February 4

Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World

Our colleague Afshan Bokhari of the New England School of Art and Design (NESAD), part of Suffolk University, appears in a movie to be shown next Tuesday.  You will want to see the film.

The film is titled Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World.  The showing is at the Sackler Museum on the Harvard campus at 485 Broadway Street in Cambridge from 5:00pm to 7:15pm. on 7th Feb.  It is sponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program at Harvard.  The program is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

We congratulate Professor Bokhari on this achievement on the recognition it represents of her status in the field of Islamic art studies

December 13

Prof. Bokhari’s recent publications and presentations


Prof. Bokhari has the following accomplishments to report:

  • A book chapter titled “Between Patron and Piety: Jahan Ara Begum’s Sufi Affiliations and Articulations” in Sufism and Society: Arrangements of the Mystical in the Muslim World, 1200-1800 C.E., ed. John J. Curry and Erik S. Ohlander (London and New York: Routledge, August, 2011).
  • She also published an article titled  “Imperial Transgressions and Spiritual Investitures: Female Agency in Seventeenth Century Mughal India.” Journal of Persianate Studies, Special Issue, (June 2011, Brill ). [Imperial Transgressions and Spiritual Investitures page 1]
  • “The ‘Light’ of the Timuria: Jahan Ara Begum’s Patronage, Piety and Poetry in 17th C. Mughal India.”Marg Art Journal, 60.1 (2008): 52-61. [The “Light” of the Timuria page 1]

Media appearance

Prof. Bokhari has helped to create a documentary film scheduled for broadcast on PBS in 2012. Islamic Art: Mirror of the Invisible World”  a documentary film exploring themes such as the Word, Space, Ornament, Color, and Water, the film takes audiences on a global journey through Islamic regions to hear the stories behind the masterworks of Islamic art and architecture. (GardnerFilms.com)

Conference Presentation

  • “Chasing Legacy: Jahan Ara Begum’s( 1614-1681) Loci of Memory at Begum Dalani, Ajmer (1638), Chahar Burj, Lahore (1646) and the Mullah Shah Khanaqah, Srinagar, Kashmir (1648).” Trust for Historic Arts and Architecture Pakistan. Lahore, Pakistan, November 11-13, 2011.
  • “Sexual Desire as Mystical Confessions in Jahan Ara Begam’s (1614-1681) Autobiographical Sufi Writings.” Women’s Autobiography in Islamic Societies: Representation and Identity. The American University Sharjah, Dubai, 29-31 October, 2011
  • “Ars Erotica: ‘Visualizing’ the Sensual Sūfi in 16th-18th C. Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal Miniature Paintings, Poetry and Sūfi narratives” Harvard University: Aga Khan Program Fellowship Lecture Series, April 22, 2011.
December 9

Allan Tow on restaurant and political activism in Chinatown

Our colleague Allan Tow (Education) contributed an article in the Chronicle of the Chinese Historical Society of New England (CHSNE Chronicle), Fall 2011, Vol.17, No.1, pp8-11. It is titled “From Take-Out Counter to Podium: Journey’s into Public Life.” The article describes several activists in New England who were owners of Chinese restaurants (including the well-known China Pearl in Boston’s Chinatown).

These businessmen forged links to the political establishment of the area, from the late Senator Ted Kennedy to current Boston Mayor Menino. These owners were not only operating their businesses, but at the same time they were working to improve the Chinese-American community.

Please check back for an excerpt.

December 8

Simone Chun in Suffolk Journal

Our colleague in the Government Department, Simone Chun, is featured in the latest issue of The Suffolk Journal. The title of the piece, “Professor acts upon worker’s rights in South Korea,” describes the worker protest movement that has caught the attention of all of South Korea most of this year.

Feeling they were unjustly treated when their company fired 400 employees and outsourced their work to the Philippines, a long-lasting and highly visible strike action against the company started. One woman worker spent 309 days living in a tall crane at the work-site, supported by other strikers on the ground. Her protest ended in early November when some accommodation between the workers and the company was reached.

The article describes Simone’s on-going efforts to publicize the strike and rally support for the fired workers. Our congratulations to Simone.

December 6

First Asian Studies major graduated!

Elliot Sutton will be our first Suffolk student to graduate with a major in Asian Studies in December!

Elliot is a very international person. He is from Latin America and speaks several languages. In addition to his course work at Suffolk, he spent time studying Chinese in Beijing at Tsinghua University (often dubbed China’s MIT). Elliot’s spoken and written Chinese are very good.

Members of the Asian Studies Program met with Elliot recently for a final review of his experience with our program. He said our language courses at Suffolk prepared him very well for his study experience in China.

Chris Dakin (World Languages), Chris Westphal (Education), Elliot Sutton, Da Zheng (Chair of the Asian Studies Committee), Ronald Suleski (Rosenberg Institute), Simone Chun (Government).

June 19

Rising star Simone Chun

Assistant Professor Simone Chun has been selected to participate in the USC-Korea Foundation “Rising Stars” Mentorship Workshop in Fall 2011! She will be joining 15 Korean studies scholars from all fields in the social sciences and humanities and from institutions throughout the United States and Canada.
“This workshop will bring together the next generation of Korean studies scholars in either postdoctoral or assistant professor positions, along with senior scholars in the discipline. The intention is to link this new generation with each other, provide feedback on their work from senior scholars, and in particular mentor these younger scholars through the tenure process.”