments, including Art History, Environmental Studies, Global and Sociocultural Studies, History, Modern Languages, Politics and International Relations, Religious Studies, and more.

Thematic Areas of Study Political Economy of China and Japan Chinese and Japanese Society and Culture Politics of East Asia Asia and World Affairs Asian Religious Traditions Asian Arts and Literature

- Online courses are available in several areas of concentration - Joint MA/PhD programs with International Relations, History, Sociology - Asian language classes can be taken for graduate credit - Both Exit Options are 30 Credits: Masters Thesis or Masters Essay For more information, visit our website or email

Graduate Certificates Asian Studies Asian Globalization Japanese Studies

Study Abroad Programs to Asia

The Asian Studies Program encourages study abroad opportunities to Asia for Students.

China The following programs are available for semester or year-long exchange. Please inquire with one of our advisors for more information.

Japan South Korea

All applications must go through the office of Study Abroad.

India Check out their page for more info!

Japan Kansai Gaidai University, Ritsumeikan University Kanda University, Asia Pacific University South Korea Kyung Hee University, Yonsei University China Zhejiang University, University of Hong Kong The Study Abroad Programs for this year were unfortunately canceled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Study Abroad sCHOLASHIPS for Asia Due to COVID-19, our scholarships were not distributed as Study Abroad Programs were canceled in 2020-2021.

Fu Foundation Scholarship The Fu Foundation was created in 1997 as a memorial in honor of the late Professor Charles Wei-hsun Fu, one of the premier scholars of Asian thought and culture, who taught in the U.S. and Taiwan. This scholarship is for students with outstanding qualifications for Asian Studies. It is intended for, but not limited to, studies of humanities and culture in Asia. Students awarded can receive up to $500 towards opportunities to study or research in Asia (for semester exchange programs or summer sessions).

April Messersmith Memorial Scholarship This award was established by a generous gift made by Yoko Messersmith, wife of Dr. Eric Messersmith, in memory of their beloved granddaughter April. The scholarship is intended for outstanding students to travel to Japan. Applicants must have a 3.5 GPA or higher and at least one year of Japanese Language.

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. ~ Look for updates this next academic year 2021-2022 ~ Asian Studies at FIU is proud to host the NCTA program in South Florida. This project is an ideal introduction to Asian culture, history, and society for teachers in our community. The main objective of the workshop is for teachers to understand East Asian cultural and historical aspects, encouraging them to infuse Asia into their curriculum through the use of interactive lessons 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 t o n ta c please c ol Maria S E ch a rre n u @fiu.ed at asian

Join our FIU's NCTA Facebook page for updates and news!

Clubs & Organizations Click below to join a club and become involved in their events and activities.

Aikido Club

FIU Kendo Club

Chinese Club

Asian Studies Graduate Student Organization Korean Culture Club Asian Student Union

FIU Tae Kwon Do

Geek Culture Club

Japan Club

Vietnamese Student Association

International Student Club

Korean Language Empowerment Club

2020-2021 FIU graduates Master of Arts in Asian Studies Maggie Castillo Kristin Hynes Fatima Osman Celina Riquier Logan Walker

Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies Amaya Ashmore Brian De Aguiar Janette Andreu Daylene Ariasalonso Lorena Benitez Aaron Dolbow Alan Durham Alexandra Egert Marcus Gabourel Daniel Garner Maria Grigera Chase Ferrin Ryan Gonzalez Malik Hall

Jerel Ivey Nathaniel Jones Izak Kertznus Christopher Lopez Stephany Lopez Johnatan Perez Janelle Madalone Jesus Miguelez Marilyn Nguyen Jorge Ramos Winona Salazar Osmara Sierra Melany Soto Isalys Suarez Mariana Suarez Justin Watkins Jada Wheeler

Asian Globalization and Latin America Certificate Yukiko Arai Joshua Burrion Teresa Garcia Cadenas Paola Giraldo Jessica Hernandez Monica Medina Susana Rondon luz Rossy Lura Mckenzie

Asian Studies Certificate Mia Gabb Natalia PadilloAnthemides

asian studies program Gaby Ellen Mukubu Astor Pineda Axel Quintana Monica Jimenez Rivera William Sam Jason Wu Maria Yanes

Chinese Studies Certificate Sharde Edwards Summer Elnowno Paola Giraldo Miguel Marenco Justin Marono Antoinette Menendez Princesse de Rossignol Amanda Viera Chirine Yamout

Japanese Studies Certificate

Minor in Asian Studies

Nasser Al-Rabeah Lauren Bronstein Amaya Ashmore Aaron Dolbow Sarah Nagel Galvez Elena Guerra Christopher Lopez Ronely Marte Jenifer Rodriguez Shanna Sit Stephanie Sosa Mariana Suarez Xiaomeng Sun

Isabel Brito Thea Cornelius Aneesa Etienne-Coleman Imanee Edo Karen Lozada Jason Pearce Jennifer Rodriguez Nicole Rodriguez Carlos Serrano

Asian Studies Overview Fall 2020 Events August 19 — Asian Studies Graduate Student Orientation September 30 — Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program Info Session October 7 — “Ainu My Voice” Film Screening October 22 — Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program Workshop October 23 — Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese Bento Box Contest October 30 — “The Making of a Chan Cave Temple Site in Sichuan” Lecture November 11 — “Developing a Process for Successful Academic Writing” by Dr. Steven Heine November 14 — J. Live Talk: Japanese Learning Inspired Vision & Engagement November 14 — Virtual Orlando Japan Festival November 20 — Mulan: The History of a Legend (Norton Art Museum) November 23 — “Alumni Connections”: Featuring Three MA Alumni November 25 —Japanese Study Opportunities Seminar December 1 — “Old Paths and New Directions in Zen Studies”: Tribute Panel for Dr. Heine at AAR Conference December 3 — Free Virtual Japanese Film Festival and Lectures December 13 —Zazen and Dharma Dialogue by Taigen Dan Leighton and Dr. Heine December 28 — 3rd Annual Korean Festival Events this academic year were held fully online because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Follow us on social media to keep up to date with our news & events!

Spring 2021 Events January 21 — US-Japan Facemask Design Contest (Japan Foundation) January 27 — “US-China Engagement: Past Achievements and Future Adjustments” Webinar February 13 — The Way of Tea: Sado Demonstration Online (Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens) February 24 — Japanese Language Senpai and Kouhai Virtual Meet-up February 24 — Southern Japan Seminar 2021: “Research Strategies in East Asian Studies During Covid” March 12 — “Movements and (Dis)placements: Travel Experiences in Studies of Japan” Virtual Colloquium March 30 — “I’m Not a Virus: A Teach-In on Anti-Asian & Asian American Racism” with Center for Humanities April 2 — Association of Florida Teachers of Japanese 2021 Online Speech Contest April 13 — “Dialogue on Japan’s Marginalized: Ainu and Okinawans" Virtual Colloquium May 13 — Webinar "Fighting Homelessness through the COVID-19/Systemic Inequality Syndemic" for Japan Foundation CGP grant project "US-Japan Service Hub Network," organized by Dr. Matthew Marr


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 Email: Website:

Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs

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