Student internships, international study and faculty scholarship have received renewed support from the Tanaka Memorial Foundation, an affirmation of a partnership that has benefited Hobart and William Smith students since 1992. As part of a $10,000 grant creating student opportunities, the funding will support the development of three new courses in the Asian Studies Department.
“Enhancing our curriculum as modern life throughout Asia changes allows us to offer an immersive learning experience that will remain relevant to students long after they graduate,” says Associate Professor of Asian Studies Jinghao Zhou, who is developing the courses “China Goes Global” and “Asia Colloquium” which will focus on hands-on research opportunities about contemporary life in China and Japan.
“The triangle relationship between China, the U.S. and Japan is critical to global governance and development, making innovative courses on those dynamics essential to our students interested in Asia’s role on the international stage,” says Zhou, whose scholarship includes four books and more than 30 articles, most recently “Ripple Effects of China’s New Normal and Political Solution” and two other titles on contemporary China in 2017 alone.
The grant will also support Associate Professor of History Lisa Yoshikawa’s research for her new course, “Asian Animals and Empires,” a topic she explores her forthcoming book, The Modern Animal: Negotiating Creatures in Japan’s Nation and Empire Building.
“The development of modern science altered the ways in which the Japanese encountered nature, distinguishing it from humankind and as objects of empirical and replicable study,” explains Yoshikawa, who joined the faculty in 2006 and published her first book, Making History Matter: Kuroita Katsumi and the Construction of Imperial Japan, in 2017. “This process that coincided with Imperial Japan’s emergence and expansion made non-human animals indispensable in Japan’s nation and empire building, as scientists, politicians, bureaucrats, habitat locals, and others negotiated perspectives on, ownership of, and study of the archipelago’s creatures.”
The Tanaka Memorial Foundation established the Tanaka Asian Studies Endowment and annually supports the Asian Studies Program, the Tanaka Lectureship in Japanese, programming and faculty research at the Colleges. The fund supports an all-expenses paid experience for students to attend the Technos International Week in Tokyo, Japan, each year as well as internship experiences in Asia. This summer, award recipients Jackie Matos ’19 and Divya Tewari ’19 have dedicated their time to interning for non-governmental organizations aiding women in Southeast Asia.
Above: Associate Professor of History Lisa Yoshikawa teaches students in her “Asia Pacific Wars” seminar. Associate Professor of Asian Studies Jinghao Zhou stands in front of Stern Hall, where he teaches a range of classes on China, its history, people and contemporary politics.