Center for Asian Studies

Archived News

 Director Received Lifetime Achievement Award For His Contributions To Arts And Culture: In October 2020, Dennis M. KratzFounding Director of the Center for Asian Studies received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Business Council for the Arts for his exemplary support of arts and culture in North Texas. A “virtual” award ceremony and luncheon will be held on Tuesday, November 17, 11:30 am-1:00 pm CST. Read more...

Center Held The Sixth Asian Culture Forum: On Saturday, November 7th, 2020. Nami Kroska, visiting professor in Japanese, gave a lecture on Japanese culture and society through the works of legendary filmmaker, Hayao Miyazaki. The lecture was held online and had about 40 attendants. Professor Kroska discussed Miyazaki’s impact on animation in Japan, and through clips of classic Japanese cartoons and Miyazaki movies, she revealed how the clips reflect Japanese culture and society. Watch the Forum’s video here

CAS Held The First International Advisory Council Meeting: On October 26th, 2020, Center for Asian Studies held its first International Advisory Council meeting virtually online. 17 council members attended the meeting. Director Kratz presided over the meeting and Dr. Da Hsuan Feng, Chair of the Council made an opening speech. The members discussed the Center’s mission, short and long-term tasks and challenges it’s faced in current time and the future.

Director Interviewed Writer Jonathan Kaufman: On October 18th, 2020, Director Kratz interviewed Jonathan Kaufman, author of “The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China as part of the 14th annual Tycher Library Fall Community Read sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas.

Director Published New Article In World-Renowned Journal: In October 2020, Director Kratz’s article “The Silk Road: Traveled. Imagined, Transformed” was published in the journal China and the World. Volume 3, Number 3 (2020): 2050012 (24 pages). The Executive Editor of the journal commented: “….you have presented a truly unusual perspective of “China and the world,” using your profound understanding of the Western civilization as a WESTERN SCHOLAR to view, examine and link up with the Eastern civilization. What you have written gives the reader a totally novel view to leverage the past (ancient Western civilization) to view the present (the BRI)! 

Center Held The Fifth Asian Culture Forum: On September 26th, 2020,  Dr. Dennis Kratz, founding director of the Center, held an interesting and informative online lecture for the Center’s fifth Asian Culture Forum. About 30 people participated in the lecture and had discussions with him. In his lecture entitled “Odysseus Meets Monkey King: A View of the East-West Encounter in the Global Age”, Dr. Kratz chose a clever framework of an imaginary lunch attended by Dr. Kratz, the Monkey King, and Odysseus. Over the imaginary lunch table, they “discussed” what perspectives contemporary people can get from Odysseus and the Monkey King, what we can learn about resolving the tension between individual excellence and social obligations.

The Monkey King, also known as Sun Wukong, is a legendary figure Chinese literature best known as one of the main characters in the 16th-century Chinese novel “Journey to the West”, an allegorical rendition of the journey. Odysseus is the legendary hero in Greek mythology, king of the island of Ithaca and the main protagonist of Homer’s epic, the “Odyssey.”   Odysseus was well known among the Greeks as a most eloquent speaker, an ingenious and cunning trickster. After the presentation, Dr. Kratz and the attendees engaged in a spirited discussion about the lecture. For those who missed the discussion, click to watch the lecture online..

Center Co-Sponsored The Workshop On Chinese Pronunciation: On September 17th, 2020, about 30 UTD faculty and staff joined the interactive “Pronouncing Chinese Names” workshop organized by the Intercultural Programs and Center for Asian Studies. The workshop was presented by Ms. Bei CHEN, associate professor of Instruction at the School of Arts and Humanities. During the 90-minute session, the participants learned the basic mandarin Chinese phonetics, practiced the Chinese name pronunciations, and were provided some essential etiquette tips for addressing Chinese students or colleagues. The workshop received much positive feedback. This event was recorded for those who could not attend, please watch the workshop online

New Credit Course About Asia Launched In 2020 Fall: Two new courses are launched this fall semester by the Center for Asian Studies. One is the Honors course HON3199, which is created and taught by Dr. Dennis Kratz, founding director of the Center and senior associate provost of UTD. The course aims to help students gain more insight into the different aspects of Asia by bringing in guests from all backgrounds and areas of expertise to be interviewed by Dr. Kratz and the class. There are 15 students enrolled, mostly freshmen and sophomores, who have chosen to attend for various reasons – from having a strong interest in Asia to simply because it “was better than taking Neurobiology”. As the semester has progressed, the course has welcomed five wonderful guests so far.  The students and Dr. Kratz have been enjoying learning more about Asia from many different perspectivesAnother course is Introductory Hindi, which started on September 1st. This non-credit language course aims to promote Indian language and culture, and help people to build connections with this Asian country.

Center Offers Non-Credit Courses of Japanese, Hindi And Korean First Time In 2020 Fall: Three new non-credit courses: Conversational Japanese, Korean Beginners and Introductory Hindi 1 have been added to the course program of the Center for Asian Studies. The courses are non-credited so anybody who is interested in can register and take. Besides Japanese, Hindi and Korean, Center for Asian Studies offers non-credit Mandarin Chinese courses all-year round. Besides Japanese, Hindi and Korean, Center for Asian Studies offers non-credit Mandarin Chinese all year-round. Click to read the course description and register: Conversational Japanese, Introductory HindiKorean BeginnersMandarin Chinese. Due to impact of COVID-19, all courses will be taught virtually online till further notice.  

Director Kratz Gave Online Speech About Arts: On July 14, 2020, Director Kratz was invited to give a speech on the event of “Across The Board” sponsored by The Business Council for the Arts. His speech titled “History, Memory and Monuments” is one of the series of fascination conversations with BCA board members on art, business and beyond. Read more

Center Held The Fourth Asian Culture Forum: On February 8, 2020, Center for Asian Studies held its fourth Asian Culture Forum (the first one in 2020 spring). Dr. Zhijun Xu of Peking University held a seminar on the portrayal of assassins in ancient Chinese artwork. He emphasized the significance of legendary figures like Jing Ke in both history and pop culture, as well as the parallels to American pop culture assassins like Reuben Cogburn in 1968’s True Grit. Dr. Xu also gave detailed explanations of legendary Chinese figures like Yu Rang, Nie Zheng, and the “Seven Daughters.” His comprehensive PowerPoint showed the traces of ancient Chinese legends in the artwork and artifacts found in tombs across China. A brief introduction was given by Professor Mingdong Gu, associate director of Center for Asian Studies, and a 10-minute Q&A session followed the presentation in which audience members discussed the presence of these themes in both Chinese and Western films.

Director Gave Speech In The Dallas Institute: On December 9th, 2019, Director Kratz was invited to give speech on the series of “Faiths in Conversation”, sponsored by The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Cultures and SMU Perkins School of Theology, to explore “The Intellectual Tradition of Islam”. 

Director Made Keynote Speech At ACP Annual Conference: On November 23, 2019, Dr. Dennis Kratz, founding director of Center for Asian Studies made a keynote speech at the Association of Chinese Professionals (ACP). Dr. Da Husan Feng, former Vice President of the University of Texas at Dallas wrote a review about the speech. Read Dr. Feng’s comment here

Center Held The Third Asian Culture Forum: on November 23, 2019, Center for Asian Studies invites Dr. Haiying Yan from Beijing University to present for the third Asian Culture Forum. In her lecture titled “Memory and Cultural Identity: Egyptian Art in High Antiquity”, Dr. Yan introduced: In late antiquity, with the development of world empires, cultural confrontation and conflict caused the “fear of forgetting”, the consequence is the canonization and interpretation of local traditions and framing of cultural identity. Temples became three-dimensional books full of relief describe the secret rituals and festivals, Dendera temple is the most typical one, it gives a complete ritual context about the mortuary text of afterlife — Book of the Dead. It was due to this change that Egyptian formula of immortality through righteousness contributed to later concept of salvation, and ancient Egyptian religion became part of western cultural memory. 

Director Gave Speech At Annual Beijing Forum: On November 4, 2019, Director  Kratz was invited to give a speech on the 19th annual Beijing Forum, sponsored by Peking University and the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. His speech topic is “Achilles, Jesus, Confucius: Integrating Incompatible Elements Across and Within Civilizations.”

Center Held The Second Asian Culture Forum: On November 2nd, 2019, Center for Asian Studies held the second Asian Culture Forum. Dr. Liu Man, Professor of Foreign Studies, Hunan University of Technology gave a lecture titled “The Theme of Love in Chinese Myths and Legends”. In her lecture, Dr. Liu presented the miscellaneous aspects of the love them in Chinese myths and legends. By examining similar themes and motifs in some Western myths and legends, she compared similarities and differences in the representation of love in Chinese and Western literatures.

Center Held The First Asian Culture Forum: The newly established Center for Asian Studies held its first Asian Culture Forum on October 5, 2019. Prof. Dennis Kratz, the founding director, opened the forum and briefly introduced the new center. Dr. Ming Dong Gu, associate director of the Center introduced the speaker, Dr. Chen Jing, Associate Professor of Art, Nanjing University in China. Dr. Chen’s lecture focused on the Grand Canal of China, an ancient construction project, which rivals the Great Wall of China in its scale and cultural impact. The Grand Canal is a vast waterway system that runs from north China to south China. With a total length of 1,776 kilometers (1,104 miles) it is the oldest and longest humanly made river in the world. Recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014 for its “Outstanding Universal Value,” it represents a high level of hydraulic engineering and ancient wisdom in the history of mankind, and has exerted a lasting impact upon Chinese history, society, and culture. Dr. Chen has been closely involved in a project, “the Virtual Museum of the Grand Canal of China,” which aims to explore the representation of the Grand Canal in the new media era. By employing photography, topography, space narratives, text mining and new media studies, she gave a presentation, which narrates a spectacular story about the historical, political, economic, social, and cultural significance of the Canal for ancient China and for the preservation of heritages for the mankind. The lecture was attended by over 50 people from both the campus and local community, who showed an immense interest in the topic and interacted with Dr. Chen after her talk.

Center Co-Sponsored A Memorable Lecture About Author Iris Chang: On September 19th, 2019, Center for Asian Studies collaborated with the School of Arts and Humanities and the Ackerman Center for Holocaust Studies to sponsor the fifth annual Anlin Ku Lecture on Asian Culture. An overflow audience of more than 200 listened intently as Dr. Ying-Ying Chang, a distinguished scientist from the University of California at Berkeley, gave a deeply moving lecture about the life and work of her daughter Iris Chang, the author of the groundbreaking book The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II.

Center Held The First Event As Co-Sponsor: On September 13th, 2019, in partnership with the School of Arts & Humanities, Center for Asian Studies co-sponsored the first event since its establishment on September 1st, 2019: The concert by Korean pianist Soyeon Kate Lee, which attracted about 200 attendees to participate in. 

University Establishes New Center for Asian Studies: On August 29, 2019, The University of Texas at Dallas announced to establish Center for Asian Studies. Dr. Dennis Kratz, the Ignacy and Celina Rockover Professor in the School of Arts and Humanities, is the founding director of the Center. Read the University’s announcement here