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Asian Edge, Spring 2011 2012

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Spring 2011  1A Newsletter for AlumNi ANd frieNds of uBC AsiAN studies Department of Asian Studies Asian Centre, UBC 1871 West Mall Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2 www.asia.ubc.ca Asian Edge is produced by the UBC Department of Asian Studies. Please send submissions and comments to Ross King: ross.king@ubc.ca. Asian Edge The Newsletter of the Department of Asian StudiesContents MeSSAge froM The heAD CeleBrATing ChineSe liTerATUre  UnDergrADUATe UpDATe grADUATe neWS fACUlTy neWS AlUMni inTerVieW progrAMS & eVenTS 2 AsiAn EdgE:  A newSletter for Alumni And friendS of uBC ASiAn StudieS Celebrating 50 Years of Asian Studies in Hong Kong    greetings to all the students, graduates, faculty and friends of the Department of Asian Studies! We are now well into Term 2 of the 2010- 2011 academic session, and as you will see from the various stories in this newsletter, it has already been an eventful year. We continue to celebrate periodically the 50th anniversary of the department, and were delighted to host the first two in an ongoing series of Distinguished Alumni Speaker lectures-cum- receptions in the fall term with Andrew Horvat (BA ’68, MA ’71) and dora nipp (BA ’80). This semester we look forward to hosting Blake Bromley (BA ’73, llB ’77) and sajida shroff (BA ’90, Bed. ’93). The fall term of this year will be our last chance to celebrate, and we hope to host at least one more Distinguished Alumnus/a Speaker (TBA) before wrapping up our 50th anniversary year with a gala banquet at a suitable venue downtown at the very end of november— stay tuned to the Department website for more details, and we will also be sending out electronic invitations.     on December 14 2010 i had the privilege of attending the annual Christmas banquet hosted by UBC’s Asia pacific regional office in hong Kong in conjunction with the hong Kong chapter of the UBC Alumni Association. There, too, i used the excuse of our 50th anniversary to host a pre-banquet reception for a small group of our department’s hong Kong-based alumni, and we also hosted a table for about a dozen Asian Studies grads. i had heard that the hong Kong chapter was a lively one, but was amazed to see more than 120 people gathered for this lively occasion. UBC president, professor Stephen Toope, was the featured speaker for the evening, and i was pleased to meet several department graduates, both at the banquet and at meetings in hong Kong the day thereafter.     finally, i am pleased to report that the department is starting to make forward progress on a number of initiatives. As the university begins to adjust to a new budget model that helps dollars follow students better than before, Asian Studies - with the overwhelming demand we face for all the different kinds of teaching and research we do on Asia - is beginning to see the glimmerings of hope for growth once again after years of contraction. But partnerships beyond UBC’s walls are also key to future growth and any new initiatives, and i am pleased to note that the department recently received its first significant donation to the new persian language and iranian Studies initiative, and i can confirm that we will be offering first-year persian language in the 2011-2012 academic session. efforts to secure the funding necessary to teach persian language and literature on an ongoing basis are well advanced. i welcome comments and queries about the department’s direction and activities from friends of the department, and look forward to meeting more of you at upcoming department events. Department Head, Ross King Dora Nipp Event Photos On November 25th, human rights lawyer Dora Nipp gave an inspiring talk to Asian Studies alumni and current students at the Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. More photos and the podcast can be found here.  Hong Kong alumni photo: Vinci Ho, Christy Hui,  Joseph Ho, Hyuk-chan Kwon, Department Head Ross King, Benjamin Pan Wa Chin, Dean Robinson, Sunyoung Ho Welcome to the sixth Annual Yip so Man Wat Memorial Lecture “Writing History after ‘Post-History’: On Contemporary Chinese Fiction.” Writing  at a time when History has collapsed and Revolution has lost its mandate, writers cannot take up the two subjects without pondering their inherent intelligibility. Drawing upon theories of “post-history” as developed by scholars such as Jacques Derrida, Li Zehou and Liu Zaifu, and contemporary fictional works by writers such as Mo Yan, Yan Lianke, and Wang Anyi, this lecture will address the following three issues: History after Post-History, Enlightenment versus Enchantment and Socialist Utopia and “the Best of all Best Possible Worlds.”         Wednesday, March 9th                       7:00 pm     UBC Asian Centre Auditorium     1871 West Mall, Vancouver     Reception to precede event at     6:00 pm, Asian Centre foyer David Der-wei Wang is Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature at Harvard University and Director of the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Inter- University Center for Sinological Studies. The world’s leading scholar of modern Chinese fiction, his research specialties include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, late Qing fiction and drama, and comparative literary theory.           Please RSVP by March 9th at          www.asia.ubc.ca/watlecture UBC Dean of Arts Gage Averill offers words of welcome at “Celebrating 100 Years of Qian Zhongshu and Yang Jiang” Spring 2011  3 Visit us online www.asia.ubc.ca Celebrating Chinese Literature on December 10th, the Department of Asian Studies hosted a public event at the Asian Centre entitled “Celebrating 100 years of Qian Zhongshu and yang Jiang” to mark the centennial of two of modern China’s most outstanding cultural figures. organized by professor Christopher Rea and introduced by UBC’s new Dean of Arts, Dr. gage Averill, the event featured a reading from a new book by professor rea, a dramatic performance by students from the UBC Chinese language program, and a keynote address by UClA professor emeritus Theodore Huters entitled “The Cosmopolitan imperative: Qian Zhongshu and ‘World literature,’” and was attended by approximately 60-70 students, faculty, staff and community members. This public event was held in conjunction with the first academic conference on modern Chinese literature conference to be held at UBC in over a decade: “Qian Zhongshu and yang Jiang: A Centennial perspective,” a three-day workshop organized by professor rea and attended by distinguished scholars from China, europe, and north America. Professor Rea applauds UBC students Adele Kurek (BA), Evgenia Stroganova (MA), Andrew Zeller (BA), and William Darlingtong (BA) after their performance of excerpts from Yang Jiang’s 1943 Chinese- language play “Heart’s Desire” UBC students Evgenia Stroganova and William Darlington perform an excerpt from Yang Jiang’s 1943 play “Heart’s Desire” 4 AsiAn EdgE:  A newSletter for Alumni And friendS of uBC ASiAn StudieS Undergraduate Update Undergrad Student Life it’s the new year and the ASiA club had a great first semester and we are looking forward to more exciting events.  last semester, ASiA hosted a successful icebreaker meet-and- greet with UBC, ritsumeikan, and Korea University students.  everyone was able to meet their new buddies and enjoy a fun night together playing games and eating food.  for halloween, ASiA booked a whole train time slot for the ghost Train in Stanley park and there followed a wicked fun train ride with dinner at Ap gu Jung, a Korean restaurant located downtown.  We also had a great time watching “how to Train your Dragon” at one of our movie nights and in november, we took advantage of UBC’s olympic ice rink public skate times and went ice skating! Also in november president Belinda Wong was proud to represent ASiA in the Alumni Call-a-thon event.  With seven other students who ranged across different majors at UBC, everyone had a great time connecting with Asian Studies Alumni, developing new skills, and of course one mustn’t exclude the yummy pizza the department ordered for them.  The club also successfully hosted three luncheons for students with Dr. King, Dr. nosco, and Dr. Chau as our feature guests.  We have more professors with whom we look forward to meeting in this new semester. The next few months look promising, as the ASiA club has many things lined up.  We had a club reunion with rits and KU students on January 28, 2011, another movie night february 4, 2011, an ASiA club information session on february 7, 2011, as well as a Valentine’s Day event february 10, 2011.  At ASiA club information sessions, the club hopes to provide more information and encourage people to join the club and become involved on the executive level and help make things even more fun for everyone!  March will see ASiA helping with the recruitment of alumni for the Asian studies Careers night, which will take place in the Asian Centre Auditorium on March 22, 2011. We will also be hosting a beer garden, so we hope that everyone can make it out that night to mix and mingle.  other upcoming fun events are a dodgeball and soccer tournament, which will take place sometime in March and April. All the best for another great semester! from l to r: Mr. ling, Selina ling, lucy ho, Jeremy Ma, Stephanie lee, felix Cha students connecting to the Community Creativity in the Classroom four students from the University of British Columbia enrolled in ASIA 369 Asian Folklore with professor Adheesh sathaye. for their final project, they chose to create a documentary based on Cantonese folklore and its relevance to food and family. Through their film, they hoped to demonstrate the role of food in the unification of a families – a value that is important to Cantonese culture. Their film acted as a medium through which the active bearer can express her feelings towards the future of Cantonese folklore, as well as pass on traditions. They interviewed a woman named selina Ling, who hoped that the younger generation will remember the importance of family and customs. These customs and traditions are what makes a culture unique (the “soul” of a culture). in professor Anne Murphy’s 300-level  Punjabi class, students are exploring oral history self- narratives and narrative expressions in fiction and drama. All students are doing an oral history on some aspect of the local punjabi diaspora in the form of a documentary as a capstone project. Two students in the course, Pamreen sidhu and Pavandeep gill, chose to do their oral history video project on the future of punjabi literature in the diaspora, a topic which they feel is particularly relevant to them as their parents are first-generation punjabi immigrants. They interviewed two prominent members in the local punjabi literary community: gill Moranwali and Ranbir Johal. here are some stories from their interviews: As an author born and raised in punjab, Mr. gill provided us with the perspective of an early immigrant who was educated in punjab and sought to maintain his cultural roots in a foreign country. Mr. gill has published several books and compilations of poems, and was one of the key figures in founding the local punjabi writers’ association, of which he continues to be an active member. ranbir Johal is a punjabi professor at Kwantlen University in Surrey. Born and raised in Vancouver, professor Johal graduated from UBC with an MA in Asian Studies, and first learned to read and write punjabi as an undergraduate student. As such, her experience is typical of many first-generation punjabi youth who speak punjabi at a young age, but do not learn to read and write punjabi until the high-school or university level. her advice to students interested in pursuing punjabi literature is to read as much literature as possible and to connect with local established punjabi writers. “Doing this project was a great experience. in the process of conducting the interviews i learned a lot about the punjabi diasporic community and gained a much greater appreciation for the history and culture of the diaspora. The project also brought me closer with my community as well as my parents, who have taught me about punjabi culture from a young age and have always encouraged me to contribute to the diaspora in positive ways. Although the project is specifically about the future of punjabi literature in the diaspora, i believe it is something which people of all backgrounds can take something away from.”  Spring 2011  5 Graduate News Julien Butterlin studies Japanese classical culture as a graduate student at UBC. his research assesses how images of Mt. fuji were used to promote cultural cohesion in Japan during the second half of the edo period (1603-1868), focussing on works by hiraga gennai, Satake Shozan and Shiba Kokan. prior to coming to UBC, Julien received a BfA in Visual Communication Design from the University of hartford. While studying graphic design, he became interested in Japanese culture and visuals, particularly packaging design and typography. We caught up with him to discuss how he designed the Department logo: “When coming up with the logo design, Dr. King and i discussed different possibilities. We wanted a logo representing the whole of Asia - which, as you know, encompasses a rather broad variety of cultures, that had no religious connotations and did not reproduce some of the cliché imagery often associated with this area of the world (bamboo, kanji etc...). Someone in the department suggested we use a flower. This advice got me thinking about what kinds of flowers are often represented in Asian art or are culturally significant in Asia. After a little research, i came up with the idea of using the tea flower as the main symbol for the logo and rendered it in a way reminiscent of Japanese heraldic symbols (kamon/ monsho). i chose UBC colours in order to maintain consistency with the existing UBC identity.” Where Are They Now? over the past year, we have heard from a growing number of Asian Studies graduates. Below are some updates that we have received from alumni around the world. Kim Christiane Larsen, BA’07 (Chinese), is currently living in hong Kong and works at the european Chamber of Commerce hong Kong as the promotion Manager-european Union Business information programme. Bryan dunn, BA’80 (Asian Area Studies), llB’89 is a partner at Davis llp law firm, based in Vancouver with a Tokyo office, where he practices corporate mergers and acquisitions and commercial transactions. Benjamin Chin, BA’97 (Asian Area Studies), is a Director with Sesai Development ltd in hong Kong and was a terrific host and guide for Dr. King in hong Kong in December. duncan Wright, BA’08 (Asian Area Studies), is a Trade Commissioner with the foreign Affairs and international Trade Canada in the Vancouver office.  he was previously posted in San francisco and will be transferring to the Canadian embassy in Tokyo this summer. A feature on the artist behind our department logo Julien Butterlin   The Department would like to congratulate our phD students and MA students who defended their dissertations and theses recently. Hong Jiang defended a thesis entitled  “Socio-historical Analysis of Chinese heritage language education in British Columbia” under the supervision of Dr. duanduan Li and Dr. Patricia duff. Enseon Kim defended a thesis entitled “The Construction of norms of linguistic politeness: Valorizations of Korean honorification in language how-to manuals” under Dr. Ross King.    At the upcoming Association for Asian Studies Conference in in honolulu, March 31–April 3, 2011, phD student Franklin Rausch will be presenting a paper entitled “like Beasts and Weeds:  Justifying Violence against Catholics in late Joseon Dynasty Korea,”  which will be part of the panel “Catholicism in Joseon Dynasty Korea:  local and global perspectives”  chaired by professor don Baker of UBC. phD  student gergana ivanova will be presenting at the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) on a panel entitled “Japanese Commentarial Traditions and the Shaping of Women” organized by professor Christina Laffin, with professor Joshua Mostow acting as discussant. gergana will also be on a panel entitled “Alternative Moralities in Medieval and early Modern Texts” at the Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ) in June. At the Association of Teachers of Japanese (ATJ, which runs concurrently with AAS) phD student Otilia Milutin and M.A. student Anthea Murphy will also be presenting together on a panel. Check us out on our Facebook  and Linkedin pages under UBC Asian Studies and let us know what you have been up to since graduation. 6 AsiAn EdgE:  A newSletter for Alumni And friendS of uBC ASiAn StudieS Q&A with Asian studies Alumni: Photo Credit: Julia Paek name:   gary Matson Occupation: Associate Counsel at Remedios & Company degrees: BA 1972 (Asian Studies), MA 1982 (Modern Japanese literature), llB 1985 Why did you choose Asian studies? i was reading western philosophy in my early twenties, but one day i saw Alan Watts on TV explaining Zen Buddhism to viewers. i set aside my books on western philosophy and in my free time began studying eastern philosophy instead. i was working at my father’s company at the time, but this new interest helped me reconsider the direction of my life. i decided to resume studies at university. My father had always encouraged me to get a university education. i finally listened to him. With my new interest in Asia, i took the introductory course in east Asia offered at UBC and a course in religious studies which included Buddhist studies. i discovered i was especially fascinated with Japan. My professor John Howes and my teaching assistant Andrew Horvat helped foster those interests. in my third and fourth year, i took a variety of courses related to Japan. They included courses in Japanese literature, history, politics and art. Upon finishing your BA, did you go directly into your MA? Tell us about that experience. in fourth year, my Japanese history professor John howes asked if any of us wanted to go to Japan to teach english. Through his connection with Researching around the globe professor Joshua Mostow returned in August from a year away as a Senior robert and lisa Sainsbury fellow at the Sainsbury institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, affiliated with the School of oriental and African Studies, University of london. That same month saw the publication of The Ise Stories: Ise monogatari  by University of hawaii press, a new translation by professor Mostow and royall Tyler of this classic of the Japanese literary tradition. he also has a chapter on “illustrated Classical Texts for Women in the edo period” in The Female as Subject: Reading and Writing in Early Modern Japan, published by the Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan. professor Christopher Rea’s new edited book, Humans, Beasts, and Ghosts: Stories and Essays by Qian Zhongshu was published by Columbia University press in December.  The book is comprised of translations of the major early prose writings of the Chinese scholar-writer Qian Zhongshu (1910-1998), including his essay collection Written on the Margins of Life (1941) and his short story collection Human, Beast, Ghost (1946).   Conference news At the AAS-iCAS Conference, professor Peter nosco is scheduled to present a paper titled “A Matter of the heart:  emotions in the life and Thought of Kamo no Mabuchi (1697-1769)” as part of the panel “emotion and history:  Tokugawa Japan as a Case Study.”  professor Christopher Rea is organizing and will be presenting in a panel entitled “Xi, nu, ai, le: mapping the emotional lives of modern China.” professors sharalyn Orbaugh and James Welker both presented and served as respondents at the symposium “glocal polemics of ‘Bl’ (Boys love): production,  Circulation,  and Censorship,” at Ōita University. Faculty News a language school in Japan, he kindly assisted interested graduating UBC students in obtaining a position as english language instructor at Kanda institute of foreign languages in Tokyo. i was very interested so in 1972 i went to Japan to teach at Kanda. As it turned out, thanks to professor howes, most of the foreign english teachers at Kanda were UBC graduates. My intention was to teach for only one or two years, but i loved it so much that i ended up teaching for four years. like many other single males who came to teach english in Japan, i wound up getting married to a Japanese lady. We were married in 1975. i learned that there were better teaching opportunities in Japan for people who had graduate degrees. So i thought it was the perfect opportunity to go back to Canada continued on pg. 7 Spring 2011  7 Programs & Events Blake Bromley BA ’73, LLB ‘77 “The Evolution of Charity Law in China” Blake Bromley’s benevolent sector expertise is unparalleled in Canada. he is an authority on Canadian charity law and as principal of Benefic lawyers his practice relates almost exclusively to charitable, estate, and tax planning matters. Blake is globally recognized as an expert on the comparative law of charity and regularly advises charities and donors operating around the world on tax and legal issues relating to the international transfer and utilization of charitable funds as well as on matters of corporate control, strategy, and structure. he has advised governments in China, russia, Vietnam, Australia, england, South Africa and eastern europe on drafting their laws governing rights and tax privileges of social organizations. Currently, Blake is the lead foreign consultant to the government of China in its effort to draft the country’s first law of charity. distinguished Alumni speaker series Thursday, February 24th  Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden 578 Carrall Street, Vancouver, BC 6:15 Catered Reception 7:00 Lecture and Q&A 8:00 Closing Reception In partnership with: Upcoming Lecture: April 14th, 2011 sajida shroff BA ‘90, M.Ed ‘95 (Harvard)  MBA ‘04 (Emory) “Asian Studies: opening doors to contextualized social entrepreneurship” Please RSVP to ubcasianstudiesalum@gmail.com Please indicate your graduating year, or current student status to begin MA studies in Modern Japanese literature and to introduce my wife to Vancouver. encouraged by my UBC advisor professor Kinya Tsuruta, i applied for a Japanese Ministry of education scholarship to do two years of research studies in Japan. The application succeeded. i was accepted as a graduate student at hiroshima University. Those two years in hiroshima were two of the best years of my life. What unique advantages does an Asian studies degree bring to the field of Law? During the last year of my Master’s Degree, i entered UBC’s faculty of law. After graduation from UBC law School, i eventually became a person of interest to Vancouver law firms looking for someone with Japanese language abilities to serve the growing number of Japanese clients bringing business to British Columbia. law firms in the late 1980s came more and more to realize the value in having lawyers and staff members with proficiency in Asian languages such as Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese. it consequently became an asset to speak different Asian languages. i did not immediately join a law firm in Vancouver. Upon finishing my articling, i practiced on my own. i initially attracted clients by placing ads in local Japanese newspapers. My practice eventually snowballed and today about 95% of my clients are Japanese. Being fluent in a language isn’t necessarily enough though. Besides having a good grasp of the Japanese language, i also have a good understanding of Japanese and other east Asian cultures. it is clear that an understanding of both language and culture is helpful in attempting to effectively meet the needs of individuals from Asia. i can thank the course work i took as an Asian Studies student at UBC for laying the groundwork which has allowed me to better communicate with and serve the needs of Japanese clients. do you have any advice for students studying Japanese or 2nd languages in general? i encourage students to go overseas for immersion. All three of my children who are UBC grads did one year of studies overseas as well. My son went to Tokyo University of foreign Studies on exchange while he was completing his Asian Studies degree at UBC. in addition to cultural and language immersion, it is important to develop a network and get to know people who will advise you and potentially open doors for you. i myself as a mentee was able to benefit from the advice and guidance given to me by talking to my professors and TAs. it is also beneficial to join clubs and get involved in the local community. one of my professors encouraged me to join the Vancouver Mokuyokai Society which i eventually became president of in 1992. i am still an active member today. Membership in Mokuyokai can be seen as a springboard to a number of other organizations whose boards i have served on. They include Tonari gumi Japanese Community Volunteers Association, Kiyukai Vancouver Japanese Business Association, Japanese Canadian Citizens Association of greater Vancouver and the Japan-Canada Chamber of Commerce. i hope i have given as much to these organizations as they have given to me. In his years practicing law, Gary has been instrumental in representing a wide spectrum of Japanese clientele. Gary’s practice includes corporate / commercial transactions, extensive experience in real estate transactions and immigration law matters. He is currently legal counsel for Kiyukai Japanese-Canadian Business Association and Chairperson & Director of Tonari Gumi Japanese Community Volunteers Association. interview continued from pg. 6 8 AsiAn EdgE:  A newSletter for Alumni And friendS of uBC ASiAn StudieS Since her retirement in 2005, former Senior instructor Kyung-Hee Lynn has pursued a variety of interests, some of them related to her 25 years of teaching Japanese in the department. her love of strolling in nitobe garden led to her translating the Japanese version of the audio guide now available at the garden entrance – an experience that deepened her appreciation of the garden and its blend of Japan and British Columbia. Trips to Japan to visit family and friends have provided opportunities to explore interests in language and culture. Mrs. lynn’s two talks Thank You  The Department of Asian Studies works closely with colleagues in the Development and Alumni engagement office in the faculty of Arts. Together we would like to thank the alumni and friends who support our programs and our students. With your help, we continue to enrich the university experiences of our students and prepare them to be innovative leaders, global citizens and agents for positive change. Support the UBC Asian Studies Department please make cheques payable to “The University of British Columbia” with a note “Asian Studies Annual fund” and mail to: UBC Annual giving, 500 – 5950 University Boulevard Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3 Professors Emeriti at Kinjo University in nagoya, relating to multiculturalism and bilingualism in Canada, seemed meaningful and interesting to the students. The talks also caused her to reflect on her 40 years living in Vancouver and in the larger context of Canadian society as a whole. last spring Mrs. lynn took an introductory course in french, for two reasons mainly. She realized that though she had given talks on Canadian bilingualism, she had always been too busy teaching Japanese to learn any french. Second, she wanted to experience again what it is like to sit in a classroom as a language student. regardless of how much french she learned, she gained a new appreciation of the huge challenges facing students of a foreign language. for Mrs. lynn, retirement also offers time to reflect on past experiences and renew acquaintances. her recent lunch with professor Matsuo soga, who was on a short visit to Vancouver from Japan, is a memorable example. She thinks it is important to recall the role played by former colleagues like professor Soga in laying the foundations of the present department and its programs. Nitobe Memorial Gardens Join us for our 3rd Annual Asian studies Careers night on Thursday, March 22 at 6:00pm-8:00pm at the Asian Centre (1871 West Mall).  This year we are trying a new format called “Speed Networking”.  We are aiming to recruit 15 - 20 alumni to connect with students in small groups.  Alumni will rotate to another group after 15 minutes and have a chance to meet new students.  We hope you will join us and share your unique career experiences, offer advice, and connect with students. The event would serve as a great way to reconnect with the Department, meet and mingle with other alumni, faculty and current students, and enjoy food and drink. To register for the event or if you have any questions, please contact Mike Johnston at mj1080@interchange.ubc.ca.


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