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Though the 2020-2021 academic year brought challenges of the most unprecedented sort to our campus, classrooms (virtual!), and community, DAMES accomplished great things! Our students worked unbelievably hard. Our faculty rose to the occasion. We came together to work through hardship, and below are some highlights of our endeavors.

  • DAMES devoted most of its human resources to the significant challenge of remote teaching and learning in the fall and spring semesters, with great results. Claudia Yaghoobi, for example, connected one of her Persian studies classes to a classroom in Iran through the university’s new Connecting Carolina Classrooms with the World (CCCW) initiative.
  • We also worked hard in the fall semester to promote the launch of our new graduate program, and this spring we successfully recruited our first class of MA students.
  • DAMES received international attention for hosting an innovative and timely “Blackness in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies” speaker series; several of the events are available for streaming online.

Many of our faculty won awards!

  • Doria El Kerdany, Teaching Associate Professor of Arabic, won a Sitterson Teaching Award
  • Yuki Aratake, Teaching Professor of Japanese, won a Tanner Teaching Award
  • Professor Nadia Yaqub won a Senior Humanities Research Fellow at NYU-Abu Dhabi
  • Associate Professor Yaron Shemer won an Institute for the Arts and Humanities Faculty Fellowship
  • Assistant Professor Jonathan Kief won an Academy of Korean Studies Fellowship

Three of our students presented their honors theses at our yearly colloquium!

  • Faith Virago, “Gender in the Lives of Chinese Women: The Impact of Cross-Cultural Transitions to the US”
    Advisor: Li-ling Hsiao
  • Junqi Zhang, “The Reception of Thai Boys Love Series in China: Consumption, Imagination, and Friction”
    Advisor: Mark Driscoll
  • Thomas Curtis, “Minamoto no Yoshitsune: From History to Cultural Nationalism”
    Advisor: Morgan Pitelka

And last but certainly not least, we finished our Celebrating 40 Years: 40 for 40 campaign in December 2020, showcasing the achievements and adventures of our faculty, staff, students, and our alums.

2021 isn’t over. Fall is coming and we’re gearing up, as always, for new opportunities.

See you soon!

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