off the grid
April 22
Asian Inspiration & Entrepreneurship more info »
Bridging the Pacific bridge and city at night
Ship and skyline
Entering a Japanese temple through round door
riverfront market
Japanese temple on the water
chinese market
Shanghai skyline
Korean women in bright dresses
boat vendors
Airport sign with destinations

2013 Events Archive

Thursday & Friday - April 18-29, 2013 
USF Main Campus, McLaren Center Room 252 
Enter from Golden Gate, Fulton or Parker

The Imperial Court in China, Japan, and Korea: Women, Servants, and the Emperor's Household (1600 to early 1900s)
For complete schedule and details, visit the symposium website.

courtjapanThis symposium will provide a forum for the examination and comparison of the imperial courts and court life in China, Japan, and Korea through the lens of women, servants, and those who managed the households of the Emperor and Empress from the 1600s through early 1900s.  Themes to be discussed include but are not limited to: women, servants, and household managers with a particular focus on aspects of court life, relations of power, issues of gender, cultural identity, art, medicine, and theatre. 

Thursday - April 18, 2013 - 5:15 PM 
USF Main Campus, McLaren Center Room 252 
Enter from Golden Gate, Fulton or Parker

Domestic Diplomacy: the Empress Dowager Cixi, Sarah Pike Conger, and the Chinese Butler Who Brought Them Together
A talk by Grant Hayter-MenziesAuthor, The Empress and Mrs Conger: The Uncommon Friendship of Two Women and Two Worlds

congerMiddle-aged Iowan Sarah Conger came to China in 1898 as the wife of the American ambassador, knowing nothing of China's people or its culture, its temples or its halls of power. Yet in 1902, a survivor of the Boxer Uprising in Beijing, she joined hands in friendship with the former concubine and legendary tyrant Empress Dowager Cixi, blamed for the Uprising and still considered, as then, one of China's worst rulers.

When Sarah left for America three years later, she did so as one of China's and Cixi's most sympathetic defenders, bringing to its women and to the Empress Dowager forbidden foreign aspirations toward education, autonomy and international sisterhood. Together, Sarah and Cixi formed a bridge between cultures in the face of criticism, warfare, and the fractious politics of the men who tried to control them. Yet they may never have reached out to one another at all but for a humble man named Wang, the sensitive and loyal Chinese butler at the American Legation, and a teenaged Manchu girl named Der Ling, Paris-educated translator at the court of the Empress Dowager.

In his keynote address, "Domestic Diplomacy" given as part of the "Imperial Court  in China, Japan, and Korea" symposium on April 18 and 19, Grant Hayter-Menzies, biographer of Sarah Conger and Princess Der Ling, will speak not just about the controversial relationship of the Empress Dowager and Mrs. Conger but about how a butler and a lady-in-waiting were uniquely qualified to prepare each woman for a friendship that would shock both Chinese and Americans of the day but which bears in our era the hallmark of modern diplomacy.

Tuesday - March 26, 2013 - 5:45 PM 
USF Main Campus, McLaren Center Room 250 
Enter from Golden Gate, Fulton or Parker

China's Terracotta Warriors:  The First Emperor's Legacy
At talk by Michael Knight, Ph.D., Senior Curator of Chinese Art, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

terraThe Center is pleased to host Michael Knight, Senior Curator of Chinese Art at the Asian Art Museum, for an illustrated talk on the museum's current exhibit, "China's Terracotta Warriors:  The First Emperor's Legacy (Feb. 22 - May 27, 2013). Along with more than 100 rare artifacts unearthed from the tomb of China's First Emperor, the Asian Art Museum presents some of the finest generals, archers, and infantrymen from the life-sized terracotta army.  The exhibition paints the backdrop for the warriors' creation:  the First Emperor's rise to power, his quest for immortality, and his complex legacy.  Dr. Knight will present us with a survey of the objects in the exhibition and discuss some of the themes that are explored.

Tuesday - March 5, 2013 - 5:45 PM 
USF Main Campus, Fromm Hall, Berman Room
Enter from Parker Street between Golden Gate & Fulton

A Hundred Flowers: Reading and Book Signing with Bay Area Author Gail Tsukiyama

gailIn her new novel, A Hundred Flowers (2012), local author Gail Tsukiyama presents her readers with an ordinary family facing extraordinary times during the early years of the Cultural Revolution in China. Join us for a book reading and signing where she will speak about the new book, her writing process and provide details about the how and why the book came to be.  Her prior novels include Women of the Silk (1991), The Samurai's Garden (1995), Night of Many Dreams (1998), The Language of Threads (1999), Dreaming Water (2002), and Street of a Thousand Blossoms (2007).  She is the recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award.

Wednesday - February 20, 2013 - 5:45 PM 
USF Lone Mountain Campus, Room 100 
Enter from Turk Street between Chabot and Parker

levineBohemian Buddha: A Colossal Buddha in the Bay Area, 1892
A talk by Dr. Gregory Levine, Associate Professor, Art and Architecture of Japan, and Buddhist Visual Cultures, University of California, Berkeley

In 1892, the San Francisco Bohemian Club held its Midsummer Encampment in what is now Muir Woods. The Club's revels included a "Pageant of the Myriad Leaves" held before a colossal Buddha statue. Gregory Levine will reflect on the statue in relation to white American perceptions of Asia and Buddhism and anti-Chinese xenophobia in late nineteenth-century California.

Tuesday - February 12, 2013 - 5:45 PM 
USF Main Campus, Fromm Hall 
Enter from Parker Street between Golden Gate & Fulton

melodyCelebrating Chinese New Year: A Musical Performance by "Melody of China"

Join us as we celebrate the year of the snake with a musical performance by "Melody of China." Melody of China is a San Francisco based Chinese music ensemble that performs both traditional and contemporary music as well as new commissioned works. Cosponsored by the USF Asian Studies Program, the USF Chinese Studies Program, and the Chinese Historical Society of America.

WATCH THE VIDEO of this event.


Thursday - January 31, 2013 - 5:45 PM 
USF Main Campus, Fromm Hall 
Enter from Parker Street between Golden Gate & Fulton

citiesIn the Shadow of the World Class City
A talk by Dr. Tony Samara, Associate Professor of Sociology, George Mason University

The rapid growth of Shanghai and New Delhi over the past twenty years highlights the promise and peril of urbanization for Asia. Both cities face rising inequality and deepening social conflict, fueled by market-driven development and narrow visions of modernization. Dr. Samara presents a comparative examination of these two mega-cities, revealing important challenges to building sustainable and just cities in Asia and beyond.

WATCH THE VIDEO of this event.