Fall 2015 Event Highlights to Date
The Center kicked off the fall semester with a talk by leading scholar David Kang of the University of Southern California. Dr. Kang discussed the US pivot and regional security in Northeast Asia. Supported by a grant from the Northeast Asia Council Distinguished Speakers Bureau and the Korea Foundation, Dr. Kang argued that despite unresolved disputes – the region is more stable than at any time in the past half-century.
The Center welcomed Dr. Christine Yano, world renowned Hello Kitty expert and curator of the recent and wildly popular Japan American National Museum Hello Kitty exhibition. Dr. Yano analyzed the gendered, sexual, and even political aspects of the beloved figure and the symbolism and globalization of this iconic character throughout Asia and the US.
Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific
On September 29, the Center featured an Indian Kathak dance performance by Antara Bhardwaj and a screening of her documentary film Upaj: Improvise followed by Q&A. Upaj: Improvise follows two dance masters—the late Pandit Chitresh Das, Kathak Indian dance guru, and African-American freestyle tap star Jason Samuels Smith—as they join forces for an East-meets-West artistic collaboration, “India Jazz Suites.” Bridging generations, races, cultures, and artistic styles, the two form a special bond in the quest to preserve their respective dance traditions.
In October, the Center organized a two part graduate student workshop and panel discussion on “leftover women” and issues of gender inequality in China and Japan. Both scholars met and interacted with students from USF and elsewhere during the dinner preceding the program. They then shared their research and insights on the roles and conditions of women in both East Asian societies.
Dr. Fincher highlighted the social and cultural pressure for young men to own property prior to marriage, as well as the legal complications and discriminatory practices towards women regarding joint-ownership of this property. Dr. Holloway discussed her research into child-rearing and motherhood in Japan, using examples ranging from prenatal care to making lunch boxes.
Susan Holloway, Professor, University of California Berkeley; and Leta Hong Fincher, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and author of Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China spoke to a packed audience, addressing the culture and politics of changing demographics related to marriage delay, discrimination in the workplace, and women’s roles in modern society within East Asia. Sponsored in part by a grant from the USF President’s Advisory Committee on the Status of Women.
Leftover Women: Gender Inequality in Contemporary China and Japan