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The Dorothy Borg Research Program

Dorothy Borg

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The Dorothy Borg Research Program of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute was established to prepare scholars for the challenge of studying transnational issues involving the United States and East Asia.
The Dorothy Borg Research Program of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute was established to prepare scholars for the challenge of studying transnational issues involving the United States and East Asia and to explore new conceptual strategies and themes for understanding the study of U.S. – East Asia. A central goal of the Program is to encourage and support those who might work primarily in either the United States or East Asia to broaden their scope to focus on the transnational and global linkages and facilitate areas of convergence that can be drawn between the fields of East Asia and the study of the United States through postdoctoral training opportunities, graduate fellowships, collaborative grants to support enquiry that crosses geographic, temporal, or disciplinary boundaries, and the launch of four new research projects.
 
The Program is named in honor of Dorothy Borg (1902 – 1993), a historian of United States-East Asia relations whose influence on political scientists like Gerald L. Curtis, Andrew Nathan, Robert Jervis, historians like Carol Gluck, and many others helped to bridge the work of history and contemporary analysis.
 Its four research area are:
 
1. America and East Asia: Past and Present

 
The Dorothy Borg Research Project on "America and East Asia: Past and Present" is a three-year project to support teaching, research, and public outreach on issues relating the United States and East and Southeast Asia using sources in English and Asian languages. The goal is to relate past experience to present issues in the areas of U.S.-East Asia relations, comparisons, and transnational commonalities and conflicts. The criterion for each of the project’s activities is a significant effort to connect history and social science, either by historical inquiry that bears on contemporary issues or by social scientific analysis that builds on a historical foundation. In addition, the project maintains an interdisciplinary approach in areas of developing curriculum for future undergraduate Global Scholar Programs.
 
The program also funds postdoctoral scholars to join the International Network to Expand Regional and Collaborative Teaching (INTERACT) group to contribute to this pedagogical work and invites visiting professors from Asia to offer courses for the Masters in Regional Studies—East Asia (MARSEA). In addition, the program generates new knowledge through research through collaboration across Columbia and with other universities; and hosts several high-profile public events based on this research.
 
Its steering committee is composed of Professors Gerald L. Curtis and Carol Gluck.
 
2. The Making of the Modern Pacific World

 
The Dorothy Borg Research Project on "The Making of the Modern Pacific World" explores the idea and reality of a Pacific community past and present, in terms of intellectual and cultural exchange, immigration, environment, economic integration, business networks, war and militarism, and diplomacy. The focus of the project is to lay the foundation for a long-term Pacific World Studies Program establishing Columbia as a leader in this emerging field. In conjunction with this three-year project, a proposed Pacific World Studies program will build on Columbia’s considerable strengths in U.S., Latin American, East, Southeast and South Asian studies, as well as current and potential partnerships with institutions on the other side of the Pacific, to develop and deepen knowledge of societies, cultures, economies, and environments of the Pacific macro-region. The project also brings together resources from various disciplinary departments, schools and institutes across the Columbia community. In addition, the project works closely with academic institutions in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Latin America, Australia and the Pacific.
 
Its steering committee is composed of Professors Charles K. Armstrong, Theodore Hughes, and Mae Ngai
 
3. Global Circuits

 
The overall objective of the Dorthy Borg Research Project on "Global Circuits" is to study transnational issues involving the United States and East Asia, and to support the development of requisite skills. These include the ability to use archives in both the US and East Asia, employ the tools of digital humanities, as well as explore new conceptual strategies and themes for understanding the study of the United States and East Asia. A central goal is to encourage and support those who might work primarily in either East Asia or the United States to broaden their scope to focus on the transnational and global linkages, as well as to facilitate areas of convergence that can be drawn between the fields of East Asia and the study of the United States.
 
"Global Circuits" shares with the Weatherhead East Asian Institute the desire to globalize the study of East Asia. 
The project also supports curricular goals of the Arts & Sciences, including Columbia College’s efforts to globalize the undergraduate experience; as well as support graduate and faculty level endeavors in US-East Asian Studies. In addition, the project places an emphasis on collaborations with other units, regional institutes and schools across campus, as well as the forging of relationships with scholarly communities beyond Columbia.
 
Its steering committee is composed of Professors Eugenia Lean, Haruo Shirane, Gray Tuttle, and Madeleine Zelin
 
4. The United States and Southeast Asia: Past Legacies, Present Issues, and Future Prospects

 
The Dorothy Borg Research Project on "The United States and Southeast Asia: Past Legacies, Present Issues and Future Prospects" is a three-year project to support teaching, research, and public outreach on issues relating to the United States and Southeast Asia. This project is designed to strengthen the profile of the Institute by contributing to the understanding of current issues and challenges in the United States-Southeast Asian relationship through an interdisciplinary approach in the areas of developing curriculum; generating new knowledge research through collaboration across Columbia and with other universities; and hosting several high-profile public events based on this research.
 
The U.S. and Southeast Asian project comprises two key components. Component one, "Southeast Asia-US Relations," is co-chaired by Professors Duncan McCargo, Ann Marie Murphy, and Amy Freedman. This component will fund a postdoctoral fellowship (2015-17), and two scholarly conferences on important aspects of Southeast Asia-US relations. The conferences will result in a scholarly volume or special journal issue, provide important opportunities for established scholars to mentor younger ones, and fill a large void in related literature. Component two, "Tradition, Identity, and Contemporary Southeast Asian Political Economies," is chaired by Professor Pamela Smith. This component is a summer training workshop that examines how Southeast Asian nations look to local traditional crafts as a central part of regional and even national identities, specifically how these traditional crafts have increasingly been integrated into economic planning, both for job creation and tourism, and the role of crafts in political representation in Southeast Asia.
 
Its steering committee is composed of Professors Pamela Smith, Duncan McCargo, Ann Marie Murphy, and Amy Freedman.

People

  • The Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies in the Social Sciences
  • Burgess Professor of Political Science, Special Research Scholar in the Weatherhead East Asian Institute
  • George Sansom Professor of History, Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • The Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Korean Studies in the Humanities in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Mae Ngai
    Lung Family Professor of Asian American Studies and Professor of History
  • Shincho Professor of Japanese Literature , Chair Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Seth Low Professor of History
  • Leila Hadley Luce Associate Professor of Modern Tibetan Studies
  • Dean Lung Professor of Chinese Studies