2018-2019 CEAS Year End Review
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As a U.S. Department of Education-designated National Resource Center (NRC), the Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at the University of Chicago supports a variety of activities on campus and beyond to promote teaching, research, interdisciplinary scholarship, and greater public understanding about East Asia. Thanks to a $2.1 million Title VI Grant (2018-2022), CEAS is proud to have implemented numerous programs during this first year of the grant cycle, including some of the programs highlighted below!

Clockwise from top left: Boduerae Kwon (Korea University), 
Vyjayanthi Ratnam Selinger (Bowdoin College),  Reiko Tomii (PoNJA-GenKon), 
Ruth Rogaski (Vanderbilt University),  and Nak-chung Paik (Seoul National University)

CEAS welcomed five esteemed speakers as part of its annual CEAS Lecture Series that presents eminent scholars who concentrate on the study of East Asia in a variety of disciplines.  From South Korea's "Candlelight Revolution" to international contemporaneity and 1960s art in Japan , this year's lectures were well-received and encouraged discussion across diverse perspectives.


Fall quarter welcomed award-wining Japanese novelist, playwright, and essaysist of Korean descent, Yu Miri, for our annual Tetsuo Najita Distinguished Lecture in Japanese Studies.  With works focused on the depiction of destructive family relationships involving individuals who are unable to communicate or connect with others, Yu discussed and questioned the concepts of home and nation-state, drawing on her family's story and her own experience with the city of Fukushima.  In November, leading Hanji Researcher and Practitioner in North America, Aimee Lee, spoke on the history of hanji (Korean paper) and conducted a hands-on workshop that focused on joomchi which involved texturing and fusing hanji.  The quarter also showcased films from internationally-recognized directors Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai through their Hong Kong-based studio - Milkyway Image.  Having gained recognition for their action films, few fans in North America are aware of their equally excellent romantic comedies that were highly regarded in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China.   This CEAS-sponsored film series, presented in collaboration with Doc Films, celebrates a studio that regularly put forth some of the best genre films in the world since it was founded in the mid-1990s.


In January, together with UChicago Presents, CEAS kicked things off with a live musical performance featuring  Black String.  Seeking a new sound that can incorporate a variety of expressions in traditional music, as well as harmonizing with other expressions in world music, Black String came to Chicago to perform at the University of Chicago campus at the  Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, as well as a school matinee with Arts and Public Life that hosted almost 400 public school students.  In collaboration with the International House Global Voices Program, CEAS welcomed Black String members for a casual lunch gathering to engage in a conversation about their music careers and impressive repertoire which focuses on improvisation as an important aspect of Korean traditional music and attempts to create a unique language through Asian intuition and musical idiom.  The first 2018-2019 East Asia by the Book! CEAS Author Talks at the Seminary Co-op also took place in January and featured EALC alum, Tie Xiao.  Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana University, Professor Xiao discussed his recent book with discussant, Robert Bird, UChicago Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures; and Cinema and Media Studies.  T he talk featured Professor Xiao's recent publication, Revolutionary Waves: The Crowd in Modern China which  analyzes the centrality of the crowd in the Chinese cultural and political imaginary and its global resonances by delving into a wide range of fiction, philosophy, poetry, and psychological studies.

In February, UChicago Title VI NRCs sponsored the 11th Annual International Education Conference Press Play>Globalizing Your Classroom Through Film which brought K-16 educators to campus for professional development on how to bring international content into the classroom by utilizing narrative feature films, documentaries, and student-created video projects to elucidate global issues and the larger human condition.

February also welcomed leading scholars on contemporary Chinese opera, film, and TV and renowned Director GUO Baochang for a three-day program consisting of film screenings, including the North American premiere of his "conceptual, multimedia" Peking Opera film, Dream of the Bridal Chamber (Chungui meng), presentations and discussions with guest speakers.  The third project in a series of international symposia and screenings on Chinese opera film, this program took a different approach from previous symposia and focused on the case of a single director, more specifically GUO Baochang, and the way his innovative work engages with Peking Opera across media, namely film, TV, and the stage.

CEAS ended the quarter at the  Association for Asian Studies in Denver .   The conference featured numerous UChicago East Asian faculty, staff, associates, and students participating from the University of Chicago with presentations including, "Left-wing Melancholia in Asian History, Culture and Literature" to "Mapping Medical Tokyo: Medical Modernization and the Cityscape."  C EAS warmly welcomed faculty, students, alumni, and friends at a lovely reception held on the evening of  March 22.

In coordination with other UChicago Title VI NRCs, CEAS co-sponsored panel on The Human Rights Crisis in Xinjiang  during the month of April which brought together activists, policy experts, and leading scholars to present comprehensive perspectives on the current situation in Xinjiang.  During the same month, CEAS welcomed yet another alum for its second East Asia by the Book! CEAS Author Talks.  Justin Jesty, Assistant Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington, discussed his book, Art and Engagement in Early Postwar Japan which reframes the history of art and its politics in Japan post-1945.  Then, CEAS welcomed a full house of art enthusiasts for a Japanese painting workshop held at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts featuring Nihonga master, Yuki Ideguchi.  Ideguchi conducted the workshop using traditional East Asian techniques such as brush and sumi ink, Japanese paper, and ground mineral pigments.  

CEAS hosted an abundance of activities in May, including a two-day workshop that brought together scholars from both the U.S. and abroad to discuss the understanding of health, health care, and medical practice in modern Japan and explore what has been termed, "vernacular medicine," which refers to health practices regarded as curative or health-producing that take the form of self-care or involve lay practitioners rather than modern health professionals.   " From Local to Global in East Asian Culture ," a two-day program, encompassed a special reading at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore and a day-long conference at the Franke Institute for the Humanities.  This program brought together scholars of Japanese literature with scholars from other fields, including comparative literature, and featured novelist Kimura Yusuke and poet Suga Keijiro for a reading and keynote lecture .  

As follow-up to the 2017 Symposium held at the Jose ph Regenstein Library, CEAS collaborated again with PoNJA-GenKon for the
Writing & Picturing II: A Workshop with Emerging Scholars Expanding on the symposium's theme of writing and picturing, two fundamental activities which have traditionally been entwined with ink and brush playing central roles in East Asia, this workshop presented the research and writing of three young scholars on post-1945 art in China, Korea, and Japan.  Finally, the spring quarter featured another film series in cooperation with Doc Films that showcased films produced/directed by students of Hasumi Shigehiko - one of the most influential critics and theorists of Japanese cinema.  CEAS proudly sponsored this series with support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the United States Department of Education.

CEAS strives to utilize various channels in social media to enhance the visibility and accessibility of CEAS news and events beyond Hyde Park.

Stay up-to-date with important announcements and view photos taken during this year's programs on the CEAS Facebook page!

CEAS also continues to hold a strong presence on  Twitter, doubling our number of followers to date.   Be sure to LIKE and RE-TWEET our posts! 

The CEAS  YouTube Channel is a valuable resource for those who may have missed a lecture or performance.   Be sure to visit and peruse our videos!

We continue to encourage everyone to visit the CEAS  website  where comprehensive news and announcements regarding our programs, grants, outreach, and other important initiatives can be located.

Each year, CEAS continues to grow with the number of sponsored activities that take place both on and off campus, as well as other East Asia-related initiatives.  We look forward to another fruitful year as we prepare for the 2019-2020 academic year.  Until then, CEAS congratulates this year's graduates on their well-deserved success and convey best wishes for the future!