Asian Languages & Literatures 

ALL Launches new arabic studies major

By Kyle Tsuchiya

ALL has been the home to Arabic language and culture classes on campus for several years, and recently launched a new major subplan in Arabic studies. Students take courses ranging from language to topics such as pre-Islamic poetry and gender in the Arab world. “The program is very comprehensive,” says one student. “The connections I have made and the help and support that I have received have allowed me to broaden my options for my future career.”

"Impractical" experience, Practical learning

By Kyle Tsuchiya

ALL’s new Lawrence Scholarship in Experiential Learning gives students the chance to take unpaid internships, and thus provides them with invaluable experiences that help solidify their career goals. 2017 graduate Spencer Buchanan spent last summer working at the Minnesota Federal Executive Board. “This scholarship allowed me to be an unpaid intern without having to worry about having enough money,” he explained. “Having this internship solidified my desire to move forward with a career in government.”

Hangtae Cho Receives 2016-17 Morse-Alumni Teaching Award

A beloved teacher for 20 years, Dr. Hangtae Cho has grown the U’s Korean program from a cohort of 10 to a cohort of 500, and made it the most successful program for nonheritage learners in the United States. Cho pioneered the teaching of nonheritage learners through his work on a textbook series for beginning and intermediate learners. His research and teaching includes South and North Korea. As McKnight Professor Travis Workman says, Dr. Cho has “put Minnesota on the map nationally as a center for undergraduate education in North Korean topics.” He aims to take “a more nuanced, less-biased approach to the living culture on the peninsula.” Students find him both wise and approachable.

Revamping research: celebrating the career of dr. joseph r. allen

By Kyle Tsuchiya

The ALL department is flourishing, and its success stems directly from the leadership of Professor Emeritus Joseph R. Allen, who founded the ALL department in 2000--an achievement that he calls “the best decision [he] ever made.” Recently retired after sixteen years of service, he has handed over the departmental reins to current chair Christine Marran, but Allen hasn’t given up his role as champion for research within the department. He knows first-hand that a small amount of funding can go a long way when it comes to research in the humanities, but that even modest funding can be hard to come by. A new fund bearing his name will be devoted to supporting the vital research being carried out by ALL faculty members.

from india to the u of m: Meet graduate student Sreyashi Ray

By Kyle Tsuchiya

ALL graduate student Sreyashi Ray ventured all the way from India to pursue a PhD in Asian Literatures, Cultures and Media. She was drawn to the University of Minnesota by the significant research work being done by UMN faculty and recommendations from professors at her alma mater. Learn more about her research interests and her experience at UMN.

UNderstanding the arab world

By Kyle Tsuchiya

Despite working in ALL for under two years, Joseph Farag has already made an impressive impact on the department  and the emergence of the new Arabic program. His main area of study is Palestinian literature, and he has realized that literature provides “unique and telling insights into societies that quantitative social sciences ignore at their own peril.” He explores the dialectic between artistic innovation and politics in his new book, Politics and Palestinian Literature in Exile, which will be published near the end of the year.

sharing buddhist poetry

By Kyle Tsuchiya

It was while attending Harvard University when ALL professor Paul Rouzer fell in love with the Chinese language. After receiving his doctorate in 1989, he served as an instructor of the Chinese language and culture at several institutions before coming to the University of Minnesota in 2004. Rouzer’s new book, On Cold Mountain, is a study of of Hanshan, a legendary Chinese poet whose collection of poems became a rather strange phenomenon in Chinese literature. He has spoken about the book at numerous Zen centers throughout Minnesota, and it has been invigorating for him to engage in discussions on poetry with the Buddhist community.

building a new korea

By Mitchell J. Cress

From a young age, Grace has been fascinated with Korean language and culture. When Grace was 12 years old, her father offered her the opportunity to study abroad in South Korea. For 20 months of her middle school career, Grace immersed herself in Korean daily life, gaining an appreciation for foreign culture and human rights at a relatively young age. She eventually brought her Korean experiences and passions to the University of Minnesota, where she is now immersed in her studies and engagements outside the classroom.

onnagata: The stars of japanes kabuki theater

By Mitchell J. Cress

Maki Isaka Highlights A Centuries-Old Cultural Phenomenon

preserving and enhancing the hmong community

By Mitchell J. Cress

Bee Vang-Moua and her students lead immigrants into a new future

equipped for the future

By Kyle Tsuchiya

When the time to choose a college arrived for recent alumnus Andy Shu, he was absolutely certain on a few things: He wanted to go to a big school in Minnesota, and he was going to get a business degree. The Minnesota native decided on the University of Minnesota with a plan to study economics with a minor in business management. However, another strong interest of his was Asian culture, so he chose to add Asian Languages and Literatures (ALL) as a second major.

ecocriticism and culture

By Kyle Tsuchiya

In 2004, Marran left her first tenure-track job at Princeton University to join CLA’s then new Department of Asian Languages and Literatures. She collaborated with her new colleagues to forge a new approach to area studies. She says that the drive of her colleagues in CLA inspires her and benefits her work: “The faculty here in CLA are theoretical and inventive. They’ve helped me hammer out ideas on many occasions.”

a new way of exploring korea

By Kyle Tsuchiya

Dr. Cho is the founding director of the Korean program at the University in the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures (ALL). In 1996, Dr. Cho moved from Korea to Minnesota with one goal: to receive his PhD in linguistics. Upon receiving his PhD, he planned to return to Korea and work as a linguistics professor. However, that plan began to change when he was asked to teach Korean as an extension class while he was here.