Asian Studies

The University of Alabama

Matsuri at the Mall

This Saturday, April 26, is the annual Matsuri festival at the University Mall (part of the Sakura Festival). Festivities begin at 10 and continue until 3, including music, dancing, and sword and martial arts demonstrations. Student groups including the Nozomi Daiko drummers and the UA Japan Club. The full schedule is available on the Sakura Festival 2014- Matsuri ProgramMatsuri Festival schedule.



Islam as new Asian Studies course

We have added another course, Islam (REL 236) to the Asian Studies course list for Fall 2014. Dr. Eleanor Finnegan will teach the course, including case studies specifically addressing areas within Asia, on Tuesday/Thursday 12:30-1:45. Did you know that approximately half of those who identify as Muslim around the world live in South or Southeast Asia? Check out the full course list.

Asian Studies Awards

At our annual Awards Lecture and Reception, we announced this year’s recipients of the Asian Studies Research Award and Asian Studies Outstanding Student Awards. Miranda Hartley (an Asian Studies minor and Anthropology major) received the research award for her paper “Shamans and Stressors,” and Nicholas Crenshaw received the Outstanding Student Award in acknowledgement of his excellent academic work as an Asian Studies minor, particularly his language work in Japanese. Along with each award, the recipients received a scholarship. Congratulations to both of them!

Dr. Bilwakesh presented his research “W.D. Fard and the Afro-Centric Asian in America” in which he challenged the construction of what counts as Asian and the reluctance to acknowledge the significant connections between immigrants from Asia and African-Americans, particularly in the 1920′s and 1930′s, during the period of the establishment of the Nation of Islam by W.D. Fard and Elijah Muhammad.

Nicholas Crenshaw receiving the Outstanding Student Award

Nicholas Crenshaw receiving the Outstanding Student Award from the Director of Asian Studies, Steven Ramey


Dr. Bilwakesh discussing the potential Asian connections of W. D. Fard

And we had a reception honoring the award winners following the lecture

And we had a reception honoring the award winners following the lecture





Fall 2014 Course List

The list of courses that count towards the Asian Studies minor is now available for Fall 2014. We anticipate adding more courses to the list, so check back for additional offerings.

Please note, two courses that count towards the minor’s introductory requirement (HY 243 and HY 244) have had a course number change. They are now listed as HY 113 (Asian Civilization to 1400) and HY 114 (Asian Civilization since 1400).

Awards Reception and Lecture

The annual Asian Studies Honors Week Lecture and Awards Presentation will be Tuesday, April 1 at 3:30 pm in Woods Hall 115. Dr. Nikhil Bilwakesh (UA English) will present “W.D. Fard and the Afrocentric Asian in America.” He will argue that Fard, via Elijah Muhammad’s writings within the US based Nation of Islam, offers one of the most creative literary negotiations of race and geography in early twentieth-century Asian and Asian-American studies, with a legacy in the work of rap artists like Nas and Rakim. The 2014 Asian Studies Outstanding Student and Research Awards will be presented at the lecture, with a reception following.

Asian Studies Opportunities

Hot off the press. The March edition of Asian Studies Opportunities is now available. (Yes, we know it is still February for a few days.) Check it out, and sign up to receive these Asian Studies newsletters directly.

Lecture on Representations of Asia March 4

Richard King, Professor of Buddhist and Asian Studies at the University of Kent, will present “From Mysticism to Spirituality: Colonial Legacies and the Reformulation of ‘the Mystic East’” on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in the Department of Religious Studies Aronov Lecture. The lecture is at 7:00 in 205 Gorgas Library. For more information, go to the Religious Studies Events page.

Asian Studies Research Award

Working on that end of semester paper or creative project about Asian? Submit it next semester for the 2014 Asian Studies Research Award, which includes a $150 monetary award. The award is open to all UA undergraduates and submissions are due February 10.

The 2014 Asian Studies Research Award is given to the UA undergraduate whose research or creative project related to Asia is selected by a faculty committee. Submissions must have a substantial engagement with an aspect of Asia. All students are also encouraged to submit projects to present at the UA Undergraduate Research Symposium in the spring.

Submit the paper or project by February 10, 2014, to All submissions must include a cover page with name, CWID, email address, and a 3-4 sentence summary of the paper or project. For creative projects that are not in a paper format, students should submit a 1-2 page description of the project and its academic basis along with appropriate documentation (e.g., photos, video, audio files). The Research Award and the Asian Studies Outstanding Student Award will both be presented in an event around Honors Week in April. (flyer)


Are you interested in Korea or International Business?

The Critical Languages Center is hosting a special lecture


Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013 at 6:30-7:30 p.m. in 30 Alston Hall


Japanese Films

Join Dr. Kazumi Hasegawa in the Department of History for a series of films depicting Japanese culture. Each film will be shown in tenHoor 125 at 3:30 pm. For more information on the films, follow the links below. All films have English subtitles. (flyer)

Tues., Oct. 29 Rashomon (Kurosawa Akira, 87 mins.)

Thurs., Nov. 7 Gojira (the first Godzilla movie) (Honda Inoshiro, 95 mins.)

Thurs., Nov. 14 Anpo: Art X War (Linda Hoaglund, 89 mins.)

Thurs., Nov. 21 Pigs and Battleships (Imamura Shohei, 108 mins.)