5/15/19: India’s Indo-Pacific Vision and Ties with Japan

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
10:00 AM – 11:30 PM

Chung-wen Shih Conference Room
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

The Sigur Center would like to invite you to attend a conversation led by Ambassador Sujan R. Chinoy on India’s Indo-Pacific Vision


Sujan R. Chinoy is the Director General of the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi, since 3 January 2019. A career diplomat of the Indian Foreign Service from 1981-2018, he was India’s Ambassador to Japan and the Republic of the Marshall Islands from 2015-2018, and earlier, the Ambassador to Mexico and High Commissioner to Belize.

A specialist with over 25 years of experience on China, East Asia and the Asia-Pacific, he served in Indian Missions in Hong Kong and Beijing and as Consul General in Shanghai and Sydney. He also served as India’s representative to the First Committee at the United Nations in New York dealing with Disarmament & International Security Affairs and in the Indian Mission in Riyadh. At Headquarters, in the Ministry of External Affairs, he served as Director (China) as well as Head of the Expert Group of Diplomatic & Military Officials tasked with CBMs and boundary-related issues with China. He also served on the Americas Desk dealing with the USA and Canada, and as Officer on Special Duty in charge of press relations in the External Publicity Division. On deputation with the National Security Council Secretariat under the Prime Minister’s Office, he worked on internal and external national security policy and anchored strategic dialogues with key interlocutors around the world.

He is fluent in English, Chinese (Mandarin) and conversant in French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Arabic, Urdu and French-Creole. He also speaks Hindi and Gujarati. His long career includes extensive involvement in economic issues. He has contributed to Indian newspapers and journals, besides lecturing at numerous Govt. Institutions, think-tanks and universities in India and overseas.

He schooled at the Rajkumar College (Rajkot), read English Literature at the Maharaja Sayajirao University in Vadodara, Gujarat, and gained his Master of Business Administration from Gujarat University in Ahmedabad. He has an advanced Diploma in Chinese (Mandarin) from the New Asia Yale-in-China Chinese Language Centre of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He was an Exchange Student at the Otemon Gakuin University in Osaka in 1978.

4/24/19 Prof. Shambaugh quoted in South China Morning Post on US and China blocking academic visas

David Shambaugh, Professor of Asian Studies at the Elliott School was quoted in a South China Morning Post on how academic discussion is now much needed between the United States and China, and halting academic visas only exacerbates the tensions. Read the full article here.

4/23/19 MA Asian Studies graduate student Jordan Link published in the China Africa Research Initiative Blog

Jordan Link, an MA Asian Studies graduate student published his article, “Chinese Lending to Africa for Military and Domestic Security Purposes” in the China Africa Research Initiative Blog on April 9th.

Jordan Link is responsible for leading the China-Africa finance database research team and conducting quantitative and qualitative studies of China-Africa trade, finance, and security affairs.  Jordan graduated from the George Washington University with an M.A. in Asian Studies.  His previous work has focused on understanding the strategic and economic challenges that China presents for the future of American foreign policy.  He holds a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in International Relations. 

Read the full article here.

4/16/19: Emerging Environmental Issues in South Asia


Room 505
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Event:

Out of respect for our excellent panelists, and in order to facilitate a more open and candid discussion, we would like to make you aware that this event will be off the record and not for attribution. Please refrain from bringing any media or recording devices, and please do not publish the content of the event.

As the nations in South Asia continue their progress in development, environmental issues are often neglected or relegated to lesser importance than economic issues. Our esteemed panel will discuss emerging issues in South Asia related to: water scarcity, renewable energy, climate mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable growth, international trade, and more.

About the Speakers:

Ashley Johnson is a project manager with the Trade, Economic, and Energy Affairs group at NBR. In this capacity, Ms. Johnson provides research and management support for the Pacific Energy Summit and Innovative Asia initiatives. Her research interests include environmental sustainability in China and South Asia, energy security, and economic trends in the Asia-Pacific. Her expertise has been featured in various media outlets, including Nikkei Asian Review, the Guardian, the Associated Press, and BBC World News. Prior to joining NBR, she interned in the Consular Section of the Consulate General of the United States in Shanghai, China.

Michael Kugelman, the Deputy Director of the Asia Program and Senior Associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center, is a leading specialist on Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan and their relations with the United States. The editor or co-editor of 11 books, he has written for The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and other publications, covering topics ranging from U.S. policy in Afghanistan to terrorism to water, energy, and food security in the region.

Maesea McCalpin is a program manager and research associate with the CSIS Simon Chair in Political Economy’s Reconnecting Asia Project. In this role, she helps lead a team of researchers that map and analyze new infrastructure developments across the Eurasian supercontinent. She provides research and program support on a range of issues impacted by Asia’s evolving connectivity landscape, including trade, development, geostrategy, and China’s Belt and Road initiative. Previously, she worked as a program coordinator and research assistant for the Reconnecting Asia Project. She received her B.A. in international studies from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.A. in international relations from American University’s School of International Service.

Elijah Patton
George Washington University | Elliott School of International affairs
Organization of Asian Studies, Director of South Asia Affairs

4/9/19 Prof. Mochizuki quoted in a Japan Today article on U.S. mitigating Japan, South Korea tension

Mike Mochizuki, associate professor of political science and international affairs, was quoted in a Japan Today article on his take on whether or not the Trump administration can mediate between Japan and South Korea to ensure regional stability. Read the full article here.

4/19/19: Creating a Life- Composing a Career: A Talk With Dr. Jennifer Hong of USDE

Friday, April 19, 2019
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Room 505
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

About the Book:

Love is all that is certain… As a fifteen-year-old coming of age during the Japanese colonial period in Korea (1910-1945), Sa Mi revels in her status as her parents’ youngest and most beloved daughter as she seeks to stave off her recent ascent into womanhood. Fate’s mighty hand, however, strikes down, leaving Sa Mi to grasp at love and memory as her life makes an abrupt and inevitable turn. Beloved Sa Mi is Book One of the series A River Han. This historical family drama follows Sa Mi as she navigates her life and raises her growing family amidst the threat of the Japanese and a society upended. Throughout her trials, her mother’s words regarding the certainty of love and love alone, echo within Sa Mi as she finds herself constrained in her roles as a wife to a man who cannot control his vice, and as a mother to a growing arsenal of strangers. At the end of the colonial period, Sa Mi’s children are forced to reckon with a new world order, a social status that is no longer relevant, and an ideological conflict that threatens to split their country and families apart. Beloved Sa Mi provides a glimmer into the folly, frailty, and fortitude of the human heart.

*Copies of A River Han: Beloved Sa Mi will be available for sale!

Dr. Jennifer Hong is the author of this book and currently has a role in education policy at the U.S. Department of Education.

3/27/19 Prof. Sutter raises question in Inside Higher Ed’s article on Chinese students studying abroad

Prof. Sutter, affiliated Sigur Center for Asian Studies faculty, raised the difficult question of whether professors should counsel discretion when Chinese students say or write things Chinese authorities likely wouldn’t like. To read the full article, please click here

3/27/19 Prof. Mochizuki consulted with Okinawa government to discuss relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station

Prof. Mochizuki, affiliated Sigur Center for Asian Studies faculty, consulted with the Okinawa prefectural government to discuss the relocation of a United States Marine Corps Air Station in the region. To read the full article, please click here

4/2/19: Surviving the Right: The challenges facing Muslims in contemporary India

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

12:30 PM — 1:45 PM

Chung-Wen Shih Conference Room
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052


Muslims comprise the largest religious minority in India. Despite constitutional safeguards, poverty, marginalization, discrimination and violence is an everyday reality for the community. This situation has been exacerbated in the present political scenario where those in positions of power have either shown complicity or have actively participated in perpetuating violence and discrimination against Indian Muslims. Hate crimes against the community, including mob lynching either in the name of cow vigilantism or unabated hate speeches and repeated instances of communal violence have added to this marginalisation.

Muslim women in India are triply disadvantaged, first as members of a minority, then as women, and poor women and find themselves often trapped between being loyal to their religious identity and a desire for freedom and equal rights within those communities as well. From being targeted during communal riots as honour bearers of the community being revenged to having to defend and claim their rights from within patriarchal structures in a communal climate, Muslim women in India are fighting many battles.

With elections around the corner, this conversation, after throwing light on what it means to be a Muslim in contemporary India, also intends to bring to the fore the specific challenges that Muslim women face in an increasingly communal environment in the country.

Mariya Salim is a women’s rights activist, researcher, writer and an Islamic feminist. She has a degree in human rights law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. With over ten years of experience in the development sector, she has lent herself to many feminist concerns, especially those related to the rights of Muslim women. Mariya is associated with the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (Indian Muslim Women’s Movement) and writes extensively in the media on
issues related to Minority rights, Identity Based Violence and Muslim women’s rights.

2/28/2019: Okinawa Cultural Day 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019
9:35 AM – 12:25 PM

District House, B1 Dance Studio
2121 H Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052


The Okinawa Kai of Washington DC, the Japanese Language and Literature Program at GW, the Okinawa Collection at the Global Resource Center of the Gelman Library, the Sigur Center for Asian Studies would like to invite you to attend this year’s Okinawa Cultural Day, filled with a lecture on the history of karate, a Kata performance, self-defense techniques, and Tameshiwari (Board Breaking Demonstration)!

This event is free and open to the public. This event will be primarily conducted in Japanese as this is a language engagement event for students and the public. Take this opportunity to expand your Japanese vocabulary!


Session I:
9:35 AM – 10:10 AM: Karate lecture and performance, including self-defense techniques

10:10 AM – 10:15 AM: Sanshin music

10:15 AM – 10:50 AM: Eisaa dance performance

Session II:
11:10 AM – 11:45 AM: Karate lecture and performance, including self-defense techniques

11:45 AM – 11:50 AM: Sanshin music

11:50 AM – 12:25 PM: Eisaa dance performance

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Reception with light refreshments (Room B114, across the hall from B132)


About the Martial Arts Performer:

Nestor Tadeusz Folta is the owner and head instructor of the Academy of World Champion Nestor Folta traditional karate schools located in Northern Virginia. He is a registered 8th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in the Uechi-Ryu Karate- Do Association. All of his rank promotion tests and certifications have been at the World Headquarters for the Uechi-Ryu Karate-Do Association in Futenma, Okinawa, Japan (aka Soke Shubukan).


About the Eisaa Performers:

– Michie Beckford (7-8 years of experience)
– Kyoko Dennard ( 5 years)
– Nester Koichi Folta (8-10 years)

These performers all belong to our Okinawa Kai of Washington, D.C., founded by Mr. Shima in 1983. In the past 20 some years, the Okinawa Kai has grown to more than 135 families and has been very active in providing educational and Okinawan cultural programs in the Washington area.

Eisaa (Okinawan: エイサー Eisaa) is a form of folk dance originating from the Okinawa Islands, Japan. In origin, it is a Bon dance that is performed by young people of each community during the Bon festival to honor the spirits of their ancestors. It underwent drastic changes in the 20th century and is today seen as a vital part of Okinawanculture.

2/12/19 The Celebration of the Lunar New Year 2019!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 4:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Elliott School of International Affairs
6th Floor, Lindner Family Commons Room
1957 E Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052

Please join the Organization of Asian Studies on the celebration of the Lunar New Year 2019! As a festival which shared by many Asian countries, this will be an excellent opportunity for students from different countries to celebrate together and get to know with each other! Delicious food from multiple countries and fun games such as lantern making are waiting for you!

This event is on the record and open to the media. 

1/31/2019: The Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Institute for Korean Studies have been awarded funding to establish an East Asia National Resource Center

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Institute for Korean Studies, both housed in the Elliott School of International Affairs, have been awarded $1.8 million to establish an East Asia National Resource Center at the George Washington University.

The new center’s aim will be to address a national need for greater knowledge and expertise on East Asia through expanded language instruction, area studies educational programs, outreach and teacher training. 

Read the full article here.

1/30/2019: Professor Ben Hopkins Quoted About Future of Afghanistan

Benjamin Hopkins, Director of the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and Associate Professor of History & International Affairs at George Washington University, was quoted in the USA Today article “US-Taliban deal may be close, but future of Afghanistan remains bleak.” In it, he discusses President Trump’s actions regarding the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Read the full article here!

The views expressed are solely those of the speaker and not of the Sigur Center. In the spirit of open academic debate and dialogue, the Sigur Center shares and highlights the works of its affiliated faculty. However, the views expressed within articles and highlights are those of the faculty member and not of the Sigur Center. 

1/30/2019: Professor Gregg Brazinsky Quoted in the Wall Street Journal about US-North Korea Ties

Gregg BrazinskyProfessor of History & International Affairs at George Washington University, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal article “US-North Korea Talks Are Moving Decisively to the Diplomatic Phase.” Read the full article here!

The views expressed are solely those of the speaker and not of the Sigur Center. In the spirit of open academic debate and dialogue, the Sigur Center shares and highlights the works of its affiliated faculty. However, the views expressed within articles and highlights are those of the faculty member and not of the Sigur Center. 

1/31/2019: GW Lunar New Year

Thursday, January 31, 2019 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Charles E. Smith Center – Colonials Club
600 22nd Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia 20052


You are cordially invited to celebrate the Year of the Pig with the GW community. This will be a wonderful opportunity to socialize and network with students, faculty, and community members with an interest in East Asia. Please join us for delicious food and entertaining student performances, as well as the lucky raffle for special prizes!


5:00 PM – 5:30 PM Doors Open & Drinks

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM Student Performances, Sponsor Remarks & Raffle Drawing

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM Networking Reception & Hors d’Oeuvres

Many thanks to the following departments for their sponsorship.


  • The GW Confucius Institute
  • The Department of East Asian Languages & Literature
  • The Sigur Center for Asian Studies
  • The Institute for Korean Studies
  • The International Services Office
  • The Multicultural Student Services Center


  • The Vietnamese Student Association (VSA)
  • The Global China Connections
  • The GWU Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA)

1/23/2019: Asia In The Middle East

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Lindner Family Commons Room 602
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20052



Satoshi Ikeuchi is a professor of Religion and Global Security at the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology (RCAST) of the University of Tokyo. He was a visiting scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2009 and Visiting Fellow at the Clare Hall University of Cambridge in 2010. He specializes in Middle East Politics and Arab-Islamic Thought. His publications include Islamukoku-no Shogeki (The Shock of the Islamic State) published in 2015 which was a nation-wide best selling book in Japan and awarded several prizes. He also published literary and critical essays in various journals and compiled them into a book Shomotsu-no Ummei (The Fate of Books) which was award Mainichi Book Review Prize in 2006.

Jon Alterman is a senior vice president, holds the Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and is director of the Middle East Program at CSIS. Prior to joining CSIS in 2002, he served as a member of the Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. Department of State and as a special assistant to the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. He also previously served as an expert adviser to the Iraq Study Group (also known as the Baker-Hamilton Commission). In addition to his policy work, he often teaches Middle Eastern studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the George Washington University.

Karen Young is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she focuses on the political economy of the Middle East, the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (best known as the GCC), and the Arabian Peninsula. She concurrently teaches courses on the international relations and economy of the Middle East at George Washington University and at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

1/15/2019: Donald Clarke, Professor of Law, Commented on the Death Sentence Given in China to a Canadian Man for Drug Smuggling.

Donald Clarke, professor of law, commented on the death sentence given in China to a Canadian man for drug smuggling. Selected coverage includes:

The New York Times in the article “China Sentences a Canadian, Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, to Death,’’ by Chris Buckley.


Reuters in the article “China condemns Trudeau’s remarks about Canadian’s death sentence,’’ by Michael Martina and Philip Wen.


The Los Angeles Times in the article “Canadian sentenced to death in China, escalating a bitter diplomatic row,’’ by Robyn Dixon.  Note: This article appeared in additional publications including the Miami Herald.


Business Insider in the article “China sentenced a Canadian man to death in the latest escalation of the countries’ feud over Huawei,’’ by Alexandria Ma. Note: This article appeared in additional publications including the Seattle Post-intelligencer, the San Antonio Express-News and the Albany Times-Union.


Canada’s The Globe and Mail in the article “Trudeau says China acting ‘arbitrarily’ as Canadian sentenced to death on drug charges,’’ by Nathan Vanderklippe.


The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and not of the Sigur Center. In the spirit of open academic debate and dialogue, the Sigur Center shares and highlights the works of its affiliated faculty. However, the views expressed within articles are those of the author and not of the Sigur Center. 

12/6/2018: Three Elliott School professors to retire after decades of work

Professors Edward McCord, Henry Nau and Ronald Spector have taught, researched and held administrative positions at the school for roughly 25, 45 and 30 years, respectively. Reuben Brigety, the dean of the Elliott School, said in a press release last week that the professors “leave an enduring legacy and will be sorely missed by colleagues and students.”” Read the full article here

12/2/2018: LA Indonesian Film Festival (LAIFF): Sultan Agung Movie Screening

Sunday, December 2, 2018 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Harry Harding Auditorium
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052

All attendees must purchase tickets. All proceeds from ticket sales will go toward Permias DC. Purchase tickets here
Pre-Sale: $5 | At the Door $7

About the Event:

The Sigur Center for Asian Studies, the Organization of Asian Studies, Permias DC, the Embassy of Indonesia, and the LA Indonesian Film Festival will conduct a “Sultan Agung” movie screening and discussion with Hanung Bramantyo (the producer) and Marthino Lio (the actor). This movie is nominated as the best movie in the Festival Film Indonesia (FFI) 2018.

Schedule of the Event:

12:15 PM – 1:00 PM: Doors Open & Registration
1:00 PM – 1:10 PM: Welcoming Remarks
1:15 PM – 3:45 PM: Feature Film Presentation
3:45 PM – 4:00 PM: Program Break
4:00 PM – 4:45 PM: Q&A Discussion with Film Director and Actor
4:45PM – 5:15 PM: Program Conclusion

10/29/2018: Associate Director Deepa Ollapally Delivered Two Lectures at Pondicherry University’s Centre for Maritime Studies

During the week of October 29, 2018 Associate Director Deepa Ollapally delivered two lectures at Pondicherry University’s Centre for Maritime Studies, located on the Bay of Bengal. Focusing on the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean, Ollapally spoke on “India’s Predicament in the Indian Ocean Region: Too Little, Too Late?” This was followed by a lecture on “The QUAD in the Indo-Pacific: Explaining the Leadership Gap in the US, India, Japan, Australia Group.”
The Centre for Maritime Studies is a vibrant intellectual hub in the region  Every year, the University sponsors two students each from the neighboring countries in South Asia to do a Masters in International Studies. The regional outreach program is celebrating its tenth year this year.

11/11/2018: Film Screening: The Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story

Sunday, November 11, 2018 3:00pm – 5:10pm

Amphitheater, Marvin Center
800 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20052


The Sigur Center for Asian Studies  and GW’s Japanese Program cordially invite you to a film screening of The Tale of Samurai Cooking – A True Love Story.

This event is public and open to the media.

About the Event:

This event is part of the community outreach project of J.LIVE Talk 2018 presentation competition at the George Washington University. Doors will open at 2:50pm and close promptly at 3pm.


11/11/2018: National College Level Japanese Language Presentation Contest: Communication in the Global Age in Japanese

Sunday, November 11, 2018 9:00am – 3:00pm

800 21st St NW, Washington DC 20052
Marvin Center 3F

Email info@jlivetalk.com to RSVP

This event is public and open to the media.

About the Event:

The George Washington University will host the fourth annual J.LIVE (Japanese Learning Inspired Vision and Engagement) Talk contest on November 11, 2018. The competition is open to students enrolled in Japanese language courses in colleges and universities across the nation, and the nine contestants who are coming to Washington, DC for the final round are selected through a preliminary round of video presentations. Prizes for the winners include airfare to Japan and tuition for summer language programs in Tokyo and Nagoya. The contest aims to promote the study of Japanese at the college and graduate school level in the US, and in doing so, help cultivate the next generation of leaders in US-Japan relations. Unlike a traditional speech contest, J.LIVE is a presentation contest geared for today’s global world. It emphasizes not just linguistic competence but also 21st century skills such as critical thinking, creativity, communication, and information/media/technology literacy. Contestants are thus evaluated for the effective use of data and the quality of their messages, as well as the dynamism and originality of their presentations which can include audio-visual materials, audience interaction, and other innovations.

The event will also provide networking opportunities for the Japan-related business, policy, academic, and creative communities in the Washington DC area. Student volunteers from the Japanese program at GW will staff the event. While students’ presentations will be in Japanese, contest proceedings will be MC’ed in both English and Japanese. Space is limited, but persons interested in attending, or in learning more about J.LIVE, are encouraged to contact info@jlivetalk.com

About J.LIVE Talk:

J.LIVE Talk is a national-scale, college and graduate-school level Japanese presentation contest. It is a nonprofit event administered by the Japanese program at The George Washington University on a voluntary basis. The event is supported by the Embassy of Japan, Japan-US Friendship Commission, All Nippon Airways, and other organizations and individuals who are committed to the goals of J.LIVE Talk. For more information, please visit www.jlivetalk.com .


11/19/18 Film Screening & Discussion: Lesbian Factory and Rainbow Popcorn

Monday, November 19, 2018 6:00 PM – 8:40 PM

Lindner Family Commons Suite 602
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20052


The American University School of Communications Departments of Literature, of Anthropology, and of Sociology, the George Washington University Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and the Departments of East Asian Languages and Literatures, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies cordially invite you to a film screening and discussion of Lesbian Factory and Rainbow Popcorn, with featuring panelists Jingru Wu and Teri Silvio who worked on the production of the film as well as Assistant Professors Li (Lily) Wong of American University and Assistant Professor Liana Chen of the George Washington University.

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Event:

The documentary couplet Lesbian Factory and Rainbow Popcorn shot by migrant worker activists in Taiwan, follows a group of Filipina migrant worker organizers and their tumultuous same-sex love relationships. The films bring together migrant labor activism with queer love to unpack the multi-layered texture of our globalized moment.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion featuring the directors of the movie, Jingru Wu and Teri Silvio.

About the Speakers:

Jingru Wu is a long-time labor activist and a researcher at the Taiwan International Workers’ Association. Together with Susan Chen she has shot the two documentaries.

Teri Silvio is an Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She has served as interviewer, translator, and member of the production team for the documentary films, Lesbian Factory and Rainbow Popcorn.

Li (Lily) Wong received her PhD in Comparative Literature at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on the politics of affect/emotion, gender/sexuality, comparative race, as well as media formations of transpacific Chinese, Sinophone, and Asian American communities. Her work can be found in journals including American Quarterly, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Asian Cinema, Asian American Literary Review, Pacific Affairs and China Review International, among others. She has published book chapters in World Cinema and the Visual Arts (Anthem Press, 2012), Queer Sinophone Cultures (Routledge, 2013), and Divided Lenses: War and Film Memory in Asia (University of Hawai’i Press, 2016). She is the author of the book “Transpacific Attachments: Sex Work, Media Networks, and Affective Histories of Chineseness” (Columbia University Press, 2018).


Liana Chen is an assistant professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and director of the Chinese Program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where she is affiliated with the Sigur Center for Asian Studies and teaches courses on traditional and modern Chinese fiction and drama, film, and women writers.



11/14/18 Xi Jinping’s Foreign Policy Vision—Powerful Image versus Restricted Reality

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM

Lindner Family Commons Suite 602
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20052


The Sigur Center for Asian Studies, and the Elliott School Book Launch Series cordially invite you to a book launch and discussion of Professor Robert Sutter’s book Foreign Relations of the PRC: The Legacies and Constraints of China International Politics since 1949, Second Edition.

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Event:

The United States is carrying out the most substantial reevaluation of policy toward China in 50 years, anticipating intensive competition and challenges in the period ahead. Against that background, realistic assessments of China’s power and influence and their implications for the United States provide the basis for sound judgments as Americans and others assess China’s rise. Based on work in his newly published, Foreign Relations of the PRC: The Legacies and Constraints of China International Politics since 1949, Second Edition, Sutter will offer a balanced assessment of the strengths and limitations of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy achievements and ambitions in his second term. The findings show that despite enormous publicity in China hailing the confidence and foreign policy successes of its authoritarian leader, serious constraints confound Beijing’s ambitions, with broad ranging, unexpected pushback from the Trump administration heading the list of major impediments for which China has no easy answer.

About the Speaker:

Robert Sutter is Professor of Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School of George Washington University beginning in 2011. He also serves as the school’s Director, Program of Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs.

A Ph.D. graduate in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University, Sutter taught full time for ten years at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and part-time for thirty years at Georgetown, George Washington, Johns Hopkins Universities, or the University of Virginia. He has published 21 books, over 200 articles and several hundred government reports dealing with contemporary East Asian and Pacific countries and their relations with the United States. His most recent books are: Foreign Relations of the PRC: The Legacies and Constraints of China’s International Politics since 1949 (Rowman & Littlefield 2018); US-China Relations: Perilous Past, Uncertain Present (Rowman & Littlefield 2018); Chinese Foreign Relations: Power and Policy Since the Cold War (Rowman & Littlefield 2016); The United States and Asia; Regional Dynamics and 21st Century Relations (Rowman & Littlefield 2015).

Sutter’s government career (1968-2001) focused on Asian and Pacific affairs and US foreign policy. He was the Director of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service, the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia at the US National Intelligence Council, the China Division Director at the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and professional staff member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.




10/25/18 Film Screening & Discussion: Mother, Daughter, Sister



Thursday, October 25, 2018 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM


Lindner Family Commons Suite 602
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20052





The Elliott School Gender Equality InitiativeSigur Center for Asian Studies, International Development Studies and Kirana Productions cordially invite you to a film screening and discussion of Amae, Thamee, Ama (Mother, Daughter, Sister). Providing opening remarks will be the film’s director, Jeanne Marie Hallacy.


This event is free and open to the public.


About the Film:


Mother, Daughter, Sister exposes the Burmese military’s practice of using rape as a weapon of war and gives voice to Kachin and Rohingya women activists calling for justice for these crimes. The film revolves around the stories of four women: Shamima, a volunteer counselor working with survivors of military rape in the Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, Dil Kayas, a teenage survivor and San Lung and Lu Ra, the sister and mother of two Kachin school teachers brutally raped and killed in 2015, allegedly by the Burmese military. Powerful testimonies from survivors, witnesses and activists explore the far-reaching impact of sexual violence upon women and communities, woven with stories of courageous women calling for justice and a unified stand for an end to impunity.


About the Speakers:


Myo Win, Director of Smile Education and Development Foundation


Seng Raw, Deputy General Security of the Kachin Alliance


Jeanne Marie Hallacy‘s films are used for human rights education and advocacy. Hallacy develops relationships with her subjects to open their worlds through her lens; she can interview government ministers and slum dwellers and get a story. Her cross-cultural communications skills are an asset to covering issues from refugees to labor rights to people living with HIV. Based in Southeast Asia for decades, she worked with AsiaWorks Television, a regional production company to produce feature news for global broadcasters and advocacy videos for United Nations agencies and international NGOs. She is based in San Francisco and Bangkok and is available to travel worldwide.



Dr. Christna Fink joined the Elliott School in 2011. She is a cultural anthropologist who has combined teaching, research, and development work throughout her career. Her areas of expertise include Burma/Myanmar in particular and Southeast Asia more broadly, equitable development, gender and development, and civil society in ethnically diverse states.








10/17/18: Book Launch: Mr. X and the Pacific: George F. Kennan and American Policy in East Asia

Wednesday, October 17, 2018 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Room 505
The Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW Washington, DC 20052


The Sigur Center for Asian Studies and the Elliott School Book Launch Series cordially invite you to a book launch discussion with Professor Paul Heer about his latest publication, “Mr. X and the Pacific.”

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Book:

George F. Kennan is well known for articulating the strategic concept of containment, which would be the centerpiece of what became the Truman Doctrine. During his influential Cold War career he was the preeminent American expert on the Soviet Union. In Mr. X and the Pacific, Paul J. Heer explores Kennan’s equally important impact on East Asia.

Heer chronicles and assesses Kennan’s work in affecting U.S. policy toward East Asia. By tracing the origins, development, and bearing of Kennan’s strategic perspective on the Far East during and after his time as director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff from 1947 to 1950, Heer shows how Kennan moved from being an ardent and hawkish Cold Warrior to, by the 1960s, a prominent critic of American participation in the Vietnam War.

Mr. X and the Pacific provides close examinations of Kennan’s engagement with China (both the People’s Republic and Taiwan), Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Country-by-country analysis paired with considerations of the ebb and flow of Kennan’s global strategic thinking result in a significant extension of our estimation of Kennan’s influence and a deepening of our understanding of this key figure in the early years of the Cold War. In Mr. X and the Pacific Heer offers readers a new view of Kennan, revealing his importance and the totality of his role in East Asia policy, his struggle with American foreign policy in the region, and the ways in which Kennan’s legacy still has implications for how the United States approaches the region in the twenty-first century.

About the Speakers:

Paul Heer is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University, where he received his Ph. D. in diplomatic history in 1995. During 2007-15 he served as the National Intelligence Officer for East Asia—the senior analyst of East Asian affairs in the US Intelligence Community—in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A career officer of the Central Intelligence Agency, he began that career in 1983 as a political and foreign policy analyst on Southeast Asia before specializing on China as an analyst and analytic manager. He served on the staff of the President’s Daily Brief, and as a member of the CIA’s Senior Analytic Service and the Senior Intelligence Service. He is a recipient of the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal and the DNI’s National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal. Dr. Heer was a Robert E. Wilhelm Fellow at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology during 2015-16. He was the Visiting Intelligence Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations during 1999-2000 and was subsequently elected a Life Member of the Council. He holds a B.A. degree in history from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa; and an M.A. in history from the University of Iowa. He is the author of Mr. X and the Pacific:  George F. Kennan and American Policy in East Asia (Cornell University Press, 2018).

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