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Habib Institute for Asian Studies

Habib Institute for Asian Studies

Physical Address:
AD 204, Administration Building
Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
851 Campus Drive
Moscow, ID 83844

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 3179
Moscow, ID 83844-3179

Phone: 208-885-7110



U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations, Challenges and Opportunities: A Discussion with U.S. Diplomat Erik Black, in conversation with U of I's Slayton Endowed Assistant Professor Chen Wang, April 18, 2024, 5 p.m., Room 221, University of Idaho College of Law—Boise, 501 W. Front Street. A talk in the Ambassador Philip C. Habib Asian Affairs Speakers Series. Co-sponsor: Idaho Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Asia on the Palouse Speakers Series brings renowned Asia scholars to Moscow to present their latest research and engage with our university community. 

AY 2023-24

Melvin Barnes, Jr., Ph.D (Ohio State University)
“Learning from the South: The Black Experience and Reform in Republican China”
April 22, 3:30 p.m., Clearwater Room, ISUB
Co-sponsors: Black/African American Cultural Center, Black Research Institute for Flourishing and Thriving, Department of History.

Gary Rudgers (Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs, J.R. Simplot Company)
"Doing Idaho Ag Business in Asia"
Oct. 26, 3:30 p.m., TLC 031

Jessica Fernández de Lara Harada (Lecturer, Oxford University)
"Renditions of Asians in Post-Revolutionary Mexican Racial Science Literature"
Nov. 6, 3:30 p.m., Clearwater-Whitewater Room

AY 2022-23

Gi-Wook Shin (Stanford University)
Eleana Kim (UC-Irvine)
Jerry C. Zee (Princeton University)
Mel Gurtov (Portland State University)

AY 2021-22

Brian Hurley (University of Texas)
Ho-fung Hung (Johns Hopkins University)
Judy Ju-Hui Han (UCLA)
Puck Brecher (Washington State University)
Aaron Skabelund (BYU)
Sundiata Keita Cha-Jua (University of Illinois)

AY 2020-21

Stefania Travagnin (University of London)
Ambassador Chas Freeman (Brown University)
Reed Chervin (University of Colorado)
Andrew Jones (UC-Berkeley)
Marcella Szablewicz (Pace University)
Harold Tanner (University of North Texas)
Marta Hanson (Johns Hopkins University)

AY 2019-20

Qinna Shen (Bryn Mawr College)
Dong Luo (South China University of Technology)
Robert V. Percival (University of Maryland)

AY 2018-19

Thomas Talhelm (University of Chicago)
Mark Warner (University of Idaho)
Anna Pegler-Gordon (Michigan State University)
Wang Ping (Macalester College)
Anna Sun (Kenyon College)
You Qiang (University of Idaho)

Ecocinema has recently drawn scholarly attention in East Asian cinema studies, though usually within nation-state frameworks. This conference will contribute to exploration of ecological thinking with regards to media by encouraging inter-Asian conversations about ecocinema. Given the global issue of climate change, it is urgent to develop ecocritical perspectives beyond national cinema frameworks. By providing scholars in East Asian cinema with a space for dialogue, this conference aims at mapping out alternative perspectives toward ecocinema beyond national borders.


Thursday, February 22 – Friday, February 23, 2024
University of Idaho, Moscow, ID
All sessions are in the Clearwater Room, Idaho Student Union Building, unless otherwise noted.

Thursday, Feb. 22

  • 1:15 p.m. – Welcome
    Dean Sean Quinlan, University of Idaho
  • 1:30 p.m. – Keynote Address
    “Between Nation and Planet: Ecocinema and the New Wave of Chinese Science Fiction”
    Kiu-wai Chu, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 3 p.m. – Sci-fi Imagination
    • Chair and Discussant
      Russell Meeuf, University of Idaho
    • “Thoughts in the Aughts: From Zeronendai to Kawaguchi Kaiji’s A Spirit of the Sun
      Ai-Ting Chung, University of Oregon
    • “Falling, Haunting, and Recycling: Reimagining Rural Wasteland in Chinese ‘UFO’ Narratives”
      Xie Rui, Hong Kong Baptist University
    • “Encompassing a Hybridity of Science Fiction: On Journey to the West (2021) and its Ecological Implications”
      Shuwen Yang, Stanford University
  • 7 p.m. – Okja
    (Bong Joon-ho, 2017), Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, Free admission

Friday, Feb. 23

  • 10:15 a.m. – Documenting Ecology
    • Chair and Discussant
      Dilshani Sarathchandra, University of Idaho
    • “Extractive Violence and Energy Transition in Jia Zhangke’s Mountains May Depart and Smog Journeys
      Xingming Wang, Rutgers University
    • “Connected by Vulnerability: Under the Dome by Chai Jing”
      Donghui He,Whitman College
    • “The Landscape of Diasporic Memories: Iriomote Coal Mine in Green Jail
      Yuta Kaminishi, University of Idaho
  • 1:30 p.m. – Keynote Address
    “Netflix The Days and Ecocinematic Nuclear Disaster”
    Rachel DiNitto, University of Oregon
  • 3 p.m. – The Tourist Gaze in Asian Ecocinema
    • Chair and Discussant
      Erin James, University of Idaho
    • “Representing native landscapes in Vietnamese cinema: from the picturesque in commercial films to the aesthetics of ugliness in independent films”
      Hoang Cam Giang, University of Social Sciences and Humanities—Vietnam National University, Hanoi
    • “Cognitive Ambience and the Tourist Gaze: Visual Perception in When Ruoma Was Seventeen and Okja
      Xinmin Liu, Washington State University

Keynote speaker bios:

Kiu-wai Chu is an assistant professor of environmental humanities at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research centers on environmental humanities, ecocriticism, and cinema and visual art in East and Southeast Asian contexts. He is co-editor of Living Lexicon for Environmental Humanities (Duke University Press), and formerly an executive councillor of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment (2021-23), and a luce east Asia fellow at the National Humanities Center (2022-23). He is co-editor of The Routledge Handbook of Ecomedia Studies, and his articles have appeared in numerous outlets, including the Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Asian Cinema, photographies, Screen, ASAP/J, Transnational Ecocinema, Ecomedia, and Embodied Memories, Embedded Healing.

Rachel DiNitto is a professor of Japanese literature at the University of Oregon with a focus on the nuclear environmental humanities. She researches contemporary cultural production (literature, film, manga) about the 2011 triple disaster in Japan. Her book, Fukushima Fiction: The Literary Landscape of Japan’s Triple Disaster (University of Hawaii Press), won the Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Title in 2020. She is working on two new environmental humanities projects: a monograph titled “Environmental Echoes and Nuclear Traces” that pairs post-Fukushima fiction with novels and short stories from earlier eras of environmental and nuclear harm, and an edited volume, Eco-Disasters in Japanese Cinema.

Symposium Co-organizers:

Yuta Kaminishi, postdoctoral fellow in Asian cinema and media studies, University of Idaho
Jeff Kyong-McClain, director of the Habib Institute for Asian Studies and associate professor of modern Chinese history, University of Idaho

Hong Kong Kung Fu Double Feature
Lee vs Li

6:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 28, Kenworthy Theatre, Moscow

Free Screening of "Fist of Fury" & "The Legend of Fong Sai-Yuk"

Poster image for Lee vs Li double feature movie event,

Monday, Oct. 23

"Passing the Torch of Peace: Remembering Hiroshima"
4:30 p.m., Legacy Pointe Room, Idaho Water Center, Boise Campus

U of I Japanese language students' presentation of their translation of atomic bomb survivor Keiko Ogura's children's story.

Tuesdays | 7 p.m.
Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre
508 S. Main St., Moscow, ID
Admission is FREE


  • Jan. 24, 2023: Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953) | Japan
  • Feb. 21, 2023: Double Suicide (Masahiro Shinoda, 1969) | Japan
  • March 21, 2023: The Time to Live and the Time to Die (Hou Hsiao-hsien, 1985) | Taiwan
  • April 25, 2023: Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994) | Hong Kong

The Asia Research Brown Bag highlights and promotes Asia-related research happening at U of I and around the Palouse. Faculty members, postdocs, and graduate students are welcome to present their research, at any stage of development.

AY 2022-23

Bal Sharma (English), “Linguistic Landscape during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Nepal”
Yuta Kaminishi (HIAS and JAMM), “The Art Theater Movement: The Spectators and 1960s Shinjuku Culture”

AY 2021-22

Xiao Hu (Architecture), "Crafting Greener and More Livable cities: China's Emerging New Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change"
MJ Vega (WSU), "'A Citizen Same As You And I': Japanese American Student Relocation to Moscow, Idaho and Pullman, Washington, 1942-1945"
Mark Coleman (Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences), "Poplar Trees in China: An Enduring Symbol and a Tool for Environmental Change"

AsiaPOP! is a multi-day event promoting both the appreciation and study of anime and manga and their influence on East Asia and the world. The activities include speakers from the industry and the academy, as well as free manga exhibits and anime screenings.

Check back later for information on the next AsiaPOP! Symposium. 

AsiaPOP! 2023 Co-sponsors

Event Schedule 2023

Aug. 17-Sept. 15

  • "Manga and War" exhibit | Reflections Gallery (in cooperation with Kyoto International Manga Museum)
  • Idaho student manga competition exhibit | Ridenbaugh Gallery (and online)

Monday, Sept. 11

  • Manga drawing workshop with Dennis Lo (Manga Artist) -
    Space is limited, you must register in advance.
    3:30-4:45 PM ONLINE
    5:00-6:15 PM Clearwater-Whitewater, ISUB

Tuesday, Sept. 12

  • 2:00 PM: Heekyoung Cho (University of Washington), “The Webtoon and Its Affordances” | Clearwater-Whitewater, ISUB
  • 4:00 PM: Ben Applegate (Penguin Random House), “An Overview of Manga Publishing and Localization” | Clearwater-Whitewater, ISUB
  • 7:00 PM: Sailor Moon R: The Movie | Kenworthy Theatre

Wednesday, Sept. 13

  • 10:30 AM: Jessica Record (Consulate General of Japan in Seattle), “Japan Exchange and Teaching Program: Information Session” | Admin 317
  • 1:30 PM: Akiko Sugawa-Shimada (Yokohama National University), “Magical Girl Anime in Japan: Empowerment or Problems?” | Clearwater-Whitewater, ISUB
  • 4:00 PM: Mari Morimoto (Manga Translator), “Mari & Manga's Most Interesting Adventure" | Clearwater-Whitewater, ISUB
  • 7:00 PM: The First Slam Dunk | Kenworthy Theatre

Thursday, Sept. 14

  • 2:00 PM: Yukari Fujimoto (Meiji University), "Women Loving: The History of 'Yuri' (Girls' Love) Manga" | Clearwater-Whitewater, ISUB
  • 4:00 PM: Anne Yatco (Anime Voice Actor), “Engineering a Career in Anime and Video Games (Or, how to simultaneously disappoint and impress your Asian parents)” | Crest-Horizon-Aurora, ISUB - (Ms. Yatco will be signing 2D images only at the meet and greet and autograph session to follow directly in Panorama)

AsiaPOP! 2023 Guest Speakers

Ben Applegate has been working in English-language manga since 2007 as a translator, editor, and publishing professional. In his capacity as director of publishing services at Penguin Random House Publisher Services, he has managed publishing, editorial, and production work for the Kodansha print manga program since 2015. Prior to that, he was senior editor on the Kodansha Comics team. He lives in one of those “small New Jersey towns” across the Hudson River from New York City with his wife Winnie and two superb cats.

Heekyoung Cho is an associate professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature, University of Washington. She is the author of Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature (2016), and the editor of The Routledge Companion to Korean Literature (2022). Her current research focuses on print and digital seriality in cultural production, as well as graphic narratives and media platforms.

Yukari Fujimoto is professor at the School of Global Japanese Studies, Meiji University, where she lectures on manga culture and gender representation with a focus on female manga genres. She has been an editor at Chikuma Publishing, a board member of the Japan Society for Studies in Cartoons and Comics, and she is considered one of Japan’s most renowned critics with respect to shōjo, BL and yaoi manga. She has published five monographs in Japanese, including the critically acclaimed Watashi no ibasho wa doko ni aruno? [Where do I belong?] (2008) and many of her articles have appeared in English, like “Early Shôjo-Manga portrayals of Lesbianism” (2014).

Bon Won Koo is an assistant professor in the Manga Faculty at Kyoto Seika University. She teaches the praxis and theory of drawing manga, and her research interests include manga expressions and the reading process and the manga market and production process both in and outside of Japan.

Noah Kroese is an illustrator, cartoonist, and author. Since graduating with a B.F.A. from the University of Idaho in 2004, Noah has worked for a diverse range of national and international clients including, Microsoft, and NASA. His illustrated book, “Saturday”, was published in late 2015.

Lynn Miyauchi serves as the senior specialist for cultural affairs at the Consulate-General of Japan in Seattle. She taught English in Obama, Fukui for three years as an assistant language teacher on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. After the JET Program, she returned to Seattle and began her career at the consulate as the JET program coordinator. Currently, she enjoys connecting people through her work with sister city relations, as well as creating cultural outreach programs featuring Japanese armor, furoshiki tying techniques and Japanese folktales.

Dennis Lo grew up with anime, manga, and manhua, and quickly developed an interest in drawing everything he had ever seen, from Sci-fi movies to TV shows. He is the winner of TOKYOPOP Rising Stars of Manga 8 competition in the Horror category, with his entry “Daylight.” He is currently a professor of graphic design at Minneapolis Community and Technical College and his ongoing series, “Strange Symmetry,” is published through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing.

Mari Morimoto has been a freelance translator of manga and Japanese subculture content for almost 30 years. Her bibliography includes many bestselling titles such as Naruto, Sailor Moon, Dragonball, and Inuyasha. She has also interpreted for the Japan Foundation, the Japan Society, New York Comic Con, among many others. She is also small animal primary care veterinarian. Born in Osaka but raised in NYC, she completed both her degrees at Cornell University. In what spare time she has, Dr. Morimoto enjoys volunteering with Lions Clubs, various animal groups, Asian-American, and LGBTQIA+ related organizations, and cooking and crafting (especially counted cross-stitch).

Akiko Sugawa-Shimada is a professor in the Graduate School of Urban Innovation at Yokohama National University, Japan. Her recent works are Cultural Approaches to Studio Ghibli’s Animation (2022 in Japanese) joined as co-editor, and Mechademia: Second Arc vol. 15.2, “2.5D Culture,” joined as guest editor.

Anne Yatco is a Filipino American voice actor (and former forensic scientist). She is most well-known as the English voice of Raiden Shogun in Genshin Impact, Nobara Kugisaki in Jujutsu Kaisen, and Sabine in Miraculous Ladybug. Other anime credits include Vampire in the Garden, Platinum End, Blue Period, Sakugan, To Your Eternity, Beastars, Violet Evergarden: the Movie, and Godzilla Singular Point. Video game credits include Smite, Ghostwire: Tokyo, Paladins, Naraka Bladepoint, Wasteland 3, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Anne is also a Twitch Partner, and regularly streams Genshin Impact and other games.

 Tuesday, Sept. 13

“The Aesthetics of Post-Atrocity Building Projects”
10:30 a.m., Clearwater-Whitewater Room, ISUB
Yutaka Sho, Associate Professor of Architecture, Syracuse University
Xiao Hu, discussant

“Godzilla and Japan’s Nuclear Imaginary, from Hiroshima to Fukushima”
2:30 p.m., Clearwater-Whitewater Room, ISUB
William M. Tsutsui, President of Ottawa University
Yuta Kaminishi, discussant

Screening of Gojira (the original 1954 Godzilla) with introductory remarks by William M. Tsutsui
7 p.m., Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre

Wednesday, Sept. 14

“Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Environmental Age”
10:30 a.m., Borah Theater, Pitman Center
Toshihiro Higuchi, Assistant Professor of History, Georgetown University
Kerri Clement, discussant

Keynote Address: “An A-bomb Survivor’s Testimony-The Voice of the Hibakusha for Peace”
4 p.m., International Ballroom, Pitman Center
Keiko Ogura, Hiroshima Survivor
Followed by a panel discussion with Yutaka Sho, William M. Tsutsui, and Toshihiro Higuchi

Other Events

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Exhibit
Reflections Gallery, Idaho Student Union Building
Aug. 16 - Sept. 16, 2022 (Opening reception, Aug. 25, 3:30-5 p.m.)

Japanese literature, manga and film display
University Library
Aug. 16 - Sept. 16, 2022

Origami crane making
Entrance to the Idaho Student Union Building
weekdays, Sept. 1-16, noon to 1 p.m.

Keynote Speaker

Keiko Ogura, Hiroshima Survivor

» Watch Video

Symposium Presenters

Friday, Nov. 12, 2021, 3:30-5 p.m.
Crest Room, Idaho Student Union Building, University of Idaho
For those who can't make it in person, there will be a Zoom webinar option.

Co-sponsors: Habib Institute for Asian Studies and the Department of English

Moderated by Scott Slovic, Department of English, University of Idaho


Qiang Pi, Tongji University and the University of Idaho, “The Cross-Cultural Representation of the Environmental Themes in Jiang Rong’s Wolf Totem”

Qiang Pi is a Ph.D. student at the College of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, China, and is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Idaho. He received his master’s degree in Translation Studies from the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. His research focuses on the intersection between ecocriticism and translation studies. He is particularly interested in understanding the cross-cultural translation of Chinese literature into the English world and developing new theories with regard to the phenomenon of translation. He has published a book review of Zhao’s Translation and Modern China (2018) and an article titled “Translation through a Zen Mind: Sam Hamill’s Translation of Li Bai’s ‘Du Zuo Jing Ting Shan’.” 

Cheng Li, Yale University, “Planting the Borderland: Politics, Nature, and Ethnic Borderlands in Maoist Ecocinema”

Cheng Li is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University. He is interested in modern Chinese literature and culture, environmental humanities, and migration studies. His articles appear in Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Environmental History, and Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism. While teaching environmental humanities of China and East Asia this semester, he has been working on his dissertation, tentatively titled “Trees and the Making of Modern China.” 

Xinmin Liu, Washington State University, “Greenwashing and Its Discontent: Affect in a Chinese Muslim’s Search for Ethnic Roots”

Xinmin Liu is Associate Professor of Chinese and Comparative Cultures at Washington State University. He received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at Yale in 1997. Since 2005, he has focused in his research on cultural geography, landscape aesthetics, and ecocriticism in China and the West and has just completed co-editing (with Dr. Peter I-min Huang) a volume of ecocritical writings titled Embodied Memories, Embedded Healing: New Ecological Perspectives from East Asia (forthcoming from Lexington Books in November 2021).


From Missionary Education to Confucius Institutes: Historical Reflections on Sino-American Educational Exchange

A one-day, international conference of scholars studying the history and current state of Sino-American educational exchange. Conference is online, free and open to the public.

8:40 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT Monday, November 1, 2021 on Zoom

View the conference schedule.

Habib Institute for Asian Studies

Habib Institute for Asian Studies

Physical Address:
AD 204, Administration Building
Mon. - Fri., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
851 Campus Drive
Moscow, ID 83844

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 3179
Moscow, ID 83844-3179

Phone: 208-885-7110