Call for Papers: CU Boulder Asian Studies Graduate Association Conference

call for papers [150-2]We are pleased to announce the University of Colorado, Boulder, Asian Studies Graduate Conference will be held at the end of February 2015.

The University of Colorado Boulder Asian Studies Graduate Association will hold its Annual Graduate Student Conference on February 27-28, 2015 in Boulder, CO. We invite graduate students to submit papers that consider Asian cultures, ancient and modern. We welcome papers in all fields of research on Asia, including literature, history, history of science, religious studies, philosophy, anthropology, political science, comparative literature, etc.

Keynote addresses will be given by both Professor Ding Xiang Warner of Cornell University and Professor Michael Emmerich of the University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to discussing topics on China and Japan, respectively, these two professors and the University of Colorado faculty will be on hand to provide feedback to presenters throughout the conference. Beyond exploring various topics in Asian Studies, our conferences have always focused on professional development for graduate students interested in presenting papers and becoming involved in academic networks with others in the field. During the two days of our conference on Friday afternoon and Saturday, we will provide refreshments, as well as a dinner on Friday night for student presenters and faculty. In order to leave time for comments and questions, and to ensure that the conference is conducted in a timely, efficient manner, presentations must not exceed twenty minutes.  Prospective participants are requested to submit an abstract of the paper they intend to present as well as a resume/curriculum vitae to by January 2, 2015.  Any other inquiries may also be directed to this address. We will be happy to help you find accommodation in Boulder.
With best regards,

The University of Colorado Boulder Asian Studies Graduate Association (CUBASGA)

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Fun Link Friday: Crazy Fresh Chinese & OMG! Meiyu

Okay, so it’s not quite Japan-related. But, for those of us whose interests in East Asia – and/or professional requirements/expectations – extend beyond Japan, Jessica Beinecke’s twin YouTube programs Crazy Fresh Chinese and OMG! Meiyu are a fun way to get listening to some Mandarin, and to learn some contemporary lingo.

Beinecke, who goes by the Chinese name Bai Jie (白洁) in the videos, was recently featured in an article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek of all places, which is where I first learned of her series. She has been producing videos for the last three years, and has accumulated over 40 million views, totalled across all the episodes; many (all?) are available on YouTube, but BusinessWeek tells us that she amassed 100,000 followers on Weibo in her first month alone, back in 2011, and I imagine that most of her followers and views are over there, on Chinese sites like Weibo and Youku.

Crazy Fresh Chinese is conducted mostly in English, and introduces English-speaking viewers to Chinese terms, such as 無語搖頭 (wú yǔ yáo tóu), which means “SMH“, or literally “speechless & shaking my head,” and 我的錯 (wǒ de cuò), which means, basically, “my bad!” These videos tend to be quite short, less than a minute long, just introducing the one phrase.

In OMG! Meiyu, meanwhile, Bai Jie introduces Chinese-speaking viewers to English terms, repeating most of what she says in the video in both languages. These tend to be quite a bit longer, addressing broader families of phrases, such as things to say when going clothes shopping (e.g. “do I look weird in this shirt?” and “it’s your color”), and words about bread (“a loaf,” “bagel,” “toast”). Bai Jie has also added a third channel, BaiJieLaLaLa, which is more directly the reverse (converse?) of Crazy Fresh Chinese, offering 30-second videos introducing just a single English phrase to Chinese speakers.

While two out of these three channels are really aimed at teaching English phrases, and so as a native English speaker I’m not the target audience, I found these nice to listen to. Learning one phrase is great, but listening to Bai Jie speak fuller sentences, comparing what I’m hearing to the subtitles, and trying to make sense of the subtitles based on my kanji skills from years of studying Japanese, I get even more out of it. Plus, it’s nice just getting a sense of listening to Chinese, as spoken by someone speaking relatively slowly and clearly.

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Job Opening: East Asian/Non-Western History

job opening - 5Institution:       Hood College, History
Location:          Maryland, United States
Position:          Assistant Professor of History, East Asian/Non-Western

History.  East Asian/Non-Western. Hood College in Frederick, MD, seeks a full-time tenure-track assistant professor of history, with a specialty in East Asian history (China preferred), starting August 2015.  The successful candidate will teach a variety of other non-western courses, with a secondary field in Africa, South Asia, or Latin America. Teaching excellence and strong scholarly potential required.  Teaching load 3:3. Proficiency in the digital humanities would be a desirable plus.  PhD in hand by July 2015.  For fullest consideration, the deadline for receipt of applications is December 15, 2014.

Qualified candidates are invited to apply online via our electronic application,*206F6A730EF07A5Cwhich requires the following materials: cover letter, curriculum vitae, and, if available, evidence of teaching effectiveness (e.g., syllabi or course evaluations).  Please append, or include in your cover letter, a list of the courses you could teach and develop at Hood; or list teaching areas clearly in your CV.  Three letters of recommendation should be submitted to the online application site or emailed to; if electronic submission is not possible the letters of recommendation may be mailed to Dr. Emilie Amt, Search Committee Chair, Department of History, Hood College, 401 Rosemont Avenue, Frederick, MD 21701.

If you need assistance with the on-line application process, please email or call (301) 696-3592.

Hood College is committed to diversity and subscribes to a policy of hiring only individuals legally eligible to work in the United States.  EEO

Hood College does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, disability, religion, or age in recruitment, admission and access to, or treatment, or employment in its programs, services, benefits, or activities as required by applicable laws including Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and complies with the law regarding reasonable accommodation for disabled applicants and students. Inquiries about discrimination or reasonable accommodation should be referred to the Title IX and Section 504 Coordinator at Alumnae Hall, 401 Rosemont Avenue, Frederick, MD. 21701 (AD 312), (301) 696-3592.  For complete information on Hood College’s nondiscrimination policy, please visit

Contact: Dr. Emilie Amt,


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Call for Papers: Cultural Interactions between Korea & Japan

call for papers [150-2]Transnational Cultural Interactions between Korea and Japan, From the Pre-modern to the Colonial Period

Cultural interaction between Korea and Japan has become more fluid ever since Korea lifted the ban on importing cultural products from Japan in 1998, and since the Japanese have begun to experience Korean culture more directly through their consumption of Korean popular culture, better known as “Hallyu.” Spurred by this dynamic cultural exchange, scholars in Korea have been actively exploring both pre-modern and modern Korea-Japan relations since the late 1990s. In order to contribute to this thriving scholarship on Korea-Japan cultural relations, the Department of Asian Studies and the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem are hosting an international conference on Korea-Japan cultural interactions from the pre-modern to the colonial period, with special emphasis on transnational perspectives.

The conference aims to open a venue for scholars whose research covers Korea-Japan relations from interdisciplinary and comparative perspectives. Some of the questions the conference would like to explore include (but are not limited to): what has been the role of culture in shaping the relations between Korea and Japan? How can the study of cultural interactions between Korea and Japan contribute to the formation of discourses over unresolved historical issues? Who are the actors and agents of transnational cultural interactions between Korea and Japan? What methodological, theoretical, and empirical approaches would be useful to invigorate the study of Korea-Japan cultural relations?  And how do transnational cultural, political, and economic forces shape people’s perceptions of the “Japanese Other,” the “Korean Other,” and themselves?

We welcome individual papers and panel proposals from scholars working in various disciplines including (but not limited to) literature, history, media, language, visual arts and performance, philosophy, religion, etc., whose research interests fit with one or more of the following issues:

1)    Interactions between Korea and Japan in literature, translation, arts, music, and language
2)    Exchanges of philosophical and religious thoughts and practices between Korea and Japan
3)    Images of Korea in Japan/of Japan in Korea
4)    Koreans in Japan/Japanese in Korea
5)    Reception of Korean culture in Japan/Reception of Japanese culture in Korea
6)    Political and economic relations between Korea and Japan

Proposals (both individual and panel proposals), including name, institutional affiliation, the title of the paper, email address, and an abstract of 300 words maximum (with relevant keywords listed), should be sent by January 10, 2015, to

Successful applicants will be notified by mid-February 2015 and asked to send their working papers of approx. 3,000 words (including bibliography and footnotes) at least three weeks prior to the conference.

Selected participants will be provided with accommodations (hotels and meals) during the conference period; airport pickup upon arrival; and a post-conference tour of Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

Organizing Committee:

Dr. Jooyeon Rhee and Dr. Nissim Otmazgin, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Please contact Dr. Jooyeon Rhee at for further inquiries.

The Department of Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is the oldest of its kind in Israel and is one of the biggest departments in the Faculty of Humanities, home to over 300 students specializing in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Indian Studies. The department is characterized by its excellence in research and teaching, and it maintains an environment of cooperation between students and faculty in a wide array of extracurricular activities. To read more about the department, visit:

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Funding: Postgraduate Opportunities in Japanese Studies at SOAS, University of London

The SOAS Japan Research Centre offers partial funding for MA, MPhil and PhD studies at SOAS via the Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship (application deadline 27 February 2015), the Kayako Tsuda Bursary (deadline 22 May 2015), and the Meiji Jingu Scholarships (deadline 22 May 2015). The table below provides some brief details. For additional information about opportunities for advanced study of Japan see our website at  or contact the JRC Chair, Dr Christopher Gerteis at for further information.

Award Value Eligible Programmes Application Deadline
Kayoko Tsuda Bursary (Japanese Studies)

Past Recipients

£7,000 PhD degrees at SOAS involving any aspect of Japanese Studies Friday, 22 May 2015
Meiji Jingu Scholarships

Past Recipients

£7,000 Full-time MPhil/PhD programme where the student will be working on some aspect of Japanese Studies Friday, 22 May 2015
Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship

Past Recipients

£10,000 Full-time Postgraduate Taught Masters Degree Programmes with a dissertation on a theme connected with Japan Friday, 27 February 2015

The JRC as an intellectual community and centre for research excellence offers support for well-qualified masters and doctoral students to study under the guidance of members working in their specialist disciplines. Students studying under the guidance of JRC members have unrestricted and usually free access to a range of seminars, conferences and workshops being held in SOAS or within easy reach. The unique combination of individual supervision, taught courses and regional and discipline based seminars enables the majority of doctoral students complete their degrees within four years.

With 28 permanent members – and a corps of dedicated research associates and distinguished visiting scholars – the SOAS JRC fosters a vibrant research environment host to the largest concentration of Japanese Studies scholars in the United Kingdom and Europe. JRC members research and publish in a wide range of disciplines including: Anthropology; Archeology; Cinema, Television and Media Studies; Drama; Economics; Financial & Management Studies; History; History of Art; Language Acquisition and Pedagogy; Linguistics; Literature; Philosophy; Politics; Religion; and Sociology.

The SOAS Library maintains an excellent Japanese language research collection, easily supplemented via quick research trips to neighboring universities or the Inter Library Loan system. SOAS doctoral students have free access to the nearby British Library (including the Far Eastern and Oriental Collections), to the British Library Newspaper Library at Colindale, to the National Archives, and to a vast array of other collections, including the libraries of most other London colleges and universities.

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Book Announcement: Growing Democracy in Japan: The Parliamentary Cabinet System since 1868

Growing Democracy in JapanGrowing Democracy in Japan: The Parliamentary Cabinet System since 1868

by Brian Woodall

300 pages  Pubdate: 06/17/2014  6 x 9  5 figures, 12 tables

The world’s third largest economy and a stable democracy, Japan remains a significant world power; but its economy has become stagnant, and its responses to the earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011 and the nuclear crisis that followed have raised international concerns. Despite being constitutionally modeled on Great Britain’s “Westminster”-style parliamentary democracy, Japan has failed to fully institute a cabinet-style government, and its executive branch is not empowered to successfully respond to the myriad challenges confronted by an advanced postindustrial society.

In Growing Democracy in Japan, Brian Woodall compares the Japanese cabinet system to its counterparts in other capitalist parliamentary democracies, particularly in Great Britain. Woodall demonstrates how the nation’s long history of dominant bureaucracies has led to weakness at the top levels of government, while mid-level officials exercise much greater power than in the British system. The post–1947 cabinet system, begun under the Allied occupation, was fashioned from imposed and indigenous institutions which coexisted uneasily. Woodall explains how an activist economic bureaucracy, self-governing “policy tribes” (zoku) composed of members of parliament, and the uncertainties of coalition governments have prevented the cabinet from assuming its prescribed role as primary executive body.

Woodall’s meticulous examination of the Japanese case offers lessons for reformers as well as for those working to establish democratic institutions in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, China, and the new regimes born during the Arab Spring. At the very least, he argues, Japan’s struggles with this fundamental component of parliamentary governance should serve as a cautionary tale for those who believe that growing democracy is easy.

Brian Woodall is associate professor at the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Details about the book can be found at:

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Job Opening: Japanese Studies, University of Hong Kong

job opening - 5Institution:       University of Hong Kong
Location:          Hong Kong
Position:          Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Japanese Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Founded in 1911, the University of Hong Kong is committed to the highest international standards of excellence in teaching and research, and has been at the international forefront of academic scholarship for many years. The University has a comprehensive range of study programmes and research disciplines spread across 10 faculties and over 140 academic departments and institutes/centres. There are over 27,800 undergraduate and postgraduate students who are recruited globally, and more than 2,000 members of academic staff coming from 50 countries, many of whom are internationally renowned.

Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Japanese Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures (Ref.: 201401114)

Applications are invited for appointment as Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in Japanese Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, to commence on August 1, 2015 or as soon as possible thereafter, on a three-year fixed-term basis, with the possibility of renewal.   An appointee with demonstrated performance will be considered for tenure towards the end of the second three-year contract.

Applicants should possess native or near-native fluency in Japanese and English, and should have obtained a Ph.D. degree by the date of appointment.  Specialisations within the discipline of Japanese Studies are open. Preference will be given to candidates who complement the research strengths of our department. The appointee is expected to possess an excellent research agenda, to develop an innovative research-led teaching profile, to excel in student mentorship and postgraduate supervision, and to participate in administration. He/She should have an energetic and engaging personality for propelling the program to new heights. The University and the Hong Kong Research Grants Council provide substantial competitive funding for research projects of many kinds. Teaching development grants are also available to assist with the development of innovative undergraduate courses. Information about the School can be obtained at Enquiries about the post should be sent to Professor Stephen Chu (

A globally competitive remuneration package commensurate with qualifications and experience will be offered, as well as annual leave and medical benefits.  At current rates, salaries tax does not exceed 15% of gross income.  The appointment will attract a contract-end gratuity and University contribution to a retirement benefits scheme, totalling up to 15% of basic salary.  Housing benefits will be provided as applicable.


Applicants should send a completed application form, a letter of application, an up-to-date C.V., a writing sample of scholarly work, evidence of teaching ability (including student evaluations and 2-3 sample syllabi of proposed courses), and 3 confidential references (quoting Ref.: 201401114) sent directly by the referees to  Application forms (341/1111) can be downloaded at, and further particulars can be obtained at   Closes December 12, 2014

The University thanks applicants for their interest, but advises that only shortlisted applicants will be notified of the application result.

The University is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to a No-Smoking Policy


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