By Kate Xuehui Li

NEWS: BUCSA Researcher Grant Rhode awarded Taiwan Fellowship

May 31st, 2015

GF Rhode headshot

The Center for the Study of Asia congratulates BUCSA Visiting Researcher Grant F. Rhode, who has been awarded a Taiwan Fellowship to research and write on Taiwan’s approach to disputes in the East and South China Seas.  The fellowship will support four months of research in Taiwan from June through October, 2015.  While in Taiwan, Dr. Rhode will be affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences at the National Taiwan University

Dr. Rhode has been a BUCSA Visiting Researcher since 2012, has organized several activities and events with the Center and in collaboration with BU faculty on campus and beyond. While affiliated with BUCSA, Dr. Rhode has conducted research on Asian maritime issues and on China educational exchange.

He has taught within the Pardee School of Global Studies’s Division of International Studies, and more recently has divided his time between his research at BU and the US Naval War College in Newport, RI, where he has been a Visiting Professor during Spring 2015.

He holds a master’s degree from the University of Oxford in the social anthropology of China and a doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Asian diplomatic history and foreign policies.  In addition to being a Visiting Researcher at the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia, he is an Associate in Research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University.



May 30th, 2015

The Taiwan Fellowship, established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), provides assistance for foreign experts and scholars interested in research related to Taiwan, cross-strait relations, mainland China, Asia-Pacific region and Chinese studies to conduct advanced research at universities or academic institutions in Taiwan. Financial assistance includes monthly grants paid at the beginning of every month, a round-trip, economy-class ticket for the most direct route to Taiwan, and insurance. The terms of the fellowship last 3-12 months. Eligible applicants include foreign professors, associate professors, assistant professors, post-doctoral researchers, doctoral candidates, or doctoral program students at related departments of overseas universities. The application deadline is June 30, 2015 and more information can be found here.


EVENTS: “Binding Maritime China” BU-NEU-Brandeis Conference at Boston University, May 29-30, 2015

May 7th, 2015



Frederick S.  School of Global Studies, Boston University,  121 Bay State Road, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215

ALL DAY both days on Friday and Saturday,  May 29 and 30, 2015

Boston University and its Center for the Study of Asia have joined forces with Brandeis and Northeastern University to organize an upcoming international conference on the history of maritime China between the 16th and 20th century, entitled Binding Maritime China: Control, Evasion, and Interloping.” Given the importance of maritime East and Southeast Asia as a crucible of conflict and cooperation today, this timely gathering of major senior and innovative junior scholars will offer a deep historical perspective on the formation of the region and its social, economic and religious dynamics. Please visit the website of the conference for detailed information, program, and abstracts. The conference is free and open to the public.



May 7th, 2015



Please join this exciting workshop, the coronation of several meetings of the BU Travel Literature Group, and learn about travel in Asia, the Middle East, the Atlantic world, and the world of literary imagination.


Thursday MAY 14, 2015

Boston University, School of Theology Building, room 636; 745 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 


Panel 1: 10-11  am

“Travel, Adventure, and Self-fashioning: A Frenchman’s Journey to New Orleans in 1729″  (Elizabeth Goldsmith, Romance Studies, BU, emerita)

“Fable, Truth, and Propaganda: Lay and Ecclesiastical Travelers from Europe to China in the Long 18th Century” (Eugenio Menegon, History, BU)

11-11:15 am – BREAK

Panel 2: 11:15 am -12:15  pm

“Polidori’s The Vampyre (1819): Monstrous Travel and the Seductions of Ancient Greece” (James Uden, Classics, BU)

“The Chameleonic Identities of Mohan Lal Kashmiri and the Great Game of the 19th Century”  (Sunil Sharma, MLCL, BU)

12:15-1:30 LUNCH

Panel 3: 1:30-2:30  pm

“Marie Dugard Takes Notes: A Parisian Schoolteacher’s Spirited Reaction to 1890’s America  (Mary Beth Raycraft, Romance Studies, BU)

“Travels of a Cosmopolitan Girl: Yoshiya Nobuko’s 1929 World Tour”  (Sarah Frederick, MLCL, BU)

Panel 4: 2:30-3:30 pm

“Travel and Imagination: Halide Edib’s Encounters with an Illusory India” (Roberta Micallef, MLCL, BU)

“True Stories from the Moscow Dorms: Sonallah Ibrahim and Mohammad Malas at VGIK”  (Margaret Litvin, MLCL, BU)

3:30-4 BREAK

KEYNOTE:  4-5 pm 

 Professor James Buzard (M.I.T.)

“Postcolonial Valediction: Durrell’s Bitter Lemons of Cyprus and the Legacies of the Grand Tour”

SPONSORS: Boston University Center for the Humanities, Middle East and North Africa Studies/, Center for the Study of Asia,  Modern Languages and Comparative Literature,  Romance Studies 


NEWS: BUCSA faculty Menegon, Berger, and Siegel win fellowships and prize on Asian Past and Present

May 7th, 2015


The Yongzheng Emperor (r. 1723-1735) in European attire, Palace Museum, Beijing

BUCSA is delighted to congratulate  three of our affiliated faculty working on Chinese history, Japanese and East Asian international relations, and Indian history for their recent achievements.

Professor  Eugenio Menegon (History & BUCSA Director) was awarded two residential fellowships for  academic year 2015-16  (Fall 2015, Member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; Spring 2016 Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Jesuit Studies at Boston CollegeMenegon is completing a book entitled “Amicitia Palatina: Court Networks and the Europeans in Imperial Beijing, 1700-1820.”  The project focuses on the social, economic, and religious life of foreign experts at the Qing imperial court and how their experience illuminates the workings of global economic and cultural networks, as well as the daily transactions of power at the Chinese court.   For more information, please see here.

Professor Thomas Berger (Pardee School, BUCSA affiliatewon a residential fellowship for Spring 2016 at the Woodrow Wilson Center   in Washington, D.C.,  to study the implications of maritime disputes on relations between the U.S. and Japan, and advance work on his next book, Navigating a Sea of Difficulties: History, Territory and the US-Japan Alliance. For more information see here.

Finally, Professor Benjamin Siegel (History and BUCSA Board member), won the 2014 Sardar Patel Award for “the best doctoral dissertation on any aspect of modern India – social sciences, humanities, education and fine arts” for his Harvard dissertation Independent India of Plenty: Food, Hunger, and Nation-Building in Modern India” (2014).  The award is given by the Center for India and South Asia at UCLA, where Siegel will be giving a short talk on the project in mid-May.


OPPORTUNITIES: Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics

April 30th, 2015

FACULTY OF ORIENTAL STUDIES in association with All Souls College

Start date: 1 January 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The University of Oxford is seeking an outstanding candidate to fill the Spalding Professorship of Eastern Religions and Ethics. The Spalding Professorship is one of the most prestigious international academic positions concerned with the study of Indian religions and philosophies, and the successful candidate will play a leading role in researching and teaching these subjects.

The Faculty of Oriental Studies seeks especially applications from colleagues working in Hindu religious and philosophical traditions. The successful candidate will be a scholar of the highest international standing, with an outstanding record of research and publication in Indian religions or philosophies, the ability to teach and inspire students at all levels, and the ability and willingness to undertake senior administrative duties. She or he will play a central role in graduate teaching within the faculty. The professor will be ready to assume a senior role within the administration of the faculty; to represent the faculty within the University; and to promote the entire range of study of Indian religions and philosophies in Oxford, as well as to stimulate interest in the subject within the academic community and beyond.

The professorship is located within an exceptionally strong and supportive research environment. The professor will be a Fellow of All Souls College, and will be part of a lively and intellectually stimulating academic community which performs to the highest international levels in research and publications. She or he will have access to the excellent research facilities which Oxford offers.

Deadline for applications: Monday 8 June 2015. For more details about the post and full application instructions, see

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Oxford.

Committed to equality and valuing diversity.

For more information, click here.


NEWS: BUCSA Welcomes New Director and Board Members

April 28th, 2015


BUCSA announces that Prof. Catherine V. Yeh, Associate Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed the new Director of the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA)Elections were also held for its executive board, and BUCSA welcomes its four new executive board members: Prof. William Grimes (Pardee School of Global Studies), Prof. Benjamin Siegel (History), Prof. Alice Tseng (History of Art and Architecture), and Prof. Anna Zielinska-Elliot (Modern Languages and Comparative Literature). 

An article on the website of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies captures it well: 

Prof. Catherine V. Yeh, Associate Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed the new Director of the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia, one of the affiliate area study centers at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies and its Division of Regional Studies.

In welcoming her appointment, Dean Adil Najam of the Pardee School said that, “I am very happy that Prof. Yeh has agreed to take on this responsibility and I look forward to working closely with her in this role.” Prof. Yeh has agreed to assume the role for the 2015-16 academic year. Dean Najam added his admiration and word of thanks for the outgoing Director of the Center, Prof. Eugenio Menegon, who “has poured great vigor and energy into the activities of the Center, especially in the Pardee School’s inaugural year.” He expressed the confidence that Prof. Yeh will build on the fine traditions established by her predecessors, Prof. Eugenio MenegonProf. Joseph Fewsmith and Prof. William Grimes.

Professor Menegon, a specialist in Chinese History and Center Director since 2012, commented:  “I am delighted to see Cathy at the helm. She grew up fully bicultural between China and the USA during the 1960s and 1970s, the heady period of the Cold War ideological battles, in a family that combined both East and West in its ethnic and cultural make-up. Cosmopolitan and elegant, Cathy is a superb and curious scholar, equally interested in the humanities, the arts, and the social sciences.” He added:

“BU students love her imagination and warmth in the classroom and as the main organizer of the popular ‘BU Asia Film Week’ that she has directed since 2010. For these gifts, she has emerged as a respected leader within the BU Asian Studies community, and I know she will bring her special touch to Center for the Study of Asia and the Pardee School in the coming year.”

Prof. Yeh is an expert on 19th and 20th century Chinese literary, media, and visual culture whose work has focused on the social and political implications of Chinese entertainment culture and literature, and its impact on social change in late imperial and Republican era China. Her most recent book is The Chinese Political Novel: Migration of a World Genre  (2015). She has been a recipient of a Jeffrey Henderson Senior Research Fellow grant at the Boston University Center for the Humanities; German Research Foundation project grants, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation project grants, and a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship. (More about her here).

Elections were also held for the executive board of the Center for the Study of Asia and four new Board members – Prof. William Grimes (Pardee School of Global Studies), Prof. Benjamin Siegel (History), Prof. Alice Tseng (History of Art and Architecture), and Prof. Anna Zielinska-Elliot (Modern Languages and Comparative Literature) – were elected to join the four continuing members: Prof. Sarah Frederick (Modern Languages and Comparative Literature), Prof. Sanjay Krishnan (English); Prof. Sunil Sharma (Modern Languages and Comparative Literature); and Prof. Nancy Smith-Hefner (Anthropology).

Many thanks to the Board faculty members who have served their terms: John Berthrong (School of Theology), Gina Cogan (Religion, CAS), Robert Hefner (Anthropology, CAS; CURA Institute) and Frank Korom (Religion and Anthropology, CAS).


NEWS: ASIABU student group wins Mindy Stroh Award

April 28th, 2015


ASIABU attendees at the Award Ceremony; from left to right: Yanqitian “Sam“ Huang (Cultural Ambassador), Samantha Catalfamo (secretary), Anushka Pinto (Cultural Ambassador), Jimmy Liu (alumnus), Naveed Ghani (treasurer), and Yi-An Chen (president).

BUCSA is proud to announce that the Asian Studies Initiative at Boston University (ASIABU) was awarded the Mindy Stroh Excellence in Collaborative Programming Award during an Oscar-style ceremony attended by 350 students, advisors, and faculty at the BU GSU Metcalf Grand Ballroom. BU’s “Excellence in Student Activities Awards” is a celebration of the engaging events, activities, and experiences created by BU student groups during the academic year.


DSC01712-1ASIABU received two nominations from the  Student activity Office: one as Student Organization of the Year for Academic/Professional Group; and another for Best Event Collaboration. Among 450 student societies on campus, only five groups are nominated in each category. ASIABU previously won an award for the 2012-2013 academic year. 


Initiated and co-hosted by ASIABU, the Asian New Year Celebration held on February 26, 2015 fetched the Mindy Stroh Excellence in Collaborative Programming Award. The Best Event Collaboration award is given to the student group which successfully works together with other groups to create an event for the BU community.  The Asian New Year Celebration was a rare collaboration with 12 student groups on campus to foster positive relationships in the future, and create a sense of common purpose among students from Asia and interested in Asian cultures. The successful collaboration included the Taiwanese American Student Association, the Hong Kong Student Association, the Asian Student Union, the BU Chinese Student Association, the Indonesian Student Association, the Boston University India Club, the Japanese Student Association, the Singapore Collegiate Society, the BU Belly Dance Society, BU miXx Korean Pop Dance, Alpha Phi Omega BU, and the Indonesian music ensemble Gemelankemana.


DSC01719-1The Asian New Year Celebration aimed to explore how different Asian cultures celebrate their New Year through cultural and educational experiences of live performances, authentic cuisines, and traditional activities from each culture. Some of the most memorable programs included Chinese calligraphy writing, an Indonesian gamelan ensemble performance, Indian Henna tattoo, a dance workshop led by the Belly Dance Society, and more. The celebration welcomed nearly 300 attendees and more than 50 student leaders helped make this event possible. The event was featured on BU Today and the Daily Free Press.



Prof. Grimes Appointed Associate Dean at Pardee School of Global Studies

April 17th, 2015

grimesWe congratulate Professor William Grimes, BUCSA founding Director (2008-2010), current member of the BUCSA Executive Board, and Professor of Japanese  and Asian political economy, on his new position as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, with responsibility for the School’s Division of International Studies (DIS) and Academic Affairs.  Bill is a respected and beloved pillar of our Asian Studies community, and we all look forward to working with him and the Pardee School to strengthen Global Studies and Asian Studies on campus and beyond.

An article on the website of The Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies captures it well:

In announcing the appointment, Dean Adil Najam of the Pardee School said, “Bill Grimes is a effective leader who is highly regarded by all his colleagues including myself. He brings a whole set of important skills and experience to this job. I am delighted that he has agreed to take up this position and I very much look forward to working closely with him.” Dean Najam added that this key appointment completes the governance and leadership structure of the Pardee School and that it will replace the earlier envisaged position of Director DIS.

Speaking on his appointment, Prof. Grimes commented, “I’m very excited to be able to participate in shaping the Pardee School. This is an extraordinary opportunity to define a 21st century approach to preparing our students to contribute to the world.”

Prof. Grimes is a proven academic leader, an outstanding scholar, and an expert in Japanese politics and East Asian political economy. He has been at Boston Univeristy since 1996 and is a full professor of International Relations and Political Science, he helped found the Center for the Study of Asia and served as its first Director, was Chair of the Department of International Relations, and has been the Director of Research at the BU Center for Finance, Law and Policy.

He is the author of Unmaking the Japanese Miracle: Macroeconomic Politics, 1985-2000 (Cornell University Press, 2001) and Currency and Contest in East Asia: The Great Power Politics of Financial Regionalism (Cornell University Press, 2008), as well as co-editor (with Ulrike Schaede) of Japan’s Managed Globalization: Adapting to the 21st Century (M.E. Sharpe, 2002). He has published articles, book chapters, monographs, and commentary on East Asian financial regionalism, the impacts of financial globalization in Japan, Japanese monetary policy making, US-Japan relations, and related topics. 


EVENTS: Producing the Political: Religious Authority and Local Governance

April 16th, 2015

Join us for this  co-sponsored BUCSA-Fairbank Center one-day conference on April 22, organized by Professors Robert Weller (Anthropology and CURA Institute, BU) and Michael Puett (East Asian languages and Civilizations, Harvard). 



What are the interactions between ritual practices, religious authorities and political contestations in the production of political authority and the practices of local governance? Papers will consider how religious authority is conceived, legitimized, negotiated and integrated into modes of local authority, based on the idea that enactments of local governance are part of the constitution of day-to-day politics itself, not just the nation-state. The hope is to begin to craft an anthropology of governance based on the comparative analysis of religiously framed processes of state-making Asia.

9:00-10:00  Indira Arumugam (National University of Singapore), Visceral Politics: Sacrificial Rituals and Political Theorizing in a Tamil Nadu Village

10:00-11:00  Jeremy Kingsley (National University of Singapore), Everyday Practices and the Fabric of Local Governance in Eastern Indonesia

11:20-12:20  Keping Wu(Harvard-Yenching Institute), Rituals of Pluralistic Local Governance: State and Religion at the Sino-Burmese-Tibetan Borderlands

1:45-2:45  Huwy-min Lucia Liu (Boston University, HK University of Science and Technology), Pluralist Ritual and Ritual Pluralism: Modes of Religious Authority and Political Contestation in Urban Shanghai Funerals

2:45-3:45  Rebecca Nedostup (Brown University), Graves through Time and Space: Place, Peace, and Sovereignty in the Aftermath, Late 1940s Jiangsu

4:00-5:00  Michael Szonyi (Harvard University), A Temple with Two Gods: Finding the Political Past and Present in a South China Community