Faculty News

Prof. Matthias L. Richter's recent book The Embodied Text: Establishing Textual identity in Early Chinese Manuscripts has received honorable mention for the 2015 Levenson Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. Each year the Levenson Prize is awarded to the best scholarly book on China, as selected by a committee of China scholars. There are two categories, for books on modern China and on premodern China. Prof. Richter's book was honored in the premodern category.







The Shinkokinshū: A New Collection of Poems Ancient and Modern (ca. 1205) is supreme among the twenty-one anthologies of court poetry ordered by the Japanese emperors between the tenth and fifteenth centuries in terms of overall literary art, the high quality of the almost two thousand poems included, and the depth of poetic sentiment. Laurel Rasplica Rodd's complete translation allows the reader to appreciate the elaborate integration of the anthologized poems into a single whole by means of chronological procession or imagistic association from one poem to the next that was perfected in the Shinkokinshū by Retired Emperor Gotoba, himself a serious poet, and the courtiers he appointed as compilers, including Fujiwara no Teika, one of the greatest of Japanese poets.





Paul Kroll's A Student’s Dictionary of Classical and Medieval Chinese is the long-desired Chinese – English reference work for all those reading texts dating from the Warring States period through the Tang dynasty. Comprising 8,000+ characters, and arranged alphabetically by Pinyin, it immensely facilitates reading and translating historical, literary, and religious texts dating from approximately 500 BCE to 1000 CE. Primarily a dictionary of individual characters (zidian 字典) and the words they represent, it also includes an abundance of alliterative and echoic binomes (lianmianci 連綿詞) as well as accurate identifications of hundreds of plants, animals, and assorted technical terms in various fields. It aims to become the English-language resource of choice for all those seeking assistance in reading texts dating from the Warring States period through the Tang dynasty. The dictionary has an index by “radical” and stroke-number, and contains various appendices, including one with reign-eras and exact accession dates of emperors given according to both Chinese and Western calendars. More information can be found here.



Dr. Michiko Kaneyasu is the recipient of the Hamako Ito Chaplin Memorial Award for Excellence in Japanese language teaching, 2014. This award is made annually by the Association for Asian Studies.

Faye Kleeman’s 2014 new book, In Transit: The Formation of a Colonial East Asian Cultural Sphere, examines the creation of an East Asian cultural sphere by the Japanese imperial project in the first half of the twentieth century. It seeks to re-read the “Greater East Asian Co-prosperity Sphere” not as a mere political and ideological concept but as the potential site of a vibrant and productive space that accommodated transcultural interaction and transformation. By reorienting the focus of (post)colonial studies from the macro-narrative of political economy, military institutions, and socio-political dynamics, it uncovers a cultural and personal understanding of life within the Japanese imperial enterprise.






Beginning in Fall 2014, the second volume of Persian: Here and Now (Mage: summer 2014), authored by our Persian instructor and coordinator of Persian (Farsi) program, Reza Farokhfal, will be used as the  course book for Intermediate Farsi. Extract from preface of the book:

In this volume, as in the first volume of Persian: Here and Now (for introductory Farsi), an attempt is made not only to provide students with level-appropriate, grammatical and lexical material but also to introduce them to language as embodied culture (i.e. to a variety of relevant, comprehensible, here and now representations of mainstream Iranian culture embodied in the language of Persian today). Hence, it is in pursuit of two objectives - linguistic proficiency and cultural proficiency - that material was selected and assembled for this book.





Dr. Laurel Rodd has been awarded the Japanese Foreign Minister's Commendation for 2014, in recognition for her outstanding contributions to the promotion of mutual understanding and goodwill between the people of Japan and the United States. More about this well-deserved recognition can be found here.

In 2013, our Farsi (Persian) students at the introductory level began using the recently released book Persian: Here and Now (Introduction to Persian) written by Reza Farokhfal as their course book. Reza Farokhfal is the instructor and coordinator of the Persian program in the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations. Persian: Here and Now has been published by Mage publishers (Washington, summer 2013). Applying a communicative framework, the book provides first year students with both language and cultural proficiency and contains more than 2000 words and expressions, instructive notes and full colored illustrations. The book has been also adapted as a course book by these institutions: Stanford University, UC Irvine, and Brown University. More information can be found here: http://www.mage.com/nonfiction/persian-here-and-now.html.




In June 2013, the CU Center for Asian Studies, in collaboration with the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations (ALC) and the Anderson Language Technology Center (ALTEC), successfully concluded its second Hindi-Urdu STARTALK language program. Our program, titled “STARTALK: Hindi in the Rockies,” was an intensive, three-week program that ran from June 10th to June 28th at the University of Colorado Boulder. The curriculum was designed as an intensive introduction to Hindi and Urdu, and the diverse and shared culture and history of India and Pakistan. Fifteen students attended the program from local schools, grades 9 through 12. These schools included Fairview High, Niwot High, Rocky Mountain High, Peak to Peak Charter School, East High School, Thunder Ridge Middle School, Platt Middle School, and George Washington High School.


Our program was generously funded by STARTALK, which is sponsored by the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI). According to STARTALK’s team of reviewers led by Dr. Gabriela Ilieva of New York University (NYU), our “Hindi in the Rockies” program “is an exemplary program that prepares students for real-life communication. It focuses on learning language related to topics about everyday life through communicative activities embedding culture and based on geography as content.” Our program received a near perfect score from the external reviewers.


Our core instructional team included Peter Knapczyk, instructor of Hindi in the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations at CU; Kusum Knapczyk, a former STARTALK fellow and an instructor of Hindi in the department of Asian Languages and Civilization at CU; Shahnaz Hassan, lecturer in Urdu at the South Asia Institute, UT-Austin; Indira Walia, a Colorado secondary school teacher; and Edwige Simon of ALTEC. A team of consultants included Laura Brueck, former assistant professor of Hindi in the department of Asian Languages and Civilizations at CU; and Mark Knowles, the director of ALTEC. Two graduate students, Elizabeth Lewis and Patricia Helfenbein, and an undergraduate assistant, Marieta Bialek, provided support for our instructional team. Anna Cook, a graduate student at ALTEC, provided professional graphic design services for publicity materials. Tim Oakes, the director of CAS, was the P.I. on the program. Joanne Sakaguchi of CAS provided administrative support, and Kunga Lama, outreach coordinator at CAS, directed the program. For more information: http://cas.colorado.edu/content/startalk-hindi-rockies-was-big-success

Much of Antje Richter's research during the last several years has focused on the epistolary literature and culture of early medieval China. In 2013, her book Letters & Epistolary Culture in Early Medieval China was published by University of Washington Press. It provides an introduction to personal letters and letter-writing in China from the 3rd to the 6th cent. CE, along with translations and interpretations of contemporaneous letters. More information can be found here: http://spot.colorado.edu/~richtea/research.html.







Matthias L. Richter's monograph The Embodied Text: Establishing Textual Identity in Early Chinese Manuscripts has appeared in the series Studies in the History of Chinese Texts at E.J. Brill (Leiden) in January 2013. The Embodied Text addresses the problem that the books transmitted to us as pre-imperial literature were all reconstructed in the fundamentally changed political and cultural circumstances of the early empire –– a time when not only book formats had changed but also the concept of what a text is and how it is used. Centering on the comprehensive and detailed study of a 300 BCE Chinese manuscript, this study explores significant differences between the Warring States manuscript text and its transmitted counterparts. These differences reveal the adaptation of the text to the changed political environment as well as general ideological developments. The book further demonstrates how the physical embodiment of the text in the manuscript reflects modes of textual transformation and social uses of written texts.