2014-2015 GLS Year in Review

The Institute’s third decade of the Guest Lecture Series launched in 2014 Fall Semester with several not-to-be-missed scholar/activists and cultural producers who visited UConn


Group Photo from The Pacific World Guest Lecture by David Armitage of Harvard
The Pacific World Guest Lecture by David Armitage, from left — Christopher Clarke, Bradley Simpson, Armitage, and Cathy Schlund-Vials

Harvard’s David Armitage offered “The Pacific World” as a compelling alternative to the usual Atlantic-based perspective to global history; Green Dot author/founder Dorothy Edwards headlined the annual Ahimsa/Nonviolence Seminar that focused on “Preventing Violence/Campus Sexual Assault through Bystander Intervention” — which was generously supported by an endowment funded by key members of the Greater Hartford Jain Center and organized with the Office of the President/Susan Herbst, who also gave the Welcome Address, and the Office of Diversity and Equity/Elizabeth Conklin, who also serves as the Title IX Compliance Officer, and also attended by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of CT, who offered supportive remarks and surprised the audience with his unannounced appearance; and George Takei of Star Trek fame shared his family’s WWII experience of “internment”, his Vietnam War activism, and campaigns on behalf of the LGBTQ community.

Collaborations with the departments of History, Philosophy, Political Science, and English supported the Institute’s Asia-focused GLS as follows:  “Remembering Tiananmen/Democracy Movement” Panel with UC Irvine’s Jeffrey Wasserstrom and Independent Scholar Chaohua Wang (moderated by AAASI Affiliate Faculty Peter Zarrow); Panel on U.S. and South Korean Diplomacy; Panel on Asian Philosophy with Jay Garfield (Yale/NUS-Singapore), Charles Hallisey (Harvard), and Emily McRae (Univ. of Oklahoma); “State Building: A Problem of Political Authority” with Reo Matsuzaki (Trinity); “Identity, Security and Development in the Maoist Conflict in India” with Melbourne, AUS-based scholar Swati Parashar, who is also author of Women and Militant Wars: The Politics of Injury (Routledge, 2014); and Tina Chen’s presentation/seminar “A&Q: Multidisciplinarity and the Study of Global Asias” that also drew attention to the launch of the journal Verge: Studies in Global Asias (Univ. of Minnesota Press) for which she serves as Senior Editor.

The Institute also gratefully acknowledges the year’s successful collaborations with the Asian American Cultural Center; the School of Fine Arts’ Benton Museum and the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at Storrs Center; the department of Anthropology; the India Studies Program; the Women’s Center; the Human Rights Institute and the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center; and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

The 2015 Day of Remembrance Public Lecture was dedicated to the memory and legacy of Yuri Kochiyama (1921-2014). Co-sponsored with the Asian American Cultural Center, “Beyond Internment: Asian Americans and the Quest for Justice” featured Daryl Maeda (Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder) who traced the arc of Asian American activism in solidarity with the urban poor and economically/politically marginalized people who are often displaced by so-called renewal/redevelopment policies.

The Fred Ho Fellowship was awarded in 2015 to Marie Incontrera who addressed the 95+ students in rapt attention to her presentation/performance seminar “The Colors of Resistance: A Musical and Sociopolitical Analysis of Fred Ho’s Revolutionary Big Band Aesthetic”, which was co-organized with Prof. of Music and AAASI Affiliate Faculty Robert Stephens. Remembering Fred Ho as her mentor, Ms. Incontrera explicated and demonstrated the more complex movements of Fred Ho’s compositions, as several of the students who were familiar with reading music were treated to handling / examining one of his original notations/score that was bequeathed to her. She hopes to expand the findings of this research fellowship into a book-length manuscript.