Asian Studies

The University of Alabama

Fall 2010 Events


Sampling Asia at Alabama 2010

On Thursday, September 2, close to 150 people came to Woods Quad, behind Manly Hall for an interactive fair to kick off the new semester and introduce students to the variety of activities and learning opportunities at UA.  Activities included a taste of Asian foods, Japanese drums, Korean calligraphy, mehndi, and more.  Check out photos of the fair and the original flyer for the event.

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Asian Football Film Series

Did you catch World Cup fever this summer?  This series screens different comedic depictions of Asians’ approaches to the world’s most popular sport in Chinese, Indian, and Tibetan communities.

Sept 13 Shaolin Soccer (Stephen Chow, 2001)

Comedic take on the Shaolin kung fu genre by the popular director of Kung Fu Hustle.  A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.

Sept 20 Bend It Like Beckham (Gurinder Chadha, 2002)

British comedy featuring Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, and Jonathan Rhys Meyers – Jesminder Bhamra excels at football, but her love for playing places her at odds with her parents and their conceptions of a respectable Indian family.

Sept 27   The Cup (Khyentse Norbu, 1999)

Tibetan refugees in a remote Himalayan monastery want to watch the World Cup.  What lengths will they go to follow their love for football?  Directed by the Tibetan Lama Khyentse Norbu, shot entirely in the Tibetan refugee village Bir in Himachal Pradesh, India.

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Bharatanatyam Performance and Yoga Workshops

Dr. Vasundhara Dooraswamy will visit UA on September 15 and 16 to conduct yoga workshops and a performance of an Indian classical dance.  She is an expert in yoga and a professional classical dancer from India, and she currently works out of the Vasundhara Performing Arts Center – http://www.vasundharadoraswamy.com/.  Activities during her visit include

  • Yoga workshop –  two sessions (room 1008, Capstone College of Nursing Building – Wednesday, Sept 15) 9-10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Contact Mangala Krishnamurthy (mkrishna@ua.edu) to reserve a spot in either workshop.  Walk-ins are welcome, depending on space availability.
  • Bharatanatyam  Dance (Indian Classical Dance) Performance –  Wednesday, Sept 15  at 7 – 8 :30 p.m. at Ferguson Theater

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Negotiating “Authentic” Buddhism Film Series

Want to see what movie makers think about Buddhism? This Asian Studies film series screens different depictions of Buddhism through the eyes of film makers from Hollywood as well as abroad. (flyer)

Oct. 11 Little Buddha (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1994)

This 1994 movie depicts the Lama Norbu’s search for the reincarnation of his teacher.  Interspersed with the the journey of three prospects is the story of Siddartha, played by Keanu Reeves, and his awakening.

Enjoy a taste of China in the Alston Courtyard at 6:30 pm, before Little Buddha.

Oct. 18 Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (Ki-duk-Kim, 2004)

A young boy lives in a floating temple on a beautiful lake in the Korean wilderness, together with his master and teacher.  He experiences life away from the contemplative setting, and returns.

Oct. 25 The Matrix (Andy and Lana Wachowski, 1999)

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against the controllers of it.

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Mehendi Night

Mehendi involves decorating hands and sometimes feet with designs drawn in henna, which stains the skin.  Every Fall, the Indian Association of Tuscaloosa, a student organization on campus, hosts Mehendi Night.  This year Mehendi Night is on October 23 from 6.00 -10.00 PM. The entry is free.  Come join the festivities that include contemporary Indian music and free Mehendi.  Location will be announced beforehand on the Asian Studies website.

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Bollywood Film Festival

Once a week throughout October, come to  the Riverside Community Center (adjacent to the bridge) for Indian film fun and excellent food.  Check out our rotating calendar of Bollywood Classics — (flyer)

Tuesday 5th October, 7pm Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

The romantic Bollywood classic starring Shahrukh Khan and Kajol, with the most heart–?stopping train scene in the history of cinema!

Wednesday 13th October, 7pm Kabhi Kushi Kabhie Gum

Family drama of epic Bollywood–?style proportions, featuring the big names in Bollywood, including Amitabh Bachchan, Jaya Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Kajol and Karena Kapoor.

Thursday 21st October, 7pm Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!

Another classic Bollywood film starring action hero Salman Khan and widely acclaimed dancer Madhuri Dixit in a tale of love and tragedy.

Thursday 28th October, 7pm Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi

The latest hit from Shahrukh Khan, which features the King Khan playing a nerd who tries to win the heart of his young wife through dance.   For this final film, as the grand finale of the festival for the semester, we will feature a henna artist and, as always, excellent food!

For questions and more information, please email Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa (Faculty in Residence, Riverside East) at aholmes12@bama.ua.edu. This event is generously sponsored by the Honors College and Residential Housing and Communities, UA.

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Buddhism in Motion: Perspectives on the Cultural History of a Major World Philosophy

This one-evening seminar at UA will be 1st November, 2010 from 5-7pm in 205 Gorgas Library.  It brings together an international collection of scholars who will focus on the adaptations that Buddhism has made in its over 2,500 year journey throughout the world. Among the international panelists are a mixture of young, acclaimed scholars as well as practitioners of Buddhism who specialize in a wide range of interdisciplinary and intercultural manifestations of Buddhism. Engaging with this seminar will allow students and others to deepen their understanding of contemporary Asian culture, politics and religion, as well as consider the influence of philosophy on different aspects of social and cultural change across cultures.  The presenters and their topics are

“Buddhism, Hermeneutics and Philosophy: Textual and Cultural Interpretations”

Paul Brownell, a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) at the Australian National University

“Buddhism and Popular Culture: Buddhism and Birthday’s in Medieval China”

Ian Chapman, UA’s Department of History

“Buddhism and Gender: The Issue of Female Ordination in Ancient and Contemporary Buddhist Culture”

Bhante Sujato, founder of Santi Forest Monastery and scholar of Buddhism

“Buddhism and Literature: From the Sutras to Manga.”

Ruth Gamble, a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) at the Australian National University

“Buddhism and Art: Visual and Conceptual Echoes in Works by Three Artists”

Meredith Hughes, artist and PhD student at the School of Art, Australian National University

“Concluding Response”

Kalzang Dorjee Bhutia, UA’s Department of History

For more information, contact Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa, UA Department of History at aholmes12@bama.ua.edu

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Diwali Nite 2010

The Indian Association of Tuscaloosa will celebrate Diwali at the University of Alabama Sunday, November 7, at 3:30 pm in the Ferguson Center Theater.  Tickets for the event include the cultural performances and dinner and cost $10 for UA students. For more information, see the flyer.

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Asian Studies Film Series

Monday nights

7:00 pm, Alston Hall 10

Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood’s Angry Young Man

Amitabh Bachchan has been one of the biggest Bollywood stars for decades. In these three classic films, he plays an orphan (of a sort) -turned gangster, at turns brooding and ecstatic (flyer).

Nov. 8 Deewaar (Yash Chopra, 1975) Featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Parveen Babi. Vijay (Amitabh) and Ravi (Shashi Kapoor) grow up poor after their father, a trade unionist, is run off by corrupt business men. Vijay becomes a dockworker and criminal, affording his younger brother Ravi the chance to study and become a police officer. Their poor mother has to choose between them.

Nov. 15 Muqaddar Ka Sikandar (Prakash Mehra, 1978) Featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Vinod Khanna. Sikandar is orphaned at a young age in Shimla, grows up slaving in the house of a rich man with a kind daughter, follows them to Bombay when they abandon him, but is accused of being a thief. Grows up to become a rich smuggler, still trying to get the daughter.

Nov. 22 Pukar (Ramesh Behl, 1983) Featuring Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman. Most of India becomes independent from the UK in 1947 but Goa remains under Portuguese rule. Ramdas/Ronnie watches as his father, a Goan revolutionary, is shot dead, and thinking it was the doing of a fellow revolutionary, Ronnie is revolted by revolutionary politics and becomes a gangster in Goa.