2016 IEAS News

Mongolia Initiative at UC Berkeley

With a generous gift from the government of Mongolia, UC Berkeley and the Institute of East Asian Studies are delighted to announce the establishment of the Mongolia Initiative. Under the Institute of East Asian Studies, the Mongolia Initiative will bring together UC Berkeley's diverse resources related to Mongolia. Mongolia is now being taught on campus for the first time in many years, the first Visiting Scholar has been selected, the library acquisitioogram is being expanded, and plans are underway for future courses and conferences on Mongolia.

The Mongolia Initiative Committee, comprised of UC Berkeley faculty, directs the agenda of the Initiative. Current committee members include Patricia Berger and Uranchimeg Tsultem (History of Art), Jacob Dalton and Brian Baumann (East Asian Languages and Cultures), and Sanjyot Mehendale (Silk Road Initiative Director and Vice-Chair of the Center for Buddhist Studies).

UC Berkeley has also secured funding from the U.S. Department of Education to begin teaching elementary Mongolian during the 2015-16 academic year and beyond. This National Resource Center grant recognizes UC Berkeley as a national leader for teaching and research on East Asia, including Mongolia. It funds the teaching of lesser-taught world languages, in particular Mongolian, which has been designated a critical language by the United States government.

The grant has also enabled new research activities at IEAS on Mongolia through 2018. An annual program comprising a major conference, lectures, and workshops is planned. Library acquisitions and cataloguing are a priority. Visiting scholars and student fellowships for Mongolian studies will further enrich the campus life and contribute to UC Berkeley’s vibrant Asian studies community.

The three-way partnership between U.C. Berkeley, the U.S. Department of Education and the Mongolian government is enabling not only a restoration of Mongolian studies at UC Berkeley, but will place Berkeley in a leadership role among world universities in advancing teaching and research on Mongolia. Ultimately it is hoped that Mongolian studies can be placed on the same permanent footing at Berkeley as that of other regions by establishing a permanent Center for Mongolian Studies at Berkeley that addresses both the historical and contemporary place of Mongolia in the world.

Announcing graduate student funding for Mongolia-related topics

As part of its Mongolia Initiative, IEAS has put aside special funding for graduate student research proposals that incorporate Mongolia-related topics. Students should apply for this funding through the regular competition for continuing students.  These same rules and application procedures should be followed for the special Mongolian funding.

IEAS offering Taiwan teaching opportunities in 2016 for UC Berkeley faculty ladder-rank faculty in East Asian studies

As part of its 6-year “Top University Strategic Alliance” (TUSA) agreement with the Taiwan Ministry of Education and a consortium of twelve Taiwan universities, the Institute of East Asian Studies (IEAS) is pleased to offer additional short-term teaching opportunities in Taiwan for UC Berkeley ladder rank faculty during calendar year 2016. Applications can be accepted for stays in Taiwan during the spring or summer months of 2016, the fall term, or during December 2016. No funding is available for stays that continue into 2017.

Berkeley faculty members in any field of East Asian or Buddhist studies are invited to apply for funds to teach at Alliance universities in Taiwan, from three weeks to one full term. Three positions are available for calendar year 2016. Under the terms of the TUSA agreement, the selected Berkeley faculty members will be provided air transportation, lodging, meals and a stipend (details below). Courses may take place at any of the following Alliance universities:

  • Chang Gung University
  • National Central University
  • National Cheng Chi University
  • National Cheng Kung University
  • National Chiao Tung University
  • National Chung Hsing University
  • National Sun Yat-sen University
  • National Taiwan Normal University
  • National Taiwan University
  • National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • National Tsing Hua University
  • National Yang Ming University

Berkeley faculty will either teach individual short-term courses, or will co-teach a significant portion of existing courses with their Taiwan colleagues. Most visits will last 3-4 weeks and instruction may take place either in Chinese or English, depending on mutual arrangements made with local universities.

Aihwa Ong Named Chair of the Group in Asian Studies

We are pleased to announce that Aihwa Ong — Professor and the Robert H. Lowie Distinguished Chair in Anthropology — has been named chair of the Group in Asian Studies. Professor Ong's research interests have always dealt with the particular entanglements of politics, technology, and culture that co-constitute changing societies on the Asia Pacific rim. Currently, her work focuses on modes of governing, biomedical science, and contemporary art in diverse Asian contexts. Her field research shifts between sites in Southeast Asia, China, and the United States in order to track emerging global centers of cosmopolitan science and art experiments that shape East Asian modernity.

As a foreign-born anthropologist, Aihwa Ong's angle of inquiry unsettles and troubles stabilized viewpoints and units of analysis in the humanities and the social sciences. Her inter-disciplinary approach and ideas — "flexible citizenship," "graduated sovereignty," "global assemblages," among others — are featured in debates on globalization and modernity in the Asia-Pacific.

Professor Ong is the author of Spirits of Resistance and Capitalist Discipline (1986; 2nd ed., 2010); Flexible Citizenship (1999); Buddha is Hiding (2003); and Neoliberalism as Exception (2006). Recent co-edited volumes include Global Assemblages (2005); Asian Biotech (2010); and Worlding Cities (2011). Ong's works have been translated into German, Italian, and Spanish as well as Bahasa-Indonesian, Japanese, and Chinese. Her awards include grants from the MacArthur Foundation and the National Science Foundation, and some book prizes. She has participated in the World Economic Forum and given keynote lectures around the world.

Recent publications include “What Marco Polo Forgot: Asian Art Negotiates the Global,” in Current Anthropology Volume 53, Number 4 (August 2012): 1-24 and a new book drawing on research in Biopolis, Singapore titled Fungible Life: Experiment in the Asian City of Life (Duke University Press, 2016).

The Berkeley APEC Study Center joins IEAS

The Berkeley APEC Study Center (BASC), headed by Professor of Political Science Vinod K. Aggarwal, has joined IEAS as of April, 2016. Created in 1996, BASC conducts multidisciplinary research on political, economic, and business trends in the Asia-Pacific, especially related to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Its primary mission is to produce and disseminate knowledge to decision makers in the public and private spheres to facilitate the creation of mutually beneficial cooperation in the business, academic, and policy-making communities. The center brings together scholars from various departments, institutes, and centers from around the world to foster collaborative research on APEC-related issues. The Center will remain housed in 552 Barrows, but will be collaborating closely with IEAS in planning future conferences and other activities. The IEAS faculty and staff are delighted to welcome BASC and Professor Aggarwal to IEAS!

Read more about BASC here: http://basc.berkeley.edu/.

New online catalogue

We are pleased to announce the launch of our new online catalogue, available here.

Through the site, you can order our softcover books, as well as pdf e-books of newer titles. Choose the bundle of book and e-book for a discount! Chapters of some multiple-contributor volumes are available for sale individually--perfect for course reading.

The site also features:

  • Immediate delivery of pdf e-books
  • Easy international ordering
  • Secure credit card transactions
  • Multiple shipping options
  • Author bios and websites
  • Links to journal reviews
  • Viewable sample pages including table of contents, references, and index

New Video Lecture Series

Professor Cahill's video lecture series Gazing into the Past is now available! Both this series and his first, A Pure and Remote View, are viewable, for free, in HD (1080p). These lectures by UC Berkeley Professor Emeritus James Cahill are a legacy of his life's work in the history of the visual arts of China. They include Cahill's stimulating commentary and thousands of high-resolution images of paintings with close-in details.