East Asia

Michael Berry • Michael Puett • Amy Tan • Susan Stranahan • Eleana Kim • Leslie Chang

The goal of the East Asia forum series is to broaden the student population’s understanding of Asian cultures, enabling them to critically reflect on lifestyles that differ from their own. Through exposure to new perspectives, students will begin to see and understand the varying social, cultural, economic, and political viewpoints of East Asia and the impact that they have on identity. All events are open to the college community as well as the general public, and start at 7:30 pm in McGaw Chapel, unless otherwise noted.

Michael Berry

Chinese Cinema with Hollywood Characteristics

Thursday, September 4th

(7:30 pm, McGaw)



  Berry’s research focuses on modern Chinese culture, particularly literature, film, and pop culture. His work addresses the richness and diversity of Chinese art and culture as it has manifested itself in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and overseas Chinese communities. In addition to having written several novels throughout his career, Berry is also known for his work with translating contemporary novels by various writers, including this years summer reading China in Ten Words by Yu Hau.


Check out the following links for more information on Michael Berry:


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Michael Puett

Thursday, September 25th

(7:30 pm, McGaw)


A historian whose scholarship focuses on the intersections of anthropology, religion, philosophy, and history in China. Likewise, he is the author of The Ambivalence of Creation: Debates Concerning Innovation and Artifice in Early China and To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China.




Check out the following links for more information on Michael Puett:


Puett on China

Lecture on Zhuangzi:

Ritual and Humanity:

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Amy Tan

The Heart of a Writer

Tuesday, September 30th

(7:30 pm, McGaw)


 A writer whose books explore the relationships of immigrants and the inter-generational dynamics, particularly between mothers and daughters. You may know her from her popular novel, and later movie, The Joy Luck Club. Throughout her career she has written several bestselling novels including, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, and The Bonesetter’s Daughter, with her most recent one being The Valley of Amazement

Check out the links below for more information on Amy Tan:


Where does creativity hide?:

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Susan Stranahan ’68

Fukushima: The Story of a Nuclear Disaster and It’s Aftermath

Tuesday, October 14th

(7:30 pm, McGaw)




Susan Stranahan was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. She has recently co-authored a book on the nuclear disaster in Japan: Fukushima-The Story of a Nuclear Disaster. She has led an eventful career acting as a reporter, and as a result was the College of Wooster recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996. 

Check out the links below for more information on Susan Stranahan:

Wooster Alumni

Center of Public Diversity

Fukshima-The Story of a Nuclear Disaster

Lecture on Book:

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Eleana Kim

Making Peace with Nature: The Ecological Value of the Korean DMZ

Thursday, October 30th

(7:30 pm, McGaw)



Kim is an anthropologist whose current research examines the social and political dynamics that have shaped the natural environment of the Korean DMZ. She has written two books, one of which was Politics of Belonging and Making Peace with Nature: The Greening of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, which aims to provide a thorough analysis of the transformation of one of the most heavily militarized borders in the world into an area that is widely referred to as a haven for biodiversity. 

Check out the links below for more information on Eleana Kim: 


Making Peace with Nature

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Leslie Chang

The Lives and Loves of a Chinese Factory Girl

Tuesday, November 4th

(7:30 pm, McGaw)


    Leslie Chang is the author of the well-known novel Factory Girls: From Village to City in Changing China, which is an examination of the rapid urbanization within China and its impact upon women and the social structure of China.

Check out the links below for more information on Leslie Chang:

The Voices of China’s Workers

Factory Girls

Factory Girls in a Changing China:


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