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Asian Studies News

Student News and Achievements

Three Vanderbilt Graduates Accepted to the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program 

JET Send-Off


Recent Vanderbilt graduates, Claire Song ('18), Cynthia Wu ('18), and Victoria Kingman ('18), will travel to Japan to begin their tenure with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Claire will be working in Gojo-city, Nara, Cynthia will be working in Higashi-Hiroshima, and Victoria will be working in Kurobe-city, Toyama.

Asian Studies Celebrates the Accomplishments of Hindi-Urdu Students

Sarah Robinson '18

Sarah Robinson


I have taken four semesters of Hindi-Urdu in my Vanderbilt career, and the language skills I have acquired have assisted me with translations for my senior honors thesis, The Music of Omar Waqar: An Ethnomusicological Study and Analysis of Anarcho-Sufism in America, for which I was awarded highest honors. I will also be traveling to Lucknow, India in June to study Urdu through the Critical Language Scholarship program, and I will be returning to Lucknow in January of 2019 as a language fellow at the American Institute of Indian Studies.

Shawn Kerry '18

As a student in the South Asian Languages and Cultures minor track of the Asian Studies department, I have been able to take advantage of Vanderbilt’s resources to further my interests in international affairs.  Dr. McCarter’s Hindi/Urdu class prepared me well last year to take part in a summer-long intensive Hindi program in India through the American Institute of Indian Studies, which gave me indispensable experience living in a radically different environment.  Moreover, my language experience and coursework focusing on South Asia have ultimately helped me pinpoint my career interests in the field of international development.  Next year, I will pursue an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge as my first step towards a career in development with a regional focus on South Asia.  I could not have gotten to this point without the resources and guidance of the Asian Studies department, and I am grateful for all of their help along the way.

Shelby House '17

In the spring of 2017, I studied Urdu at AIIS-Lucknow with funding from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship and Critical Need Language Award. After graduation, I spent the fall in Lahore, Pakistan, as part of a fully-funded, intensive Urdu language program, jointly administered by the University of California-Berkeley and the American Institute of Pakistan Studies. Since returning to the States, I have been working as a research and writing assistant for Deepa Iyer, a South Asian American activist, writer, and lawyer, whose work focuses on discrimination facing Muslim, Arab, South Asian, and Sikh communities in the United States. This summer, I will be working as an Urdu teaching assistant at the South Asia Summer Language Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2018, I'll be applying to graduate programs at SOAS, University of London, Columbia, and UChicago.

Eleventh Annual TN Area Japanese Speech Contest

TAJSC Vanderbilt Group Photo


Vanderbilt hosted the Eleventh Annual Tennessee Area Japanese Speech Contest on April 7th, 2018. Several Japanese Language students from Vanderbilt participated in the contest (pictured above) and all prizes were awarded to Vanderbilt students. The grand prize for intermediate and advanced students was awarded to Dang Millie (bottom left). 1st prize for advanced students was awarded to Weiyi Huang (bottom middle) while 3rd prize for beginner students was awarded to Bonnie Pang (bottom right).


TAJSC Grand Prize Winner                 TAJSC 1st Prize Advanced Level               TAJSC 3rd Prize Beginning Level

Congratulations to all Asian Studies students for their successes at the Speech Contest this year!


Student Activities

Hindi-Urdu Students Play Cricket!

HNUR Cricket



Faculty News

Professor Yoshi Igarashi's book receives Honorable Mention for 2018 John Whitney Hall Book Prize Igarashi Book

Professor Igarashi's book,  Homecomings: The Belated Return of Japan's Lost Soldierswas given Honorable Mention for the 2018 John Withney Hall Book Prize for Best Book on Japan.  It is the top prize for Japan Studies.  Congratulations Professor Igarashi, for this great honor! More information can be found on the Association for Asian Studies annoucement page:




Books Published in 2017 by Asian Studies Faculty

Ben Tran,  Bryan Lowe,  and  Anand Taneja  are the first in the Asian Studies Program to publish books in 2017!

Post-Mandarin   Ritualized Writing   Jinnealogy