WUSTL to host Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs

Marxism in China, taboo images in Tibet and war, sex work and memory in 20th century Japan will be among topics discussed as Washington University welcomes the 56th annual Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs (MCAA) to St. Louis Oct. 19-21.

MCAA attendees will have an opportunity to see “Korean Comics: A Society Through Small Frames” at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

The East Asian Studies program in Arts & Sciences is a key sponsor of the conference, which is expected to draw more than 200 scholars from across the Midwest. The University will be well represented, with more than 20 faculty serving on panels and more than 10 graduate students presenting papers.

As conference chair, Rebecca Copeland, Ph.D., professor of Japanese language and literature in Arts & Sciences, has assembled a diverse, interdisciplinary program that includes 50 panel discussions and a keynote address by Chinese political expert Elizabeth Perry, the Henry Rosovsky Professor of Government at Harvard University.

The University also is co-sponsoring a preconference outreach workshop from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13, for local elementary- and high-school teachers with an interest in bringing Asian studies into their classrooms.

Titled “Envisioning Asia in the K-12 Classroom,” the workshop will explore the importance of graphic novels, comics and animation in Korea, Japan, China and India, as well as strategies for incorporating such materials into the classroom experience. Workshop fee is $30; registration deadline is Oct. 10.

Conference sponsors also are inviting the public to a free performance of Japanese puppetry and music at 8 p.m., Oct. 19 in the J.C. Penney Auditorium at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Titled “Treasured Tales: Traditional Japanese Narrative Song,” the program features shinnai master and Living National Treasure Tsuruga Wakasanojo XI and the fifth generation headmaster of Hachioji Kuruma Ningyo, Nishikawa Koryu.

Other conference highlights include a visit to the Korea Society’s traveling exhibition: “Korean Comics: A Society Through Small Frames” at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.

For more information on the conference and related events, including registration, visit artsci.wustl.edu/~eas/mcaa or call 935-4448.