Upcoming Events

“Coffee Life in Japan,” with Merry White (BU) and Ulrike Schaede (UCSD) (May 4, 2021)

UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy presents

Coffee Life in Japan

with Merry White (Professor Anthropology, Boston University) and

Ulrike Schaede (Professor and Director of the Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology, GPS UC San Diego)

Click here for the Zoom registration link

Coffee shops offer their customers a special place in their urban lives, and offer observers a window on social and cultural norms and realities. Japan’s kissaten have long been unscripted places for an escape from the programs and demands of social roles. Over time they have reflected and served different social, political and personal needs. In the Meiji era, they were a means to emulate London or New York, to be modern which meant then to be Western. During the Taisho era, they became the venues of expression and creativity for feminists, radicals, poets, and artists. The post WWII Showa-style kissaten, now an object of nostalgia for retired people and for young people with a borrowed yearning for the past, was smoky with salarymen, reading fat manga during breaks. During the bubble economy of the 1980s, drinking gold-sprinkled coffee from antique Limoges cups could demonstrate a sense of exuberant luxury, even as students and others inhabited their own less pricey coffee spaces. Today’s very diverse coffee spaces, including the spread of American coffee chains, the high level techno-geek coffee of connoisseurs, the personal café spaces created by young couples, and the persistence of kissaten, jazz and classical music cafes demonstrate the constant and changing interest in these places where, above all, an outstanding cup of coffee can be found.

Merry White, Professor of Anthropology, Boston University
Ulrike Schaede, Professor and Director of the Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology, GPS UC San Diego

Click here for more information on Merry White's book Coffee Life in Japan.

The Special Challenges of COVID-19 for Asian Americans (May 4, 2021)

Boston University Alumni and Friends invite you to take part in a webinar event

The Special Challenges of COVID-19 for Asian Americans

Tuesday, May 4, 2021 3:00-4:00 pm ET via Zoom
To register for this event, click here

Asian Americans experience stress from conflicting identities and, for many children of immigrant parents, the weight of growing up in a high-ambition, but under-resourced environment has contributed to the decline in mental health outcomes within this group.

The challenges for this group only increased with the spread of COVID-19. Asian Americans suffered not only from the disease itself, but also from a surge in violent attacks because of racist assumptions about the virus. As a result, many now face mental health challenges as well.

In this webinar, we will look at the mental health and well-being of Asian Americans, particularly during the pandemic. We will discuss tools that can help promote success and resilience under these unusual and uncertain circumstances. And we will think about what you can do to help the community during this time. There will be time for live questions and answers at the end.


Gouri Banerjee, Ph.D. (GRS ’73)
Consultant at Empower Success Corps
Dr. Gouri Banerjee is co-founder and a senior advisory committee member of SAHELI, Support and Friendship for South Asian women, an Asian social work agency committed to response, prevention and education about domestic violence among South Asians.

She has worked for over twenty-five years with Asian immigrants, other domestic violence prevention groups, and court systems in Middlesex County and the Boston Metropolitan area. She has consulted and worked with other Asian groups in Boston, and participated in numerous immigrant initiatives including ‘know your rights’, legal advocacy, housing and public benefits for low-income people. Gouri has trained Saheli agency managers and staff, raised awareness about domestic violence in the South Asian community, and developed strategic plans and initiatives to improve agency outcomes and achieve organization mission.

Gouri has a Ph. D. from Boston University’s College of Liberal Arts, Department of Geography, was an adjunct assistant professor at BU and Salem State University, and retired as an Associate Professor Emerita, Emmanuel College, Boston. She is currently a consultant at Empowerment Success Corps (ESC) in Boston and a member of the Winchester Cultural Council.

Chien-Chi Huang (COM ’91)
Executive Director of Asian Women for Health
Chien-Chi Huang is the founder of the Asian Breast Cancer Project and the Executive Director of Asian Women for Health. Ms. Huang's personal cancer journey led her to participate in national as well as local efforts on health equity and racial justice. Her remarkable passion for the community has changed the healthcare landscape for Asian women and created a pipeline of future leaders and peer health educators.

Alvin Lee, Ph.D. (GRS ’15)
Transformation Social Worker at Boston Public Schools
Alvin Lee, Ph.D., LCSW, is a Transformation Social Worker in the Boston Public Schools and works in the Charlestown High School community. In his role as a TSW, Dr. Lee is engaged in Tier 1,2, and 3 work that supports students in their social-emotional learning, connecting students to external partners for long-term clinical support, and targeted resources. Dr. Lee is also involved in anti-racist work within the school and is actively working alongside teaching staff to develop an anti-racist lens to evaluate and change current pedagogy to create a more equitable and culturally responsive learning environment.

Dr. Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm
Chair of Social Research & Professor at BU School of Social Work
Dr. Hyeouk “Chris” Hahm bridges epidemiology, theory building, intervention development, and testing to better understand the causes of depression, self-harm, and suicidal behaviors among Asian American women. A Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research and member of several editorial boards, she is the chair of her department and has earned national recognition for developing the Asian Women’s Action for Resilience and Empowerment (AWARE) program to test interventions and reduce mental health problems in non-clinical populations. She has received major grants from the National Institute of Health and National Science Foundation to support her research, has published a book and 60 journal articles, and has given 200 professional talks locally, nationally, and internationally.  She is a past winner of the Outstanding Mentor Award from BU’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
For additional information about this event, click here

The webinar will be conducted using the online Zoom webinar platform. Access information and additional instructions on using the Zoom platform will be provided via email upon successful registration. This webinar is open to all members of the BU community including alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

Memory, Hope, and Transnational Identities: Pachinko Book Discussion (Tuesday, May 11, 2021)

Boston University Alumni and Friends invite you to take part in the webinar

Memory, Hope, and Transnational Identities:
Pachinko Book Discussion

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 from 5:30-6:45 pm ET via Zoom

To register for this event, click here

Celebrate Asian and Pacific American Heritage month by honoring stories of Asian immigrant women who showed strength and resiliency against colonialism, occupation, and displacement. While this has been the narrative of millions of Asian immigrant families, seldom have stories told in the mainstream centered the voices and sacrifices of the women who held it all together.

Join us for this special discussion of Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, led by two BU faculty. Associate Professor Thomas Berger will kick off the discussion with an overview of the complex history and current political significance of complex Korea-Japan relations, as well as the role of the United States under the Biden administration. Associate Professor Yoon Sun Yang will then offer a classroom-style discussion of the book’s themes of language, memory, and power, followed by a chance to continue the discussion with your fellow Terriers in breakout rooms.

Pachinko was selected as one of the New York Times’ 10 Best of 2017 and a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction. It has recently been adapted by Apple TV+.

About the book:
“Lee’s stunning novel, her second, chronicles four generations of an ethnic Korean family, first in Japanese-occupied Korea in the early 20th century, then in Japan itself from the years before World War II to the late 1980s. Exploring central concerns of identity, homeland and belonging, the book announces its ambitions right from the opening sentence: “History has failed us, but no matter.” Lee suggests that behind the facades of wildly different people lie countless private desires, hopes and miseries, if we have the patience and compassion to look and listen.”

The New York Times Book Review (2017)

Pachinko is available through your library, local bookstore, or online retailers, including an e-book edition on Kindle.

Event Schedule:

5:30 pm | Event starts
5:35 pm | Presentation by BU faculty
6:00 pm | Breakout room book discussion
6:30 pm | Reconvene
6:45 pm | Event ends


Thomas Berger
Associate Professor of International Relations and Director of the Center for the Study of Asia,
BU Pardee School of Global Studies

The author of War, Guilt and World Politics After World War II and Cultures of Antimilitarism: National Security in Germany, Thomas Berger joined the Department of International Relations in 2001 after teaching for seven years at Johns Hopkins University.  He is co-editor of Japan in International Politics: Beyond the Reactive State, and his articles and essays have appeared in numerous edited volumes and journals, including International Security, Review of International Studies, German Politics, and World Affairs Quarterly.

Yoon Sun Yang
Associate Professor of Korean & Comparative Literature
BU College of Arts & Sciences

Yoon Sun Yang teaches Korean and comparative literature, as well as Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. She is the author of From Domestic Women to Sensitive Young Men: Translating the Individual in Early Colonial Korea, which won the 2020 James B. Palais Book Prize of the Association for Asian Studies, and the editor of the Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean Literature. She is currently translating early colonial Korean short stories and essays, as well as working on two book-length studies: "Transpacific Palimpsests: Toward the Study of Korean-language Literature" and "Beyond the Medical Gaze: Sexuality and Illness in Korean Literature."

The webinar will be conducted using the online Zoom webinar platform. Access information and additional instructions on using the Zoom platform will be provided via email upon successful registration. This webinar is open to all members of the BU community including alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

Food, Culture, and Identity: Bringing Asian Cuisine to the American Table (Wednesday, May 19, 2021)

Food, Culture, and Identity:
Bringing Asian Cuisine to the American Table

Wednesday, May 19, 2021 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm ET via Zoom
To register for this event, click here

Traditional foods connect us with our cultural heritage and personal identity. For many Asian and Pacific Americans, food also strengthens community ties and offers a taste of love, warmth, and memories of home.

In addition, Asian and Pacific American foods can bridge cultural gaps, building inclusion, expressing aspirations, and reinventing notions of “Asian Americanness.”

Join Megan Elias, associate professor of the practice and director of the Gastronomy Program at BU’s Metropolitan College, for this webinar on Asian and Asian Pacific food and culture in America. Professor Elias will review the diverse histories of Asian American food cultures, explore the traditionally Asian ingredients that are now part of the United States diet, and trace the history of Asian American cookbooks.


Megan Elias
Associate Professor of the Practice and Director, Gastronomy Program

Megan Elias is a historian and gastronomist whose work and research explores the rich history of food and culture through prisms of food writing, markets, and home economics. She has taught at Queensborough Community College, worked in administration at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and was the director of online courses at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. In addition to developing curricula and producing online courses, Dr. Elias has designed and taught classes in the areas of food studies, food in world history, American women’s history, and African-American history. Elias is the author of Food on the Page: Cookbooks and American Culture (2017) as well as four other books about food history, including Food in the United States, 1890–1945, which was selected by the American Library Association as an Outstanding Academic Text for 2009. She is the author of articles and book chapters about food history, and serves as an editor for Global Food History Journal. She has been a co-recipient of several grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, among other organizations.

The webinar will be conducted using the online Zoom webinar platform. Access information and additional instructions on using the Zoom platform will be provided via email upon successful registration. This webinar is open to all members of the BU community including alumni, students, faculty, and staff.

The Belt Road and Beyond: State-Mobilized Globalization in China, 1998-2018

The BU Center for the Study of Asia is pleased to present
A Conversation with BU Professor of International Relations Min Ye on her new book
The Belt Road and Beyond: State-Mobilized Globalization in China, 1998-2018 (Cambridge University Press, 2020)
Hosted by Professor Grant Rhode (BUCSA and US Naval War College)


Tune in to this superb analysis of the Belt and Road Initiative by Pardee School Associate Professor Min Ye!  Her recent research has focused on the historic precedents for the BRI within China, and the complex interplay of Chinese party, state, and local actors in implementing the BRI vision.  Her resulting book The Belt Road and Beyond: State-Mobilized Globalization in China, 1998-2018, documents her often surprising findings with a focus on Chinese domestic aspects of the BRI, in contrast to the many studies focusing on BRI's international impacts.  In this interview, conducted by BUCSA associate Grant Rhode, Professor Ye discusses what she has found out through her research during the past six years, and also includes comments on the impact of the current COVID crisis and implications for the future of the BRI.

BUCSA Forum 2020 was created by the Boston University Center for the Study of Asia as an engaging online platform for the presentation and discussion of materials related Asian culture, politics and society.




Min Ye is the author of The Belt, Road and Beyond: State-Mobilized Globalization in China 1998-2018 (Cambridge University Press 2020), Diasporas and Foreign Direct Investment in China and India (Cambridge University Press 2014), and the Making of Northeast Asia (with Kent Calder, Stanford University Press, 2020). Her articles, “Fragmentation and Mobilization: Domestic Politics of China’s Belt and Road”, “Competing Cooperation in Asia Pacific: TPP, RCEP, and the New Silk Road”, and “Conditions and Utility of Diffusion by Diasporas” have appeared in Journal of Contemporary China, Journal of Journal Asian Studies, and Journal of East Asian Studies.

Ye was the director of East Asian Studies program from 2010 to 2014 and launched the new major in Asian Studies at Boston University. She also served as a visiting scholar at Fudan University, Zhejiang University, and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in China, as well as Rajiv Gandhi Foundation in India, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the National University of Singapore. Ye has consulted Chinese state-owned companies and private companies on outbound investment. In addition, she served as the Pardee School Director of Undergraduate Studies from 2017 to 2019.

Ye has received grants and fellowships in the U.S and Asia, including a Smith Richardson Foundation grant (2016-2018), East Asia Peace, Prosperity, and Governance fellowship (2013), Princeton-Harvard China and the World Program postdoctoral fellowship (2009-2010), Millennium Education Scholarship in Japan (2006), and the Rosenberg Scholarship at Suffolk University (2020). In 2014-2016, the National Committee on the U.S-China Relations selects Min Ye as a Public Intellectual Program fellow.

Grant F. RHODE (e-mail: gfrhode@bu.edu) teaches and researches at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University and at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. He is Associate in Research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University and Faculty Affiliate of the China Maritime Studies

Institute of the U.S. Naval War College. He has been a Visiting Scholar in Taiwan at both National Chengchi University and National Taiwan University. He completed graduate work in Chinese studies at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge and holds MALD and PhD degrees in International Relations and Asian Diplomatic History from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Dr. Rhode’s current research focuses on China’s role in historical and contemporary Eurasian maritime affairs. On the historical front, he is writing a book on Eurasian Maritime History for Global Strategists: Great Power Clashes along the Maritime Silk Road. On the contemporary front, Dr. Rhode helps lead Boston University’s conversations on China’s Belt and Road Initiative, including conferences at the Pardee School By Land and By Sea: China’s Belt and Road in Europe (2019) and Assessing China’s Signature Foreign Policy: the Expanding Belt and Road Initiative (2020).

BUCSA Asia Forum, an online dialogue on Asian affairs

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 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 timely subjects. 

Watch this space for links to these important and engaging discussions, and links
to the recorded versions of past presentations!

Rethinking Kyoto Tourism:

A Discussion with Dr. Jennifer Prough (Valparaiso University)

Discussant: Prof. Alice Tseng (Dept. of History of Art and Architecture, Boston University)

April 2, 2020

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

with Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

April 27, 2020

A Conversation with BU Professor of International Relations Min Ye on her new book

The Belt Road and Beyond: State-Mobilized Globalization in China, 1998-2018 (Cambridge University Press, 2020).
Hosted by Professor Grant Rhode

US-China Cyber Conflicts: TikTok, WeChat, and Sino-American Relations Today

A Conversation with Min Ye,  Lei Guo, and Jack Weinstein
Moderator: Prof. James Katz (College of Communication, BU)

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Learning from Past Pandemic Governance: Early Response and PPPs in Testing of COVID-19 in South Korea

with June Park (George Washington University)

Thursday, October 20, 2020

China and the Second World War: Family Stories from Boston University

with Willis Wang, Esther Hu, Wen-Hao Tien, and David Li

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Super Continent: The Logic of Eurasian Integration, with Kent Calder

Discussant: Min Ye (Boston University)

Moderator: William Grimes (Boston University)

Friday, December 4, 2020

The Promise and Perils of Chinese Democracy: Hong Kong and Taiwan

With David Zweig (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Margaret Lewis (Seton Hall University)

Discussant: Joseph Fewsmith

Friday, December 11, 2020

Manifest Density : Land Reclamation and Casino Culture in Macau, with Prof. Thomas Daniell, Dept. of Architecture and Architectural Engineering, Kyoto University

Asian Cultural Heritage Forum Lecture
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021

In the series Assessing China's Belt and Road Initiative:

STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS: US-China Strategic Competition and the BRI
with Prof. Min Ye and discussant Prof.  Joshua Shifrinson (both of the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University)

Friday, February 19, 2021


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

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.


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.