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Recent News

Sendai after the earthquake, tsunami flooding, and nuclear disaster
August 21, 2020
In autumn 2019, students of Professor Justin Jesty's JAPAN 431 class decided to put their language skills to work by translating personal accounts of the March 11, 2011 triple disasters in Sendai, Japan into English. The Center for Remembering 3.11 has been collecting photos and personal stories from those affected by the massive earthquake, tsunami, and major nuclear accident from that day. The students collaborated in translating these testimonies,... Read more
Photo of Chair Zev Handel, teaching in a class.
August 19, 2020
Note: Zev Handel's five-year term as chair of AL&L began on July 1, 2020. He is Professor of Chinese Linguistics in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature, specializing in the study of the history of the Chinese language and East Asian writing systems. Professor Handel joined the faculty in 1999 after receiving his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley. A native of Boston, he now lives in Seattle with his wife and son. Dear Alumni and Friends, The... Read more
Picture of George Takahashi.
August 19, 2020
The Department of Asian Languages and Literature is pleased to announce the newly created George Takahashi Endowed Fellowship in Japanese Studies. Mr. Takahashi’s generous donation of $500,000 will aid graduate students in the Japanese language and literature program for many years to come. For Mr. Takahashi, appreciation for Japanese language teaching is deeply personal. He taught Japanese for many years at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is passionate about the importance of... Read more
Screenshot of Professor Kaoru Ohta teaching his Japanese class online via Zoom.
August 19, 2020
Following the spread of COVID-19 and the resulting global health crisis, the Department of Asian Languages and Literature moved all classes to a remote format starting at the beginning of March. On March 9, the University of Washington officially declared that all classes and exams would no longer be held in person. With this change, our faculty, teaching assistants, and students alike had to suddenly step up and meet an unprecedented challenge—both pedagogically and logistically. While many... Read more
Professor Handel smiling
August 12, 2020
The Department of Asian Languages and Literature is delighted to welcome our new chair, Professor Zev Handel. In the excerpt below, Professor Handel shares more about this transition in his own words. The other day, I was talking with a friend of the department about my taking up the role of chair and stepping into the very large shoes of my predecessor, Paul Atkins. “So what exactly does the chair do?” he asked. The question, so fundamental, nevertheless gave me pause. The chairship is an... Read more
Joe Marino standing in front of tree
August 7, 2020
Professor Joseph Marino was recently interviewed by Shelby House from the South Asia Center. Click the link below to learn more about his views on Sanskrit education at UW and his dedication to Buddhist Studies. 
Great Wall of China
August 5, 2020
You can view most of the essential information such as curriculum, funding, and admissions: The application to apply to the program: look forward to your application! Questions? Contact
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June 4, 2020
The scholarship program is the largest U.S. international exchange opportunity for students to pursue graduate study, advanced research and teaching worldwide.Featured on UW News 
Cover for Professor Salomon’s "Buddhist Literature of Ancient Gandhāra: An Introduction with Selected Translations"
May 29, 2020
Richard G. Salomon, William P. and Ruth Gerberding University Professor Emeritus of Buddhist Studies, was recently awarded the 2020 Khyentse Foundation Prize for Outstanding Buddhist Translation for his book, The Buddhist Literature of Ancient Gandhāra: An Introduction with Selected Translations (Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications, 2018). It also won the Prix de la Fondation Collette Caillat Prize in 2019. This prize is awarded annually... Read more
May 15, 2020
Dr. Chan Lü held an information session on May 14, 2020 about the new UW Chinese Flagship Program. Please watch the video for information on the program and testimonials from alumni about the benefits of Chinese language learning.  Click here to download a PDF of the slides used in the presentation.  Questions about the program can be sent to