Past Events

Leaks, Hacks and Scandals: Arab Culture in the Digital Age

Feb. 13, 2019 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
UMass Amherst, Herter Hall, 301

The Five College Arabic Language Initiative invites you to a lecture by Tarek El-Ariss, Associate Professor and Chair of Middle Eastern Studies at Dartmouth College.

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Asian Studies Research Workshop

Nov. 5, 2018 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Language Resource Center Computer Room, 6 Ciruti

Student Research Workshop for majors, minors and interested students. Discussion on thesis writing, independent studies and research projects. Workshop to be led by professors Joshua Roth, Elif Babul and Ying Wang.

A Performance of Yue Opera's Excerpts: Cross-Culture and Cross-Gender

Oct. 26, 2018 7:30 pm
Rooke Theatre

Two Chinese Yue Opera leading artists, Jun'an Wang (a male lead) and Qi Tao (a female lead) will perform three excerpts from two Yue Opera classics, Searching for and Probing the Wife and Liu Yi Delivers a Letter for the Dragon King's Daughter. Yue Opera, the second most popular traditional theater in China, is predominately all female cast, featured with cross-gender acting, and focuses on women's concerns and issues.

The performance will combine a cross-gender performance with a “show and tell” where a student will give an oral presentation of Yue Opera history, role type, repertoire and stage convention. The two actresses Jun’an Wang and Qi Tao will be showcasing doing makeup and acting in gender/roles types.

Free and open to the public.

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Indian Music Festival

Sep. 20, 2018 7:00 pm
Sep. 23, 2018 7:00 pm
Sep. 25, 2018 7:00 pm
Sep. 26, 2018 4:30 pm
Sep. 27, 2018 7:00 pm
Mount Holyoke, Amherst and Smith colleges

The Indian Music Festival brings the variety and richness of Indian musical traditions to Mount Holyoke and the Five Colleges. At Mount Holyoke College, a group of performers of the North Indian classical vocal music, including Pandit Shantanu Bhattacharyya, a highly acclaimed vocal artist, Pandit Ashis Sengupta, a masterful tabla artist and Durba Bhattacharyya, an accomplished harmonium artist, will perform at the Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary on Tuesday, September 25 at 7 pm.

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Korean Movie Night

Apr. 12, 2018 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Ciruti Center, Room 9

Korean Movie Night

Ciruti Center, Room 9

6:00pm to 8:00pm

Every Thursday evening

Korean Speech Contest

Apr. 7, 2018 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Herter Hall, Room 301, UMASS-Amherst

The 5th Five College Korean Speech Contest

Participant Levels: Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced


Soudhamini: “Ready Player One?: Preparing for the Virtual World"

Mar. 29, 2018 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Cleveland Hall L1

Please join us in welcoming filmmaker and writer Soudhamini for a free public lecture. Soudhamini is from Bangalore, India and is the Fulbright Nehru Research Fellow for Academic and Professional Excellence (2017-2018) from the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University.

Generous sponsors include the Amy M. Sacker Memorial Lectureship Fund, Weissman Center for Leadership, and the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives.

Asian Studies Prospective Majors and Minors Tea

Mar. 20, 2018 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Ciruti Room 6, LRC Lounge

If you are considering a Major or Minor in Asian Studies, then please join us at the Asian Studies Prospective Majors and Minors Tea on Tuesday, March 20.  

Learn about the Major and Minor areas of focus including:

Majors: Asian Studies, East Asian Studies, Middle Eastern Studies, South Asian Studies

Minors: Asian Studies, Arabic, Chinese and Japanese

Refreshments will be provided!

Chai & Crafts

Feb. 28, 2018 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Come for a fun study break with your friends at the LRC (Room 6, Ciruti). Feb 28th, Wednesday. 2:30 - 4:30pm
Write your name in Hindi. Practice henna patterns. Drink chai. Make cute wall and door decorations!

“Songs of Desire” — Pharaoh’s Daughter in concert

Feb. 10, 2018 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
McCulloch Auditorium, Pratt Music Hall

In music both hip and deeply informed by her Hasidic, Yiddish-speaking background, singer Basya Schecter leads seven-piece band Pharaoh’s Daughter in songs of erotic and spiritual desire drawn from the Song of Songs. The band creates a tapestry of sounds influenced by Sephardic, Arabic, and other Middle Eastern musical traditions. Free and open to the public.

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Camilo Diaz Pinto: “Animexico: Japanese Animation’s Trajectory to and through Mexico City”

Feb. 7, 2018 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm
220 Art Building

Digital Arts Spring Lecture Series

Please join us in welcoming our guest speaker Camilo Diaz Pino from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As an excerpt of a larger project examining the role of Mexico City as a site of media importation and redistribution to the wider Latin American diaspora, Pino's talk focuses on the industrial and cultural impact of Japanese animation’s (anime) circulation through the region. It will focus in particular on fannish performances of anime textualities during the Chilean anti-neoliberal protests of 2011. During these demonstrations, students and allies would recreate scenes from the show Dragon Ball Z, (airdate 1997-9), using them to illustrate both the power of collective action in the face of privatization and debt culture. 

A Celebration of the Life and Work of Kavita Saraswathi Datla, 1975-2017

Dec. 2, 2017 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Mount Holyoke's History Department and Office of the Dean of Faculty will host "A Celebration of the Life and Work of Kavita Saraswathi Datla, 1975-2017" this coming Saturday, December 2, 2017 from 1:00-4:00 p.m., in Dwight 101, located on the north end of Mount Holyoke's campus (Church Street).

After a brief opening, Professors Amrita Basu, Barbara Metcalf, Manan Ahmed, David Lelyveld, and Joan Cocks will discuss Kavita's scholarship, followed by a program of tributes in word and song. A reception will follow in the Stimson Room in the Williston Library from 4:00-6:30 p.m.

Parking: Visitors attending an event on campus on Saturday/Sunday may park in faculty/staff spaces.

A map of the Mount Holyoke Campus, indicating Dwight Hall and campus parking, can be found at,-72.575&place=dwight&options=parking.


Nov. 28, 2017 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College

Egyptian American musician, dancer and educator, Karim Nagi delivers this dynamic concert and demonstration.  He performs on various traditional Arabic percussion and melodic instruments, while including the audience to participate from their seats.  Additionally, he demonstrates various styles of folkloric dance from around the Arab world.

A Middle Eastern dinner will be served after the event.

This event is co-sponsored by MHC Asian Studies Program, MHC President's Office, MHC Dean of Students, MHC Multicultural Community and College Life Committee, MHC Dance Dept., MHC Theatre Dept., MHC Religion Dept., and the Five College Arabic Language Initiative.

Barbara Yen Sun Prize First Round Application

Oct. 30 – Nov. 30, 2017 9:00 am – 12:00 am

The Asian Studies Program faculty is pleased to announce the Barbara Yen Sun Prize competition for 2017-18. Students majoring in East Asian Studies or Asian Studies-Transregional or minoring in Asian Studies and who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and research in East Asian Studies are eligible. The prize of $500-$800 may be used to support innovative independent study projects involving East Asia, including but not limited to senior thesis research. Apply before November 30, 2017.

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Studying and Interning in China Information Session

Oct. 26, 2017 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm
Kendade Hall, room 305

Studying and Interning in China Information Session; supported by the Chinese program and the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives at Mount Holyoke College

Refreshments served

Charm of the Peony Pavilion: The Creation of Liu Mengmei in Yue Opera Adaptation of the Play

Oct. 19, 2017 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm
Morrison Room, Willits Hallowell Center, Mount Holyoke College

Charm of the Peony Pavilion:  The Creation of Liu Mengmei in Yue Opera Adaptation of the Play, presented by Jun'an Wang

Fujian Fanghua Yue Opera Theatrical Troupe, People's Republic of China

Sponsored by the Asian Studies Program and Inclusiveness Initiative Fund, Mount Holyoke College and East Asian Language Program, Five Colleges, Inc.

This event is free and open to the public.

Study Abroad in Japan Information Session

Oct. 18, 2017 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Ciruti 109

Study Abroad in Japan Information Session

4:00pm-4:30pm:  How to apply, with April Stroud, Dean of International Affairs

4:30pm-5:30pm:  Students' Presentations:  Mengjiao Zhang-Kyoto Consortium of Japanese Studies; Audrey Fahey-Japan Women's University; Millie Koong-Nanzan University; Xier Li-Sophia University

5:30pm-6:00pm:  Living in Japan and Programs in Japan with Naoko Nemoto, Professor of Asian Studies


Language Living Learning Communities Celebration

Apr. 21, 2017 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Mandelle Hall Lawn

Celebrate Language Learning Communities!

Come Celebrate the end of a great year with your peers!

There will be food, raffles, and lawn games!

Everyone welcome!

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Art à la Carte Gallery Talk: The Tale of Genji in Four Seasons

Apr. 13, 2017 12:20 pm – 12:50 pm
Norah Warbeke Gallery

"From Cherry Blossoms to Playing in the Snow"
Please join us in welcoming Sadako Ohki, The Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art from Yale University Art Gallery.

Five College 7th Japanese Speech Contest

Apr. 1, 2017 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Mount Holyoke College Cleveland L-2 on Park Street

The Five College 7th Japanese Speech Contest, held at Mount Holyoke College; sponsored by the Asian Studies Program at Mount Holyoke College, The Five College East Asian Language Program, and the Japan Foundation.  Reception to follow.

Asian Studies Spring Tea

Mar. 21, 2017 4:15 pm – 5:30 pm
Language Resource Center (LRC) Ciruti Center, lower level

Asian Studies Spring Tea and Presentation of Awards and Prizes.  Please come join us to learn more about the Asian Studies program and meet faculty and staff.  We will also be giving out awards and prizes to current Asian Studies Majors and Minors for the 2016-2017 academic year.  Food and beverages will be served.

Faculty Recital — Adrianne Greenbaum, flute, Mark Gionfriddo, piano and Guest Artist Pete Rushefsky

Nov. 4, 2016 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Warbeke Room

Join Professor of Music Adrianne Greenbaum (vintage and modern flutes) and friends, pianist Mark Gionfriddo and special guest Pete Rushefsky for an evening of music spanning three centuries. Professor of Music Adrianne Greenbaum, will perform three centuries of music on vintage and modern flutes, including baroque, gypsy dance, classical period, klezmer, 19th c. Hungarian and jazz. She's joined by pianist Mark Gionfriddo (MHC Director of Jazz Ensembles), and special NYC guest artist Pete Rushefsky on cimbalom (Eastern European hammered dulcimer). Free and open to the public.

"Crafting a life as a successful media journalist"

Oct. 13, 2016 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Stimson Reading Room, Williston Library

An informal conversation with Zainab Salbi, 2016 Global Scholar-in-Residence

Salbi is the creator and host of The Nida's Show, a ground-breaking talk show focused on women that airs in 22 countries in the Arab world.  She will give a public talk on October 13 at 7:00 pm in Gamble Auditorium, Mount Holyoke College.

Co-sponsored by the McCulloch Center for Global Initiatives; the Career Development Center; Nexus in Journalism, Media, and Public Discourse; and the English Department at MHC

Iconoclasm and the Claim to Culture: Case Studies in the Islamic Context

Apr. 28, 2016 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Skinner Hall 216

Featuring Professor Jamal Elias, the Walter H. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies and South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mushaira 2016: Musical Evening and Benefit Dinner

Apr. 14, 2016 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Chapin Auditorium

Kuch Karo: Pakistani Students for Change invite you to join us for an evening of soulful poetry, mouth watering South Asian delicacies, and warm community and conversation. Treat yourself to butter chicken tikka, vegetable curry, palak paneer, samosas, gulab jamun, and chai. Pre-sale tickets $6: $8 at the door. All proceeds go to Rozan, a Pakistani NGO that systematically address domestic violence.

Alien Capital: Asian Racialization and the Logic of Settler Colonial Capitalism

Apr. 12, 2016 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
The Odyssey Bookshop

Professor Iyko Day to discuss her new book. In Alien Capital Professor Day retheorizes the history and logic of settler colonialism by examining its intersection with capitalism and the racialization of Asian immigrants to Canada and the United States. Day explores how the historical alignment of Asian bodies and labor with capital's abstract and negative dimensions became one of settler colonialism's foundational and defining features. This alignment allowed white settlers to gloss over and expunge their complicity with capitalist exploitation from their collective memory.

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A Concert of Indian Classical Vocal Music

Apr. 8, 2016 8:00 pm
Abbey Interfaith Sanctuary

MHC is proud to welcome Vocalist Pandit Vinayak Torvi accompanied by Pandit Ashis Sengupta on Tabla and Dr. Vinay Kumar Mishra on Harmonium. Chai will be served at 7:30.
This concert is generously sponsored by: The Five Colleges Lecture Fund, Five Colleges, Inc.; Mount Holyoke College Inclusiveness Initiatives Fund, Asian Studies Program, Music Department, Amherst College Hamilton Fund and Dean of Faculty; Religion Department, and Smith College Music Department

Fifth Annual Arabic Night

Apr. 8, 2016 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Coolidge Cage, Lower Level of Alumni Gym, Amherst College, 216 S. Pleasant St.

Amherst College is hosting this year's fifth Annual Arabic Night with live music from Layaali, Middle Eastern Food and Guest Speaker John Eiselle, Associate Professor of Arabic Studies at The College of William & Mary. Admission is free. For more information.
Sponsored by the Five College Arabic Language Initiative and Amherst College's MESSA.  

Japan's Gendered Robots: Robo-Sexism and Retro-Tech by Professor Jennifer Robertson, Professor of Anthropology, University of Michigan

Apr. 8, 2016 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Shattuck Room 116

Why are robots gendered? The process of gendering robots (and also AI itself) is largely based on self-evident and unexamined preconceptions of the "naturalness" of human gender. Professor Robertson will explore and interrogate the gendering of robots (and AI) manufactured today in Japan for employment in homes, hospitals, and offices. Open to the public, Japanese snacks provided.

Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Arjuna and the Hunter

Apr. 5, 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
The Odyssey Bookshop,

The Odyssey, along with the Mount Holyoke College Asian Studies program, is pleased to welcome Indira Peterson, who will read from Arjuna and the Hunter (Harvard University Press 2016, Murty Classical Library of India) and will discuss the challenges of translating an ancient Sanskrit poem for 21st century readers.

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Globaling Pedagogy, Globaling Research

Apr. 2, 2016 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Neilson Browsing Room, 1st Floor, Neilson Library

The Kahn Liberal Arts Institute presents Smith alumnae Dr. Susan Kart '96 and Dr. Jennifer Pruit '97 discuss the way the category of 'global' shapes their teaching and research on African and Islamic art. Followed by breakfast and open discussion with a range of experts in global art history. 
Sponsored by the Lecture Committee, Smith Colege Museum of Art, the Sherrerd Center, The Smith College Art Department, and the Sams Fund. 

Water and Sacred Spaces: A Case Study from India

Mar. 23, 2016 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Cleveland L-1

Water is an essential resource for the evolution of human settlements throughout history. The illustrated lecture, with Dr. Yaaminey Mubayi '90, will explore the relationship between water and human history in a culturally-rich region of western India known as Marathwada, home to the Ellora Caves and Daulatabad fort and Hindu and Muslim sacred shrines.

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Spotlight on MHC Shanghai Program

Mar. 23, 2016 4:15 pm – 5:00 pm
McCulloch Center Lounge, Dwight 104

Come to the McCulloch Center to learn about the MHC/Alliance program in Shanghai, Economic Transformation and Business Challenges in China. In this spring semester program, you will explore China's emergence as a political and economic powerhouse. One semester of Chinese, two econ courses required; credit-bearing internship course available to students with three semesters of Chinese. Laurel Fellowships guaranteed for qualified students.

Apply by March 31 to secure a place for Spring 2017!

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Feb. 26, 2016 12:15 am
Wa-Shin-an, Japanese Teahouse, top floor of Eliot House

Seatings at 12:15, 1:30, 2:45 and 4:00pm. To sign up email Heath Atchley at

The True Story of "Women's Empowerment" in Japan

Dec. 10, 2015 5:00 pm
Seely 106, Smith College

Unexpected Consequences of Work and Family Policies

Professor Keiko Hirao is a sociologist specializing in the intersections among family, education and work. Her main research interests include gender stratification, intergenerational relations, human capital development, and sustainable lifestyles. She joined the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies in 2009, after having taught at the Department of Philosophical Anthropology for ten years. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame and M.A. in International Relations from Sophia University.

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Aesthetic Worlds of the Romantic Heroine in Indian Painting & Poetry

Nov. 12, 2015 4:30 pm
Gamble Auditorium

Professor Allison Busch from the Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies (MESAAS) Department at Columbia and Professor Molly Emma Aitken, from the Art Department and the City College of New York and the Art History Department at the CUNY Graduate Center will participate in an illustrated conversation exploring this interesting topic. This event is generously sponsored by the Amy M. Sacker Memorial Lectureship Fund and the Art and Art History Department of Mount Holyoke College.

The White Stripe on Our Flag

Mar. 31, 2015 4:30 pm
202 Skinner Hall

Wlodzimierz Cieciura, Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies from the University of Warsaw (Poland) speaks about Sino-Muslims' Quest for Identity from Empire to People's Republic