Kusum Ji’s Hindi class is always filled with unique and fun immersion opportunities, whether that be through scavenger hunts, cooking classes, or NGO meetings. These opportunities allow students to learn more about Indian culture and improve their skills within the language. My class, Hindi 102, recently met with the Delhi Young Artists Forum (DYAF). During our time together, we sang songs, conversed individually, and taught English lessons. To begin class, we introduced ourselves by saying our names and what we liked to… read more about Cultural Exchange Through Hindi: Reflections From Our Delhi Young Artists Forum Experience »

AMES Associate Professor Nayoung Aimee Kwon received the 2023 Best Edited Collection Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies for her edited volume Theorizing Colonial Cinema: Reframing Production, Circulation, and Consumption of Film in Asia (Edited by Nayoung Aimee Kwon, Takushi Odagiri, and Moonim Baek). Read more read more about Nayoung Aimee Kwon Recognized for Work on "Theorizing Colonial Cinema"  »

Selected as this year’s Duke Chapel Student Preacher, first-year student Erin Dickerson will deliver a sermon in the chapel worship service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, March 5. A double major in Turkish and International Comparative Studies, Dickerson’s sermon, titled “Resting in the Lord,” is based on the Bible’s Psalm 121. “Psalm 121 is about finding rest in God, and God protecting us,” said Dickerson, who is a member of the Duke Wesley campus ministry and also attends the Summit Church in Durham. “It can be tempting to find… read more about Duke Chapel Student Preacher Sermon March 5 to Focus on Rest in God »

“Don’t burn the onions.” From the faculty kitchen in the John Hope Franklin Center, the sounds of determined chopping and intermittent laughter mixed with the intoxicating aromas of cardamom, coriander, fennel and cumin escape down the hallway. In the middle of the bustle stands Kusum Knapczyk, Hindi lecturer in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES). As she checks each student’s progress, she also provides encouragement and instructions in Hindi — or in English for urgent matters.   The 15 quasi sous-… read more about Cultural Connections, One Meal at a Time »

The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) welcomes Linshan Jiang, postdoctoral associate in Chinese cultural studies, to its faculty for the academic year. Jiang holds a Ph.D. in East Asian languages and cultural studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). Along with teaching three courses, she will take part in scholarly events and activities, conduct research and work on her publication portfolio. Her primary research interests are modern and contemporary literature, film and popular… read more about AMES Postdoc Looks Beyond the Nation State to Underscore the Joint History of East Asia »

The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) welcomes Reut Ben-Yaakov, postdoctoral associate in Israeli culture, to its faculty for the academic year. Ben-Yaakov holds a Ph.D. in Hebrew literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Along with teaching three courses, she will take part in scholarly events and activities, conduct research and work on her publication portfolio. “Ben-Yaakov brings an expertise in contemporary Israeli-Hebrew poetry and fiction to AMES that complements our faculty research… read more about AMES Postdoc Brings Expertise in Contemporary Israeli-Hebrew Poetry and Fiction »

I am a student in Kusum Ji’s Hindi Intermediate 203 class in the fall 2022 semester. As part of this Hindi class, we learn grammar, vocabulary, and diction. But we also immerse ourselves in the culture of India and Hindi. This has included watching Bollywood scenes, learning about Indian dance and art, and learning phrases that will help us flourish in a Hindi-speaking country. A big part of this class is the NGO experience. More specifically, we talked to people in the Delhi Young Artist Forum. The Delhi Young Artist Forum… read more about Conversing with Confidence in Hindi with Delhi NGO Students »

No matter the age, poetry can open our hearts and minds. In addition to helping us to express our feelings, poetry can also serve as a doorway to our emotions. In Hindi 101 class, Professor Knapczyk incorporated and organized various real-life scenarios to implement our understanding from the class. From Bollywood dance workshops to working with NGOs, one of these events included a poetry writing workshop with Mr. Jagdish Vyom, where we submerged ourselves in a foreign language in a creative and fun way while learning… read more about Broadening Perspectives Through Poetry Writing Workshops With Poet Jagdish Vyom »

ACTFL has announced the 2022 recipients of the ACTFL Professional Awards, an annual program in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of language education. 2022 marked the return to an in-person awards ceremony, following two years of virtual celebrations.  These awards were presented in Boston on Saturday, November 19, as part of the ACTFL 2022 Annual Convention & World Languages Expo. In addition to the in-person event, all award presentations will be accessible to the public for on-demand viewing via… read more about Knapczyk awarded for excellence in world language instruction using technology »

While her class focuses on the study of an Indian language, Kusumji also educates us about Indian culture and society. Each semester, there are always a few activities we do that surprise me in the best way. In one such class, we learned about the indigenous Warli tribe and their art. Warli folk art is recognized for its simple shapes and detailed patterns. It is an art style that felt accessible, even for people without strong artistic talents.  For this class, we began by making a story together in Hindi, where each… read more about Expressing Feelings, Emotions, and Ideas Through Warli Art »

On October 21st, a festive mood was in the air. Diwali was coming up on the following Monday, and everyone in Kusum Ji’s Hindi 203 class was excited to get the weekend started. Our cooking class was the perfect way to kick off the Festival of Lights and brought together the whole class with something beyond academics. As we arrived one by one into the kitchen of the John Hope Franklin Center, Kusum Ji gave everyone a different task. Some people were responsible for arranging paper decorations and banners outside for the… read more about Eat, Pray, Cook »

When Kusum ji delivered our next job, everyone immediately began exchanging looks with one another. We were to divide up into teams of four, then travel to Duke Gardens to take pictures of the many things we saw there. Due to the fact that the weather was relatively pleasant and warm, we did not have to worry about the falling leaves, incessant rain, and fog that typically accompany the beginning of November. My other teammate Shloka served as the primary instructional leader for our group. I took pictures for the team as… read more about A Novel Exploration of Duke Gardens »

Ivy Sun, a third-year Japanese major student (Class of 2024) in AMES, participated in this year's Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement Talk (J.LIVE Talk) at George Washington University on November 13th, 2022. This Japanese-language speaking competition was sponsored by the Embassy of Japan in Washington, D.C., the Japan Foundation, and Nanzan University, among others. After two rounds of competitions, Ivy was selected as a contestant for the final field and won second place in the most advanced category that… read more about AMES Student Takes Second Place in 2022 J.LIVE Talk »

Long winter nights make for good reads. Duke publications from the fall and winter include attractions for readers of many interests.  For history buffs, there's new history of the American West and a timely assessment of economic sanctions. For politicos, there's a blueprint for protecting democracy and a study of the contributions of migrants to various cultures. Movie fans can read about the history of Asians in theater and cinema and a surprising look at the politics of Marvel movies. Many of the books, including new… read more about Warm Up With Winter Books From Duke Authors »

I am a student in Kusum ji’s intermediate Hindi class (Hindi 203), where we have the joy of learning not only the Hindi language, but also the beautiful culture it is intertwined with.  In September, we had a virtual Bollywood dance class with the multi-talented, fit, and inspiring instructor Vidya Nahar. We were to learn the dance steps of the immensely popular song “Ghungroo,” whose catchiest lyric (in my opinion) goes like this:   Chod ke saare sharam aur laaj Main aise zor se naachi aaj Ke… read more about When You Dance So Hard That The Anklets Around Your Legs Break »

The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) welcomes Linda Galvane, postdoctoral associate in Japanese and East Asian cultural studies, to its faculty for the academic year. Galvane, who hails from Riga, Latvia, holds both a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Osaka University. She studies the underbelly of culture, quite literally, focusing on excrement in Japanese literature. Along with teaching three courses, she will  take part in scholarly… read more about AMES Postdoc Studies the Cultural Underbelly of Japanese Literature »

Traditionally, the arts and sciences have been viewed as two distinct fields of study, disconnected and distant to each other. But it isn’t uncommon to see Duke students with defined paths in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) also majoring or minoring in the performing and visual arts — adding these disciplines to not only their course loads but also their career goals.   Junior Emily Miller is majoring in Biology with double minors in Theater Studies and Chinese — and can’t remember a point in… read more about Theater Studies Gives This Medical Researcher the Creativity She Needs to Discover New Solutions »

Observations from an Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program Student Photos by John West, Trinity Communications It’s easy to let something momentous wash soundlessly into a current of small logistics: the shoes that tape won’t hold, the baby quiet in a corner, the caterers folding black tablecloths and the blue folders waiting to be filled. Still, it was impossible to miss the waves of newness at the inaugural Southeast Conference on Asian American Studies – the first… read more about Speakers, Panelist Discuss Goals and Future of Asian American Pedagogy »

The Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) welcomed Mohamed Wajdi ben Hammed, postdoctoral associate in Arabic Cultural Studies, to its faculty this year. Along with teaching three courses for the academic year, he will also take part in scholarly events and activities, conduct research and work on his publication portfolio. “Ben Hammed brings his thorough knowledge of Arabic literature and thought to Duke," says Shai Ginsburg, chair and associate professor of the department. "He has deep familiarity… read more about AMES Postdoc Juxtaposes Muslim and European Thinkers to Explore Modern Arabic Literature »