Event Highlights

International Conferences

The Red Detachment of Women

Sights and Sounds of the Cold War in the Sinophone World

A 2017 conference about how the Cold War is experienced in the everyday life and the manifestations of such experiences, how local cultures are thus turned into sites of ideological competition and power struggles, and how various forms of cultural production and consumption created images of enemies and allies and a global imaginary of integration.

Sights and Sounds

Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures hosted the 64th Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs (MCAA) from October 16 - 18, 2015 at Washington University in St. Louis.


War, Violence, and The Aftermath

A 2012 conference that aimed to bring together studies on how, in the particular context of East Asia, individuals who were caught in the midst of war and violence and those who lived in the aftermath rebuilt their lives and remembered and reflected on the suffering and devastation.

War, Violence, and the Aftermath conference

TEA Lecture Series

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures sponsors a series of lectures and workshops on “Teaching East Asia.”

TEA Series Information

Mellon Sawyer Seminars

Japan Embodied: New Approaches to Japanese Studies

We are pleased to have hosted the Mellon Sawyer Seminar entitled “Japan Embodied.” This four-part seminar sought to incorporate many perspectives on Japan that focus on the body. We pursued this study thematically, chronologically, and comparatively. Considering ongoing scholarship on primarily modern and postmodern concepts of the body, we reflected as well on relevant premodern factors. Our seminar’s focus on Japan allowed new perspectives on the study of the body. Body studies are grounded in a Western paradigm that either elaborates or corrects the mind-body dualism that has been a stable feature of Western philosophy since Plato. As an Asian nation, Japan’s views of the body are driven by a metaphysics that does not always separate body from mind, or matter from spirit. To engage the premodern Japanese conception of the body thus challenges Western assumptions about mind-body dualism in ways that helps re-focus and re-define the argument. Not withstanding its affinities with other Eastern cultures, Japan is unique in its enthusiasm for adopting Western culture in the late nineteenth century. As the twentieth century wore on, Japan increasingly integrated western institutions and conceptions—for better or worse. Studying the manner in which Japanese re-evaluated the body (medically, socially, artistically) reveals as much about those western concepts as it does about Japan. Our seminars, therefore, contributed to the globalization of body studies by decentering what is now a very Euro-centric enterprise.

Details about Japan Embodied