News

Experienced faculty leader Leo T. S. Ching has been named the new Schiff Family Dean of Humanities and the Arts in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, effective July 1. Ching is a professor of Japanese and East Asian Cultural Studies in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (AMES). His research encompasses empire studies, postcolonial and decolonial theories, cultures of globalization, critical game studies, and oceanic and archipelagic studies. This appointment “will ensure our continued excellence in the Arts &… read more about Leo Ching to Lead Humanities and the Arts for Trinity College of Arts & Sciences »

As I entered Yale University's Luce Hall, the scent of chai and samosas greeted me. People chatted in Hindi, with many saree-clad ladies and girls and men wearing kurta pajamas, creating the atmosphere of an Indian festival.  Grandparents, parents, and professors conversed with their nervous students, reassuring them about their upcoming performance. The competition became even more intense when they noticed several non-native students also speaking Hindi.   The debate commenced with three judges attentively… read more about Yale Hindi Debate: Duke Students Shine on the National Language Stage  »

SPEAKER Lisa Nakamura (University of Michigan); Florian Schneider (Universiteit Leiden) APSI and AMES invite members of our scholarly community to attend the 2024 EAS-CAH workshop focusing on the theme of "Digital Asia." Except where otherwise noted, all sessions take place in the Pink Parlor, East Duke Building. ~~please note, the following agenda is subject to change~~ WORKSHOP AGENDA 9:30-10:00am Breakfast (provided) 10:00-10:15am Opening Remarks & Welcome: Eileen Cheng-yin Chow & Shai Ginsburg… read more about 2024 East Asian Studies/ Critical Asian Humanities Annual Workshop »

Annually, students of Kusum Ji in beginner and intermediate Hindi classes collaborate with the Delhi Young Artist Forum (DYAF) for an engaging and light-hearted Zoom session. This event is designed to facilitate mutual language exchange: students share English language skills through interactive games with DYAF participants while DYAF members reciprocate by conversing in Hindi. DYAF is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that seeks to empower underprivileged youth through education, combating social injustice. … read more about Student-to-Student Connections Across a Language Barrier »

Spring’s crop of books from Duke authors includes a history of grievance in the United States, an up-close look at the camaraderie at Durham Bulls games, and a guide on understanding sex and gender. Below is a roundup of some of the most recent and upcoming published titles. Many of the books, including new editions of previous titles, can be found on the “Duke Authors” display shelves near the circulation desk in Perkins Library. Some are available as e-books for quick download. Most can also be purchased through the… read more about Spring Books in Duke Authors: Meditations, Baseball, Rebels and Stomach Pains »

I really enjoyed Dr. Sudipa Topdar’s guest lecture in our intermediate Hindi class. She spent the class analyzing the role that Hanuman plays in Indian culture. I was raised learning stories about Hanuman. I read the Amar Chitra Kata discussed in class repeatedly when I was a kid. Due to the fact that I was raised in America, even though I was raised on Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana and Amar Chitra Kata’s, I did not get the chance to see the place that Hanuman held in the public Indian consciousness. Dr. Topdar went into detail… read more about The Transformation of Hanuman from a Divine Hero to Hypermasculine: A Talk by Dr. Sudipa Topdar in Hindi class »

The Japanese program at Duke hosted the 37th Duke Japanese Speech Contest on March 30, 2024 on East Campus. This contest had a total of 15 finalists from Duke University, Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Below is the list of winners:    Level I:          1st Place:    Darwin Cai (Duke University)        2nd Place:  Liam June (University of North Carolina at Charlotte)      3rd Place:   Robert… read more about 2024 Duke Japanese Speech Contest »

Any Blue Devils basketball fans worth their horns can recite the illustrious career of Coach K by heart. While Coach K may be retired, fear not, there’s an unassuming faculty member well on her way to pulling down equally impressive stats for Duke: Coach H, or Maha Houssami, faculty advisor for the Arabic debate team. In five prolific years, Duke’s Arabic debate team has made four appearances at the United States Universities Arabic Debating Championship (USADC), winning back-to-back national titles in 2022 and 2023. In… read more about Inclusive Arguments for the Win »

Fifteen students from Toyama College of Foreign Languages visited the Duke campus as part of the Durham/Toyama sister cities initiatives. They joined twenty Duke students enrolled in various levels of Japanese language courses to explore campus, including a visit to the Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Pavilion in the Duke Gardens. During the visit, Toyama students participated in a Japanese language class and enthusiastically exchanged insights about diverse cultures. The Toyama students’ trip to Durham had been suspended… read more about Students from Toyama College of Foreign Languages Visit Duke for Cultural Exchange with Japanese Language Students »

Edith London, In Flight, 1995. Mixed media, 13 x 16 inches (33 x 40.6 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Museum purchase and partial gift of Lee Hansley Gallery; 1997.25.1. Courtesy Nasher Museum of Art “It’s fulfilling to have a collaborative public outcome born from a course,” Saskia Ziolkowski, associate professor in Romance Studies, admits. She’s referencing Mapping Jewish Modernism, an exhibit currently on view through August at the Rubenstein… read more about Charting the Landscape of Jewish Modernism »

Erdağ Göknar is well-versed when it comes to Turkish novelist and academic Orhan Pamuk. He’s worked with him for decades, written a book that serves as the first critical study of his novels and translated the Nobel laureate’s work. “As a Fulbright fellow in the mid 1990s, I first heard Orhan Pamuk give a talk on Turkish modernism at a bookstore in Istanbul,” Göknar recalls. “I was studying literature but hadn’t fully realized the ways in which it intersects with and informs Turkish identity-formation, history… read more about Conversations with a Nobel Laureate »

Mac Hester, a Chinese major student (Class of 2024) at AMES, presented his research project titled ‘Scope Assignment in Quantifier-Negation Sentences in Early Korean-Chinese Bilinguals’ Grammars’ at the 2024 Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Annual Meeting held in New York City. About the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) The LSA Annual Meeting, held the first week of every January in a major U.S. city, is the premier gathering of linguistics professionals and students from throughout the profession… read more about Chinese Major Student Presented a Research Project in a National Linguistics Conference »

Rekha Sethi is a Professor and former Vice Principal at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She has authored five books, edited eight and translated a poetry collection from English to Hindi. She co-organized a web-lecture series on ‘Women Writings in India’ with Dr. Fauzia Farooqui, South Asian Studies Program, Princeton University and chaired a three-lecture series on ‘Indian Literature of the Marginalized Society’ at Duke University, USA. She has also published extensively in… read more about "What would you like to change from your childhood?" »

Whether it be attending yoga and Indian cooking classes, singing Hindi songs, or watching Hindi films, Kusumji’s Hindi 101 class is filled with numerous opportunities for us to immerse in Indian culture while applying our Hindi language skills. A major part of this immersive cultural experience is the service-learning component of the course—our virtual meeting with the Delhi Young Artists Forum (DYAF). The DYAF is an NGO that empowers young women in Delhi through art and education. The DYAF members who we met were… read more about Cultivating Cultural Connection via the Hindi Language: Our Conversations with the Delhi Young Artists Forum »

Yosemite National Park is located in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountain range, and is 3.5 hours from San Francisco and roughly the size of the state of Rhode Island. Established on October 1, 1890, the park is home to vast glaciated landscapes, rare sequoia trees, and unique flora and fauna. Over 3 million people from all over the world visit Yosemite each year. I first remember visiting Yosemite when I was in 8th grade for a weeklong field trip. I was so inspired by its beauty that I knew I had to come back! I returned… read more about The Importance of Anuvad: Translating Yosemite National Park’s Brochure into Hindi »

This year was the second time I got to experience a Hindi class meeting with the Delhi Young Artists Forum. I find this event to be oddly nerve-wracking. There is something especially frightening about having my fledgling Hindi exposed to native speakers. Coupled with this nervousness, there is also a level of excitement because I know it is the best way to improve my Hindi. Unfortunately, this year I missed the first half hour of our NGO meeting, but I was interested to hear that the members of DYAF were shocked, and a bit… read more about Learning from Native Language Speakers »

When Dr. Kusum Knapcyzk told us we would be hosting a guest lecturer for one week from New Delhi, I did not know what to expect regarding content and structure. I was blown away by the exposure to culture and knowledge of Dr. Rekha Sethi. Sethi is a post-independence Hindi poetry and fiction professor at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. She is also a well-respected author with experience in the advertising industry, allowing her to develop a deep understanding of modern Indian culture. HINDI 203 is the… read more about A New Perspective Towards Language and Culture: Dr. Rekha Sethi Visits HINDI 203 at Duke »

A few weeks ago, my elementary Hindi class had the privilege of welcoming Dr. Rekha Sethi, a professor at Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi. With over two decades of experience in teaching Hindi Language, Literature, and Media Studies, her visit brought a new perspective to our coursework. In class we had begun learning about masculine and feminine nouns and we were excited to put the totality of our Hindi knowledge to use in the form of a poem. As a class we were thrilled for the opportunity to learn from… read more about Crafting Language and Culture: A Hindi Poetry Workshop with Dr. Rekha Sethi »

Recently, Kusum Ji’s Hindi students got the opportunity to participate in a cooking class, in which we learned to make lemon rice and chole. But of course, we derived much more than just culinary skills from cooking class. Experiences like this are pertinent to understanding the larger cultural context that surrounds a language. Cooking class is always a fan favorite, and this semester was no exception. Priya Amresh joined us this time to direct the lemon rice operation. She is also Duke University… read more about Spicing Up Hindi Class: A Culinary Journey through Lemon Rice and Chole »

Dr. Rekha Sethi is not a typical guest lecturer. She traveled all the way from New Delhi to spend a week sharing her unique insight and guiding students through the material of AMES 191: Indian Literature of Marginalized Society. In India, she teaches at Indraprastha College for Women which is a constituent of the University of Delhi. She is a professor focusing on post-independence Hindi poetry and fiction and also an accomplished author. She worked with Dr. Kusum Knapcyzk to put together a very instructive and enjoyable… read more about Guest Speaker Dr. Rekha Sethi Brings Expertise to AMES at Duke »

Layla Arty, a Japanese major student (Class of 2024) at AMES, presented her research project titled ‘Acquisition of the English Plural Form by Native Japanese Speakers’ at the 23rd International Conference of the Japan Second Language Association (J-SLA 2023), which was hosted by Gakushuin University in Tokyo, Japan. You can watch Layla's presentation by following this link or clicking below: read more about Japanese Major Presents Research Project at International Conference in Japan »

Prof. Kusum has a way of implementing culture into her classes solely for the benefit of us students. Even within the first couple months of being in Hindi class, we have had the chance to learn songs, partake in celebrations, and learn small things about the culture that are fascinating.  On Friday the 29th, Hindi class had the pleasure of taking a "field trip" to the Sarah P. Duke Gardens. We participated in a yoga class led by Subhash Mittal ji (Yoga with Subhash) out of Cary, NC. Subhas ji taught our class and the… read more about Balancing Wellness: Yoga Showcase and Sattvik Food Discourse »

Asian & Middle Eastern Studies Department Chair and Associate Professor Shai Ginsburg gave the following remarks on Oct. 9 at an on-campus vigil for the victims of the attack on Israel: “I have few, all too few words to say to comfort you today. We are often missing words precisely when we need them the most. "It is difficult, very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to put our emotions into words at such moments. As the prophet Amos said in the face of war, destruction, death, and desolation: "… read more about Ginsburg gives remarks at vigil for victims in Israel »