Constantine Vaporis

UMBC historian says President Obama’s visit to Japan could have a lasting impact on his legacy

As President Obama prepared for his historic trip to Japan and Vietnam, Constantine Vaporis wrote a powerful op-ed for The Conversation, calling the trip “a key opportunity to showcase the power of remembrance and reconciliation.” Continue reading UMBC historian says President Obama’s visit to Japan could have a lasting impact on his legacy

Constantine Vaporis

Constantine Vaporis selected for national Asian studies speaker series program

Constantine Vaporis, professor of history and director of the Asian studies program, has been selected for the ASIANetwork Speakers Bureau. The program is a new distinguished speaker series hosted by the ASIANetwork, a consortium of 160 liberal arts colleges and universities … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis selected for national Asian studies speaker series program

Constantine Vaporis

Constantine Vaporis presents research at University of Pennsylvania Center for Integrated Study of Japan inauguration

In conjunction with the inauguration of University of Pennsylvania’s new Center for the Integrated Study of Japan, Constantine Vaporis presented an invited talk that focused on his research about travel in Early Modern Japan and what it revealed about healing, … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis presents research at University of Pennsylvania Center for Integrated Study of Japan inauguration

Constantine Vaporis, History, To Serve as Smithsonian Journeys Expert in Japan

In April 2014, Asian Studies Program Director Constantine Vaporis was selected as a Smithsonian expert for tours of Japan. Vaporis is leaving next week to deliver five formal lectures and will also be providing the informal educational component for the tour, Eternal Japan: From Tokyo to Kyoto. The formal lectures are as follows: From Edo to Tokyo The Countryside and Agriculture in Japan: Past and Present Sake: From Rice to Ritual Samurai and the Castle Towns of Tokugawa Japan Buddhism & Japan’s Ancient Capitals To read a profile of Vaporis on the Smithsonian Journeys website, click here. Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, History, To Serve as Smithsonian Journeys Expert in Japan

Asian Studies Partnership with Longwood Apartments in The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun featured the Asian studies program for its partnership with Longwood Apartments and Senior Center. The Asian studies program began an internship program at Longwood Apartments last year, allowing students to practice their language skills by translating and serving as interpreters for Korean and Chinese speaking residents. The program also created a food pantry to help low-income senior citizens in the apartment complex. Julie Rosenthal, Asian studies, learned about Longwood Apartments through her work with Food on the 15th, a local nonprofit she founded to donate groceries and toiletries to senior citizens in Howard County. After hearing about … Continue reading Asian Studies Partnership with Longwood Apartments in The Baltimore Sun

“Without You, There is No Us” – Undercover in North Korea (3/3)

Asian Studies Lecture and Book Signing Tuesday, March 3 | 7:00 p.m. Suki Kim, Award-Winning Journalist Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th Floor  In this talk, Suki Kim, an award-winning journalist, will discuss her book Without You, There is No Us. A New York Times bestseller and already in its sixth printing since its publication three months ago, Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite is an investigative nonfiction work and expose of life in North Korea and one of its elite schools and thus far has received rave reviews from New York Times Book Review, Wall Street … Continue reading “Without You, There is No Us” – Undercover in North Korea (3/3)

Film/Discussion – Reflections on Indian Manhood (2/10)

Join the Asian Studies Program for a viewing of Mardistan (Macholand): Reflections on Indian Manhood and discussion with Dr. Harjant Gill, a professor from Towson University. The film and discussion will be at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery from 4:00 p.m.- 5.30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10, 2015. Mardistan (Macholand) is an exploration of Indian manhood articulated through the voices of four men from different generations and backgrounds. A middle-aged writer trying to make sense of the physical and sexual abuse he witnessed studying in an elite military academy, a Sikh father of twin daughters resisting the pressure to … Continue reading Film/Discussion – Reflections on Indian Manhood (2/10)

Julie Rosenthal, Asian Studies, in the Howard County Beacon

In its January issue, the Howard County Beacon published an article about the Food on the 15th program and UMBC’s Asian studies food pantry program for low-income Asian seniors at Longwood Apartments in Columbia. Asian Studies Program Management Specialist Julie Rosenthal is founder and director of Food on the 15th and was quoted extensively in the article. Longwood Apartments was added to the program last year, and an internship was created for UMBC students to work as food pantry workers and translators for Chinese and Korean residents living in the apartments. Rosenthal saw a need, and now the program has delivered more than … Continue reading Julie Rosenthal, Asian Studies, in the Howard County Beacon

Julie Rosenthal, Asian Studies, in the Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Sun recently published an article about a series of volunteer opportunities organized by the Jewish Federation of Howard County on Christmas Day. Last year, 250 volunteers participated throughout the day, and this year, the Jewish Federation is partnering with Food on the 15th and the Asian Studies Food Pantry program for low-income Asian seniors. Asian Studies Program Management Specialist Julie Rosenthal is founder and director of Food on the 15th and was quoted in the article discussing the overall impact of the volunteer program. “We are partnering with the Jewish Federation for Mitzvah Day because we want to provide a … Continue reading Julie Rosenthal, Asian Studies, in the Baltimore Sun

Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, Op-Ed in Al Jazeera America

As President Obama begins a week-long visit to Asia, Asian Studies Program Director Constantine Vaporis writes in an Al Jazeera America op-ed that the trip is aimed at reassuring allies in the region that they remain top priorities on his agenda. Vaporis writes adding South Korea and Japan to the itinerary has made the trip even more important as tension between the two countries lingers over the history wars. “The U.S. administration has made clear that it will not act as mediator between the two sides. Nevertheless, Obama has acted assertively to try to prevent a further erosion of relations between them,” … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, Op-Ed in Al Jazeera America

Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, Named Smithsonian Journeys Expert

Asian Studies Program Director Constantine Vaporis has been selected as a Smithsonian expert for tours of Japan. As a director, the Smithsonian Journeys program will periodically ask Vaporis to lead tours in Japan, with the first one set for 2015. Vaporis’s research focuses on the Edo period and he is interested in the entire range of Japanese history. He is author of Breaking Barriers: Travel and the State in Early Modern Japan; Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo and the Culture of Early Modern Japan; Nihonjin to sankin kôtai [The Japanese and Alternate Attendance]; and Voices of Early Modern Japan: Contemporary Accounts of … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, Named Smithsonian Journeys Expert

Asian Studies Program Holds First Food Pantry at Longwood Apartments in Howard County

On Saturday, April 5, the Asian Studies Program had its first, successful food pantry at the Longwood Apartments (Section 8 HUD housing and Senior Center) in Columbia, Maryland, where organizers provided the residents, mainly Korean and Chinese, with food to supplement their food stamp allowances. Six Asian Studies student volunteers helped the pantry to run smoothly and communicated with the residents in Korean and Chinese. The food pantry program has been greatly assisted with a start-up grant from BreakingGround. It has involved Boy Scout groups and faith-based groups as well as the UMBC community in the effort. Asian Studies Program Management … Continue reading Asian Studies Program Holds First Food Pantry at Longwood Apartments in Howard County

Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, Op-Ed in Al Jazeera America

In an op-ed published January 31 in Al Jazeera America, Asian Studies Program Director Constantine Vaporis writes about East Asia’s “history wars” and the growing tensions among countries in the region. In “Japan stokes regional tension by revising school curriculum,” Vaporis writes the history wars are grounded in four issues: visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese officials, ongoing dispute over the sovereignty of several islets in the Sea of Japan, Japan’s responsibility for the suffering of “comfort women,” and recent controversy over Japanese textbooks and their explanation of colonial and wartime history: At the root of the troubling and deep-seated problems between … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, Op-Ed in Al Jazeera America

Manil Suri, Mathematics, Op-Ed in The Times of India

In an op-ed published in The Times of India on January 12, mathematics professor and affiliate professor of Asian studies Manil Suri wrote about the nuclear terrorism threat in South Asia. The column was written in response to the revelation that a captured Indian terrorist was hoping to obtain a nuclear bomb from Pakistan to plant in the Indian city of Surat. In the column titled “The nuclear nightmare,” Suri comments on the current nuclear threat between Pakistan and India: “With enough nuclear warheads to wipe each other out, India and Pakistan are in a classic configuration of mutually assured destruction,” he writes. … Continue reading Manil Suri, Mathematics, Op-Ed in The Times of India

Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, in Education About Asia

Asian studies program director Constantine Vaporis was recently interviewed in Education About Asia as part of an interview series with recipients of the AAS Franklin Buchanan Prize. Vaporis was the 2013 award winner for his book Voices of Early Modern Japan: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life During the Age of Shoguns. Education About Asia praised Vaporis for “producing a superb pedagogical tool” and interviewed him about his extensive scholarship on Tokugawa Japan and research methods for his book. In addition to the interview, the magazine published a review of Voices of Early Modern Japan.  The reviewer, Kathleen Krauth, writes: [The book] is a remarkable work in that it … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, in Education About Asia

Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, in National Museum of Japanese History Magazine

The National Museum of Japanese History recently published an article by Constantine Vaporis in its bi-monthly magazine “REKIHAKU.” Vaporis, who is the Asian studies program director and professor of history, was the lead article in the magazine’s special edition on processions. The article, titled “Alternate Attendance as Performance,” examines Tokugawa Japan (1603-1868) and the system of alternate attendance when the daimyo were required by the shogun to alternate their residences between their domains and Edo. The article studies alternate attendance from two perspectives: as a symbol of authority and as performance or theater. It does so by analyzing the form in … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, in National Museum of Japanese History Magazine

Julie Rosenthal, Asian Studies, Receives Volunteer of the Year Award

Congratulations to Julie Rosenthal, Program Management Specialist for the Asian Studies Program, who has been named the Association of Community Services Volunteer of the Year for her role in creating and directing the not-for-profit Food on the 15th Program. Hers is one of the 38th Annual Audrey Robbins Humanitarian Award given by the association. The award ceremony will be held on Friday, May 3, in Clarksville, MD.  Food on the 15th delivers groceries and toiletries to disadvantaged senior citizens in Jessup and Ellicott City. The Association of Community Services (ACS) is a network of organizations and individuals serving Howard County … Continue reading Julie Rosenthal, Asian Studies, Receives Volunteer of the Year Award

Asian Studies Program and Longwood Apartments Begin Partnership

The Asian Studies Program and Longwood Apartments, located in Columbia, MD, have begun a partnership this spring. Asian Studies students will serve internships at this HUD Section 8 housing complex to facilitate communication between the largely Asian population and the non-Asian staff. They will also interact with the Chinese and Korean-speaking residents in a variety of ways, particularly through the Longwood Senior Center, which is located in Longwood Apartments and operated by Howard County On April 26, two ASIA majors, Christine Au and Klara Kim, served as translators and facilitators at Longwood’s Spring Community meeting. Other internship duties will include: … Continue reading Asian Studies Program and Longwood Apartments Begin Partnership

Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, on PBS Blog

Constatine Vaporis, director of the Asian studies program and professor of history, was featured in a blog post on the PBS blog “The Rundown.”  The post was entitled “For Hundreds of Years, Cherry Blossoms Are Matter of Life and Death.” Vaporis said that as seppuku (ritual suicide) became a key part of the samurai’s Bushido code, the samurai “identified with the cherry blossom particularly because it fell at the moment of its greatest beauty, an ideal death.” Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, on PBS Blog

Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, Invited to Summer Institute

Constantine Vaporis, professor of history and director of the Asian studies program, has been invited to attend “India’s Past and the Making of the Present,” a National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute for college and university faculty sponsored by the Community College Humanities Association. This four-week institute, which will take place in Delhi, Agra, and Varanasi  this July, is designed to be an intense, interdisciplinary engagement with Indian history and culture, providing participants with a rich interplay of resources, seminars, and site visits.  It will introduce participants to the most current scholarly perspectives on India, broadening and deepening their … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies, Invited to Summer Institute

Alan Kreizenbeck, Theatre, On The Freeman Institute Workshop in Japan Studies

Associate professor Alan Kreizenbeck, theatre, attended the 2012 Summer Freeman Institute Workshop in Japan Studies, which was held at Tokai International College in Honolulu, Hawaii from May 20 to June 10. The workshop was sponsored by the Japan Studies Association, and involved Kreizenbeck and thirteen other scholars from across the United States. The scholars attended lectures covering a breadth of material, covering Japanese history, religion, literature, visual arts, music, theatre, social policy and international relations. The workshops also afforded Kreizenbeck and his colleagues an opportunity to strengthen their knowledge of the Japanese language through interactions with young native Japanese speakers. “I would recommend applying to this workshop to anyone interested in learning … Continue reading Alan Kreizenbeck, Theatre, On The Freeman Institute Workshop in Japan Studies

Julie Rosenthal, Asian Studies, in Washington Jewish Week

Julie Rosenthal of the Asian Studies Program was interviewed by Washington Jewish Week about her work fighting hunger in the community. In neighboring Howard County, Julie Rosenthal, founder of the program Food on the 15th, is working with county parents and student volunteers to fight senior hunger while operating without any overhead. To date, Julie’s teams have delivered nearly 14,000 free bags of nonperishable regular and diabetic groceries and toiletries to low-income seniors right around the 15th of the month, when social security checks often run out. “What people don’t realize is senior citizens don’t have transportation to food banks,” … Continue reading Julie Rosenthal, Asian Studies, in Washington Jewish Week

Constantine Vaporis, History, to Give Lectures Aboard Cruise

Constantine Vaporis, professor of history and director of the Asian studies program, will give a series of lectures onboard the Orion II, an Australian-operated cruise ship, during  a ten-day tour around the islands of Japan and Korea. The cruise will begin in Hokkaido in the far north, travel along the Sea of Japan to Busan, Korea, and then through the Inland Sea. The ship stops in a number of cities, including Otaru, Kanazawa, Matsue, Busan, Nagasaki, Hiroshima and Kobe. During the cruise, Vaporis will deliver lectures entitled “A Maritime View of the Japanese Archipelago,” “The Samurai in History” and “Popular … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, History, to Give Lectures Aboard Cruise

“Food on the 15th” on Voice of America

Six years ago, Julie Rosenthal, the program management specialist for Asian studies, wanted to teach her daughter about helping others. Rather than encouraging her daughter to volunteer, Rosenthal took it farther: she founded Food on the 15th, a program through which students deliver food to the elderly. “We want the children to have firsthand experience delivering the food to the people so that they can get that feeling of really making a difference in somebody’s life, a positive difference,” Rosenthal said. The program was recently profiled by Voices of America, which provides news, information, and cultural programming worldwide through the … Continue reading “Food on the 15th” on Voice of America

Mrinalini Sinha Lecture on the Global Ramifications of Abolishing Indentured Labor (4/18)

The system of indentured labor from India, which the British devised in the aftermath of the abolition of slavery to replace the demand for labor world-wide, has often been referred to as a “new system of slavery.” When, how and why did this once lucrative system eventually come to an end? What was the significance of this second abolition? Mrinalini Sinha, associate professor of history and women’s studies at Penn State, will address these questions in a Social Sciences Forum lecture on April 18, 4:00 p.m. in the UMBC library, 7th floor. The talk is co-sponsored by UMBC’s Asian Studies … Continue reading Mrinalini Sinha Lecture on the Global Ramifications of Abolishing Indentured Labor (4/18)

Constantine Vaporis, History and Asian Studies, to Give Talk at Freer Gallery

Constantine Vaporis, professor of history and director of the Asian studies program, will participate in a panel disccusion at the Freer Gallery on Saturday, May 5 as part of the “articulations” series.  The purpose of the series is to “broaden… perspectives on art and culture through conversations from multiple viewpoints.” The topic of conversation will be “Visual Culture and Social Upheaval: Imaging Change in Late Edo Period Japan.”  The panelists will explore the intersection of pop culture and spiritual concerns in late Edo society with leading scholars. Attendees will discover the reasons behind the acclaim for Kano Kazunobu’s phantasmagoric paintings of Buddha’s … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, History and Asian Studies, to Give Talk at Freer Gallery

Constantine Vaporis, History and Asian Studies, to Lead Workshop

On Saturday, March 24, Constantine Vaporis, professor of history and director of the Asian Studies program, will lead a workshop for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) at the University of Pittsburgh, a NCTA National Coordinating Site. The workshop will be entitled “Japan and its World: Late Edo Period and Today.” The workshop will focus on the changes occurring in the late Edo period (mid-19th Century) especially the “opening” of Japan, and how this information relates to understanding Japan’s role in the world today. Vaporis’ presentation will deal with four distinct topics: Challenges from Within Danger from Without … Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, History and Asian Studies, to Lead Workshop

Alan Kreizenbeck, Theater, to Participate in Freeman Summer Institute on Japan

Alan Kreizenbeck, chair of theater, has been selected by the Japan Studies Association to be a participant in the 2012 Freeman Summer Institute on Japan. The Institute will operate at Hawaii Tokai International College in Honolulu from Sunday, May 20 thru Friday, June 8, 2012. The workshop aims to provide knowledge about Japan that faculty can use for curriculum development at their home institution. Kreizenbeck will be developing a course that focuses on various forms of Japanese theatre such as Noh, Kabuki, Kyogen and Bunraku.  Most expenses are covered by the Freeman Institute, and additional fees are covered by the Dean of … Continue reading Alan Kreizenbeck, Theater, to Participate in Freeman Summer Institute on Japan

Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies and History, Explains Link Between Samurai and Cherry Blossoms

Constantine Vaporis, director of the Asian studies program and professor of history, is a consultant and writer for a new exhibit at the National Geographic Museum entitled “Samurai: The Warrior Transformed,” which opens March 7 and runs through September 3. The exhibition was planned to coincide with and D.C.’s annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, which this year marks the 100th anniversary of the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, D.C. by the government of Japan In the video below, Vaporis answers the question, “What do samurai have to do with cherry blossoms?” Continue reading Constantine Vaporis, Asian Studies and History, Explains Link Between Samurai and Cherry Blossoms