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Past Global Virtual Speaker Program Events

The Asian Studies Center Global Virtual Speaker Program aims to stimulate and increase academic and scholarly interest about Asia at MSU starting in Fall 2020. Below is an archive of all past GVSP events hosted by the Asian Studies Center affiliated faculty. 

2021 Global Virtual Speaker Program Events

Spring 2021

J-Pop Translation & Adaptation Workshop Series

The Japanese Studies Program is pleased to offer a series of four workshops in SS21 on the J-Pop Translation & Adaptation. Each workshop focuses on a key aspect of translation & adaptation in the field of Japanese popular culture, in particular that of manga. While this workshop series presents Japanese materials, many of the takeaways will be relevant to anyone aspiring to work professionally as a translator. The language of instruction will be English, and everyone is welcome, even those who do not have Japanese language backgrounds. Each workshop will include hands-on activities focusing on strategies and methodologies for translation & adaptation. Those who attend all four workshops will receive a certificate of participation.

  • Dates: February 3, 10, 17, 24, 2020
  • Speaker: Erica Friedman, Independent Scholar, Japanese Pop Culture Specialist
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Catherine Ryu

Bangladesh Civil Society and Story of Human Development 

Year 2020 has challenged us physically, mentally, and financially. Some groan and moan; some rage and roar. Yet, we still have to strive and live.A retreat to ancient philosophy may help to resume courage and empower you with inspiration and motivation to move on. Confucianism is centrally concerned with questions about how we ought to live: what goes into a worthwhile life; how we weigh duties toward family; what kinds of qualities a person should have or avoid having; how we should treat other people (and ourselves); and what makes us happy.

  • Date: February 23, 2021
  • Speaker: Shamsul Bari, Chairman, Research Initiatives, Bangladesh (RIB) and a former Director of UNHCR
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Sejuti Dasgupta

Succeeding with Confucianism

Year 2020 has challenged us physically, mentally, and financially. Some groan and moan; some rage and roar. Yet, we still have to strive and live.A retreat to ancient philosophy may help to resume courage and empower you with inspiration and motivation to move on. Confucianism is centrally concerned with questions about how we ought to live: what goes into a worthwhile life; how we weigh duties toward family; what kinds of qualities a person should have or avoid having; how we should treat other people (and ourselves); and what makes us happy.

  • Date: February 25, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr Zu-yan Chen, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, Binghamton University, SUNY
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Wenying Zhou & Dr. Tze-lan Sang

Remembering China's “Last War ”

On October 23, 2020, Chinese President Xí Jinping held a state ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of China’s entrance to the Korean War. In the same month, three documentary film series were aired on CCTV, a war movie (featuring action star Wu Jing) opened in theaters across the country, and China also reopened two national Korean War memorials after years of renovation. The flurry of remembrances across films, museums, and political spectacles leaves one wondering why the war has had such a hold on Chinese historical imagination? How has the memory of war shifted from the communist era to the post-socialist present? How does China remember its “last war” in the shadow of a new US-China Cold War?

  • Date: March 18, 2021
  • Speaker: Speaker: Zhao Ma is an Associate Professor of Modern Chinese History and Culture and Director of Undergraduate Studies
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Xuefei Hao

One Left : A Discussion with Literary Translators on Fiction, Trauma, and Healing

A Discussion with Literary Translators on Fiction, Trauma, and Healing Translators Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton will discuss One Left, their translation of the first Korean novel to focus on the Korean “comfort women” of World War II. They will focus on the question of why it has taken 75 years for such a novel to be written, on the way in which author Kim Soom has interwoven the testimony of the surviving women with a fictional narrative taking place in present-day Seoul, and on broader issues of social justice, truth and reconciliation, and trauma and healing.

  • Date: March 19, 2021
  • Speaker: Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton are the translators of numerous volumes of modern Korean fiction
  • Sponsoring Council: Council on Korean Studies

Chinese Writing in Historical and Modern Perspectives

In linguistic studies and Chinese character teaching, it is common to consider properties of old and modern Chinese scripts together as within a synchronic system. Such a treatment has several consequences. This talk will select the following issues to address: 1) The pictographic and ideographic myths of Chinese characters; 2) Character teaching methods based on the ideographic understanding; 3) Development of writing tools and the properties of Chinese characters; and 4) Traditional vs. simplified characters. Implications for Chinese character teaching and learning will also be discussed.

  • Date: March 23, 2021
  • Speaker: Chengzhi Chu, Associate Professor of Chinese, Faculty of the Graduate Group in Lingustics, Undergraduate Faculty Advisor for Chinese
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Xuefei Hao

Ecology of Sacred Landscapes: Akha Traditional Management System of Natural Resources

The ecology of sacred landscapes for Akha* communities has consisted of natural resource management through religious representation. Akha divide the whole world into two domains, the Inside (lavqkhoer) and the Outside (lavqnyir), both in space and in time. A traditional Akha management system of natural resources is elaborated through a case study of Mengsong Community, Jinghong City, Yunnan Province of China. Akha natural resource management, regulated by the Akha customary law Ghanrsanrkhovq, is an adaptive management (following Holling 1986, Lee 1993, Gunderson et al. 1995, and Berkes 1999), that acknowledges that environmental conditions will always change, thus requiring management institutions to respond to feedback by adjusting and evolving. Prof. Wang asserts that the animist belief and the community-of-beings worldview were well developed when the Akha ancestors were hunter-gatherers. As they became agriculturalists, the binary worldview was developed as the Akha society adapted to new way of life, agriculture and more or less permanent residency, etc, which made them separate from nature (spirits), their past hunting-gathering life, and/or other hunters-gatherers. However, separation does not mean to sever here, but rather implies to share. Therefore, the new form of binary worldview still conforms to their old animist belief and the community-of-beings worldview.

  • Date: March 24, 2021
  • Speaker: Jianhua “Ayoe” Wang, Assistant Professor & Chair, Department of Anthropology, Yunnan Minzu University
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Amanda Flaim 

The 1971 India-Pakistan War: Background, Course and Lasting Implications

India and Pakistan fought a brief full-scale war in December 1971 that ended with the independence of the former East Pakistan as the new country of Bangladesh. Preceded by months of vicious internal conflict within East Pakistan, the war was a watershed moment in South Asia’s history, not only because it ushered in a new nation but because its genesis, course and outcomes created a prism through which the participants have viewed themselves, each other and the outside world ever since. Though it was fought fifty years ago, the war’s legacy, bitter, triumphant or ambiguous, remains relevant to our understanding of the region today. This short presentation will sketch the background to the conflict, review its military dimensions and outline some of its ramifications to set the stage for a discussion with faculty and students.

  • Date: March 30, 2021
  • Speaker: John H. Gill, adjunct professor affiliated with the Near East–South Asia Center for Strategic Studies (NESA Center) in Washington DC.
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Soma Chaudhuri

The 1880 Anti-Chinese Riot in Denver & Chinese-Americans' Contribution to the Centennial State

The 1880 anti-Chinese riot in Denver, Colorado is the darkest page of American history -- the Chinese immigrants were singled out as the hate targets. As the result, once booming Denver Chinatown disappeared, followed soon by the Chinese Exclusion Act passed by the U. S. Congress in 1882. Chinese-Americans, however, did not give up. They made great contributions to the state of Colorado despite of discrimination. The presentation will introduce a few examples.

  • Date: April 8, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. Xiansheng Tian, Ph.D., Professor of History, Metro State University of Denver
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Wenying Zhou

Health Systems Response to COVID–19 in Rural India

  • Date: April 15, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. Sanjay Zodpey, Vice President – Academics, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) & Director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Delhi
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Aniruddh P. Behere

In Search of a Chinese School of Animation: National Style, Landscape Painting, and Ink-and-Wash

What makes Chinese animation special? What are the major stakes of forging a Chinese style of animation? This talk traces the concept of the “Chinese school of animation” to a series of groundbreaking fine art (meishu) animated films produced by Shanghai Animation Film Studio during the socialist era (1950s-1960s), with a focus on the ink-and-wash genre. By comparing Feeling from Mountain and Water (shanshui qing, 1988) and Fog Hill of Five Elements (wushan wuxing, 2020), this talk aims to not only demonstrate how traditional landscape painting informs our reading of ink-and-wash animated films, but also historicize the stylistic and technical innovations of the ink-and-wash animation from the socialist to the post-socialist period.

  • Date: April 16, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. Renren Yang, Assistant Professor of Modern Chinese Popular Culture, University of British Columbia
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Lina Qu

Effect of COVID on Mental Health in Rural India

  • Date: April 29, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. Prakash B. Behere, Director Professor, Psychiatry Department, Acharya Vinobha Bhave Rural Hospital
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Aniruddh P. Behere

Impact of COVID on Children and Rural Health Systems

  • Date: May 13, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. Nimbalkar, Head, Department of Neonatology, Pramukhswami Medical College
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Aniruddh P. Behere

Challenges of Tropical Disease Management During COVID-19 in India

  • Date: May 27, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. Farhan Fazal
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Aniruddh P. Behere

Innovation in Rural Maternal & Child Health in India

  • Date: June 10, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. Rakesh Kumar Sharma
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Aniruddh P. Behere

Graven Images: Missionary Visual Practices and Cross-Cultural Imaginations of Religion in China

  • Date: October 7, 2021
  • Speaker: Joseph W. Ho, Assistant Professor of History, Albion College
  • Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Jon Keune 

Taiwan's Cultural Democratization--Using Cinema as a Case Study 

Democratization is arguably Taiwan’s most significant achievement since 1945. Yet most studies have failed to devote sufficient attention to the cultural dimensions of the process, which I term ‘cultural democratization.’ This talk addresses the impact of democratization from the perspective of culture by using the development of Taiwan cinema as a case study. I take three approaches—historical, structural, and agency-focused—to examine how culture in Taiwan has democratized since the 1980s.

  • Date: October 27, 2021
  • Speaker: Dr. Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley, Research Associate, Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS, University of London
  • Sponsoring Faculty: Dr. Tze-Lan Sang

2020 Global Virtual Speaker Program Events

Fall 2020

 Examining Chinese Model Opera: Redefining Genre and Gender, Subverting Ideology in Revolutionary Ballet

  • Date: October 21, 2020
  • Speaker: Dr Rowan McLelland, Senior Lecturer, Department of Dance, University of Roehampton, London
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Laura MacDonald

Growing Empires in the Age of the Nation-State

"The interwar years saw extraordinary outbursts of political foment from Berlin to Shanghai, mixing together in a toxic brew the rise of mass culture and calls for socialist revolution. In furious backlash, rightwing movements around the world promised a restoration of national glory and agrarian idyll. Yet, beneath the polarization of the political discourse, both left and right leaning governments and non-governmental agencies like the Rockefeller Foundation promoted agricultural science as a solution to rural problems. 

  • Date: October 27, 2020
  • Speaker: Dr. Shellen Wu, Associate Professor of History, University of Tennessee
  • Sponsoring Faculty MemberDr. Sidney Xu Lu

South America Bound: The Origins of Settler-Colonist Fiction in Meiji Japan

This talk investigates the origins of settler-colonist fiction that began in Meiji-era Japan (1868-1912), and constituted one of the most tangible forms by which modern literature participated in the Empire of Japan’s broader expansionist aims. Contrary to the conventional wisdom which takes for granted that this genre was exclusively set in Japan’s burgeoning empire in Asia, from 1908 until the onset of World War II, settler-colonist fiction expressly promoted emigration overseas to sovereign nations in South America, notably Peru and Brazil, as an essential part of its diversified strategy to alleviate the burdens of overpopulation in the home islands. 

  • Date: November 10, 2020
  • Speaker: Dr. Seth Jacobowitz, Senior Research Associate, The City College of New York
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Sidney Xu Lu

Chinese Cities and City People during and after World War II

The effects of World War II on Chinese cities were transformative. In addition to horrendous devastation, the war years were marked by significant cultural exchange, the reconfiguration of social hierarchies, and experiments in governance. All of these phenomena shaped the subsequent establishment of the new Communist regime in Chinese cities beginning in 1949. Drawing on a novel set in a wartime provincial capital, Li Jieren’s Dance of the Heavenly Devils, this talk explores the transformation of Chinese cities as a result of the war, with particular emphasis on the relationship between the built environment and human social relations.

  • Date: November 16, 2020
  • Speaker: Dr. Kristin Stapleton, Professor, History, University at Buffalo
  • Sponsoring Faculty Members: Dr. Wenying Zhou & Dr. Tse-lan Sang

Opening the Gates to Asia: A Transpacific History of How America Repealed Asian Exclusion

  • Date: November 16. 2020
  • Speaker: Dr. Jane Hong, Associate Professor of History, Occidental College
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Naoko Wake

Ingrained Habits: The ‘Kitchen Cars’ and the Transformation of Postwar Japanese Diet and Identity

This talk explores the history and politics of American-funded food demonstration buses (“kitchen cars”) in postwar Japan. Their express mission was to transform the Japanese national diet. At least in the short to medium term, the kitchen cars were a win-win for the US and Japan. Japan benefited because women learned how to cook cheap, nutritious, mostly easy dishes to improve the health of their families and the nation. 

  • Date: November 18, 2020
  • Speaker: Dr. Nathan Hopson, Associate Professor of Japanese and East Asian History, Nagoya University
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Sidney Xu Lu

Mediatized Taiwanese Mandarin: Popular Culture, Masculinity and Social Perceptions 

This talk explores how language ideologies have emerged for gangtaiqiang (港台腔) through a combination of indexical and ideological processes in televised media. Gangtaiqiang (Hong Kong-Taiwan accent), a socially recognizable form of mediatized Taiwanese Mandarin, has become a stereotype for many Chinese mainlanders who have little real-life interaction with Taiwanese people.

  • Date: November 20, 2020
  • Speaker: ​Dr. Chun-Yi Peng, Associate Professor of Chinese at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Naoko Wake

A Pandemic of Hate” Panel Discussion

The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has generated a surge of hateful speech and physical violence directed against Asians and Asian, Pacific Island, Desi American (APIDA) people. But intentionally hurtful speech or action is nothing new in the United States. Asian immigrants, including students and scholars in universities, as well as ordinary working people of Asian heritage, have faced more than a century of misguided belief that they are especially prone to illness and likely to spread disease. Two APIDA Studies scholars will navigate us through this difficult history, by exploring both the racist rhetoric of the past and today’s revival of hatred.

  • Date: December 3, 2020
  • Panelists: Nayan Shah, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, University of Southern California
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Naoko Wake

Chivalrous Psychogeography: Martial Arts, Avant-Garde, Sinophone Imagination

Ang Lee once famously confessed that every Chinese-language director has a dream to make a martial arts (wuxia) film. Literary historian Chen Pingyuan also noted that, over a thousand years, Chinese literati have shared a dream of becoming a knight-errant. Indeed, from the 1960s to the present, a number of major Chinese-language filmmakers sought to create a martial arts work at the crucial stage of their careers. This talk seeks to chart a cultural and emotional geography of martial arts narratives constructed by avant-garde cinematic aesthetics from the Cold War to the post-Cold War eras in Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China and beyond. 

  • Date: December 4, 2020
  • Speaker: Weijie Song, Associate Professor, Rutgers University
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: DrLina Qu

Why are farmers in India protesting? Farm Acts and Rural Development in India

Speaker Bio: Prof R. Ramakumar is the NABARD Chair Professor at the School of Development Studies of Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He also serves as a non-ministerial member of the State Planning Board for the Government of Kerala. His research interests include agriculture and agrarian change in rural India, agricultural credit, and economic reforms and changes in rural livelihoods. His recent work explores the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the agriculture sector in India, with a focus on food shortages and disruptions in food supply chains.

  • Date: December 9, 2020
  • Speaker: Dr. Ramakumar, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
  • Sponsoring Faculty Member: Dr. Sejuti Dasgupta