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ALC Newsletter
November 5, 2021

Since I’ll be requesting volunteers to present below, I thought I would mention that the piece I workshopped last November at a departmental colloquium—Unsought Knowledge: Japanese Contributions to National Socialist Writing”is now out in the edited volume Wissen über Wissenschaft: Felder, Formation, Mutation (Stauffenburg Verlag, 2021). Thanks again to those who attended and offered feedback!
More importantly, let’s take a moment to celebrate that Ben Brose’s new book, Xuanzang: China’s Legendary Pilgrim and Translator, is hot off the presses as part of Shambala’s “Lives of the Masters” Series. The jacket description follows: 
In the fall of 629, Xuanzang (600–662), a twenty-nine-year-old Buddhist monk, left the capital of China to begin an epic pilgrimage across the country, through the deserts of Central Asia, and into India. His goal was to locate and study authentic Buddhist doctrine and practice, then bring the true teachings back to his homeland. Over the course of nearly seventeen years, he walked thousands of miles and visited hundreds of Buddhist monasteries and monuments. He studied with the leading teachers of his day and compiled a written account of his travels that remains a priceless record of premodern Indian history, religion, and culture. When Xuanzang finally returned to China in 645, he brought with him a treasure trove of new texts, relics, and icons. This transmission of Indian Buddhist teachings to China, made possible by Xuanzang’s unparalleled vision and erudition, was a landmark moment in the history of East Asian Buddhism.
As with many great pre-modern religious figures, the legends surrounding Xuanzang’s life have taken on lives of their own. His story has been retold, reshaped, and repurposed by generations of monastics and laypeople. In this comprehensive and engaging account, Benjamin Brose charts a course between the earliest, most reliable accounts of Xuanzang’s biography and the fantastic legends that later developed, such as those in the classic Chinese novel Journey to the West. Xuanzang remains one of the most consequential monks in the rich history of Buddhism in East Asia. This book is an indispensable introduction to his extraordinary life and enduring legacies.
We are pleased to welcome the following faces to our halls:
Lizbeth Shine is a PhD student in the Department of English, Mangalore University, Karnataka, India working on Indian Literature in English. She holds an MA in English Literature from St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, India and a Facilitator Certification in Human Resource Development from the College of Leadership and Human Resource Development (CLHRD). The latter training aims to inspire teachers, social activists, and corporate executives to take a keener interest in Human Resource Development. Lizbeth has also qualified through the National Eligibility Test for the post of Assistant Professor throughout India as well as through the State Eligibility Test for Karnataka State. Before joining us as an FLTA in Hindi, she taught English at a constituent college of Mangalore University for almost five years: December 2016 to April, 2021. She plans to continue teaching after submitting her dissertation.

Lizbeth’s research interests include Indian Literature in English, particularly literature from Northeast India. Her most recent paper was presented virtually at the Young Scholars Conference on ‘Space, Knowledge, Capital’ conducted by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); the paper was titled “Exhaust fumes and Mushroom Dampness: Reading In-between Shillong Stories in Janice Pariat’s Boats on Land.”
Read on to learn about special events in ALC classes.
South Korean Director Kyung Soon Virtually Visits ASIAN 458 “Film Culture in Korea”

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, South Korean independent director, Kyung Soon virtually visited Assistant Professor Ungsan Kim’s “Film Culture in Korea” course as a guest. A feminist documentarian, labor activist, and adjunct lecturer of filmmaking at the Korea National University of Arts, Kyung Soon has made 8 feature-length documentaries and produced numerous films as an independent director/producer since her directorial debut in 1999. The Zoom Q&A mainly focused on “Red Maria” (2012), a transnational documentary about women’s labor, trauma, struggles, and dignity, within the course framework of the week’s theme: “Women’s Cinema.” Under this umbrella, students and director had a conversation about many different issues, including transnational filmmaking practices, the representation of women, audience response and reception, dealing with authority and state intervention, editing, and cinematography. This Zoom session was one of 4 Q&A sessions with directors in the course. 

Red Maria (2012) is available for viewing at (Login with your UofM account required.)
On Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021, Miki Dezaki, the director of Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of Comfort Women Issue (2018) virtually visited Assistant Professor Ungsan Kim’s “Film Culture in Korea course.” His film was discussed under the week-long theme of “Documenting Wartime Sexual Slavery.” Students asked various questions, including about Japan’s denial of history and historical revisionism, violence inflicted on women, documentarians’ ethical positionality, safety concerns as a filmmaker of politically sensitive topics, and many others. This is his second visit to Michigan following the special screening and Q&A event at the Michigan Theater last year ( 
Shusenjo: The Main Battleground of Comfort Women Issue (2018) is currently available for viewing at (Log in with UofM account is required).
If you would like to share your work at an upcoming ALC departmental colloquium (WN 22), please email me at All faculty and advanced graduate students are welcome to present. Although two slots have already been claimed, I’m still looking for a mid-semester volunteer (ideally on 3/11 to coincide with graduate recruitment, but this is flexible). As a reminder, these are hour-long events. Usually, we have a talk followed by a Q&A/discussion or a pre-circulated paper and discussion. It’s a great chance to share your work and get feedback!
Labrang Monastery, Amdo 2019 
Photo by Sangseraima Ujeed.
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University of Michigan Department of Asian Languages and Cultures · 202 S Thayer St Ste 6111 · Ann Arbor, MI 48104-5413 · USA

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