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August 2010 CEAS Newsletter


CEAS Obtains 2010-2014 NRC/FLAS Funding

    The Center for East Asian Studies received word in the middle of July that we have been granted another four years of funding under the US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center/Foreign Language and Area Studies program. The grant, worth more than $2.1 million over four years, will support continuing programming in outreach, language and area studies instruction, library acquisitions, and graduate study for UW faculty and students as well as the state as a whole. The combination of Title VI funds, recent grants from the Korea Foundation, the Academy of Korean Studies, the Korean Film Council, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, and generous support from International Studies and the College of Letters and Science means that East Asian Studies at the UW-Madison will continue to grow in the coming years. Thanks are due to all the CEAS faculty and staff who worked on the NRC/FLAS grant application, but especially to CEAS Interim Director Sarah Thal, Assistant Director David Dettmann, and the student staff: Katrina Brown, Brian Richardson, Tamar Land, Rebecca Sim, and Kseniya Vaynshtok. We also thank the Division of International Studies and in particular Assistant Dean Marianne Bird Bear, who helped arrange for expert database work from Ph.D. student Jessica Clayton for all the NRC applications, and the staff of the other eight Title VI National Resource Centers, whose cooperation and assistance made the application process much easier than it could have been.

What CEAS Faculty are Reading: Julia Murray

    Julia Murray

    "I have just finished reading The Printed Image in China, from the 8th to the 21st Centuries, edited by Clarissa von Spee, the catalogue of a major exhibition of Chinese prints at the British Museum, which I saw when I was in London in May. The show is truly encyclopedic, ranging from devotional Buddhist woodblock prints from 8th-century Dunhuang, to technically sophisticated and witty spoofs of traditional Chinese paintings made in 2007. In addition to a short entry on each piece, the catalogue includes six essays (accessible to a general audience) on various categories of prints, integrating new research into summary overviews. I was particularly interested to learn about a group of extraordinarily beautiful color prints, made with multiple woodblocks, which have now been shown to date to the early 18th century, thus disproving the conventional wisdom that Chinese printmakers did not continue working in this sophisticated technique after the late Ming. I also found it interesting to learn of the immense diversity of 20th-century prints and the different approaches taken in the art academies in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Chengdu. Even if you can't go see the show in person (on view until September 5, 2010), the catalogue reproductions are extremely high quality and give a good sense of the works themselves.

    Something else I read recently and greatly enjoyed is Peter Hessler's new book, Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory. It has three large chapters drawn from several years of living and working as a freelance journalist in China. The first is about a road trip he made in a rental car along the route of the Great Wall, camping out at night in order to stay clear of local authorities. He writes most engagingly about his many unusual experiences and fascinating conversations with the local people along the way. (His Chinese must be really good!) The second chapter is about a village a short distance outside Beijing, where Hessler rented a house in order to have a quiet place to write. Of course he gets deeply involved with people there, and even helps the peasant landlord's young son get critical medical care at a snooty Beijing hospital. The third chapter moves the geographic focus farther south, to Lishui, where Hessler involves himself in the lives of young people who have come from the interior to work in the factories. I am so impressed at the way he is able to relate his personal experiences and interactions with specific people to the larger story of China's mind-bogglingly rapid changes over the last couple of decades. By the way, I also highly recommend Hessler's first book, River Town, which tells the story of how he learned Chinese while living in a small town in Sichuan. Parts of it are hysterically funny, and it will especially appeal to people who have studied Chinese. "

CEAS Student Profile: Rebecca Sim

    Rebecca Sim

    Taking advantage of the multi-disciplinary aspect of the East Asian Studies major, Rebecca Sim is a senior studying both Japanese and Korean culture, language, and history. Rebecca first developed an interest in Japan when she participated in a 10-day long summer exchange program organized by her hometown (Manitowoc, WI) and its sister city in Kamogawa, Japan. She stayed with a host family for the duration of the program and experienced Japanese culture and traditions first hand. In order to stay in touch with her host family, Rebecca took First Semester Japanese as a freshman at UW Madison. This was the first class in what became an East Asian Studies and Japanese double major.

    In addition to language courses, Rebecca took various classes on Japanese culture, literature, and history, gradually gaining expertise in all things related to Japan. Of these classes EA 353 Survey of Japanese Literature taught by Professor Charo D’Etcheverry was one of her favorites.

    The class that broadened her interest to Korea was EAS 222 Introduction to East Asian Civilizations. It was in that class that Rebecca was exposed to Chinese and Korean culture and history, but took a particular interest in learning about the Colonial Period from the Korean perspective. This led Rebecca to take classes on Korean culture and history, as well as 2 semesters of the Korean Language, in addition to her 6 semesters of Japanese.

    To supplement and complement her studies, Rebecca attends and enjoys CEAS brown bags, especially the lectures on Korea as information about Korea is still relatively new to her. One particular brown bag which she found very informative was “Building Houses, Building Tradition: Architectural Discourse on Tradition, Identity, and Sustainability in Contemporary Korea” with Jung-hye Shin last semester.

    Since high school, Rebecca has been to Japan 3 times, including the exchange program with her sister city in Kamogawa, a month-long summer program in Hirosaki, and a two month program at Ritsumeikan’s Asia Pacific University (APU) in Beppu, a city located in Japan’s southern island of Kyushu. This fall Rebecca will be returning to Japan for an entire year through UW Madison’s study abroad program at Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. Rebecca plans to graduate at the end of the program in June of 2011.

This newsletter is sent out monthly from the
Center for East Asian Studies
at the UW Madison.
Center for East Asian Studies, International Institute,
333 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive,
Madison, WI 53706-1397 tel:(608)262-3643
You can email us at: email: eas@intl-institute.wisc.edu

To see past newsletters, check our newsletter archive.




Copyright © 2008 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.
Center for East Asian Studies, International Institute, 333 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive,
Madison, WI 53706-1397 email: eas@eastasia.wisc.edu tel:(608)262-3643 fax:(608)265-2919