UB College of Arts and Sciences

Asian Studies Special Events


FALL 2014


Comics, The Vietnam War, and a Refugee Family: Drawing My Past to Write My Future
Lecture by GB Tran, author of the graphic novel Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey

November 5, 2014
330 Student Union
Free and open to the public

GB Tran, author of the graphic novel Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey, will be visiting UB from November 3-5.

To view the poster for GB Tran’s visit and public lecture, click here.

In addition to a public lecture, listed above, he will also have an eat-n-greet luncheon with students, the details of which are outlined below.

Lunch with GB Tran

Eat-n-Greet Luncheon for Students
November 5, 2014
17 Norton Hall
Lunch will be provided

To view the poster for the Eat-n-Greet luncheon, click here.

About Vietnamerica:
GB Tran is a young Vietnamese American artist who grew up distant from (and largely indifferent to) his family's history. Born and raised in South Carolina as a son of immigrants, he knew that his parents had fled Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. But even as they struggled to adapt to life in America, they preferred to forget the past—and to focus on their children's future. When his last surviving grandparents die within months of each other, GB visits Vietnam for the first time and begins to learn the tragic history of his family, and of the homeland they left behind. In telling his family's story, GB finds his own place in this saga of hardship and heroism. Vietnamerica is a visually stunning portrait of survival, escape, and reinvention—and of the gift of the American immigrants' dream, passed on to their children.

GB Tran’s visit is cosponsored by the Asian Studies Program, Humanities Institute, Honors College, Dept. of Art, Dept. of Transnational Studies, Dept. of Anthropology, and the Asian American Student Union.

The UB Department of English Juxtapositions Series presents

Versions of a Life: The Artistry of Dalit Activism

Christi A Merrill, Associate Professor of South Asian Literature and Postcolonial Theory, University of Michigan

November 17, 2014


306 Clemens Hall

S. Anand, publisher of Navayana, an Indian publishing house that focuses on issues of caste, explains in an afterword to Bhimayana: Experiences of Untouchability that he conceived of this graphic biography as a way of reviving and amplifying the posthumously-published reminiscences of the Indian nationalist agitator and Dalit leader Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in “Waiting for a Visa.” Anand collaborated with Gond (tribal) artists Durgabai and Subhash Vyam to create a graphic account that describes real-life experiences – in the plural – of untouchability then and today. In this talk, Christi Merrill will examine the choices this team made in framing (and not framing) these scenes of systemic, unthinking discrimination as a way of reflecting more broadly on the art of translation as political activism.

To view the poster for this event, click here.


Art Exhibition

Between Two Worlds: Poured Paperworks by Sarah Brayer

July 20-December 21, 2014

Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University

For more information, click here.



Study Abroad in Asia

Information sessions

These information sessions will outline study abroad opportunities in Asia, explain the application process and scholarship opportunities, and answer student questions.

Thursday, October 2

11-11:50 am

112 Talbert

For information about specific locations/programs for study abroad in Asia, student can visit www.buffalo.edu/studyabroad

Learn About Careers in the Foreign Service: A discussion with Douglas Spelman, former Consul General in Shanghai

October 16, 2014


17 Norton Hall, Undergraduate Academies

UB North Campus

A sandwich spread and refreshments will be served.

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program, Undergraduate Academies, Career Services and The Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Program.

Click here to view the poster for this event.

CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections

Featuring a Live Webcast with Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States

Plus, live at UB “U.S.-China Relations: Strengths and Strains” - Dr. Douglas Spelman, former U.S. Consul General in Shanghai

October 16, 2014


280 Park Hall, UB North Campus

Free and open to the public

CHINA Town Hall is a national day of programming on China involving about 70 cities throughout the United States. This year’s event features a live webcast with former US President Jimmy Carter moderated by Stephen A. Orlins, President, National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Following President Carter’s talk, Dr. Spelman will speak and lead a discussion about "US-China Relations: Strengths and Strains."

To view the poster for this event, click here.

The Association of Chinese Professors of Social Sciences in the United States (ACPSS) 20th International Conference

Challenges and Opportunities of Sustainability in China and Beyond: Environment, Health, Justice and Other Emerging Social Issues

October 17-19, 2014

State University of New York Buffalo State

Presented in Collaboration with the Buffalo State Center for China Studies (CCS), and The University at Buffalo Confucius Institute (UBCI).

To view the program, click here.

Triveni Presentation

Ragasphere: An Exotic Tapestry of Vocal, Instrumental and Percussion Music

October 17, 2014


Baird Recital Hall, UB North Campus

Suggested Donation: $10 Students; $20 Public

Presented by internationally reputed musicians (Sounak Chattopadhyay, Rishabh Dhar and Gopal Das), Ragasphere is centered on the colorful, vibrant and versatile Raga music of India.

To view the poster for this event, click here.

Taiko Drum Concert
Heartbeat of Japan
October 25, 2014
7:30 pm
Performing Arts Center, Buffalo State College
$25 General Admission; $20 Seniors; $15 Students with I.D.

To view the poster for this event, click here.

For more information, click here.
To view the press release, click here.

Book Launch
Buddhism and Law: An Introduction
Edited by Rebecca Redwood French, Professor of Law, UB, and Mark Nathan, Assistant Professor of History and Asian Studies, UB

September 16, 2014
509 O’Brian Hall, UB North Campus

You are invited to celebrate the publication of Buddhism and Law: An Introduction, edited by UB's very own Rebecca Redwood French and Mark Nathan. The first comprehensive study of Buddhism and law in Asia, this interdisciplinary volume challenges the concept of Buddhism as an apolitical religion without implications for law. Buddhism and Law draws on the expertise of the foremost scholars in Buddhist studies and in law to trace the legal aspects of the religion from the time of the Buddha to the present.

Introductory remarks about the book will be made by leading Buddhist Studies scholar Frank E. Reynolds, Professor Emeritus, University of Chicago Divinity School.
Sponsored by the UB Asian Studies Program and Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy.
Click here to view the poster for this event.
Click here for information about the book.

Confucius Institute Celebration Performance

Celebrating Confucius Institute Day, the Fifth Anniversary of the UB Confucius Institute, Confucius' Birthday, and the Moon Festival!

September 26, 2014

7:00 - 8:30 pm

Drama Theater, UB Center for the Arts

Free and open to the public

This celebration will feature music, dance, Chinese opera, martial arts, and acrobatic performances by exceptional student artists from UB's long-time partner in Beijing, Capital Normal University.

Click here for the celebration flyer.

Click here for the program.

Photo Exhibition
China 1983: People, Places and Things

September 26, 2014
Atrium, Center for the Arts, UB North Campus

In 1983, Prof. Debra Kolodczak participated in a New-York-Beijing cultural and educational exchange program as a photographer/filmmaker and captured over 10,000 photographs and 20 hours of film footage. Now, a portion of this visual archive is accessible as a digital exhibit, sponsored by UB Confucius Institute.

Click here to view the poster for this event.


Chakra: A Myriad of Four Seasons

A Unique Multilingual Musical Dance Journey

September 28, 2014

7:00 pm

Drama Theater, UB Center for the Arts

Sponsored by Triveni

$25 general admission / $15 students




Chinese Embroidery Exhibition and Demonstration

May 13-14, 2014

Roycroft Campus Corporation, East Aurora


May 15, 2014

10:30-3:30 pm

Student Union Lobby, UB North Campus

Free and Open to the Public

The theme of this exhibition is "Chinese Embroidery Exhibition -- Painting with Threads". You will appreciate Suzhou (“Su Xiu”, 苏绣) and Hunan (“Xiang Xiu”, 湘绣) embroidery, these two famous Chinese arts at the exhibition. Suzhou Embroidery artists are able to use more than 40 needleworks and more than 1000 different types of threads to create embroidery. Their themes typically involve features of the natural environment, such as flowers, birds, animals, gardens and landscapes. “Double-Sided Embroidery” is the most distinguished style of Hunan Embroidery. Embedded in a piece of glass, both the front and back sides can be the same or two entirely different pictures.

Co-sponsored by the UB Confucius Institute and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association.

Click here to view the poster for this event.



The Missing Picture (2013)

A Film by Rithy Panh

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Screening Room, 112 Center for the Arts, UB North Campus

The Missing Picture is the first Cambodian film nominated for the Academy Award in the foreign film category (2014). It explores the childhood memories of director Rithy Panh, who spent four years living in the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia left more than 1.7 million people dead from starvation, medical neglect, slave-like working conditions and execution. In a bold and imaginative leap, Rithy Panh's personal story is pictured via carved clay figurines, overlaid by archival footage and narration.

Introduction by Dr. Tanya Shilina-Conte, Department of Media Study, and post-screening discussion by Professor Liana Vardi, Department of History.

Presented by: UB Center for Global Media, Asian Studies Program and Department of History.

The film will be followed by an international symposium, "THE  RWANDAN GENOCIDE: Twenty Years Later," on Thursday, April 24, in 120 Clemens Hall, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.


Department of Geography 2014 Charles H.V. Ebert Lecture

The Great Transformation: Neoliberalization, the Urban Commons and Socio-spatial Justice in Jakarta, Indonesia

Professors Helga Leitner & Eric Sheppard, UCLA

April 22, 2014


120 Clemens Hall, UB North Campus

The end of Indonesia’s New Order regime, in the shadow of the 1997 Asian financial crisis, brought neoliberalization to Jakarta. This current great transformation has triggered a financialization of urban real estate, pressure to privatize land tenure and ‘upgrade’ informal settlements and a new middle class aspiring to western lifestyles and speculating in land. The lecture will examine the implications of these changes for socio-spatial justice, urban sustainability, and contestations of global norms.

Co-sponsored by: The Department of Sociology, The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, The Asian Studies Program, and The School of Architecture and Planning.

For more information on the Department of Geography’s Spring 2014 Colloquium Speaker Series, click here.


Triveni Presents an Evening of Hindustani Vocal Music

Gauri Pathare and Harshad Kanetkar

April 25, 2014


Baird Recital Hall, UB North Campus

$10 Students; $20 Public

To view the poster for this event, click here.


A Reading from the Modern Chinese Novel Children of the Bitter River by Fang Fang

April 26, 2014


Audubon Library

350 John James Audubon Parkway

Amherst, NY 14228

Dr. Herbert Batt, translator of Children of the Bitter River, will read selections from the novel about the Cultural Revolution in which noted author Fang Fang portrays the most tumultuous period in recent Chinese history.

To view the poster for this event, click here.


Chinese Architecture: Linking Heaven and Earth

Beverly Foit-Albert, RA, PhD

February 27, 7:00 pm

Clemens 120, UB North Campus

Free and open to the public

Dr. Beverly Foit-Albert, a retired professor from UB, serves as president of Foit-Albert Associates, PC, and a director of the University at Buffalo Foundation. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the SUNY Alumni Honor Roll Award for Publication, UB’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and an AIA Award for Excellence in teaching architecture. Her co-authored award-winning book China's Sacred Sites presents a vision of architecture as a harmonious interaction of human culture and the natural world and explores how the wisdom of ancient Chinese builders is relevant to today's sustainable building practices, green design, ecological conservation and celebration of the natural environment.

Click here to view a flyer for this event.


East Meets West: Wu Man in Concert with the BPO!

Saturday, March 29, 8:00 pm

Sunday, March 30, 2:30 pm

Kleinhans Music Hall

UBCI supports the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in presenting world renowned Pipa player, Wu Man, in concert. In a program that mixes Eastern influences with Western orchestral music, Wu Man will perform a Pipa Concerto written for her by Zhao Jiping.

Special discount ticket offer for UBCI supporters! See the flier here.

Wu Man has also been invited by UBCI to give a lecture/demonstration at UB, date and location to be announced.


Daoism Knowing

UB Confucius Institute Distinguished Lecture Series

Professor Brook Ziporyn, University of Chicago

April 10, 2-4:00 pm

280 Park Hall, UB North Campus

Free and open to the public  


2014 Chinese New Year Celebration

February 2, 2014


Mainstage Theater, Center for the Arts

UB North Campus

Free and Open to the Public

The Confucius Institute at the University at Buffalo (UBCI) and the Chinese Club of Western New York (CCWNY) invite you to join them for their 2014 Chinese New Year Celebration. The Chinese New Year celebration will feature lively music, colorful dances and performances by artists from China, UBCI students, and the members of Chinese Club of WNY. A dragon dance and Chinese Martial Arts will be performed by Gold Summit Martial Art Institute.

View the 2014 Chinese New Year program here.

Click here to view the poster.



Chinese music concert at Pausa Art House

Featuring Zhongbei (Daisy) Wu on guzheng

With special guest Peter Worden on guqin

Thursday, January 16

8:00-10:00 pm

Pausa Art House

19 Wadsworth St., Allentown District of Buffalo

Cost: $7.00 / $5.00 for students

Award-winning guzheng player Daisy Wu will perform traditional and contemporary pieces from many different regions of China. Ms. Wu is associate professor of music and principal conductor of the Chinese Orchestra at Hunan University of Commerce, and since 2010 has been visiting associate professor of music at the Confucius Institute at Alfred University. She will be joined in concert by Peter Worden, a UB Confucius Institute student who won the Best Program award at the 2013 Spring Festival Gala of Confucius Institutes for his guqin performance.

The intimate concert setting of Pausa Art House is the perfect environment for this wonderful performance. Enjoy wine, beer, sandwiches, and soft drinks while you listen to the concert. Doors open at 6:00. Children are welcome.

Cosponsored by the UB Confucius Institute, Asian Studies Program, and Pausa Art House.

View the concert program here.


Living and Laughing in Two Different Cultures

Cathy Bao Bean, Author of The Chopsticks-Fork Principle

January 20

7:00 pm

120 Clemens Hall, University at Buffalo North Campus

Free and open to the public

Humorous but poignant, this talk by Cathy Bao Bean, a Chinese immigrant who was raised in the United States and is now a renowned professor of philosophy, provides a unique window into the experience of a bicultural life. Bao Bean recounts her own immigrant experience to explain how to reconcile the expectations of families and society at large, and how to raise a child in a multicultural context.

Bao Bean is a board member of the Claremont Graduate University School of the Arts and Humanities, the NJ Council for the Humanities and Chair, Society for Values in Higher Education

For a preview of the talk, view an 18-minute TED talk by Cathy Bao Bean here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyuRa-fVjzM&feature=youtu.be

Sponsored by the UB Confucius Institute.

Click here for an event poster.


FALL 2013

The Encyclopedia or Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Professions and The Complete Library of the Four Branches: Comparisons and Connections

Xiaohua Chen, Professor of History and Director of the Historical Documents Seminar, Capital Normal University, Beijing

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

12:00 pm

280 Park Hall, UB North Campus

Professor Chen has been visiting UB to broadern her understanding of Western scholarship on bibliographical studies in China and Europe in the high Qing period (18th century). She will present her chief findings in English and Chinese. To depend the discussion, attendees are invited to read her paper prior to the session. Sponsored by the UB Confucius Institute, Department of History, Asian Studies Program, and Humanities Institute.

Copies of the paper in both languages may be obtained by emailing Roger Des Forges or Bruce Acker.

View a poster for this talk here.


CHINA Town Hall: Local Connections, National Reflections

Live webcast with 64th United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and on-site discussion from former Henry Luce Foundation Vice President Terry Lautz

Monday, October 28

7:00 pm (reception begins at 6:30; webcast promptly at 7:00; PLEASE ARRIVE PRIOR TO 7:00 IF YOU CAN)

120 Clemens Hall, UB North Campus

Free and Open to the Public

Refreshments will be served prior to the event.

CHINA Town Hall, a national day of programming on China involving more than 60 cities throughout the United States, this year features a webcast from Madeleine Albright. Dr. Albright, serving as Secretary of State from 1997-2001, was once the highest ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. From 1993 to 1997, Dr. Albright also served as the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations and was a member of the President’s Cabinet. Following Dr. Albright’s webcast, Dr. Terry Lautz will lead a discussion and give a presentation of his own entitled “China’s Identity and Projection of its Image and Influence.” Dr. Lautz is currently a visiting professor at Syracuse University where he teaches Chinese history and politics. His recent publications deal with Sino-American cultural and educational relations.

Presented by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and sponsored by the UB Confucius Institute, Asian Studies Program, and International Institute of Buffalo.

To view the poster for this event, click here.



Jagadamba: A Play about Kasturba Gandhi

Saturday, September 7

7:00 pm

Drama Theater, UB Center for the Arts, UB North Campus

Tickets: $20; $10 for students

Jagadamba is a one-woman play in two acts that explores the life of Kasturba, the wife of Mohandas K. Gandhi. Jagadamba is the story of an uneducated woman who becomes a source of inspiration and comfort to one of the most important leaders of the 20th century. The play offers unique insights into the life of Mohandas Gandhi from the perspective of Kasturba, and examines two of Gandhi’s most important principles—satyagraha (literally “truth force,” but now synonymous with nonviolent resistance) and brahmacharya (“celibacy,” but in a larger sense, renunciation). Presented by Triveni, Gujarati Samaj of Buffalo, the UB Asian Studies Program, UB Gender Institute, and Office of the Vice Provost for International Education. View the event flyer here.


Moon Festival Celebration

September 19, 2013


Slee Hall, UB North Campus

Free and open to the public

The Moon Festival celebration will feature lively performances by student artists from Beijing’s Captial Normal University that evoke the spirit of the Chinese people and draw on the traditions of ancient China. This exciting evening will include performances on the guzheng (similar to a zither), pipa (a four-stringed instrument sometime called Chinese lute), and flutes (gourd flute, bawu and long flute), as well as spectacular dancing and Chinese martial arts. Sponsored by the UB Confucius Institute, Capital Normal University, Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters, and the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

Click here to view the event poster.


Fires on the Plain (1959)

A film by Kon Ichikawa

Tuesday October 1, 2013

Market Arcade Film & Arts Center

639 Main Street, Buffalo, NY

Admission: Adults $9, Students $7, Seniors $6.50

An agonizing portrait of desperate Japanese soldiers stranded in a strange land during World War II, Kon Ichikawa’s Fires on the Plain is a compelling descent into psychological and physical oblivion. Denied hospital treatment for tuberculosis and cast off into the unknown, Private Tamura treks across an unfamiliar Philippine landscape, encountering an increasingly debased cross section of Imperial Army soldiers, who eventually give in to the most terrifying craving of all. Grisly yet poetic, Fires on the Plain is one of the most powerful works from one of Japanese cinema’s most versatile filmmakers.

The Buffalo Film Seminars are presented by the University at Buffalo and by the Market Arcade Film & Arts Center.

For more information, and for this fall’s full schedule, click here.

Rashomon (1950, Japan)

Tuesday, October 8

120 Clemens Hall


In conjunction with AS 395, Japanese Literature

“Rashomon” is a 1950 Japanese crime drama based on Akutagawa Ryunosuke's famous short stories, "In a Grove" and “Rashomon.” The plot centers on the testimonies of each character involved in the murder of a samurai. Revolutionary for its time, Kurosawa uses the multiple perspective approach to reveal the subjective nature of truth and the unreliability of testimony. A stunning example of cinematic art, this film marks an important moment in Japanese and film history. Film directed by Kurosawa Akira.

Monsoon Wedding

Film screening and discussion led by Ian Wilson

Part of the Global Cinemaspectives Film Series

Friday, October 11

5:00-7:30 pm

Knox 4, UB North Campus

The film's central story concerns a father who is trying to organize an enormous, chaotic and expensive wedding for his daughter, Aditi, for whom he has arranged a marriage with a man she has known for only a few weeks. A wedding is one of the few times each generation that an extended Punjabi family comes together from all corners of the globe, bringing its emotional baggage along. The four-day arrangements and celebrations will see clumsy organization, family drama, dangers to the happy end of the wedding and lots of music. Sponsored by UB International Student and Scholar Services Office and the Undergraduate Academies.


“Why Does Ritual Matter? Theories from Classical China”--Professor Michael Puett (Harvard University)

Confucius Institute Lecture Series

Friday, October 18

3:00 pm

Clemens 120, UB North Campus

Free and Open to the Public

Reception to follow

Ritual (礼,禮) is a central concept of Confucianism. At Analects 12:1, we read: “Yen Yuan asked about human goodness [ren 仁]. Confucius said, ‘It is to master oneself and return to ritual’. . . Yen Yuan said, ‘Could you specify a bit?’ Confucius said: ‘Do not look at what is contrary to ritual; do not listen to what is contrary to ritual; do not speak what is contrary to ritual, and do not act which is contrary to ritual.’” If what Confucius said is still vague, Professor Puett will further specify.

Michael Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University, and Acting Director of the Asia Center. His interests are focused on the inter-relations between anthropology, history, religion, and philosophy. He is the author of The Ambivalence of Creation: Debates Concerning Innovation and Artifice in Early China, To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China, and the co-author of Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity.

To view the poster for this event, click here.