Click the titles to read the full stories.
Professor William G. Boltz has been named as Chairman of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature. This is the second term of service for Professor Boltz, who served as Chairman from 2000 to 2005. Professor Boltz is a renowned scholar of Classical Chinese, with research interests in such areas as philology, textual criticism, mythology, and the origins of Chinese writing.
AL&L is pleased to play a role in the new Confucius Institute of the State of Washington (CI-WA), which was formally established in April. The State of Washington’s Institute joins the ranks of more than 250 Confucius Institutes around the world and is the product of four years of planning and collaboration among the State of Washington, public school systems and colleges across the state, and Hanban, a non-profit organization affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education.
At the end of Spring Quarter, Michael Shapiro completes his five-year term as Chair of Asian L&L and returns to the faculty, where he will be teaching courses in South Asian languages and literature. In the following article, which was printed earlier this year in the East Asia Center’s newsletter, he reflects upon changes that have taken place during the forty years he has been at the UW concerning the teaching of Asian languages and literature.
Refinements in the Sichuan Language Exchange Program, inaugurated last year, and the ongoing Exploration Seminars to China promise increased fluency and greater potential for deeper cultural exchange. Thanks to the commitment of Prof. Zev Handel and Instructor Yu Liping, in addition to increased language fluency, students will be afforded greater opportunities to deepen their understanding of and connections with China.
This Autumn, the Department will be welcoming to its faculty Dr. Heekyoung Cho in the capacity of Assistant Professor of Korean. Dr. Cho has spent this past academic year at Yale on a postdoctoral fellowship. She recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago, writing a dissertation on the translation and adaptation of Russian literature in early twentieth-century Korea. At the UW, Dr. Cho will be teaching courses in Korean literature, culture, film, and language.
This Spring, two scholars from Tokyo provided students with firsthand experience of the performance of classical literary forms. Professors Nobuyuki Kanechiku of the Faculty of Letters at Waseda University and Kiyoe Sakamoto of the Department of Japanese at Japan Women’s University, who were sponsored through the Visiting Japanese Scholar program, lent their expertise to help both graduate and undergraduate students develop a greater understanding of waka poetry and jōruri recitation styles.
Prof. Zev Handel’s new book, Old Chinese Medials and their Sino-Tibetan Origins (Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica, 2010) traces the development of pronunciation from Old Chinese and other even earlier languages into their modern Chinese counterparts. Old Chinese is the name given by linguists to the spoken language underlying the Confucian classics and prevalent in the first millennium BCE. This language is ancestral to the Chinese languages (such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Shanghainese) spoken today, much as Latin is ancestral to the modern Romance languages (such as French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese).
Prof. Ted Mack's monograph, Manufacturing Modern Japanese Literature, is scheduled to be released in August by Duke University Press. Mack examines the role of Japan’s publishing industry in defining modern Japanese literature.
This past year, the Department sponsored more talks, symposia, and the like than it has done in any past year. The following is a partial list of the many presentations that took place in Spring Quarter alone.
The Departments annual Graduation and Awards Convocation was held on Friday, June 11th. This year four students received or expected to receive the Ph.D., five recipients of the MA, three admitted into candidacy for the Ph.D, and 53 received their B.A. degrees. In addition, several awards were made to undergraduate and graduate students for excellence in the study of Asian languages and literature.
The Department of Asian Languages and Literature is deeply appreciative of the support it has received from alumni, faculty members, and friends over the past two years.