CAS Newsletter

February 10th, 2021

January Events Review

In January, the Center for Asian Studies sponsored three major events:

  1. Featured lecture on January 21: "Orwell Between East and West" by Professor Andrew Rubin.
  2. Anlin Ku Lecture Series on January 27: "Charles Yu in Conversation with Dr. Dennis Kratz." (Co-sponsored with the School of Arts & Humanities and Dallas Museum of Arts)
  3. Asian Culture Forum on January 30: "BTS for BLM: K-pop, Race, and Transcultural Fandom" by Professor Michelle Cho.

Each event attracted a large, diverse audience and positive comments - prompting these questions: As a young center, what can CAS do to meet our mission? How can we better serve our University and community in these unprecedented times? How to help people of different cultures better understand each other?

To find the answers, we collected some comments from our audience about Professor Michelle Cho's presentation: "BTS for BLM: K-pop, Race, and Transcultural Fandom", and would like to share a few here with you:

"As a researcher who studies BTS in relation to social justice, I found Prof. Cho's lecture insightful for both the new examination of fandom activist practices and the context she provided concerning more extensive histories around race, K-Pop, and fandom. While fandom activism stories have received lots of media coverage, few give close analysis and accounts of the complexity involved in transcultural fan-based social justice efforts. " --- Dr. Candace Epps-Robertson

"I was interested due to my being a BTS fan and having witnessed their and ARMY’s role in social events like Black Lives Matter. I think lectures such as these bring attention to the ability towards social change held by groups like fandoms and may rally similar actions towards societal change"

---Ellis Blake H.

"My interest in 2nd generation K-pop (early 00’s) grew into interest in the political aspects of K-pop, the internal scope of BLM with a sense of community and possibilities and how diverse people can come together for a common cause." --- Hope Gabrielle Brenneman

"Dr. Cho was fantastic. She was very skilled in answer the questions with the audience in mind. Approaching the topic as a case study rather than a conclusive dichotomistic judgement of the group's alleged political activism was necessary. Exciting lecture that I will be following from nearby Waco. Thank you so much and hope to collaborate in the future." --- Moises Park

"I had heard about the effectiveness of BTS fans' anti-racist actions in the news over the past year, and I enjoyed learning more about the origin of BTS with respect for the African-American experience." ----Stella Lin

Thank those for sharing thoughts with us! For those who missed the three events, Click here to watch the recordings.

Saturday, March 27. 4PM CST. The 8th Asian Culture Forum

"Chinese Muslims and the Second Generation Ethnic Policy Moment" by Professor Kevin Caffrey, University of North Texas. Read Professor Caffrey's bio.

Virtual event. Click to register in advance. Meeting invitation link will be sent via email on the morning of March 27.

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Spotlight on CAS International Advisory Council Members (2)

CAS International Advisory Council is composed of 21 members from different countries of the world. These members are either distinguished scholars/educators in Asian studies/higher education or successful entrepreneurs in different fields. They are generously providing their advice regarding projects, programs, speakers and partnerships and support.

Lunar New Year at Crow Museum

February 12th is Chinese Lunar New Year's Day! Celebrate The Year of The Ox with our partner Crow Museum of Asian Art online at its Facebook page with daily art-making instructional videos, special guests, and cultural learning opportunities from February 12 through 26. The Crow's Lunar New Year Celebration event annually attracts a large audience.
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Postcards from Asia - Bhutan

Wangdue Phodrang is a district of central Bhutan. This is also the name of the dzong (built in 1638) which dominates the district, and the name of the small market town outside the gates of the dzong. Wangdue Tshechu is a religious festival which is observed in autumn in Wangdue Phodrang. It is well known for the Raksha Mangcham or the Dance of the Ox. Many different kinds of mask dances are performed and it concludes with the unfurling of the Guru Tshengye Thongdrel (large tapestry). The festival also performs the function of social bonding among people of remote and spread-out villages. Large markets congregate at the fair locations, leading to brisk commerce. (Photos taken and provided by Ms. Jing Shen)


New session of Asian language courses are open for registration. Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Hindi and Korean are offered. Each language has different levels to choose from. All courses are taught virtually, easy, convenient and efficient. The courses will start on April 5th. Check the course schedule and register here.