Asia @ Noon

Asia@Noon talks are held many Fridays throughout the academic year held in various rooms across North Campus. The presenter usually speaks for about 45 minutes, with time for discussion at the end of each talk. Undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and people from the Buffalo community are invited and encouraged to attend. If you are a scholar of Asia-related research, we invite you to contact us about speaking at Asia@Noon.

2022 -2023 Events

Mimi Okabe, PhD.

Friday March 31, 2023
280 Park Hall

Manga, Murder and Mystery: The Boy Detectives of Japan's Lost Generation

Mimi Okabe, PhD, Clinical Assistant Professor
Asian Studies Program

Mimi Okabe is an award-winning teacher who is now a clinical assistant professor of Japanese Cultural Studies at the University at Buffalo in the Asian Studies Program. She teaches courses such as Anime and Japanese popular culture! Her forthcoming book, Manga, Murder and Mystery (July 2023) advances new insight in Japanese Studies and detective fiction criticism, as it explores children’s mystery stories appearing in Japanese manga, tracing the literary figure of the boy detective over the course of Japan’s ‘lost decade’ (1990 – 2001) to explore broader social expectations of youth in contemporary Japan. Aside from her academic work, Mimi is also the co-founder of Japanese for Nikkei, an online education platform for the global Japanese diaspora. For updated CV, publication & research activities, please visit her website:

Event is free and open to all!

Asia @ Noon
Friday, March 3, 2023
12-1pm 280 Park Hall
K-pop: Digital Circulation of Intimacy and Postcolonial Desires

Dr. Stephanie Choi, Postdoctoral Associate UB Asia Research Institute

Stephanie Choi is a postdoctoral associate at the Asia Research Institute,investigating the global circulation of K-pop. For her ethnographic research, Choi conducted participant-observation and interviews with more than 70 participants in the Kpop world—including industry workers (CEOs, A&R directors, idol recruiters, managers, and reporters), idol singers, and fans in Seoul, Los Angeles, and New York. In this talk, Choi explores how K-pop singers as service workers provide intimacy to their fans and further investigates how this form of intimate labor is translated in the American racial politics.

Event is free and open to all.

Dr. Choi earned her PhD in 2020 in ethnomusicology from the University of California-Santa Barbara, where her dissertation focused on gender, labor, and the commodification of intimacy in K-pop.

Dr. Choi interviews can be found in the Wall Street Journal: articles/btss-new-lego-collaboration-tests-influence-of-the-bands-fans-535d41a8  

Event Sponsors: Academy of Korean Studies, UB Asia Research Institute

Asia @ Noon
Friday, February 3, 2023
12-1pm 280 Park Hall
The Past, Present, and Future of South Asian Studies in South Korea
Professor Taejin Koh

Professor Taejin Koh, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies South Asian Studies in Korea has tended to focus on Buddhism, Indian philosophy, history, and economics. Recently, however, the lack of interest in the humanities has led to the collapse of the research base, and we observe that fewer young scholars are entering the field. This presentation will explore possible new directions for South Asian Studies in South Korea and beyond. Event is free and open to all. Professor Taejin Koh is Head of the Hindi Department at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Delhi University and publishes widely on Hindi and tribal languages of South Asia

Asia @ Noon
December 9, 2022
532 Park Hall
“SRS (Silk Road Songbook)”
Professor Millie Chen

Professor of Art, University at Buffalo

SRS (Silk Road Songbook) is an audio-video project made in collaboration with Arzu Ozkal, artist and Associate Professor in the School of Art & Design at San Diego State University. SRS weaves songs of dissent into the land, broadcasting women’s distinct, unruly voices on an ancient Eurasian migration route between Istanbul, Tehran, Tashkent, Almaty, and Xi’an. By conveying the complex stories emerging from each place and person we work with, we challenge Orientalist exoticism, cultural tourism, and censorship, disrupting the grand, tidy narrative of the popular perception of “Silk Road.” The songs are generated with collaborators in communities along the route; it is they who control selection of landscapes, musical genres, lyrical content. For each place, their voices are the dynamic driving force; the land is the visual anchor.

This event is part of International Education Week.

Event is free and open to all.

Professor Millie Chen studied piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, received her BFA Honours from York University, Toronto, and her MFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University, Montreal.

Chen’s artwork has been shown across North and South America, East Asia and Europe at venues and festivals. Her work is in several public collections and she has produced a number of permanent public art commissions. Her writing has appeared in publications in the U.K., Canada, the U.S. and China.

Chen's most recent awards are two media arts grants, from Canada Council for the Arts and Ontario Arts Council, and a University at Buffalo Humanities Institute Faculty Research Fellowship.