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ALC Newsletter

March 18, 2022


If you have ever wondered why we don’t eat tea leaves, check out this new piece by Miranda Brown in Atlas Obscura: “The Medieval Influencer Who Convinced the World to Drink Tea—Not Eat It.” It also has a bonus recipe for an energizing tea soup!


Please join me in congratulating our colleagues on the following achievements:

Acknowledging the awkwardness of writing about myself in the third person, Erin Brightwell has been selected as a Summer Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities.


Read on to learn about special events in ALC classes and Programs.

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures presents:Guattari in Japan: An ALC Workshop with Ueno Toshiya (Wako University).” Please note that this special open session of ASIAN 551 is an upcoming event on March 30 at 5:00PM in Thayer 6000! All are invited.

Photo: Guattari, Félix. “Tokyo, the Proud,” in Machinic Eros in (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015), 13-16; and Ueno Toshiya. “Guattari and Japan,” Deleuze Studies 6.2 (2012): 187-209.

Host Markus Nornes writes: “The French philosopher Félix Guattari frequently visited Japan during the 1980s. He encountered artists like Kusama Yayoi, dancers like Tanaka Min, architects, urban planners, writers and activists. Ueno Toshiya was a young sociologist at the time, and he was one of Guattari’s guides and interlocutors. We will pre-read essays by Guattari and Ueno, and discuss the French philosopher’s lasting influence in Japan.

Guest speaker Ueno Toshiya is a sociologist, media theorist, critic, and DJ. He teaches in the Expressive Cultures Department at Wako University, Tokyo. He is a prolific writer in both academic and popular contexts. His books include Situation, Cultural Politics of Rock and Pop, Urban Tribal Studies, Thinking Diaspora, Red Metal Suits: Wars in Animation and more. He was a key figure in introducing British Cultural Studies to Japan.”
If you would like to participate, please RSVP to for pdfs of the essays.


Our final departmental colloquium of the 2021-2022 academic year will be a roundtable titled “Translating Premodern Asia” and organized by Dave Brick. The other roundtable participants are Sangseraima Ujeed, David Rolston, and Erin Brightwell. We hope you will join us April 1, 1:00-2:00PM as we think through challenges of and techniques for translating premodern languages and literatures. A Zoom invitation containing a link to short excerpts of some of our recent and/or ongoing translations will follow. In the meantime, David Rolston is happy to share his own voluminous corpus of translations with anyone who plans to attend. Please email him directly if you are interested:

Please start thinking about whether you would like to present next year! In an effort to minimize the burden on parents and other caregivers as well as to reduce the number of events that require driving to and from campus, the current plan is for departmental colloquia to remain online for the 2022-2023 academic year. 🌱🌏

A reminder that the departmental Language Fair is being held in person on March 18 (today!), 11:00AM-2:00PM in the Pond Room of the Michigan Union.

Kyoto, 2019
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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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