News & Events

Department Congratulates Grads and Awardees

Aijie Shi presents final EALL colloquium

Science in Nationalist China: A Confrontation between Academia Sinica and Dr. Kishinouye’s Biological Expedition Along the Yangzi River

Friday, April 14, 12:00 noon, room 4130 WWPH

In this talk, Xi addresses the institutionalization of science in the nation-building era of China through the establishment of Academia Sinica, the national academy of China, founded by the Nationalist Government in Nanjing in 1927. The talk will focus on a confrontation between Academia Sinica and a Japanese biological expedition along the Yangzi River in 1929. As a result of the confrontation, Academia Sinica, a research institute, was empowered to promulgate scientific laws regulating foreign-funded research trips in China. The talk presents a case to argue that the empowerment of Academia Sinica was jointly shaped by four interrelated factors: the Japanese scientific expedition in Chinese territory, China’s nationwide anti-imperialism movements, Academia Sinica’s monopoly on representing the Nationalist government in the scientific realm of China, and the emergence of a new ideology of science in connection with modernity.

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EALL represented at "Migrations of Cultures" Conference

At the Undergraduate Conference, "Migrations of Cultures" held on March 30 and March 31, four of our students presented papers:

Zoe Taigo, "Chinese Attitudes toward Western Science as Reflected by Translations from 1600 to 1915"

Jackie Chen, "A Historical, Economic, Cultural and Social Perspective: An Analysis of English Influence on Modern Chinese Vocabulary"

Jessica Crawford, "Implications of Chinese Media Production for the English Speaking Market"

Shay Park, "Black Girl Nerds: The Imagined Whiteness & Masculinity of Otaku Culture"

This is a biannual conference planned for undergraduate students studying modern languages. 


Early Spring Crop of Student Awards

The Department is proud to announce a number of scholarships our students have been awarded to our students. 

Chisom Obasih was awarded a CLS for Japan for this coming summer of 2017. 

The Nationality Rooms Summer Study Abroad Scholarships include: 

Megan Harris, Undergraduate:Japanese Room Committee Scholarship $3.500

Lynnea Lombardi, Undergraduate:Women's International Club Scholarship  $4,000

Mara Wearden, Undergraduate: Chinese Room Committee Scholarship $2,500

Carolynn Weeks, Undergraduate:John H. Tsui Memorial Scholarship  $2,500

14th Korean Film Festival, Spring 2017

Join us in 4130 WWPH on Friday, March 17, 2017 at 5:00 pm for a viewing of "Veteran," directed by Seung-wan Ryoo.   This is 2015 film about a young man who has grown spoiled in a wealthy family. Tae-Oh keeps on committing crimes and always succeeds buying his way out. But Detective Do-Cheol won't let him get away this time.

On Friday, March 31, 2017, at 4:00 pm, we'll be presenting "Train to Busan," directed by Sang-ho Yeon.  This 2016 film may be the first Korean zombie movie. It follows terrified passengers fighting their way through nationwide zombie outbreaks while trapped in a train to Busan. Can they hold off zombie hordes? Is Busan still safe?


Pizza and refreshments will be provided!

University Hosts 2017 Japanese Speech Contest

The annual Japanese High School Speech Contest is a collaboration between the Asian Studies Center and the Japan America Society of Pennsylvania, and is held each year on the Friday before Pitt’s Spring Break, in the William Pitt Union (this year, March 3). Pitt students, staff and faculty all participate along with faculty at CMU, Slippery Rock University and Robert Morris University, serving as judges and volunteers. The contest features a Poster Contest for students in their first year of Japanese or in a Japanese club at school, while the speech contest has four levels for students in their second year and beyond. This year’s poster contest theme was “The most fascinating Japanese technologies.” The Beginner Level speech, delivered by memory, is always a self-introduction. The upper level speeches, also delivered entirely by memory, followed the theme of “Imagine how Japanese society will change in the next 10 years.” The program also features a pedagogy workshop for the high school language teachers, booths and activities for the high school students, lunch and a cultural program prior to the awards ceremony. The Consul from the Consulate General of Japan, New York, always attends the program and awards an electronic dictionary to the Grand Prize winner of the speech contest.

Between 80-90 students from eight high school participated this year: Butler Area High School, Greensburg Salem High School, Norwin High School, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School, Pittsburgh Obama Academy, Shaler Area High School, University Prep High School, and Upper St. Clair High School.

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PTI positions in Korean Language

EALL anticipates openings for part-time instructors in the Korean language program beginning in the fall of 2017. Candidates must have native language proficiency, hold at least a college degree, and be authorized to work for the University. Prior experience in teaching foreign languages and familiarity with language pedagogy or linguistics is highly preferred. If interested, please send a resume or CV to Mi-Hyun Kim at The CV is required for initial screening. Candidates with desirable qualifications will be contacted for interviews in April/May 2017.

Chinese Program wins STARTALK grant

EALL is the recipient of the prestigious STARTALK grant, the first and only such Chinese language program to be so recognized in Western Pennsylvania. The grant was written by Juchun (Vanessa) Wei and Fan Fan. The STARTALK grant will enable EALL’s Chinese language program to offer a three-week (June 22–July 14), non-residential language and culture summer camp to twenty students (rising ninth to twelfth graders) on Pitt Oakland campus. Students will take classes in the morning and participate in cultural activities, sports, and fieldtrips to local Chinese grocery stores, community centers, and restaurants in the afternoon. Contact the program director, Vanessa Wei, at for further information.

The highly competitive STARTALK grant program is an initiative of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and is currently overseen by National Security Agency (NSA). Find out more about the STARTALK program here.

Interns in Japan announced

Four Pitt students accepted for paid internships in Japanese companies this year. Congratulations to these students. Interested in internships next year? Contact Brenda Jordan at the Asian Studies Center.
Glen Ayes (University of Pittsburgh. Mechanical Engineering major; Japanese minor; ASC Certificate Student; Senior): Central Glass, Matsusaka (Mie Prefecture), Japan. Active Expert Center. (One year internship.)
Oliver Jia (University of Pittsburgh. Creating Writing and Japanese dual major; Sophomore.): Central Glass, Ube Plant. Ube (Yamaguchi Prefecture), Japan. Management Department. (Summer internship.)
Andrea Hall (University of Pittsburgh. Japanese major; Linguistics minor; Junior.): Central Glass, Kawasaki Plant. Kawasaki (Kanagawa Prefecture), Japan. Production Department. (Summer internship.)
Benjamin Tydings (University of Pittsburgh. Chemistry major; Japanese minor; ASC Certificate Student; Junior.): Taiheiyo Cement, Sakura City (Chiba Prefecture), Japan. R&D Department I (Chemistry). (Five-month internship.)

Colloquium, Zhen Wang, MA Candidate, Transcendence and Return: Re-interpreting and Re-envisioning Urbanization in Contemporary Chinese Art

Friday, January 13, 2017. 12:00 noon, 4130 WWPH. 

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Echo Strategies partners with EALL for Japanese Language Internship in Pittsburgh

Echo Strategies has recently partnered with the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures to offer a local internship to Japanese language majors. This internship involves pilot-testing questionnaires targeted at Japanese audiences and translating responses into English. Jessica Shilling and Emma Lurye are the first two Japanese majors to serve as interns for Echo Strategies.

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First EALL Colloquium features Pitt Alumna Elizabeth Oyler

We are proud to present our new Associate Professor, Elizabeth Oyler, as our first presenter in the EALL Colloquium series.  The title of the talk is "Framing Movement and Stasis: Stage Properties in the Noh Yuya and Ohara gokō"

The talk will be Friday, November 11, 2016, in room 4130 WWPH.   

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Undergrads Gather for Beach Party

Academic advisor for Chinese and Japanese majors, Stephen Luft, organized an "beach party" for majors on the 27th floor beach on September 30, 2016. Beachwear was optional. Current majors in Chinese and Japanese were joined by students interested in learning more about our exciting majors. Forward-thinking are the students who plan to incorporate East Asian languages into their academic plans of study while at Pitt.

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EALL Welcomes New and Returning Faculty

Faculty gathered on August 25, 2016, before the busy Fall term began on August 29, 2016.  We welcomed Associate Professor Elizabeth Oyler, who will be teaching "Introduction to Japanese Literature" and "The Tale of Genji" this fall term. Returning from academic leaves are Cecile Sun, Yi Xu, Stephen Luft, and Wan-Ching Hsieh. We also are proud to announce the appointment of Seung-Hwan Shin as a Visiting Assistant Professor Korean Culture.

Homemade covered dish items were enjoyed, along with a toast to the new academic year!


Beth Oyler and Stephen Luft both returned from teaching in Japan.

A toast to the new academic year!

 Chinese Language instructors: Jia Li, Bei Cheng, Xue Wei, Yi-Ting Cheng

Juchun Wei, Bei Cheng, Fan Fan

Sachiko Takabatake Howard, Noriko Kowalchuck, Kyungok Joo, Mi-Hyun Kim, Jiyoon Oh

Summer Intensive Japanese Classes Were a Big Success

Third Year Japanese Intensive language students

SEALS (Summer East Asian Language Studies) Japan concluded on August 5, 2016.  The Third Year students completed the equivalency of two terms of student in just eight weeks. Students in First Year Intensive and Second Year Intensive Japanese courses earned 10 credits of study in ten weeks. They completed their course on July 29. Our intensive summer language program offers students to complete a year of study in a fun and intensive atmosphere. And they still have three weeks of summer vacation before classes start for the Fall Term on August 29, 2016!  Congratulations to the students and faculty on a job well done.