Community & Events


In collaboration with WPI, the East Asia Hub fulfills its goals by promoting scholarship, discussion, and appreciation of critical topics in East Asian history and current issues. As we continue to collaborate with China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, the East Asia Hub will expand our offering of interesting and relevant events to raise awareness on East Asian topics, and promote an international outlook within the WPI community.

Office Location: 408

Student Life

With a significant East Asian student population, and diverse academic and cultural programs, WPI has a well-established and growing commitment to East Asian culture and collaboration at home. East Asian students are making their mark on WPI by sharing their culture with the broader community through a variety of East Asian student associations, who hold individual and collaborative events that are open for the student population to enjoy.

Conferences and Speakers

WPI has consistently demonstrated its commitment to bringing together scholars and community members to broad perspectives on East Asian studies by hosting a number of events. Some of these include:

  • Regular "China Town Halls", featuring speakers with experience in Chinese affairs
  • Discussing Japanese culture with Americans who've lived abroad in the country (2022)
  • Exploring how China's socio-political environment has affected its technological development (2023)

We also run an ongoing grant-funded China Seminar Series that highlights the essential role China plays in critical global issues. Previous seminar speakers have included an architect from Yale who spoke about building in China and a water expert who gave a talk about the effects of water in security in China on climate change.


Our Events in '22-'23

China town hall poster/event summary

China Town Hall

On November 26th, 2022, the East Asia Hub hosted its regular China Town Hall. This time, we featured speaker David Y. Yang.

Yang, an Associate Professor of Economics at Harvard, invited us to explore the relationship between cutting-edge AI technology and state power in China. By using comprehensive data, Yang revealed how facial recognition used in suppression of unrest reinforces regime stability, and how the regime’s further investment in Ai for political control stimulates technological innovation.

Following the presentation, attendees were encouraged to watch John M. Huntsman, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Singapore, and China, discussed his experiences in a nationally-televised, interactive event.

Gamification in language learning summary flyer

Gamification in Language Learning: Approaches and Challenges

On December 7th, 2022, Dr. Quint Oga-Baldwin, a Professor of Education and Integration Arts and Sciences at Waseda University, hosted a brown-bag talk at WPI about gamifying the process of language learning.

An emerging strand of research in language education, gamification incorporates using game elements to facilitate motivation, attention, and engagement. During his talk, Dr. Oga-Baldwin provided an overview of the theory and practice of gamification, including ongoing research efforts to educate language-learners in Japan.

Martial arts training in Japan summary flyer

Martial Arts Training in Japan

Following his Brown Bag talk, Dr. Quint Oga-Baldwin delivered another presentation. This time, he detailed the unique experiences he had after moving to Japan in 2003. These experiences spurred him on to pursue multiple martial arts styles including karate, judo, traditional jujutsu, tai chi, and training with traditional Japanese and Okinawan weapons. 

Dr. Oga-Baldwin also recounted some of the myths, realities, and common pitfalls he encountered while living in Japan, and used the lens of martial arts training as a window into perceiving a country’s broader culture.

China's next act summary flyer

China's Next Act

On January 19th, 2023, WPI was visited by Dr. Scott Moore, the Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania. He’s also a political scientist, and a former policy-maker who focuses on China, sustainability, and emerging technology.

 In his presentation “China’s Next Act”, Dr. Moore discussed the pivotal role China plays in providing global public goods, while also addressing global challenges such as growing economic, geopolitical, and ideological rivalries.

The gilded cage summary flyer

The Gilded Cage

Ya-Wen Lei, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, joined WPI on Thursday, April 6th, 2023, to share her presentation ‘The Gilded Cage. Over the 20th and into the 21st century, China has grown to become a prominent global power, which has encouraged analysts to compare their transformation to the United States’ “Gilded Age”.

However, Ya-Wen Lei points out that the Chinese government’s ties to tech companies have fueled the development of a unique ideology: One that fuses nationalism with modernism, technology, and meritocracy; creating a “Gilded Cage” of rising inequality and unique forms of social exclusion.