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

On Wednesday, Nov. 16th, 2022, WPI hosted its regular China Town Hall, featuring speakers David Y. Yang and Jon M. Huntsman.

David Yang, an Associate Professor of economics at Harvard University, discussed the relationship of AI technology and state power in China, including the implications of the CCP's use of facial recognition technology for surveillance.

Jon Hunstman, a former United States Ambassador to Russia, China, and Singapore. was interviewed by NCUSCR President Stephen Orlins about his experiences representing the United States abroad, and his takeaways from them.

Martial Arts Training in Japan

On Dec. 7th, 2022, Dr. Quint Oga-Baldwin, a professor in Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences at Waseda University, delivered a presentation about his experience living in Japan while learning martial arts. He speaks about the myths, realities, and common pitfalls of living in Japan, and how his martial arts training served as a window into the broader culture(s) of Japan.

Gamification in Language Learning: Approaches and Challenges

On Dec. 7th, 2022, Dr. Quint Oga-Baldwin travelled to WPI to deliver a "Brown Bag Talk" on the practice of "gamifying" the process of language-learning. He discussed the theory and practice of what he calls gamification, as well as ongoing research efforts to educated language-learners in Japan.

China's Next Act

On Jan. 19th, 2023, Dr. Scott Moore, the Director of China Programs and Strategic Initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania, visited WPI to discuss China's next act in global policy. A political scientist and former policymaker, Dr. Moore emphasized the importance of China as a mass-provider of global public goods, and addressed their position against the backdrop of growing economic, geopolitical, and ideological rivalry.

The Gilded Cage

On Apr. 6th, 2023, Ya-Wen Lei, an Associate Professor of Sociology at Harvard University, and an affiliate of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, delivered a discussion on what she calls the "Gilded Cage" of China's development. She addressed the the relationship between China's authoritarian state, advanced technological companies, and ideological principles, and how this connection has drastically shaped the lives of Chinese citizens.