Asia Interest Week at UA Presents Film, Music and Scholarship

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Films, lectures and cultural programs highlight Asia Interest Week at The University of Alabama.

This series of six events, stretching from Saturday, March 28, to Tuesday, April 7, celebrates the diversity of Asia and Asian Studies scholarship at UA.

Matsuri at the Mall kicks off the events from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 28, with a range of performances from Japanese drumming and dance to Japanese swordsmanship at the Center Court of McFarland Mall. This annual celebration concludes the Sakura Festival and is sponsored by UA’s Capstone International Center.

“Master Killer (36th Chamber),” a critically acclaimed Kung Fu film about the famed Shaolin temple, will be shown at 6 p.m. Monday, March 30, in 205 Gorgas Library. Dr. Anthony Clark, assistant professor of history, will introduce the film with a discussion of martial arts in China. The history department has assisted with this event.

“Hindu God or Muslim Saint? Creating a Public Identity with a Contested Figure in India,” a public lecture by Dr. Steven Ramey, assistant professor in the department of religious studies, will be presented at 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, in Smith Hall 205.

Ramey will highlight Jhule Lal, a god whom Sindhi Hindus credit with saving their ancestors in Sindh (now in Pakistan). Sindhi Muslims, however, recognize him as a Sufi master. Ramey will use this example to analyze the ways Jhule Lal’s contested identity intersects with Sindhi Hindu efforts in India to maintain a collective identity outside of Sindh. This lecture is a part of the “Religion in Culture” series of the religious studies department.

“Kundun,” the Martin Scorsese film depicting the story of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in Alston Hall, room 30. Dr. Amy Holmes-Tagchungdarpa, an assistant professor of history who specializes in Tibetan history, will give introductory remarks before the viewing of the film.

Combining pieces of Chinese and Western music, Gloria Tham, a doctoral candidate in the UA School of Music, will present “Chinoiserie at the Piano,” her doctoral recital, at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 4, in Moody Music Building.

A photographic exhibition featuring images taken during the UA in China Study Abroad Program will open with a talk at 5 p.m. Tuesday April 7, in the Ferguson Center. This event will feature students who spent the Fall 2008 semester in China and is presented by Crossroads Community Center.

All events are free and open to the public. The Chinese Culture Club organized Asia Interest Week with assistance from Creative Campus, Crossroads Community Center, the Asia Studies Program, the department of history, the department of religious studies, and the Student Government Association.

For more information, contact Dr. Steven Ramey at or 205/348-4218.

UA’s College of Arts and Sciences is the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Teams.


Richard LeComte, UA Media Relations, 205/348-3782,


Dr. Steven Ramey, assistant professor of religious studies,, 205/348-4218