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Asian Studies Center Newsletter


September 18, 2018

Bi-weekly Newsletter

Please share with other faculty, students, and community. All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Upcoming Event

Tonda Ningyō Jōruri Puppet Troupe

Monday, October 8, 2018
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
RCAH Theater, Snyder Hall

The Tonda Ningyō Jōruri has a long history that extends back to the Edo Period of Japan. Ningyō Jōruri combines three traditional japanese arts: music, puppetry, and story telling.

The State of Michigan and Japan’s Shiga Prefecture, tied together by lakes, have been Sister States since 1968. This performance is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of that

Act 1: Keisei Awa no Naruto - The Infant Pilgrim
Jurobei, formerly a samurai serving the Lord of Awa (part of Shikoku), now lives in Osaka with his wife Oyumi in order to devote himself to the search for the lord’s stolen sword, has changed his name to Ginjuro and joined a group of thieves.

Act 2: Kotobuki Shiki Sambaso - The Dance of Sambaso
This dance is in two parts. In the first, the old man, Okina, accompanied by Senzai, offers a prayer for peace and fruitfulness for all. This introduction is followed by a lively, humorous dance by the two characters called Sambaso, in which hand bells are used.

Co-Sponsors: Japan Center for Michigan Universities, Japan Business Society of Detroit, Michigan - Shiga Sister State Board, MSU Asian Studies Center, MSU Japan Council, MSU Residential College in the Arts and Humanities

Upcoming Event

Asian Studies Center Fall Reception & S.C. Lee Awards

Monday, October 15, 2018
4:00 - 6:00 p.m. 
303 International Center

Affiliated faculty, S.C. Lee awardees, and other supporters of the Asian Studies Center are invited to join us for light refreshments and a brief award recognition program.

Please RSVP on the Asian Studies Center's website.

If you have any question call the Asian Studies center at (517) 353-1680

Upcoming Event

Idols and Figural Images in Islam

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
303 International Center

Christiane Gruber is Professor of Islamic Art and Associate Chair in the History of Art Department at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research interests span medieval Islamic art to contemporary visual culture. She has authored two books on Islamic texts and images of the Prophet Muhammad's ascension and has edited about a dozen volumes on Islamic book arts, ascension texts and images, and visual and material culture. Her third book, entitled The Praiseworthy One: The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images, will appear in print in January 2019.

Organized by the Muslim Studies Program and cosponsored by the Department of Art, Art History, and Design

Upcoming Event

Graduate Student Workshops on Writing Proposals for International Dissertation Research Grants


Wednesday, September 19, 2018
4:40 - 7:00 p.m.
122 Berkey Hall
Saturday, September 22, 2018
1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
122 Berkey Hall

Open to all MSU graduate students - US and foreign – planning to write proposals for funding dissertation or pre-dissertation research abroad for deadlines in 2018 or 2019 - especially the IIE Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad, NSF, and Ford Minority Fellowships.

Free at the workshop:

  • Funding Catalog for Graduate Student International Research
  • Handout: "Secrets of Writing Winning Proposals"
  • Advice from MSU graduate students who have won awards
  • Writing proposals for 2018-19 deadlines for national & local grants
  • Developing proposals for the dissertation or pre-dissertation grants
  • Sep 19: Special instructions for those seeking IIE-Fulbright grants

For more information, contact: 

David Wiley, or (517) 332-0333  or Roger Bresnahan, or (517) 974-9640

Upcoming Event

Re-Presenting the Indian Dancer: Gender, Sexuality and the New Orientalism 

Friday, September 21, 2018
1:30 - 3:30 p.m.
303 International Center

A Lecture by Sitara Thobani, Assistant Professor in the Residential College of Arts and Humanities

The figure of the ‘Indian’ dancer – depicted variously in the image of the devadasi, the tawa’if and the bayadere – has long captured imaginations on both sides of the colonial divide. In this paper, Dr. Thobani historicizes manifestations of the generalized figure of the Indian dancer in contemporary popular culture to examine its genealogy from the 18th century to the present. Drawing on examples from the visual and cinematic arts as well as from music and dance performances and literary texts, Dr. Thobani analyses the ways in which this figure is evoked by different actors to varied effects.

Sponsored by the Center for Gender in Global Context

Upcoming Event



Saturday 22, 2018
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
115 International Center

The Greater Lansing Bengali Association welcomes Bengali students and faculty to an evening of Adda.

If you have any questions contact, Padmini Mitra, (517) 898 -2301.

Co-sponsored by the Greater Lansing Bengali Association and MSU Asian Studies Center.

Upcoming Event

Arabic Tea and Conversation Hour Fall 2018 

Thursdays 2-3 p.m.
302 International Center (IC)
* Unless otherwise noted

Arabic Diwan is a gathering of Arabic students who are in the Arabic program, where they speak the language and learn about the culture in a relaxed environ­ment with our Fulbright teaching assistant. Students from all Arabic language levels are encouraged to attend. Also, we extend the invitation to the Arabic speaking students at the English Center. 
September 20 November 1
September 27 November 18
October 4 November 15 (201 IC)*
October 11 November 29
October 18 (201 IC)* December 6
October 25  

For more information please contact Fatima Alaiwi,

Sponsored by the Arabic Program and Asian Studies Center. 

Upcoming Event

Indian and South Asian Languages & Cultures Chai and Chat

5:00 p.m.
International Center (IC)


Film Showings

201 International Center
September 20 October 25

Conversation Hours

302 International Center
September 13 November 1
September 27 November 15 (204 IC)
October 4 November 29
October 18 (204 IC)  

For more information contact Rajiv Ranjan,

Co-Sponsored by the Asian Studies Center and The India Council

Upcoming Event

Muslims and U.S. Politics

Monday October 1, 2018
7:00 p.m.
115 International Center

Dalia Mogahed is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU) and a former advisor to President Barack Obama, Mogahed will talk about the complexity and interactions of Muslims in U.S. Politics.

Organized by the Muslim Studies Program and James Madison College and cosponsored by the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Social Science, and the Honors College

Event Highlights

Workshop for Teachers of Arabic


The annual Workshop for Teachers of Arabic, co-sponsored by the Asian and African Studies Centers, was held at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn in late summer 2018. Teachers learned best practices for teaching Arabic, focusing specifically on learner-centered instructions and strategies for gradual release of responsibilities with language learners. The workshop was taught by Dr. Wafa Hassan, director of Global Educational Excellence.

Upcoming Event

Climate Change Impacts on Staple Food Production Seminar

Friday, September 28, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
305 International Center

Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable counties in the world to climate change which currently faces a serious challenge in agricultural production to feed the growing population in the context of both shrinking agricultural land and climate change impacts. The population has been projected to increase to 191 million in 2030 from the current 150 million. So there is an urgent need to improve crop productivity under a changing climate to support the population growth. 

Please RSVP via e-mail to Mr. Sunil Madan,

About Us

The Asian Studies Center at Michigan State University directs one of the largest, most diverse programs of education about Asia in the Midwest. Unlike other programs, the Center is distinguished by its approach to East, Central, North, West, South, and Southeast Asia in the design of its curriculum, focus on faculty research, and outreach activities. Presently, the Center’s 220+ affiliated faculty members represent 41 academic departments in all of MSU's 17 colleges.

The Center provides support to both undergraduate and graduate students through scholarships and a paper competition with awards for their pursuit of Asian language training, area studies, international studies, or the international aspects of professional studies.

Phone: (517) 353-1680

Faculty Spotlight

Kathrik Durvasula

Assistant Professor of Linguistics

Karthik Durvasula is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Languages. Durvasula teaches a number of upper level undergraduate and graduate courses focused on phonetics and phonology.
The central questions that Durvasula’s research seeks to answer are related to the nature of phonological representations, especially phonological features, and the techniques linguists can use to probe them. Durvasula publishes regularly, one of his recent works, Sonority bias in Rugao di-syllabic syllable contraction, takes a look what causes bias in vowel selection between two competing vowel in Chinese syllable contraction.

The Asian Studies Center has previously provided Dr. Durvasula with support for professional development with travel funds for conference presentations as well as for research through the Dr. Delia Koo endowment.

Upcoming Events

Peace Quest 2018

September 1 - 30, 2018

In recognition of the UN “International Day of Peace” Greater Lansing UNA and several other local organizations have joined together to bring you a month of peace-related events.  

For a full list of events visit

Co-Sponsors: Edgewood United Church, Greater Lansing Network Against War and Injustice, Greater Lansing United Nations Association, LATTICE, MSU African Studies Center, MSU Asian Studies Center, Niagara Foundation, Peace Education Center, Presbyterian Church of Okemos, Shalom Center for Justice and Peace

Upcoming Events

Work/Place Film Collective

September 6 - December 6, 2018
7:00 p.m.
B122 Wells Hall

The films programmed for this semester’s Film Collective explore intersections of labor and location. As residents of Michigan we all live, study, and work in a place that has been profoundly shaped by the history of industrial work and the labor movement.

For a full list of films visit the Film Studies web page.

Upcoming Event

Arabic Tutoring

2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Wells B-430

Fulbright teaching assistant Fatima Alaiwi will hold office hours to help students learning Arabic. Office hours are every Tuesday, 2-4 pm at Wells B-430.

For more information contact Fatima Alaiwi at

Course Announcement

Asian Communities: A Global Perspective

ANP 437 Spring 2019
Professor: Andrea Louie
Tuesdays and Thursdays
3:00 - 4:20 p.m.

This course focuses on the experiences of people of Asian descent (from China, Japan, India, the Philippines, etc.) living in different parts of the world outside their homelands: for example, Chinese communities in Panama, South Asian Americans in the U.S. Examining these societies will provide insight into how social structures, cultures, and identities change over time and across space.

For more information or for an override, please contact Andrea Louie,

Upcoming Event

Turkish - Uzbek Chai and Chat

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
5:00 p.m.
302 International Center

Come join Turkish and Uzbek students and faculty in a relaxing atmosphere while enjoying tea and baklava.

Cosponsored by the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, and MSU Turkish Student Association

Registration is Open!

Land Use, Policy and Water-Energy-Food Nexus Workshop

November 13-15, 2018
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI

Land Use, Policy and Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Putting Science to Work for Collaboration and Problem Solving:
A Global Challenges University Alliance (GCUA) Workshop

Food production, and thus food security, is inherently linked to land use, as well as to energy and water resources, whether the food is produced from grains from croplands, livestock from rangelands, or seafood from aquaculture. This three day international workshop explores the issues and solutions related to this nexus.

Workshop Registration

This event will be hosted by the Center for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies (CERES).

For more information, please contact, Norman A. Graham,, 517-355-3277.

Funding Opportunity

JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research in Japan

To promote international scientific cooperation, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science encourages highly qualified researchers from the worldover to come to and conduct joint research activities with colleagues at Japanese universities and research institutes.
JSPS offers five postdoctoral fellowship programs, each with different eligibility requirements. Visit the JSPS website for a full list of opportunities

Upcoming Event

Muslim Journeys Book Club

Tuesday, October 30
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
MSU Main Library Green Room (4 West)

American Islamophobia: Understanding the Roots and Rise of Fear by Khaled A. Beydoun

Discussion led by Dr. Nazita Lajevardi,  MSU Department of Political Science 

Join the MSU Libraries for a new year of MSU’s Muslim Journeys scholar-led book discussion series. Each session begins with a half hour lecture from a scholar, followed by smaller group discussions led by graduate students. Participants are encouraged to read the book ahead of time. Free and open to the public! Light refreshments will be provided.  

For more information, including how to obtain the books, visit the Muslim Journeys web page.

Co-sponsored by the Islamic Society of Greater Lansing, Truth Racial Healing & Reconciliation of Metro Lansing, LATTICE (Linking All Types of Teachers to International Cross-Cultural Education),  MSU Comics Forum, and MSU Year of Global Africa 


Gogoro and Yamaha Mull New Electric Scooter Partnership

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan's Gogoro Inc. and Japan's Yamaha Motor Co. announced that the pair will look into a partnership to manufacture Yamaha-branded electric scooters inspired by Gogoro designs, Yamaha said in a statement on Sept. 11.

Yamaha said that the potential partnership will lead to Yamaha-branded scooters being made and joint-developed by Gogoro, as well as sharing of Gogoro's Taiwan battery swapping network.

For the full article visit Taiwan News' website.

Morgan, Scott. "Gogoro and Yamaha Mull New Electric Scooter Partnership" Taiwan News. 14, September 2018: Web.

Copyright © 2018 Asian Studies Center Michigan State University, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Asian Studies Center
Michigan State University
427 North Shaw Lane, Room 301
East Lansing, MI 48824

Our phone number is:
(517) 353-1680

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Asian Studies Center Michigan State University · 427 North Shaw Lane, East Lansing, MI, United States · Room 301 · East Lansing, MI 48823 · USA

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