Upcoming Events

BUCSA Forum 2020, an online dialogue of Asian affairs

BUCSA Forum 2020

an exciting online platform for the presentation and discussion of materials related to Asian culture, politics and society. A growing number of other items are in the works, including interviews and discussions that we plan to upload to the BUCSA website in the coming weeks. Topics will range from China's ongoing Belt and Road Initiative, public health and the coronavirus crisis in South Asia, the evolving relationship between Iran and China, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Asian-Americans, and many other topics. 

Watch this space for links to these important and engaging discussions!

Rethinking Kyoto Tourism with Dr. Jennifer Prough




Asian American Resistance and Creative Clapbacks in the time of Covid-19




Asian American Resistance & Creative Clapbacks in the time of COVID-19 (Frances Kai-Hwa Wang)

The BU Center for the Study of Asia is pleased to present

Asian American Resistance & Creative Clapbacks in the time of COVID-19

with Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

The history of Asian America is a history of resistance. And Art. We will look at moments in history and how Asian Americans have resisted and used art, including the time of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, the Vincent Chin case in 1982, and after 9/11. We will look at how Asian Americans are using art today in this time of COVID-19 to both share their talents and to clap back at anti-Asian American violence. And then we will think about what you can do to help the community during this time.

Recorded video link

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a journalist, essayist, speaker, and poet focused on issues of diversity, race, culture, and the arts. Her writing has appeared at NBC News Asian America, PRI Global Nation, Cha Asian Literary Journal. She teaches Asian/Pacific Islander American media and civil rights at the University of Michigan. She co-created a multimedia artwork for the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. She is a 2019 Knight Arts Challenge Detroit artist, Marguerite Casey Foundation Equal Voice Journalism Fellow on Poverty, and Keith Center for Civil Rights Detroit Equity Action Lab Race and Justice Reporting Fellow on the Arts. franceskaihwawang.com @fkwang

Rethinking Kyoto Tourism with Dr. Jennifer Prough

The BU History of Art & Architecture Department and BU Center for the Study of Asia are pleased to present:

Rethinking Kyoto Tourism
with Dr. Jennifer Prough

(Valparaiso University)

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Prough

Click here to view the interview.

Dr. Jennifer Prough, Associate Professor of Humanities and East Asian Studies at Valparaiso University speaks with Alice Y. Tseng, Professor of Japanese Art and Architecture at Boston University on Prough’s research on Kyoto’s contemporary tourism industry. She reassesses Kyoto as a unique destination, and the ways that this historical capital’s long heritage is mobilized for cultural agendas, social purposes, and economic strategies. Current issues and challenges caused by overtourism, globalization, and the COVID-19 pandemic are also discussed.

Boston Asian American Film Festival (Free online screening June 27, 2020)



Short Waves: Stories Shaping Our Community is BAAFF's screening of short videos in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May. The screening featured shorts collected from the Open Call. The top submissions were selected by a panel of distinguished judges at the event. The winner was determined by public vote of the finalists. The winner of the Short Waves Competition received automatic acceptance into the upcoming Boston Asian American Film Festival.

Asian Pacific Americans have long been making waves in all aspects of American life, but their stories have often been lost in general U.S. discourse. “Short Waves: Stories Shaping Our Community,” hopes to bring light to these stories through locally made, community driven short films about the Asian American experience and community.

​Saturday, June 27, 2020 | 6:30PM
Pao Arts Center - 99 Albany St. (Chinatown) Boston, MA 02111



Submission must be: 
Up to 5-minute video to share your story about your Asian American life or community based on a personal experience.*Deadline: Sunday, June 7th, 11:59 pm

Short Waves winner benefits include: 
- Sharing your story with the community
- Automatic acceptance into the upcoming BAAFF
- Network with other featured filmmakers & participate in Q&As
- 2020 VIP Festival Pass

Some sample topics may include:
- What Asian American issue are you most passionate about?
- Tell us about someone who has helped shaped your identity as an Asian American. (role model)
- What is a pressing issue that affects your Asian American community and how that affects you?
- How do you personally define your Asian American identity?
- How do you celebrate your Asian American identity? (family gatherings and rituals, etc.)

Questions? Please email baaff@aarw.org

*We reserve the right to refuse any submissions that we believe may be prohibited or inappropriate.


[POSTPONED] Decolonization at 60: A Workshop at Boston University (March 18, 2020)

The Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies invites you to

Decolonization at 60:
A Workshop at Boston University

Wednesday, 18 March 2020, 9:15am - 6:15 PM

121 Bay State Rd, Boston MA 02215


Organizer: Jayita Sarkar, Assistant Professor, BU Pardee School of Global Studies

Co-sponsors: BU's Center for the Study of Asia, African Studies, Latin American Studies, and Institute for Culture, Religion and World Affairs

9:15 – 9:30 AM: WELCOME
Jayita Sarkar (Boston University, Pardee School of Global Studies)

9:30 – 11:00 AM: PANEL #1: Connected Partitions

Chair: Ben Siegel (Boston University, Dept. of History)
Discussant: Sana Aiyer (MIT) 

  • Sakura Christmas (Bowdoin College) "Unnatural Borders: Imperial Japan and the Partition of Inner Mongolia" 
  • Jayita Sarkar (Boston University) "Frontiers to Battlefields to Borderlands: Connected Partitions in the Rohingya Question, 1942-1952" 
  • Pankhuree Dube (Dartmouth College) "Geographies of Migration: Refugees vs. Nomads in the Dandakaranya Project, 1947-1978" 

11:00- 12:30 PM: PANEL #2: Religion & Borderlands
Chair: Michelle Louro (Salem State University)
Discussant: Willem Van Schendel (University of Amsterdam) 

  • Lydia Walker (Institute of Historical Research, London) "Postcolonial Imperialism: Negotiating between Church, State, and Nation in Nagaland"
  • Kalyani Ramnath (Harvard University) "Checkpoints in South Asia’s Other Partitions"
  • Amna Qayyum (Princeton University) "The Ghosts of Comilla: Contraception, Islamic Thought, and State-making in East Pakistan"

***Lunch Break ***

1:30 – 3:00 PM: PANEL #3: Global Decolonization
Chair: Jayita Sarkar (Boston University, Pardee School)
Discussant: Brooke Blower (Boston University, Dept. of History) 

  • Carolien Stolte (Leiden University) "Feminist Readings of Decolonization Conferences" 
  • Jessica Samuel (Boston University) "Economic and Epistemological Violence: 21st-century American Colonialism in the U.S. Virgin Islands" 
  • Michelle Getchell (US Naval War College) "Two, Three, Many Vietnams: Che Guevara’s Tricontinental Revolutionary Vision" 
  • Beatrice Wayne (Harvard University) "How to Hide an Ethiopian Empire: The Eritrean Sovereignty Movement in the Moment of Decolonization" 

*** Tea/Coffee Break***

3:15-4:30 PM: ROUNDTABLE Zomia, Deltas and Islands: Critical Political Geography in Decolonization
Moderator: Carolien Stolte (Leiden University) 

Islands: Julian Go (Boston University, Dept. of Sociology) 
Deltas: Debjani Bhattacharyya (Drexel University, Dept. of History and Dept. of Global Studies & Modern Languages)
Zomia— TBA 

5:00 – 6:15 PM: PUBLIC KEYNOTE Prof. Willem van Schendel (Professor of Modern Asian Studies, University of Amsterdam) in Auditorium Room 130, Wheelock School of Education, 2 Silber Way, Boston University. Free and open to the public!


[POSTPONED] The Japanese Diaspora Initiative, with Kaoru Ueda (Stanford Univ)

Weaving the Past for the Digital Age:

The Japanese Diaspora Initiative

Dr. Kaoru (Kay) Ueda
Hoover Institution Library and Archives, Stanford University

Wednesday, March 18 2020 from 5-6:15 pm in CAS 224,
College of Arts and Sciences, 685 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston University

Please note that with deep regret, this program has been cancelled.
We hope to reschedule at a later date.


Sponsored by the BU Center for the Study of Asia's Asian Cultural Heritage Forum,
with support from the BU Center for the Humanities


The Japanese Diaspora Initiative (JDI) aims to make the Hoover Institution Library & Archives a leading center for archive-based research and analysis on historical issues regarding Japan in core areas of interest to the institution: war, revolution, and peace. Funded by an anonymous $9 million gift—one of the largest in Library & Archives’ history—the initiative has begun by focusing on Japan’s modern diaspora, with particular attention to both Japanese Americans and other overseas Japanese communities, especially during the rise and fall of the Empire of Japan.

The Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection is currently the world’s largest online archive of open-access, full image Japanese American and other overseas Japanese newspapers in Asia and South America. Image content in this collection is accompanied by OCR-generated text where possible, thus rendering the text searchable. The holdings of each title are browsable by date, title, and publication place, with each title cross searchable with other titles on the platform. The nature of the newspapers varies significantly from community-focused to political or military propaganda depending on the political conditions and target readership.

The Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection is open to the public and does not require registration for viewing most of the titles. Some content is currently restricted to Stanford University users due to copyright agreement with the publishers. In addition, the collection is constantly evolving, adding more titles and missing issues and improving OCR texts. We encourage users to participate actively in OCR text correction. To contribute text corrections, please navigate to the newspaper title and issue and click on the ‘Correct this text’ in the left pane.

To date 124 titles and photo archives, comprising 779,412 images, have been made available in the online collection.

[from https://hojishinbun.hoover.org/]

Photo: Kanda Store, Moiliili, June 18, 1938. Image from the Nippu Jiji Photo Archives, Scenery-Hawaii collection (SH1125.002)

About the speaker: 

Kaoru “Kay” Ueda (B.A. Kawansei Gakuin University, MBA, University of Chicago, Ph.D., Boston University) has unique experience both in business and academic worlds.  Having worked as an analyst in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom and more recently in the specialized library of the International Center for East Asian Archaeology and Cultural History, Boston University, she hopes to bring an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Japanese diaspora and modern Japan and unpack the complex interactive processes between Japan and host countries. She has published in a number of international journals and shed light on overseas Dutch in early modern Indonesia and Japan. She also has extensive experience in organizing scholarly engagement and museum exhibitions. Her bilingual and inter-cultural capacities have helped create the Hoji Shinbun Digital Collection, the world’s largest open-access full-image digital collection of Japanese newspapers published in North America. [from https://www.hoover.org/profiles/kaoru-ueda]


[POSTPONED] MANIFEST DENSITY: Land Reclamation and Casino Culture in Macau (March 24, 2020)

The BU Center for the Study of Asia, Preservation Studies Program,
and Dept. of History of Art and Architecture
are pleased to invite you to attend  the next Asian Cultural Heritage Forum lecture:

Manifest Density:
Land Reclamation and

Casino Culture in Macau

Thomas Daniell

Department of Architecture and Architectural Engineering, Kyoto University

Tuesday March 24, 2020 from 5-6 pm, followed by a reception

Please note that with deep regret, this program has been cancelled.
We hope to reschedule at a later date.

Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies
121 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215


Constrained by its limited territory, Macau has been forced to develop through densification and land reclamation, a process that has accelerated in recent decades. More than half of Macau’s territory is artificial land reclaimed from the sea, most of it created within the last hundred years. Each successive reclamation provides the opportunity to reinforce, extend, or contradict the existing identity of Macau, and to project alternative futures. Rather than a historical layering of buildings and public spaces within a centralized territory, Macau has gradually expanded into patchwork of adjacent yet distinct urban conditions: the Baroque axes and plazas of the Portuguese colonial city, the labyrinthine alleys and patios of the Chinese neighbourhoods, the parallel bands of the waterfront warehouses and factories, the gridded, colonnaded high-rise commercial districts, the concentric podium-and-tower luxury housing projects, and the hermetic megablocks of the casino resorts. This lecture will outline at the history of land reclamation in Macau, and examine the resulting urban mosaic.

About the Speaker:

Thomas Daniell is Professor of Architectural Theory and Criticism at Kyoto University, Japan. He holds a B.Arch from Victoria University of Wellington, M.Eng from Kyoto University, and Ph.D from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. From 2011 until 2017, he was Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Saint Joseph, Macau. In 2017 he was the M+/Design Trust Research Fellow, Hong Kong, and in 2019 he was a Research Fellow at the Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal. A two-time recipient of publication grants from the Graham Foundation, his books include FOBA: Buildings (Princeton Architectural Press, 2005), After the Crash: Architecture in Post-Bubble Japan (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), Houses and Gardens of Kyoto (Tuttle, 2010; second edition 2018), Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama + Amorphe (Equal Books, 2011), Kansai 6 (Equal Books, 2011), An Anatomy of Influence (AA Publications, 2018), and The Cosmos of Sei’ichi Shirai (The MIT Press, forthcoming).

The Asian Cultural Heritage Forum lecture series is generously supported
by the BU Center for the Humanities

Preserved Pages: Book as Art in Persia and India, 1300–1800, at the Worcester Art Museum

Mark your calendars for the upcoming exhibition

Preserved Pages:
Book as Art in Persia and India, 1300–1800

October 13, 2018 – January 6, 2019

at the Worcester Art Museum

55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609    508.799.4406

Persian, An Irate Camel, (detail), 17th Century

This exhibition focuses on works on paper, separated from books (manuscripts) and albums, from the Worcester Art Museum's collection. Representing the two main contexts for the image in Iran and India from the Mongol invasions of the mid-1200s through the pre-modern period, Preserved Pages highlights several important artworks. These include landmark manuscripts, such as the 14th-century Great Mongol Shahnama (Book of Kings), and other rarely seen treasures of the Museum's Islamic art collection. Exhibition themes focus on the broad diversity of the arts of the book; the cultural and artistic value of art and literature; the variety of texts, genres, and modes of pictorial illustration and enhancement; and the subject matter and mediums developed by artists (painting, drawing, and illumination).

Image: Persian, An Irate Camel, (detail), 17th Century, opaque watercolor on paper,
Bequest of Alexander H. Bullock, 1962.185

Last Defense: The Genius of Japanese Meiji Metalwork, at the Worcester Art Museum

Now on exhibit at the Worcester Art Museum:

Last Defense:
The Genius of Japanese Meiji Metalwork

September 13, 2017 - September 2, 2018 at the Worcester Art Museum

55 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609    508.799.4406


Nagasone Tojiro Mitsumasa, Helmet in the form of a Sea Conch Shell

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), the political revolution when power was restored to the emperor from the samurai class, this exhibition focuses on the genius and versatility of metalworkers during this transitional moment. With the decline of the samurai class and its privileges, armor-makers, such as the renowned four centuries-old Myochin family of metalworkers, applied their exemplary skills and artistry to develop new types of metal products, from toys to decorative art. This show will feature magnificent works from the Museum's Higgins collection, as well as a special selection of loans.

Kozan, Articulated Jizai Figurine of a Lobster

Top image: Nagasone Tojiro Mitsumasa, Helmet in the form of a Sea Conch Shell, 1618, iron with traces of lacquer, textiles, The John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, 2014.89.1

Bottom image: Kozan, Articulated “Jizai” Figurine of a Lobster, about 1900, iron, The John Woodman Higgins Armory Collection, 2014.609


The Wall Street Journal
Creativity Forged Anew in Japan
By Lee Lawrence, January 8, 2018


UNNO Shomin, Dove Okimono, about 1900 Myochin Ki (no) Munechika, Acorn-shaped Kabuto, February 1855
UNNO Moritoshi, Koro (Incense Burner), about 1885 HIRAYAMA Kantei, Vase, 1900-1916