Job Opening: Assistant Director-Center for Asia Pacific Studies, University of San Francisco

Assistant Director-Center for Asia Pacific Studies

University of San Francisco

Job Summary:

Reporting directly to the Executive Director, the Assistant Director provides key operational and administrative support for the Center for Asia Pacific Studies. The Assistant Director’s main responsibilities include: running the Center’s public program series, social media and marketing, conference organization, and assistance with the administration of the Center.


Job Responsibilities:

● Assist the Executive Director with strategic planning for public programs and academic

workshops and conferences (especially identifying and researching potential speakers)

● Communications regarding public programs, visiting scholars, fellowship programs, and conferences and/or events

● Writing articles for publication on the Center’s website

● Coordinating the publication of the Center’s e-newsletter (writing articles and soliciting and editing articles from Center staff and affiliated faculty)

● Marketing for the Center (creation and dissemination of marketing materials, media

releases, and social media posts, analytics after mailings and marketing campaigns to

determine open and click rates)

● Researching and identifying grant opportunities. Assist Executive Director in drafting of grant applications.

● Desktop publishing and website administration. Work with the university’s web services department to keep the Center’s website up to date and to ensure compliance with university’s web policies and guidelines.

● Helping market the visiting scholars program and coordinating the residencies of those selected.

● Supervising student intern, especially in the area of event poster design.

● Working with program assistant to post event listings on University’s website and

disseminate program information through email blasts.

● Editing and posting videos after events.

● Daily administrative work of the Center

● Responsible for additional duties as assigned.


Minimum Requirements:

●Bachelor’s Degree in field relevant to Asia Pacific Studies; Master’s Degree preferred.

● At least four years of experience working in higher education, with preference for areas

related to international programs

● Excellent communication skills

● Fluency in written and spoken English

● Demonstrated academic knowledge of East Asia and/or the Asia Pacific

Additional Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

•Ability to build strong relationships and effective partnerships/collaboration

● The ability to research speakers, identify resources, solve problems, handle multiple

projects simultaneously, and take initiative

● Passion and enthusiasm for bridging the Pacific with programs desired to promote cross-cultural understanding of the peoples, cultures, and economics of the Asia Pacific

● Experience working with people of diverse/multicultural backgrounds, or in student services with a diverse graduate population

● Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and computer programs to manage data and information is required. Proficiency with graphic design software such as InDesign is preferred.

● Candidates must have excellent attention to detail and creativity.

● Ability to work well independently or on a team.

● Comfortable with occasional public speaking duties.

● Ability to work evenings and occasional weekends.

For information on how to apply, please visit the following link:

EEO Policy

The University of San Francisco is an equal opportunity institution of higher education. As a matter of policy, the University does not discriminate in employment, educational services and academic programs on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, religious creed, ancestry, national origin, age (except minors), sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, medical condition (cancer-related and genetic-related) and disability, and the other bases prohibited by law. The University reasonably accommodates qualified individuals with disabilities under the law.


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Fun Link Friday: Cookie Masterpieces of Japan

Ever attempted to make a beautiful holiday cookie to discover it just didn’t turn out to be much more than a blob with sprinkles? Never fear, this week’s quickie Fun Link Friday introduces the masterful cookie decorating skills of Chihiro Ogura, a culinary artist and baker responsible for all sorts of tasty works of art! Owner of the independent baking company ANTOLPO, Ogura was recently featured on My Modern Met with examples of fantastic Japanese culture-themed cookies, from the Edo-period images of the wind and thunder gods (seen above) to beautiful reproductions of seasonal paintings and your favorite holiday imagery (like flying koi flags!). These cookies may be too beautiful to eat, but I want to nonetheless! Check out the article linked above, Ogura’s website, her blog or instagram account to see many more incredibly beautiful icing works. Happy Friday!

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Resource: Japan Foundation Directory of Japanese Studies

Although we have a number of articles about whether or not graduate school is right for you (maybe it’s not!) or how to choose a program, often the first question is simply where programs in Japanese Studies are. Even as a high school student, when I wanted to look into colleges or universities with Japanese Studies, I struggled to find that information somewhere other than word of mouth. Thankfully technology has improved considerably since then, and today’s resource is one of the best places to start looking.

The Japan Foundation, a leading source of funding and programming related to Japan dedicated to cultural exchange, for decades has published periodic reports on the state of Japanese Studies as a field, including its major areas of concentration, institutions, scholarly issues, and leading scholars. In 2011, they conducted surveys on these topics, and translated that information into a new Directory of Japanese Studies in the United States and Canada.

Partially updated in 2015, this directory contains an excellent (although not comprehensive) database of programs, specialists, libraries and museums, and doctoral candidates/recent PhDs in various areas of Japanese Studies. At the time of the survey, 1,693 specialists, 287 programs, and 88 libraries responded, making this list an impressive place to start exploring your interest in academic institutions.

As seen on the left, there are numerous ways to navigate your particular interests, whether you would like to search by type of institutional program, study abroad program, language course, or something very particular like a performing arts program. With each selection there are more specific ways to narrow your fields. For example, a search by location, with the fields United StatesMid-Atlantic Region returns 52 results, while further narrowing it to just Pennsylvania returns 19. Clicking on individual institutional entries pulls up a PDF with an overview of the program, including their faculty, past courses offered, doctoral candidates (if a university), undergraduate and/or graduate programs, certificate or study abroad programs, libraries, museums, outreach, general contact info, and more. Nearly an overwhelming amount of information!

Similar options are available for searching by specialist, whether it is through their location, discipline, historical period, language competence, geographic expertise, or other options. These search functions are also available for the recent PhDs and candidates page. Under the Libraries and Museums section, you can also find a very useful location-based search function, lists of museums and collections, Japanese collections holdings, major Japanese databases, and other excellent research resources that will surely send you down an internet rabbit hole.

There are, however, a number of drawbacks to the database. First and foremost, it is not keyword searchable, so you may find yourself using trial and error to find what you want if it’s very specific. Furthermore, the database is not regularly updated, (the last update being around 2015), and the ever-changing nature of institutions in both programming and faculty means that much of this information could potentially be out of date. You’ll want to use this data as a starting point, then check the individual programs’ websites to confirm the latest. Faculty often move to new institutions, some programs cease to exist (particularly MA programs at risk of being swallowed up through university processes), and new programs also get started at institutions that previously lacked them.

If you are looking for something very specific, such as a specialist working in a particular time period or geographic location, you should also read faculty profiles carefully. Though they include many helpful details like major publications, scholars’ research areas often shift over the years as their projects and passions develop, and they can also be quite broad in listing their interests and specializations. On the right for example, is a result from searching for someone with a specialization in Kamakura period history– note how many different periods and areas of specialty get listed in faculty profiles! And while one person might list themselves as interested or proficient in, say, the medieval, they may consider themselves more of an early modern scholar, and not intend to take on graduate students outside of their preferred time period. The information on the site is also self-reported, user-driven collection, so errors are possible in what you read. All of this to say, be discerning in what you take from the database, and if you have a serious interest and it could affect your future academic pursuits, double-check everything!

There are many more features, many ways this information is organized, and a great deal to see in the database, so take a look yourself and explore what the Japan Foundation directory has to offer as you consider your next educational move!

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Job Opening: Visiting Assistant Professor of East Asian History

The Department of History at the University of the Pacific invites applications for a two-year visiting assistant professor of East Asian History starting in fall 2018. Applicants should have a strong commitment to excellence in undergraduate education. Priority will be given to candidates who focus on China or Japan, although candidates whose research focuses on South- and/or Southeast Asia will also be considered. The position requires teaching a six-course load annually including the survey of East Asian History, as well as the World History survey, and participation in the Pacific Seminar for freshmen. The candidate’s field of expertise from any area of Asia may constitute one upper-division class. The position also requires service within the department and participation in at least one college-wide committee. Pacific is an AA/EOE employer and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected category. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Screening of applications will begin March 1, 2018 and continue until the position is filled.

The successful candidate must have earned a Ph.D. in History by August, 2018. Candidates who are currently ABD will also be considered. A cover letter, curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, and three reference letters are requested.

For more information:

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Call for Papers: Midwestern Japanese Studies Graduate Student Workshop

Call for Abstracts

3rd Annual Midwestern Japanese Studies Graduate Student Workshop

The Ohio State University

April 7th, 2018

Graduate students (MA or PhD) in Japanese Studies at Midwestern universities are invited to submit abstracts for the 3rd Annual Midwestern Japanese Studies Graduate Student Workshop to be held at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, April 7th, 2018. This workshop will provide students with the opportunity to share their research with peers from other Midwestern institutions, foster regional connections, and receive feedback on their work.

We welcome submissions from a range of graduate work with a focus on Japan, including conference-style presentations, portions of MA theses, or PhD chapters.

To apply, please submit the following to by February 1st, 2018.

  • Name
  • Institutional affiliation
  • Area of study
  • Email Address
  • 250-300 word abstract

We are asking participants to secure travel funding from their institution to cover transportation to and from Columbus, and we will contact participants with further details about lodging at a later date. Some food and meals will be provided.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, and we hope to see you in April!

Contact Information

Conference website:

Conference email:

Hannah E. Dahlberg-Dodd:

Robert Sears:

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Book Announcement: The Merchant’s Tale

The Merchant’s Tale:
Yokohama and the Transformation of Japan

Simon Partner

Columbia University Press

In April 1859, at age fifty, Shinohara Chūemon left his old life behind. Chūemon, a well-off farmer in his home village, departed for the new port city of Yokohama, where he remained for the next fourteen years. There, as a merchant trading with foreigners in the aftermath of Japan’s 1853 “opening” to the West, he witnessed the collapse of the Tokugawa shogunate, the civil war that followed, and the Meiji Restoration’s reforms. The Merchant’s Tale looks through Chūemon’s eyes at the upheavals of this period. In a narrative history rich in colorful detail, Simon Partner uses the story of an ordinary merchant farmer and its Yokohama setting as a vantage point onto sweeping social transformation and its unwitting agents. Chūemon, like most newcomers to Yokohama, came in search of economic opportunity. His story sheds light on vital issues in Japan’s modern history, including the legacies of the Meiji Restoration; the East Asian treaty port system; and the importance of everyday life—food, clothing, medicine, and hygiene—for national identity. Centered on an individual, The Merchant’s Tale is also the story of a place. Created under pressure from aggressive foreign powers, Yokohama was the scene of gunboat diplomacy, a connection to global markets, the birthplace of new lifestyles, and the beachhead of Japan’s modernization. Partner’s history of a vibrant meeting place humanizes the story of Japan’s revolutionary 1860s and their profound consequences for Japanese society and culture.

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Fun Link Friday: Traditional Indigo Dyeing

A quickie Fun Link Friday today for those of you slogging your way back from the holidays! Great Big Story recently posted a video on traditional indigo dyeing in Japanese culture. Did you know that indigo is fire-retardant? Or even bacteria resistant? Check out the video below for a brief introduction to this fascinating (and shrinking) industry in Japan.


And if you liked that, you can see a half-hour video on the details of the indigo dyeing process, with this additional video below!

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