Why Asia Week?

Just as the Asia Society describes its mission as “Educating the world about Asia,” the University of Richmond hopes to provide a platform for our many community members who engage with the diverse countries, regions and cultures associated with this vast area, with a particular spotlight on East Asia. We originally sought to open the widest possible platform throughout Asia Week for the members of our community, but through a series of conversations with students and faculty have now focused primarily on East Asia this year, and will focus on South Asia next year. As a small University with a growing faculty presence and interest in the diverse parts that constitute Asia, we celebrate our colleagues and students who engage with and come from China and India (the two largest countries of origin for students at UR), Pakistan, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Nepal and Cambodia, among other places. Noting that additional sending countries include Myanmar and Afghanistan gives a sense of the wide range of experience and knowledge our students, faculty and staff bring to UR.

Our hope is that by pooling the expertise on our campus and inviting our community to bring what is meaningful for them to Asia Week, with a spotlight on East Asia, we can also highlight inherent complexities of Asian identity, for those who are citizens of the region and for Asian Americans. We would like to help create the conditions for awareness and deeper future connection to the range of cultures in Asia a time when our faculty who specialize in the region is growing. Some students will come to Asia Week during their study of a related class, others are associated with a country or region and may find further connection or insight through events, others have never really connected with these countries and we hope will be drawn closer.

International Education Week is meant to share and expand our faculty, staff and student interests through panel discussions, an Eco-challenge, a BackStory podcast, music, film, dance, garden design, and more. Calligraphers from different countries in East Asia will share a station during the Festival of Lights event, for example, and each is already interested to see what the others bring to the table.

We hope that you will enjoy this celebration of cultures and UR’s international range, November 11-15, 2019!

How can I participate?