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Teaching About Asia - April 2009

USCI's monthly e-newsletter on news and resources for teaching about Asia
April 1, 2009


Participants of the USCI/NCTA Summer Residential Seminar at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, CA


Are you a K-12 educator?  Are you interested in learning more about modern East Asia?  Do you work at a school located 30 miles or more from USC?  Would you like to spend nine days this summer at USC learning about modern East Asia? 

If you answered "yes" to all of the questions above, we invite you to apply for the USCI/NCTA 2009 Summer Residential Seminar on "East Asia Since 1800."  The nine-day program, held July 27 to 31 and August 3 to 6, will provide participants with housing and parking accomodations at USC and feature presentations from university lecturers and excursions to Asia-specific cultural sites around Los Angeles.  Individuals successfully completing seminar requirements will receive teaching resource materials and Continuing Education Units from the USC Rossier School of Education.  Please see below for additional information on the seminar and how to apply.


We would like to extend our congratulations to Professor Fred Notehelfer, a longtime lecturer for the USCI/NCTA outreach program whose presentations on Japanese history have enthralled a multitude of past participants.  Professor Notehelfer is one of four recipients of the government of Japan's spring 2009 decorations - for his contributions to the advancement of Japanese studies and cultural exchange in the U.S., he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun.  Prior to his recent retirement, Professor Notehelfer spent four decades teaching and heading various academic initiatives at UCLA.

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and encourage them to subscribe (go to our newsletter subscription page and select the “K-12 Education” subscriber category).

In this issue:

♦  USCI/NCTA 2009 Summer Residential Seminar - "East Asia Since 1800"

Dates: July 27 to 31 and August 3 to 6, 2009
Location: USC Davidson Conference Center
Open to: K-12 educators employed at schools more than 30 miles from USC
Application deadline: Friday, June 26, 2009

The USC U.S. – China Institute (USCI) and the National Consortium for Teaching About Asia (NCTA) are offering a nine-day residential summer seminar for K-12 educators employed outside of the greater Los Angeles area.

To be eligible to apply, you must be employed at a school located more than 30 miles from USC. Enrollment is limited to 24 participants and priority will be given to high school world history and language arts teachers, though all K-12 educators are invited to apply. 

The deadline for application acceptance is Friday, June 26, 2009, or until the seminar is full.  We will begin reviewing applications and admitting participants in early June.

Sessions will meet at the USC Davidson Conference Center from 9 am to 3 pm from Monday, July 27 to Friday, July 31 and Monday, August 3 to Thursday, August 6, 2009. For these meeting days, participants will be provided with housing and parking at the USC Radisson Hotel, as well as breakfast, lunch and refreshments.

One seminar meeting day (TBD) will be devoted to an all-expenses-paid field trip to Asia-specific cultural sites around Los Angeles. 

Seminar Content

Focusing on helping teachers address the California history, social studies, and language arts standards, we will offer presentations on the history and culture of East Asia, as well as discuss how case studies can be used to explore a variety of issues.Sessions include discussions of revealing primary source materials as well as literature and film recommendations.

Among the topics covered will be:

  Geography / Premodern China, Japan, and Korea (philosophy, social structure, key institutions)
  19th Century Domestic and External Challenges
  War, Revolution, and Nation-Making
  Economic Development and Social / Cultural Change
  Relations with the United States
  21st Century Challenges and Opportunities
  Web Research / Web Collaboration

Seminar Benefits

Individuals who successfully complete the seminar and its follow-up requirements receive:

  $200 in East Asian reference and teaching materials
  $200 East Asia-focused resource materials for use in the classroom
  Six USC Rossier School of Education Continuing Education Units (CEUs), processing fee applicable
  Eligibility to apply for a subsidized study tour to East Asia (tentatively set for summer 2010)

DOWNLOAD the USCI/NCTA 2009 Summer Residential Seminar Application Form in:


In addition to the completed application form, you will need to submit:

  1. A short 1-2 page resume (curriculum vita) that includes a list of your educational and work experience
  2. A letter from your school principal confirming your teaching assignment
  3. A refundable deposit check for $50, made payable to "University of Southern California," to hold your registration; the check will be returned to you at the conclusion of the seminar


Submit application materials:

USC U.S.-China Institute
Attn: Miranda Ko
3535 S. Figueroa St., FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262

(213) 821-2382


Questions?  Call 213-821-4382 or e-mail

♦  Professor Fred Notehelfer Receives Decoration from Government of Japan

Fred George Notehelfer, Professor Emeritus at UCLA and longtime lecturer for the USCI/NCTA teacher training programs until his recent retirement, received the Order of the Rising Sun from the government of Japan on April 29 for his contribution to the "advancement of Japanese studies in the United States of America and the promotion of academic and cultural exchanges between Japan and the U.S.A. through his study of Japanese history."

Professor Notehelfer was born to missionary parents in Tokyo in 1939 and spent most of his youth, including the war years, in Japan. After graduating from the American School in Japan, he went on to Harvard College, where he studied with the late Dr. Edwin O. Reichauer, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1968 and taught Japanese history for four decades at UCLA until his retirement in 2008.

Professor Notehelfer has also contributed immensely to the institutionalization of overall Japanese studies locally and nationally. He is an organizer of the Southern California Japan Seminar, a major interdisciplinary academic network. He served as founding Co-Director of the USC-UCLA Joint Center for East Asian Studies, a National Resource Center for East Asian Language and Area Studies founded under the U.S. Department of Education.

We congratulate Professor Notehelfer on this distinction on behalf of all of the educators who have benefited from his involvement in K-12 outreach.

♦  Department of Education Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP)

The Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) provides grants to local educational agencies (LEAs) for innovative model programs providing for the establishment, improvement, or expansion of foreign language study for elementary and secondary school students.

→  Local Education Agencies (LEA)

An LEA that receives a grant under this program must use the funds to support programs that show promise of being continued beyond the grant period and demonstrate approaches that can be disseminated to and duplicated in other LEAs.  Projects supported under this program may also include a professional development component.

-  Applications Available: April 21, 2009
Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 11, 2009
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 27, 2009
Eligible Applicants: LEAs, including charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law
Estimated Available Funds: $8,602,733
Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000--$300,000
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $200,000
Estimated Number of Awards: 43

Additional information is available online at:

→  Local Educational Agencies with Institutions of Higher Education (IHE)

5-year grants will be awarded to LEAs to work in partnership with one or more institutions of higher education (IHEs) to establish or expand articulated programs of study in languages critical to United States national security in order to enable successful students to achieve a superior level of proficiency in those languages. 

In addition, an LEA that receives a grant under this program must use the funds to support programs that show promise of being continued beyond the grant period and demonstrate approaches that can be disseminated to and duplicated in other LEAs.  Projects supported under this program may also include a professional development component.

Applications Available: April 21, 2009
Deadline for Notice of Intent to Apply: May 11, 2009
Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 27, 2009
Eligible Applicants: LEAs, including charter schools that are considered LEAs under State law, in partnership with one or more institutions of higher education
Estimated Available Funds: $5,193,495
Estimated Range of Awards: $100,000-$300,000
Estimated Average Size of Awards: $200,000
Estimated Number of Awards: 26
Additional information is available online at:



♦  Learning Opportunities for Educators








•  UCLA - Heritage Language Teacher Workshop

Dates: July 20 to 24
Application deadline: June 1

Additional information and registration: Click here

Sponsored by Startalk and the National Heritage Language Resource Center, instructors from K-16 programs and community schools are invited to apply for this workshop designed to help language teachers face the challenge of teaching heritage language students. Sponsored languages are: Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Persian, Swahili, Turkish and Urdu.






•  Indiana University - Flagship Chinese Language Institute (FCLI)



Dates: June 18 to August 14
Application deadline: priority application deadline - May 4; final deadline - May 10
Additional information and registration: Click here

The FCLI will offer 8 hours of undergraduate credit to 30 learners of Chinese with or without prior Chinese language experience. This intensive, eight-week residential student program will allow participants to experience a full spectrum of active learning experiences and is open to both beginning and intermediate learners of Chinese. 

•  University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Music in Many Languages 



Dates: June 14 to 19
Application deadline: early applications - April 17; final deadline - May 11
Additional information and registration: Click here

This intensive summer institute will address ways of incorporating less-commonly taught languages and cultures into the classroom through music. Languages will include Chinese, Arabic, Bulgarian, Zulu, and Portuguese (tentative).  Registration fee is $100 (all course and housing costs and some meals); housing will be provided at the Illinois Street Residence Halls. 

♦  Learning Opportunities for Students





Keio Academy of NY - Bicultural summer program for 13-15 year-olds





Two-week program (July 25 to August 8, 2009) requires participants to live in English and Japanese bilingual bicultural dormitory; prior knowledge of Japanese language not necessary, just willingness to interact with students from different cultures). 

Click here or call 1-800-270-4317 for program details and application.  Program fee is $2,500 for those completing application before February 27th 2009. 



•  Keio Academy of NY - Scholarship for 9th or 10th grade admittance



The Aratani Foundation Nikkei-jin Scholarship will enable participant to enter and attend Keio Academy of New York as a 9th or 10th grader.  Scholarship covers first year of entrance examination fee, admissions fee and full tuition. 

Click here for additional details on the scholarship, qualifications and application process.










♦  New Documentary Films on East Asia





•  HBO - China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province

A vivid and candid look at the human toll of last year's devastating earthquake in central China, this 40-minute verité documentary visits with the parents of deceased children from several district schools a few days after the disaster, sharing in their unimaginable grief at the loss of a child (for most, their only child). Check your HBO station for airtimes.

•  PBS - Wings of Defeat

Brings viewers behind the scenes of World War II’s Pacific theater to reveal the truth about the Kamikaze - the “suicide bombers” of their day. Interviews with surviving kamikaze, rare battle footage and Japanese propaganda reveal a side of WWII never before shown on film. American vets from the greatest generation tell harrowing tales of how they survived attacks. Check your local PBS station for airtimes.


 ♦  Museum Exhibitions on Asia





•  Pacific Asia Museum - Imagining Burma

Dates: Through May 17, 2009

Location: 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm
Admission: Adults $7; students/seniors $5; free every 4th Friday of the month
Education coordinator: Amelia Chapman, 626-449-2742, ext.19

Showing in the Gallery for Contemporary and Emerging Art are the works of photographer Moe Min exploring the lives of Buddhist monks and lay practitioners in Burma today through images of Buddhist rituals, from moments of solitary worship to joyous festivals. 

•  The Getty - Tales in Sprinkled Gold: Japanese Lacquer for European Collectors

Dates: Through May 24, 2009

Location: 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California 90049z
Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm; Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Admission: Free; parking is $10

Examples of Japanese lacquer objects from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Made in Japan, some specifically for export to Europe, these objects were popular among wealthy European collectors from the 17th to 19th centuries. Exhibition website features a slide show of one box, details about the work to restore a particular chest, and information about the Tale of Genji images on the chest.

•  Pacific Asia Museum - The Samurai Re-Imagined: From Ukiyo-e to Anime

Dates: Through August 9, 2009

Explores the roots of the popular Japanese art forms of manga (graphic novels) and anime (animation) in the traditional arts of Japan by examining images of the iconic warrior, the samurai.


•  Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) - Five Centuries of Indonesian Textiles: Selections from the Mary Hunt Kahlenberg Collection

Dates: Through September 6, 2009

Location: 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036; exhibition shown at Japanese Pavilion
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 12 to 8 pm; Friday 12 to 9 pm; Wednesday closed
Admission: Adults $12; seniors (62+) and students $8; children 17 and under free
Education coordinator: Alicia Vogl Saenz, 323-857-6512

More than ninety works highlighting Indonesia's rich and diverse textile traditions dating from the early fifteenth through twentieth centuries. Extremely rare textiles that have been radiocarbon dated to as early as 1403 will be shown. 

•  Pacific Asia Museum - Discovering Ganesha: Remover of Obstacles

Dates: Through September 20, 2009

Ganesha, the so-called “Elephant God,” is one of the most adored and widely worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. In a series of photographs, New York-based artist Shana Dressler investigates contemporary Ganesha festivals in Mumbai.

•  Bowers Museum - Ancient Arts of China: A 5000 Year Legacy

Dates: Through November 3, 2009

Location: 2002 North Main St., Santa Ana, CA 92706
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm; open late the fourth Thursday of every month until 8:00 pm
Admission: Adults $12; seniors (62+), students and children (6-17) $9; children under 6 free
Education coordinator: Linda Kahn, 714-567-3679

Curated by authorities of Chinese history and culture from the Shanghai Museum, the collection portrays the evolution of Chinese technology, art and culture utilizing rare examples of bronze vessels, mirrors, polychrome potteries, sculptures, porcelains, paintings, ivory carvings and robes.

•  Bowers Museum - Masters of Adornment: The Miao People of China

Dates: Ongoing

Exquisite textiles and silver jewelry highlight the beauty and wealth of the Miao peoples of southwest China. Symbols of status and culture include finely pleated skirts, complex batik pattered cloth, intricate silk embroidery and shining textiles woven with metal.

♦  Teachers on Asia

•  Asia in My Classroom Discussion Forum

Teachers of all levels and subjects are invited to join our "Asia in My Classroom" forum. To become a registered user (enabling you to post to the board), please e-mail us your request along with your name, school, and the grades and subjects you teach.  What teachers have been talking about:


→  On a free education web hosting site: "I have a great [recommendation] for anyone who wants to build a website. It is called and it is a free web host without all of the banner ads that are inappropriate for a school setting. If you have an Asian club at your high school they could build a site, or you could build one with your world history class."

- Joshua Rauh, Verdugo Hills High School

→  On films for younger students: "I stumbled across Japanese anime a couple of years ago watching movies in the summer. I liked Castle in the Sky because it was good storytelling and especially was intrigued by the strong female lead character. I have used Princess Mononoke several times because of the strong characterization and because it is a long story that requires active viewing."

- Dottie Goldstein, Grant High School

→  On using the film Twilight Samurai in the classroom: "[Twilight Samurai] is a 2002 Japanese movie with English subtitles about a low-ranking samurai circa 1870, just before the Meiji Restoration. It tells the tale of Seibei Iguchi (the samurai) and his conflict between duty/expectation and family/love. It was highly entertaining and I give it a big thumbs up...  Teachability? Good. I would use the scenes of the film that show 1) samurai's daily activities 2) samurai relationships with their lords. This would reinforce content from other sources."

- Mike Lloyd, South Gate Middle School

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USC U.S. - China Institute

3535 S. Figueroa Street, FIG 202
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1262
United States of America

phone: 213-821-4382
fax: 213-821-2382