The celebration started with celebratory remarks from EALC Chair Natsuko Tsujimura, Executive Dean of College of Arts and Sciences Larry Singell, University Chancellor Emeritus Ken Gros Louis and East Asian Studies Center Heidi Ross, all of whom talked about the prestige and history of the department.
The department was established in 1962.
Bob Eno has been a part of the East Asian Languages and Cultures department since 1985. Eno said East Asian studies became a field of interest because of World War II and spawned because of United States efforts to encourage Japanese and Chinese studies.
The celebration also included guest speakers such as Professor Joshua Fogel and the visual presentation of EALC history presented by graduate students in the department.
Tsuijimura said the department concentrates on Japanese, Chinese and Korean languages and cultures. She said these studies play an important role in the new School of Global and International Studies.
“Given the new School of (Global and) International Studies, this department is currently the largest unit in that new school. Especially due to the growing importance in the world and in China, it’s going to be a very important factor in relation to the global international studies,” Tsuijimura said.
Jude Coulter-Pultz, a second-year master’s student who studies Japanese, said he got involved in the EALC through an interesting coincidence, as he was introduced to it by a Japanese folklore professor. He read a book about Japanese monsters called “Pandemonium and Pride” by IU professor Michael Dylan Foster.
“Well, my current focus is in Japanese folklore. Prior to coming here I lived in Japan for five years teaching English...that’s when I became interested in Japanese folklore. I would like to return to school as a graduate student. I wasn’t immediately aware of Indiana University’s EALC department, but in applying to other schools, some of the professors I was working with pointed me in the direction of IU.”
Eno said he thinks the EALC will continue to strive in the next 50 years.
“Our goal is to keep that cultural balance,” Eno said. “So we have social scientists and humanities people working together. To keep the language program really, really strong is what keeps us doing exceptionally well. That’s the goal. Right now, the trajectory of this department is extremely good.”
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