As midsummer 2017 ends, the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies pauses to reflect upon the many accomplishments of its students and faculty during the past academic year.
Fall 2016 began with two new minors: Korean Language and Culture and Cambodian (Khmer) Language and Culture. We are the first university in the United States to offer a minor in Cambodia language as part of our recognition and support of the Cambodian community in Long Beach. Our Korean language program is expanding, partly due to the current popularity of Korean culture among youth in the United States. Accolades are due also to our outstanding Korean language instructors: Professors Jihyun Park and Haely Ariel Lee.
The Japanese program sponsored a reception for seven Meiji University students from Tokyo along with their chaperone on September 7, 2016. Around sixty CSULB students interacted with the Meiji students in a meaningful cross-cultural exchange that started with a Meiji-student presentation on “Japanese Idols” followed by a reception then dinner at one of the CSULB resident student dining halls.
Its faculty are experts in Japanese language pedagogy and heritage language learning and teaching. During August 2017 they directed a Heritage Language Summer Institute to train teachers in best practices in Japanese language instruction to a wide range of students. Language instructors from Southern California and other areas of the United States attended this five-day Institute at CSU Long Beach, which was supported by the Japan Foundation and CSULB Heritage Language Funds.
Asian Studies is devoted to an interdisciplinary approach to comparative Asian Studies. The introductory course Asian Eats, based upon this methodology, is expanding in popularity and we will be developing a new minor in Asian Studies in order to meet student demand for both major and minor options. The program continues to support a wide range of students from various disciplines across colleges.
With its expertise in Cambodian culture, the Asian Studies program assists student organizations to develop media for public outreach campaigns to educate other students and the community about the Cambodian experience (Spotlight).
ASAM provides leadership for a new Ethnic Studies Initiative, developed by a collaboration of ethnic studies programs in the College of Liberal Arts, to promote Ethnic Studies education in the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD). This coalition offers the course “US Diversity and Ethnic Experience” for college credit on Saturdays at participating high schools in LBUSD. Special recognition is warranted for Adjunct Professor Larry Hashima’s role in curriculum and faculty development for this innovative, successful project.
On September 23, ASAM sponsored the Southern California regional meeting for Asian
American Studies nurturing links between CSULB and the APIA community. Over 20 representatives from various programs/ departments attended this gathering. Community representatives from Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Filipino Migrant Center, Filipino Cultural School, United Cambodian Community, and Visual Communications shared knowledge about community, student, and university engagement opportunities.
This program continues to expand its minor in Chinese Language and Culture while restructuring its major to meet student demand. For the past two years it has developed a Chinese language program at Sato Academy, which will be subsequently managed by the CSULB Confucius Institute. The Chinese pedagogy option in the Asian Studies MA program has proven to be popular given the demand for Chinese language instructors in both public and private schools throughout California. It supports several study abroad programs in China and Taiwan.
Stellar Asian Studies MA Graduate News
Our first cohort of MA graduates in the restructured Asian Studies MA program graduated in Spring 2017. Among the four who graduated, Ralph Fleming is back in New Jersey working as a military analyst (Asia specialist) for the U.S. government.
A/ST MA graduates expanding careers
Francis dela Cruz (2015), after working for several years in Student Affairs, at was accepted into Gonzaga University Law School for Fall 2017. He plans to specialize in immigration and civil rights law.
Francis Cullado (2015). As the director of Visual Communications, which produces the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, Francis has been awarded a grant from the California Arts Council as part of its Artists Activating Communities program.
Jeffrey Zeiser (2013). After teaching English composition and college prep skills to international students in Los Angeles for five years, Jeff is returning to AAAS to teach our Senior Seminar AST 492 and a composition course ASAM 100.
Teresa Zimmerman-Liu (2012) is beginning six months of dissertation research in Taiwan on a Ministry of Foreign Affairs Taiwan Fellowship. Teresa’s research topic is “Humanistic Buddhism and Climate Change: Propagating the Bodhisattva Ethic of Compassion for People and the Planet.”
Her project is a comparative sociological study of how two of Taiwan’s modern Buddhist groups, Dharma Drum Mountain and Buddhist Tzu Chi Compassionate Relief Foundation, promote environmentalism and sustainable lifestyles as part of their faith doctrines and practices. Teresa is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at University of California San Diego working with Richard Madsen, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Sinologist. She served as Vice President of Academic Affairs of the UCSD Graduate Student Association (2015-2016) and was the Lead Teaching Assistant in UCSD’s Thurgood Marshall College Dimensions of Culture Writing Program (2016-2017). She is also a recipient of the CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program award. Her publications include articles in Review of Religion and Chinese Society, Journal of Church and State, and Social Sciences and Missions, as well as translations of writings by the prominent Chinese dissidents Liu Xiaobo and Huang Xiang.
Professor Hiroko Kataoka published a book chapter co-authored with Masako Douglas, “Kazoku to sendai o tsunagu keishoogokyooiku (Heritage language education that connects families and generations),” in Hito to Tsunagari Sekai to Tsunagaru Nihongo Kyooiku (Japanese Language Education connected to people and the world), Kuroshio Publishing Co., Japan in 2016. She was also a consultant to and a writer for the Japan Center at the University of Alaska, Anchorage’s Disaster Prevention Workshop Project. She presented one refereed paper at the American Association of Teachers of Japanese conference, and gave six workshops and institutes for Japanese language teachers nationwide.
Professor Masako Douglas published two co-authored book chapters. “Crisis, Change, and Institutionalization: Adopting a New Curriculum at a Japanese Weekend School,” co-authored with Robert M. Uriu, was published in The Routledge Handbook of Heritage Language Education, Routledge Taylor Francis in 2017. “Kazoku to sedai o tsunagu keishoogokyooiku [Heritage language education that connects families and generations],” co-authored with Hiroko Kataoka, was published in Hito to Tsunagari Sekai to Tsunagaru Nihongo Kyooiku [Japanese Language Education connected to people and the world], Kuroshio Publishing Co., Japan in 2016. She also published an instructional unit for the learners of Japanese as a heritage language. Dunk Tank for Natsumatsuri (Japanese summer festival) at a Japanese Language School: An instructional unit created for project-based language learning with interculturarity was published by National Foreign Language Resource Center, University of Hawai’i, on the website http://nflrc.hawaii.edu/pebbles/prototype/doc/181/ in 2016.
Associate Professor Kiyomi Chinen gave a refereed presentation at the Canadian Association for Japanese Language Education (CAJLE), a keynote presentation, and two workshops related to Japanese-language teaching in several regions in the U.S. and Canada.
Adjunct Professor Sam Coleman participated in the June 9, 2017 Inaugural Symposium for Veterans for Peace Japan, held at the Diet Members Hall Number one in Tokyo. The symposium theme was “From Ideology to Literacy.”
His talk for this symposium, “Veterans’ Psychological Wounds,” was also presented to the Association for the Study of Returned SDF Soldiers’ Wellbeing.
Prof. Teri Yamada was invited to present “The Production of Precarity: Phnom Penh’s New Satellite Cities,” for the workshop “Living in an Age of Precarity: Living and Lives in 21st Century Asia,” on 27 February 2017 at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. She was invited to lecture on Cambodian literature at the U.S. Dept. of Education sponsored AANAPISI workshop on faculty development at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, March 16-18. Swedish PEN published her article “Balancing Act” in The Dissident Blog, April 18. Her article “Violent Traces: Writing Cambodia” was published in Consequence Magazine 9:176-185 along with Sok Chanphal’s short story “The Kerosene Lamp Ghost Stories.” co-translated with Soknea Nhim (9:89-102). Two academic articles were accepted for publication: “Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island: City of Spectacle” forthcoming in Routledge Handbook of Urbanization in Southeast Asia (Rita Padawangi, ed. Taylor and Francis Books) and “Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld Resort and Casino,” forthcoming Journal of Pacific Affairs for a special edition on casino capitalism in Southeast Asia.
Asian and Asian American Studies
Professor Barbara Kim’s book Caring Across Generations: The Linked Lives of Korean American Families, co-authored with Grace J. Yoo, received the 2015 Asia and Asian America Section Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association.
Professor Dean Toji has served on the Board of Directors of the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) since 1994. In the 1990s, the LTSC identified a recreation center as a top priority for both the local downtown community and Japanese Americans throughout the southland. After decades of community effort, Los Angeles’ historic community Little Tokyo will soon have a new recreation center, the Terasaki Budokan. The groundbreaking ceremony on 3 August 2017 launched the construction of this $27-million multi-purpose activity center. The Terasaki Budokan will host basketball, martial arts, volleyball, visual and performing arts, youth and senior programs, and events such as weddings on its rooftop garden.
CONGRATULATIONS TO AAAS CLASS OF 2017