Category Archives: China & East Asia

Robin Hemley, July 22, 2014

Hemely pic 2“Exporting American Universities, MOOC’s and Yale in Singapore”

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Exporting American universities—including the University of Iowa and others through MOOC’s—holds considerable fascination today. Robin Hemley will talk about his newest employer, Yale—NUS, Singapore’s first liberal arts college. He will share his thoughts and experiences with this new and exciting venture.

Robin Hemley holds a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from Indiana University in 1980, and subsequently earned a MFA in fiction in 1982.   Hemley is the recipient of Guggenheim Fellowship and others from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Ohioana Library Association, and the Washington State Arts Council. Beginning in 2004, Hemley served as the director of the Non-fiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Many of Hemley’s works have been published domestically and overseas, and has been included in publications including The New York Times, Orion, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, and New York Magazine. Most recently, Hemley lives in Singapore and serves as the Director of the Writer’s Centre at Yale University Singapore.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, China & East Asia, Education, Past Events, Summer 2014

Maureen “Micki” McCue, December 5, 2013

mccue_maureen_4x5“Health and Human Rights in the Shadow of Fukushima”

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The triple disaster at Fukushima did not have a simple beginning, middle or end.  Tensions, misunderstandings, and lack of consensus between political, economic, scientific, and social interests began long before the disaster and continue unabated almost 3 years later.  Populations in, around and far beyond Fukushima continue to struggle for resolution and understanding balanced between belief and fear, suspicion and science.  Using the frame of health and human rights, this presentation explores the boundaries of medical science and social responsibility as circumstances unfold for Japan and the world within an increasingly unstable climate and degraded global environment.

Dr. Maureen McCue is a founding member, faculty, and former director of the University of Iowa Global Health Studies Program as well as a founding board member for the UI Center for Human Rights.  As Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Colleges of Public Health and of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Dr. McCue has been teaching Health and Human Rights courses since 1997.  Before coming to Iowa, she worked as a primary care provider with marginalized communities and has worked for a local women’s clinic for the last 16 years.  She has coordinated the Iowa Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility for the last 10 years.  Dr. McCue has traveled, consulted, and worked extensively as a peace maker, researcher, and physician.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Economics, Environmental Issues, Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Health & Medicine, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events

Jim Leach, October 24, 2013

1267“What is Old, New, and Unprecedented in America’s Relationships with the World”

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Jim Leach will address the United States’ relationships with key countries in the context of a global setting in which weapons of mass destruction have proliferated and terrorism has been globalized. Such countries include: Syria, Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea. He will conclude by emphasizing the role of the United Nations and of diplomacy in general.

Following a thirty-five year Congressional career, Jim has been very active. Since leaving Congress, he has taught at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and at Princeton. He served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities from 2009 until earlier this year.  This fall, Leach, 70, has returned to Iowa. He has joined the faculty as a visiting professor in the UI College of Law as the University of Iowa Chair in Public Affairs. He will work with the UI Center for Human Rights, advise law students, and help secure field placements in Washington, D.C. He also drives a black and gold Mini Cooper, which he’s owned for several years, proving his Hawkeye bona fides pre-dates his membership on the UI faculty.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2013, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, The Middle East, U.S. Foreign Policy, War & Conflict

Peter Gries, October 17, 2013

Picture1“Hollywood in China: How American Culture Shapes Chinese Views of the USA”

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If America is the world’s largest exporter of culture, China is certainly the world’s largest importer. Peter Gries will discuss the role of popular culture in improving attitudes toward America in China and increasing the desire for friendlier US policy.

Peter Gries is a professor at the Institute for US-China Issues at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of China’s New Nationalism: Pride, Politics, and Diplomacy, co-editor of Chinese Politics: State, Society and the Market and State and Society in 21st-Century China: Crisis, Contention, and Legitimation, and has written dozens of academic journal articles and book chapters. His work focuses on nationalism, the political psychology of international affairs, and China’s domestic politics and foreign policy.

Peter received a BA in East Asian Studies from Middlebury College, an MA in Chinese Studies from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Mershon Center for Security Studies at Ohio State University. He directs a research lab on the political psychology of US-China relations.

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Filed under Arts & Culture, China & East Asia, Fall 2013, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Zeyar Lynn, October 9, 2013

1256“Myanmar and China Since 2011”

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The relationship between China and Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) has traditionally been quite close. The two countries share a long border and trade extensively with one another.  In 2011, Myanmar began a series of democratic reforms. Zeyar Lynn will discuss the evolving relationship between Myanmar and China since these reforms began.

Zeyar Lynn is a poet, writer, and translator widely regarded as the most influential living poet in Myanmar. He is the author of seven poetry collections, including Distinguishing Features (2006), Real/Life: Prose Poems (2009) and Kilimanjaro (2010). He has translated John Ashbery, Charles Bernstein, Donald Justice, Sylvia Plath, Wisława Szymborska and Tomas Tranströmer, as well as many Chinese, Japanese, Australian, East European and Russian poets. Since 2005 he has organized and hosted the annual UNESCO World Poetry Day event in Yangon. He is also one of the editors of the quarterly Poetry World. He teaches English at a specialized language school.

Zeyar is visiting Iowa City under the aegis of the International Writing Program. He is one of about thirty IWP residents visiting Iowa this year.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2013, Governance Issues, Past Events

Prof. Lyombe Eko, October 2, 2013

Eko pix“Google This: The Great Firewall of China”

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Google and other American global information technology companies are caught between two worlds. They are tethered to their American umbilical cords-networks, servers, business models, and legal frameworks-and yet have to live with the realities of lucrative markets like China, whose culture of freedom of expression differs from that of the United States. Google has had to live with China’s elaborate system of Internet censorship- the so-called “Great Firewall of China.”

Lyombe Eko is associate professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is also co-Director of the African Studies Program. He teaches courses in media law and ethics, comparative and international communication. He has published two books: Case Studies in Comparative Communication Law and Policy (2012); and American Exceptionalism, The French Exception and Digital Media Law (2013). He has also published numerous articles in law review and refereed international communication journals.

Prof. Eko recommends these short documentaries if you’re more interested the topic:

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Filed under Business, China & East Asia, Fall 2013, Humanitarian Issues, Past Events, Technology

Dean Sarah Gardial, July 18, 2013

sarah_gardial headshot“Developing a Global Mindset: Successes and Opportunities at the UI Tippie College of Business”

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More than ever before, today’s business students are graduating into a global economy. In addition to the challenges of technology and the global movement of goods and services, students must also be able to work – sometimes virtually, sometimes face-to-face – with persons from a variety of cultures, languages, and political/economic systems. What are the skills required for business students to be successful in such an environment? Learn how the UI Tippie College of Business is addressing these needs, both now and in the future.

Dean Gardial, a native of Hot Springs, Ark., earned a BS in Business Administration and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Arkansas. She earned a PhD in Marketing from the University of Houston.

Gardial Bike cropped

Dean Gardial is trying to instill in her students a global mindset. Twenty-two percent of the UI Tippie College of Business undergraduate students are from non-U.S. countries, with most from China, Malaysia, and India. Such international students clearly benefit from education and immersion in U.S. culture, but she is trying to help U.S. students benefit from international students as well. Dean Sarah Gardial enjoys her free time. She is a huge rock ‘n’ roll fan; some of her favorite singers are Joan Jett and Stevie Nicks. She was once lead singer of a rock ‘n’ roll outfit, Air Supply Chain.  She also loves to explore new parts of the country on her motorcycle.

Check out some additional information on Dean Gardial:

“A Closer Look: Sarah Gardial”

“Tippie Appoints First Female Dean”

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Filed under Business, China & East Asia, Economics, Education, Past Events, Summer 2013

Prof. Jeongsik Ko, June 20, 2013

Ko Photo“The Implications of North Korea’s Strengthening Economic Ties with China”

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North Korea is a mysterious, occasionally threatening country to the outside world, to its neighbors and even to its primary economic supporter, China. The extent of China’s support for North Korea and the cause of North Korea’s dependence on China will be reviewed. The effectiveness of economic sanctions led by South Korea, Japan and the United States for resolving the nuclear threats will be discussed.

Fittingly, in this photo, Professor Jeongsik Ko is shown near the border between South and North Korea. In the course of his academic and trade studies he has visited North Korea several times. Professor Ko is a veteran negotiator for the singular Kaesong Industrial Zone, a North Korean border city where more than 125 South Korean companies employ over 55,000 North Koreans.

In addition to his faculty position at Pai Chai University in Daejeon, South Korea, Dr. Ko is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Iowa’s Center for Asia and Pacific Studies. He has enjoyed serving in a number of economic and trade associations within China and Korea and previously served within the Korean Ministry of Unification.  He has published several books and papers on the Chinese economic system, foreign investment and commerce’s role to resolve conflicts. He first came to Iowa twenty-two years ago and we are pleased to welcome his presentation.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Economics, Past Events, Summer 2013

Prof. Wenfang Tang & Prof. Brian Lai, December 4, 2012

“China’s Leadership Transition”

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The world has been watching with interest the recent 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) because it will bring in a new generation of leaders who will likely rule the world’s second largest economy, the most populous country, and the largest authoritarian state for the next 10 years. Professors Wenfang Tang and Brian Lai will discuss the leadership transition in China and its significance for US-China relations.

Wenfang Tang

Wenfang Tang is the Stanley Hua Hsia Professor of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Iowa. His current research focuses on public opinion and political change in contemporary China, as well as comparative political behavior. He has authored and coauthored several books published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Stanford University Press, and many articles in academic journals including American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Public Policy, China Quarterly, and Journal of Contemporary China, among others.

Brian Lai

Brian Lai, also from the University of Iowa’s Political Science Department, is an  Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies. His areas of emphasis are International Relations, American Foreign Policy, Terrorism and Conflict Processes.  He has contributed articles to academic journals including, Conflict Management and Peace Science, American Journal of Political Science and Journal of Conflict Resolution.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Fall 2012, Governance Issues, Past Events, U.S. Foreign Policy

Sally Mason, August 28, 2012

Sally Mason President of the University of Iowa Studio portrait“The University of Iowa as a Global Institution”

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President Mason, fresh from a UI recruitment trip to several cities in China and Taiwan, lectured the audience on the importance of expanding international ties between students and universities – as well as how much the UI has done in that arena.”International education and the internationalization of our students remains a core focus of the globalization of our campus,” Mason said, highlighting the UI’s Hong Kong MBA program as well as the growing number of international undergraduates attending school at Iowa.At the same time, more and more Iowa students are studying overseas. As Mason pointed out, the share of Iowa undergrads who have done so is nearing 20%.”We think it’s important to encourage our students to study languages, cultures, and histories of other peoples around the world,” Mason said. “We also think it’s important obviously to learn in diverse environments. Interacting with people, cultures, and ideas that are different than their own has been a strong foundational approach we have in the curriculum that we try to deliver.”

Mason highlighted alumni connections during her lecture, pointing out the many successful government officials, business leaders, and journalists living and working in Asia who have graduated from Iowa.


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Filed under China & East Asia, Education, Fall 2012, Past Events

Rubie Watson, February 16, 2012

“Effects of Low Fertility Rates in East Asia”

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Dr. Rubie Watson attended the University of Iowa in the 1960s, received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the London School of Economics, and has taught anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard University. Her research interests include gender, family organization, and memory and history with a focus on China. She is recently retired from Harvard University where she was Director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and now lives in western Illinois.

Dr. Watson will address the four East Asian societies (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong) that lead the world in low fertility and the reasons behind these population declines as well as the social, economic, and political implications of low fertility.

Dr. Watson’s publications include several articles and a book entitled Inequality Among Brothers: Class and Kinship in South China (1985). She is editor of Memory, History, and Opposition under State Socialism (1994), and with James L. Watson co-authored Village Life in Hong Kong (2004). She is currently working on two projects: a book manuscript tentatively entitled “British Colonial Rule in Rural Hong Kong” and a research project focused on Hong Kong’s fertility decline.

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Filed under China & East Asia, Past Events, Spring 2012