The number of international students enrolled at the University of Iowa hit an all-time high this fall, and the increase from last year was more than double the national rate. There are 3,571 international students at UI, up 14 percent from the 2011-2012 academic year, in which there were 3,130 international students.
What rattles a room of University of Iowa business students munching on Korean cuisine?
The pounding bass of “Gangnam Style.”
In an effort to inspire students to become more culturally aware, the UI Tippie College of Business hosted a seminar on Tuesday to the tune of the world-famous “Gangnam Style,” written and performed by Psy.
Sure, it’s got a good beat and you dance to it, but Gangnam Style is more than your usual pop trifle about never getting back together or calling me, maybe.
“There’s something else going on here that explains its popularity,” says Mark Archibald, assistant director for global community engagement in the Tippie College of Business, who discussed the song’s world conquest over lunch with about 50 Tippie students Tuesday. “It’s a reminder of how many times we come across a cross-cultural context in our daily lives that we don’t understand.”
Beijing native Wu Qu, a UI undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently traveled back to his home country to research the motivations behind Chinese involvement in the Korean War. His trip to China was supported by a Stanley Award for International Research. Qu researched Chinese political leaders’ perception of the war, Chinese domestic propaganda during the war, and spoke with several Chinese Korean War veterans to get their unique perspectives. Here, Wu comments on his several aspects of his research trip, which at times left him feeling like a foreigner in his own country.
A warm welcome to all of you for the 2012-13 academic year. In this brief note, I’d like to share a few thoughts on International Programs’ goals for the coming year as well as updates on activities and organizational changes.
In this presentation, I trace the roots of Japanese reggae from the early 1970s until the present, focusing on the musical productive strategies through which “J-reggae” has come into being. Among these strategies are incorporation of Japanese musical traditions; creative use of the Japanese language (as opposed to patois); and in the way of artistic self-representation, male dancehall performers’ referencing of the figure of the samurai. I argue that these strategies invoke discourses of the traditional that are deeply interlinked with those of modernity in Japan, a modernity shaped by the specter of Western domination that Japanese, like Jamaicans, have long had to negotiate. I focus, however, on the link between these discourses of the traditional and a contemporary ethos of cultural internationalism in recessionary Japan, in which Japanese reggae practitioners imagine global southern countries like Jamaica as simultaneously signs of these artists’ cultural and sociopolitical cosmopolitanism, but also as tradition-bound and thus instructive symbols of Japan’s own potential rebirth.
The ethnographic research elucidates ways in which young women’s care labor is appropriated by the state temporary employment as “free labor” in South Korea, building upon John Krinsky’s notion of free labor as state orchestrated exploitation of workers. Through experience of school social workers who are hired and laid off by the state-run Education Welfare Priority Project as a window of thinking about gendered free labor, this talk examines the uniqueness of South Korean education and welfare reforms in the context of constructing two kinds of youth subjects through the Project: first, older youth as care givers through unstable labor as school social workers; and second, younger youth as care receiver and psychological objects in the context of attributing their problems to individual and internal issues. Further, tracing recent unionization efforts among the school social workers, this talk attempts to understand the context of why and how care labor is not readily recognized as a source of exploitation among school social workers. The talk will contribute to advancing analytic tools for understanding the intersection of state employment/exploitation and gendered care labor as an emerging labor neoliberal sector.