Fourth Year Japanese Language Class Asian Studies Major Student Team Won Top Prize at the Video Contest at Furman Engaged!
Joe Kim, Sawin Gunasekera, and Charles Plowden won the top prize and $200 in the first Video Contest (Moderator: Dr. Sachi Schmidt-Hori)at Furman Engaged on April 4, 2013. Their video, titled "Japanese at Furman!" is at
Asian Studies Embraces Facebook
As social media presents expanded opportunities for interacting in and out of class, several new endeavors related to Asian Studies have grown at Furman. The student group, A.S.I.A. Club, joined Facebook in 2011. Dr. Schmidt-Hori developed a space called "Furman University Nihongo is Fun!" in 2012. The area connects students at Furman and university students in Japan. Japan Summer Experience (JSE) also has its own page on Facebook and so is Anime Club.
Odell Scholarships Available for Declared Asian Studies Majors
The Odell Scholarship Committee will be accepting applications for the 2013-2014 Odell Scholarships from March 1 to April 1, 2013. These scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to current freshmen, sophomores, and juniors based on academic performance and demonstrated financial need. A declared major in the division of the Humanities, including Asian Studies, is required. Complete an Odell Scholarship application by April 1, 2013. The application may be accessed through MyFurman web portal under the financial aid menu. The application is very easy to complete because the online system automatically generates basic data about each applicant.
Students, Faculty, and Staff Gather for Asian Studies Welcome Reception
On September 10, the Asian Studies Suite filled with Asian Studies majors, faculty, and staff from Asian Studies who gathered together to kick off the 2012-2013 academic year. They enjoyed samosas and other refreshments.
Asian Studies Department Hosts Faculty from Seinan Gakuin University
From August 29 through September 1, the Asian Studies Department hosted a delegation from Japan's Seinan Gakuin University. Dr. Hirao Kojima, Director of the Center for International Education, and Mr. Satoru Kojima, Administrative Manager for the Center for International Education, are faculty from Furman's newest exchange partner, Seinan Gakuin University.
The university is located in Fukuoka, Japan. Furman students may study there for one semester or one year beginning in Fall 2013.
Asian Studies Faculty Lead Summer China Experience, Summer Japan Experience, and Startalk Program
Twelve students traveled to Japan and ten students traveled to China with Furman faculty Shusuke Yagi, Kate Kaup, and Tami Blumenfield. Back on the Furman campus, Kate Kaup and Dongming Zhang led a successful Startalk Program for high school students learning Chinese.
Artist Kavita Bali Visits Furman
On March 24, Kavita Bali, a local artist/filmmaker/poet, presented her photography, short films, and poetry that deal with experiences of migration from India to life in the United States. Her work depicts the unique yet universal themes of loss and displacement to resilience and power. While grappling with issues of discovering her elusive Indian cultural heritage, Kavita explores themes of alienation, gender, intergeneration strife, dating, and death.
Dr. Savita Nair opened the program by introducing the artist and giving a brief overview of the history of Indian migration to the United States and the role of art in identity formation for migrants. Kavita Bali then responded to questions after presenting her own photography, poetry, and a few short films.
Kavita Bali was born in India and moved to the United States at age 6. She has a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has completed MFA Film courses at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Her solo exhibition will be on view at Greenville's Village Studios and Gallery in the Pendleton Arts District during May 2011.
Waves of Disaster: The Great Tohoku Earthquake and its Aftermath
On March 23, Dr. Wendy Matsumera was joined by Dr. John Armstrong (Communication Studies)
Dr. Suresh Muthukrishnan (EES) and Dr. Cinnamon Stetler (Psychology) in forming a faculty panel to discuss the ongoing events in Japan with students.
The ASIA Club raised over $6,000 for relief efforts in Japan by gathering paper cranes; a generous donor contributed $2 to Architecture for Humanity in Japan for each crane they collected. Over 3,000 cranes were donated at the Hanami Festival and relief fundraiser on March 30.
Furman Awarded Startalk Grant for 2012 Summer Program
Funding was renewed by the Office of National Intelligence for the Startalk Furman Chinese Language Camp. This was the third year the program will be held on Furman’s campus; the program brings 28 promising high school scholars from across the country for a two-week Chinese language/culture immersion camp. Please see the program's website
for more information and a link to the application.
Teachers from the previous Startalk Programs have been an important part of both the Furman and Greenville community this academic year. Ms. Che Yuqian and Ms. Xu Chong lived in Furman's Chinese language houses and taught language class. Furman sponsored an after school Chinese class at Greenville Middle Academy which they also taught.
Furman Students Excel at Palmetto Star Chinese Competition
In February, Furman students went to Columbia for the Palmetto Star Chinese Competition held at the Confucius Institute located at University of South Carolina. Among the Furman competitors, Rahab Hackett won 1st prize for the beginner level cultural performance contest, and Sarah Johnson and Nicole Hooper Campos shared the 3rd prize of this same category. Edward Li won 3rd prize for the advanced level language proficiency contest.
Our visiting instructor Che Yuqian (from Soochow University) served on the board of judges.
On Saturday, November 5, 2011 the Development Office hosted the inaugural Furman Standard recognition dinner. Dr. Shusuke Yagi, AS and MLL Professor, was one of six active Furman faculty members that were honored for their commitment to teaching and mentoring. The names of the professors and donors can be found linked at the bottom of The Furman Standard website
(click here for video
Dr. David Shaner has written a book that explains how combining Eastern Philosophy with Western business savvy can foster real and lasting organizational change: The Seven Arts of Change: Leading Business Transformation that Lasts, Union Square Press. More information on the book as well as his blog can be found on his website
Dr. Shaner has also worked with a local company and funding from Furman alum Mike Harley to publish a 14-minute documentary on the “Place of Peace in Four Seasons”. It is a unique way to present the one-of-a kind teaching space that is distinctive to Furman among all universities. The Place of Peace was also filmed for part of a PBS documentary to be aired in April called “Asian and Abrahamic Religions: The Divine Ground in America.”
Dr. Lisa Knight traveled to India to begin a new project on the stories of Bauls to teach about religious and caste discrimination and to help construct a more just society. Her book on this topic, Contradictory Lives
, was published by Oxford in 2011.
Dr. Harry Kuoshu is now president of SEC-AAS (Southeast Coast Chapter of American Association for Asian Studies). He, along with the Asian Studies Department, hosted the SEC-AAS annual conference at Furman in 2012.
Dr. Savita Nair presented a paper at the Association of Asian Studies Panel entitled Negotiating Nationhood: The South Asian Diaspora in Postcolonial East Africa