University of Iowa

Center for Asian and Pacific Studies

Message from the Director, Morten Schlütter

Welcome to the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies (CAPS) at the University of Iowa. The mission of CAPS is to promote teaching, research, and outreach related to East and Southeast Asia, as well as the Pacific area. The Center was established in 1986 with a generous endowment gift from E & M Charities and the Stanley family of Muscatine, Iowa. CAPS has also received major gifts from the Hua Hsia Foundation, Taipei, and the Korea Foundation, Seoul, in support of endowed professorships in Chinese and Korean studies. In January 2002, CAPS was awarded a four-year grant from the Freeman Foundation of Stowe, Vermont, to expand hiring of faculty and staff in East Asian studies, fund outreach and study abroad programs, and promote undergraduate education on Asia. The Freeman Foundation grant was renewed in 2008 for an additional three years to promote teaching and research on East and Southeast Asia on campus and beyond. In addition, a National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA) grant, also funded by the Freeman Foundation, was renewed for the 9th and 10th years to conduct workshops for secondary school teachers who teach world geography, world history, and world literature in Iowa and surrounding states.

Over the years, CAPS has been led by a series of strong and forward-looking directors who have secured a solid foundation for its work. As the current director, I build on their achievements as well as seek to explore new ways to further enhance CAPS’ contribution to teaching and research on East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific on the UI campus. To this end I will also seek to involve our graduate students and undergraduates to a greater degree in CAPS activities.

I hope to see CAPS play a key role in promoting intellectual awareness about East Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, contributing to diversity on the UI campus, and helping facilitate scholarly exchanges between UI faculty and scholars in our core areas so that the University of Iowa can be a nexus of global connection in the twenty-first century.

We are in the last year of the Institutional Project Support grant from Japan Foundation with a series of projects and events. Please join us at these events, which can be found by clicking on the "Menu" bar at the top of this page and then choosing "Lectures and Events." To be added to the CAPS emailing list please write to our Associate Director, Dongwang Liu at Thank you.