Recent News

In October, Professor Zev Handel was invited to Seoul to deliver the 71st Societas Koreana Lecture, titled "The Hidden Influence of Chinese Characters and Words on Korean Vocabulary and Writing". This non-technical talk was presented to an audience of foreign diplomats, educators and business leaders. Four doctoral graduates of our department, Sun-Mi Kim, Jung-Im Chang, Jeongsoo Shin, and Wook-Jin Jeong, were in attendance. Dr. Kim was the moderator who introduced Professor Handel. The hour-long talk is geared to a general audience.
"Mobilizing Krishna's World" by Heidi R. M. Pauwels, published by the University of Washington Press
Mobilizing Krishna's World by Heidi R. M. Pauwels, professor of Asian languages and literature at the University of Washington, was published by University of Washington Press. Here are excerpts from the publisher's description: Savant Singh (1694-1764), the Rajput prince of Kishangarh-Rupnagar, is famous for commissioning beautiful works of miniature painting and composing devotional (bhakti) poetry to Krishna under the nom de plume Nagaridas. After his throne was usurped by his younger brother, while Savant Singh was on the road seeking military alliances to regain his kingdom, he... Continue reading
Memory Construction and Emotion in India, Past and Present
On September 15-6, Prof. Heidi Pauwels organized an international symposium on “Memory Construction and Emotion in India, Past and Present,” as part of an ongoing interdisciplinary effort to understand how Hindu, Muslim, and Jain cultural self-understandings were shaped in India’s past and how that relates to the present. An international team of scholars presented their work on the processes involved in memory construction and the formation of emotional regimes as expressed in early vernacular literatures in India. Special focus was on contextualizing the use of Old Hindi for the first time... Continue reading
Ms. ​Kima Hotta performed a dramatic recitation of excerpts from the medieval Japanese martial epic​​ "The Tale of the Heike​" before an audience of more than 200 people at the University of Washington, Seattle, ​on ​Oct​ober​ 25, 2017​.​ Kima Hotta is an accomplished dramatic reciter of Japanese literary texts and leader of Rodoku Network Japan. Since 2003, Ms. Hotta has devoted her efforts to the preservation of the beauty of the Japanese language through dramatic recitations of classic and modern Japanese literary works, and has performed throughout Japan and California. This ​wa​s her... Continue reading
Thai temple in Phuket
The members of the Department of Asian Languages and Literature regret to announce that we will suspend instruction in Thai. In order to accommodate students previously enrolled in First-Year Thai, we are offering Second-Year Thai only during AY 2017-18.  Further courses in Thai will not be offered after Spring 2018, and we do not anticipate reviving the curriculum in the near future. This decision was not taken lightly, as we have offered instruction in Thai for the past fifty years.  It was necessitated by an austere budget outlook and justified by low enrollments and a paucity of UW... Continue reading
Indonesia: Past, Present, and Future flyer
October 10th 2017, Odegaard Library 220, UW Seattle, 10 AM – 3:30 pm For the second year in a row, the Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in San Francisco has partnered with the Southeast Asia Center’s Language Coordinator and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature, Pauli Sandjaja, to present a one-day symposium on topics that cut across regional boundaries and affect broad communities. This year’s symposium brings together scholars working across many disciplines to share their research about “Indonesia: Past, Present, and Future.” Registration and... Continue reading
A growing number of students are majoring in an Asian language and pursuing a career in the health sciences.
As an undergraduate, Bang Zheng spent his nights doing what most future medical students do: running through flashcards, memorizing new and unfamiliar terms, learning to diagnose and navigate complex systems one part at a time. Only Bang wasn’t learning the clinical features of tuberous sclerosis or a slew of anatomical terminology. Bang was studying Japanese Kanji, the logographic characters that form part of the Japanese writing system. “Every day I would set apart a few hours for science and Japanese classes,” Bang said. “I would probably study about five hours a day while alternating... Continue reading
Carol Salomon interviewing a Baul guru in Bangladesh
At the time of her passing in March 2009, former Asian Languages and Literature faculty member Carol Goldberg Salomon had been working for many years on an annotated translation of the songs of Lālan Sai, the renowned Baul poet who lived in what is now Bangladesh in the late nineteenth century. The Bauls are the modern inheritors of the centuries-old syncretic tradition of Bengali mysticism, incorporating and combining elements of tantric spiritual practice from Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic traditions. Carol’s work involved examining the surviving manuscripts of the songs, attending and... Continue reading
Hirokazu Koreeda visited the University of Washington in May
On May 18, critically acclaimed film director Hirokazu Koreeda and Davinder Bhowmik, professor of Japanese literature, spoke before an audience of nearly 100 in the Walker-Ames Room about the director’s prior films and the US debut of his film, “After the Storm,” screened to capacity crowds in the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival.  Koreeda, who had originally planned to become a novelist, began his career as an assistant director of television documentaries. He eventually went on to direct feature films in which his penchant for documentary style is evident.  Known for films such as “... Continue reading
UW Fulbright Scholars, 2017-18
Of the 11 University of Washington students to receive the Fulbright Scholarship in 2017-2018, two come from the Department of Asian Languages & Literature. Benjamin Lee (’15, Chinese) and Christopher Diamond (current graduate student in South Asian Languages & Literature) both received the prestigious award to pursue research projects overseas. Administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the Department of State, the Fulbright Scholarship provides resources for students to pursue graduate study, advanced research, and teaching opportunities abroad. Benjamin and... Continue reading