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Arabic program hosts calligraphy competition

March 7, 2017

Arabic Lecturer Farida Badr developed the idea and organized this event held December 1st, 2016, to showcase Arabic students’ facility and artistry with the Arabic script. Around eleven current and former students in Asian Studies’ Arabic classes participated in this event, most of them as competitors. Winners were selected from the first- and second-year levels of Arabic, and these included Anna Kathryn (first-year) and Deanna Fayed (second-year), pictured below with their winning calligraphy.


Japanese Lecturer Katsu Sawamura helps students find a job in Japan

February 1, 2017

Japanese Lecturer Katsu Sawamura organized an event to help UNC students find employment in Japan after graduation. About thirty current UNC students and two alumni participated in this event. Maura McCarthy (class of 2012) talked about her experiences working as an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) on the JET Program, in public schools in Ehime, Japan. Gabe Allen (class of 2016) talked about his experiences utilizing the Boston Career Forum and the process of gaining employment at the cosmetics company Shiseido. The event concluded with video messages from two other UNC alumni—Andrew Hartsell (class of 2006), who is currently working at Microsoft Japan, and Elizabeth Anne Nunley (class of 2011), who is working as a travel writer in Kyoto. Due to the success of this event, faculty in the Japanese program plan to repeat it next year.


Kathakali, a revered form of South Indian dance-drama, comes to UNC

February 1, 2017

An esteemed trio from the state of Kerala in South India—artists Viswanath Kaladharan and Kalamandalam Manoj, and makeup artist Kalamandalam Sukumaran—came to Chapel Hill to present Kathakali, a revered form of devotional dance-drama, to the UNC community on September 23, 2016. This event entailed an educational lecture-demonstration in Hyde Hall (Institute for the Arts and Humanities), and a recital at the Mandela Auditorium in the Global Education Center. At the recital, Kalamandalam Manoj depicted the character Hanuman from the epic Ramayana. Dr. Pamela Lothspeich organized this event, with generous funding from Departments of Asian Studies, Religious Studies, and Dramatic Art, as well as the South Asia Faculty Working Group, the Carolina Asia Center, and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

Ashley Rivenbark ’14 publishes article

January 10, 2017

An alumna of the Department of Asian Studies, Ashley Rivenbark, who earned a B.A. with a concentration in Chinese, recently published an article, “Of Art and Cultural Revolution,” in China Hands Magazine.  Her article explores the cultural politics of remembrance and forgetfulness of the Cultural Revolution through popular artwork of that turbulent era. Ashley is now a Risk and Compliance Consultant at Protiviti.


Diversity Statement

December 9, 2016

We, the undersigned faculty and staff in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, welcome Chancellor Folt’s recently published statements on inclusion and diversity.  Likewise, we emphatically reaffirm University policy on discrimination, academic freedom, and social justice.

We are deeply concerned that recent statements and actions by national and international political leaders targeting historically less powerful ethno-racial identities threaten inclusion, diversity, and academic freedom in addition to everyone’s safety and security. We condemn the recent racist incidents—hate speech, physical violence, vandalism, etc.—that have taken place right here on our campus. We encourage administrators at all levels of the University to also publicly condemn such incidents as one important step towards eradicating them.

In response, we pledge to continue to uphold justice and multicultural literacy by insisting that our classes and community include everyone and do not discriminate against anyone.

Dongsoo Bang
Fadi Bardawil
Jan Bardsley
Ash Barnes
Uffe Bergeton
Luoyi Cai
Mark Driscoll
Lini Ge
Zeina Halabi
Lori Harris
Didem Havlioglu
Li-ling Hsiao
Fumi Iwashita
Ji-Yeon Jo
SooJin Lee
Wendan Li
Jia Lin
Pamela Lothspeich
Khalid Shahu
Jing Stimpson
Robin Visser
Claudia Yaghoobi
Nadia Yaqub
Yi Zhou

Afroz Taj: Artist After Hours

November 21, 2016

You may know Dr. Afroz Taj as a professor of South Asian Studies, but did you know that he’s also a poet, stage actor, and host of his own popular radio show?  And he’s in the spotlight this week on Carolina’s “Artists After Hours.”  Read all about it here.

Guest Lecture with Mostafa Abedinifard

October 26, 2016

On September 1, 2016, Mostafa Abedinifard of McEwan University in Canada, gave a guest lecture via skype on the topic of “Masculinities and Male Privilege in Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation” for Claudia Yaghoobi’s “Gender and Sexuality in the Middle East” class. To provide students with the theoretical background, Abedinifard began with a discussion of the late 1960s Men’s Rights Movement and moved to the 1990s Mythopoetic Men’s Movement and highlighted the claims made by these movements about the crisis in masculinity. Abedinifard also provided students with an understanding of the various waves of masculinity studies in the west and how these waves were anti- or pro-feminism. All the while, Abedinifard interacted with students, asking challenging questions and gradually more students interacted with him. This was very impressive as many students are generally reluctant to participate in discussions with a guest lecturer, and Abedinifard acknowledged to the students their “very good” efforts and “intelligent” questions.