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Photo of student Ray Barney

An Activist in the Making

Ray Barney is a senior at the University of Minnesota double-majoring in gender, women & sexuality studies (GWSS) and Asian languages and literatures (ALL) with a minor in art. They are already doing work informed by feminist, Black, trans, and queer praxis. With the tools and opportunities they’ve gained during their time at the University of Minnesota, Barney hopes to be a part of the shared fight for shared liberation.
Christine Marran

Looking Within to See Beyond

“Humans have long viewed themselves as more special than anything else, and that impedes our ability to think critically about the environment,” says Christine Marran. Marran is the chair of the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and a professor of Japanese literature and cultural studies.
Portrait of Nida Sajid.

Professor Nida Sajid’s Interdisciplinary Approach to South Asian Studies

“I was immediately drawn to the [ALL] department because of the vibrant, dynamic team of scholars,” shares Nida Sajid. With her expertise in the literary and cultural history of South Asia and focus on Islam and human rights in the Indian subcontinent, Professor Sajid offers a unique interdisciplinary approach to South Asia studies.
Jonathan Veracka, Amanda Grant, and Fatima Walji leaning up against a wall decorated with film posters from ALL's studies

On Purpose: Portrait of Asian Languages & Literatures

The Department of Asian Languages and Literatures is committed to the interdisciplinary study of three culturally rich areas of the world: East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. Our graduates gain a global perspective giving them the conceptual tools to influence the world. Students come to us with an intellectual curiosity about the non-Western world. They leave with a deeper understanding of the languages, social issues, geopolitical histories, and cultural texts of diverse countries and regions.
Buddhist guardian figure from the Mary Griggs Burke Collection.

The Art of Giving: ALL Receives $3 Million from the Mary Livingston Griggs and...

Prominent art collector Mary Griggs Burke amassed an extraordinary collection of Japanese art, which is now on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. When ALL Chair Christine Marran accompanied her colleague Professor Maki Isaka’s class to view the collection at Mia in spring 2017, little did she know that a few months later, Mrs. Burke’s name would become a symbol of generosity and advancement for the ALL department.
Portrait of Soo Hyun Lee and Hui Liu

Laughing and Learning: Studying Asian Comedy Film

For some, comedy film is more than just something to watch with friends on a Friday night. Soo Hyun Lee and Hui Liu are PhD candidates in the Asian Literatures, Cultures, and Media program studying East Asian comedy cinema. They both cite their gratitude for the world-class ALL department. "I strongly desired to be a part of the department's inclusive and friendly environment," Liu says. "I feel very lucky to be a part of it."
Roy and PJ Hirabayashi drumming.

Drumming to Find a Voice

Japanese Taiko Drumming combines martial arts, dance, and percussion. However, it became much more than that for Roy and PJ Hirabayashi. As Japanese Americans and baby boomers, they struggled to find a sense of identity growing up. Taiko became the form of self-expression they needed. The two paid a visit to campus to share their story.
Professor Ning Ma poses for a picture on campus

Rethinking Narrative History: ALL’s Newest Faculty Member Ning Ma

Ning Ma is ALL’s newest faculty member. Her unique educational background and research activities make her a brilliant addition to the department. “I’m really excited by the expansiveness of her research,” says department chair Christine Marran. “Her discussion of economic globalization in a comparative literary context in her book The Age of Silver drew us to her work.”

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