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July 2010 CEAS Newsletter


CEAS Annual Report Newsletter Now Available

    CEAS Annual Report pdf

    It has been a very busy year at CEAS! Recently we have completed an "Annual Report", summarizing the many events over the past academic year that CEAS has hosted. This full-color report is the first of a series, to be published each summer. This year's issue will soon be mailed, and it is now available online in the form of a pdf document. This year's issue includes news about Center faculty, alumni, and current students, as well as information about this year's events such as the conference on Korean music, CEAS Mongolia connections, the co-sponsored Supernatural Presences in East Asia series, and more. Click here to view.

What CEAS Faculty are Reading: Mark Meulenbeld

    Mark Muelenbeld

    "It’s an odd moment to ask me what I am reading, because I am reading so many different things these days. Now that I have about half a year without teaching – a time during which I am expected to “make significant progress” with my own book manuscript – I jump happily from one book to the next. Partly it’s a matter of inspiration: some authors have written such great works that their words get me into a certain creative mood, so I keep going back to them, I never throw them away. Michel Foucault is one such author. I am rereading his Archaeology of Knowledge. This particular book is fantastic for the way in which Foucault asks questions: very focused, very sharp, and always a little intrusive. It is not as spectacularly entertaining as some of his other works, like Discipline and Punish, another book that I keep picking up, but it is good as a yardstick for my own critical thinking.

    Several other books have been on my menu during the past two weeks. Mikhail Bakhtin’s Rabelais and his World is a book that has become somewhat worn out due to the great masses of scholars who like to refer to it for Bakhtin’s views on the “carnivalesque” as covert expressions of a “counterculture” that operated in the face of the “monolithical seriousness” of institutions such as the state. I like this book particularly for the way it discusses representations of the body: from the vulgar depictions of “open” bodies of the Middle Ages (colorful bodies that fart, fuck, and frolic, always comically expressing the effervescence of life), to the “hermetic” bodies of the Romantic Age, when Europeans started to idealize the marble statues of the Greco-Roman world – closed bodies that are turned inward, monochrome, pale, and lifeless. I like that kind of analysis: how the belief in “sophisticated” cultural tastes tells a story of its own. Funnily, Bakhtin’s ideas about the body remind me a lot of Foucault.

    But the book I am really happy to have found is Rita Felski’s recent work entitled Uses of Literature (2008). It’s positive, smart, and rates literature much higher than the interpretation of it – a rare modesty for a scholar! Felski has taught me about the “hermeneutics of suspicion,” and I recommend you, invisible reader, to learn about it too. Before it is too late… "

CEAS Student Profile: Erik Buchberger

    Erik Buchberger

    Erik Buchberger began his Japanese studies at the College of Lake County in Illinois.  After earning his Associate’s Degree, Erik decided he wanted to continue studying Japanese and pursue an undergraduate degree at UW Madison.  Since he transferred to UW Madison, Erik has completed an additional 3 years of Japanese and has taken a plethora of Japan-related courses.  Although his favorite classes are the Japanese language courses, Erik has also enjoyed all of the classes taught by Charo D’Etcheverry, including EA353 Survey of Japanese Literature and EA323 Classical Japanese.  According to Erik, Survey of Japanese Literature “keeps you stimulated and interested.”  He goes on to say that Professor D’Etcheverry presents the course readings in a way that even a 1,000 page book (The Tale of Genji) can be exciting and engaging every step of the way.  "She always picks out fascinating materials, and her fun and engaging teaching style makes the course an awesome package,” he says.

    Soon after declaring his Japanese major, Erik found that the East Asian Studies major was also a nice fit for him.  The two majors have supplemented and complemented each other very well with multiple classes.  Often he would find that materials he covered in one class would be useful in understanding material in another.  In fact, Erik has an entire bookcase of texts from his Japanese and East Asian Studies classes which he frequently draws from when writing papers for other classes.

    After studying Japanese for five years, Erik is taking advantage of UW-Madison’s study abroad program at Nanzan University in Nagoya to complete his Japanese studies.  At Nanzan, Erik will be living with a host family and is planning to take 15 hours a week of Japanese. He also plans to take classics, calligraphy (in order to better read classical Japanese), woodblock printing, and Japanese composition classes.  After the year long program, Erik will graduate and return to the United States.  Although his post-graduate career is still uncertain, Erik is contemplating applying to the JET program as a Coordinator for International Relations or attending graduate school to further his Japanese and literature studies.

    Erik Buchberger is a fifth-year CEAS undergraduate majoring in East Asian Studies and Japanese, and earning a certificate in Religious Studies.

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