For more than two decades, UMSL Global has hosted a number of endowed professorships and culture centers. Through these, as well as through our partnership with the Japan American Society of St. Louis, we are able to bring the world to the St. Louis region. Additionally, our International Resource Library serves as a resource to area educators wishing to incorporate international topics in their curriculum.
A blog written by the endowed faculty and other affiliated faculty of UMSL Global.
UMSL Culture Centers
Recognizing St. Louis' Largest Minority Community
Through the generosity of noted St. Louis philanthropist, E. Desmond Lee, the University of Missouri-St. Louis established the E. Desmond Lee Professorship in African/African-American Studies in 1998.
The creation of this professorship comes at a particularly auspicious time. As the elements for economic, social and political renewal create changes throughout Africa, the E. Desmond Lee Professorship in African/African-American Studies will support the work of a distinguished expert in the field of African/African-American Studies. Through teaching and research that focus on African and African-diaspora studies, the history, contributions and current status of African nations and their descendants will become better known. This enhanced knowledge will create a new appreciation for the cultural heritage of African-Americans in the St. Louis community and acknowledge their contribution to the unique nature of our local cultural diversity.
For further information, please contact:
Dr. Hung-Gay Fung
Professor, College of Business Administration
A Special Gift
Moved by the plight of peasants in China, Dr. Yien-Si Tsiang began his life of public service with the study of agriculture. In his policy making role, Dr. Tsiang was the architect of Taiwan's land reform program, a policy that formed the foundation for the country's economic modernization and remains a model for other developing countries. Throughout his many years of exemplary service to the government and people of Taiwan, Dr. Tsiang distinguished himself as a scholar, researcher, administrator and statesman. The Dr. Y.S. Tsiang professorship in Chinese Studies was established in recognition of Dr. Tsiang's outstanding contributions through the generosity of the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation for Scholarly Exchange, Far Eastern Textile Ltd., Liu International Foundation, Ministry of Education, Republic of China, Taipei Fortuna Hotel and United World Chinese Commercial Bank.
An International Business Focus
By enhancing teaching, research and community programs about China, the Dr. Y.S. Tsiang Professorship in Chinese Studies builds on the University's strong foundation of expertise in the area of East Asian studies. The selection of Dr. Hung-Gay Fung as the first holder of the professorship, reflects the University's recognition of the economic importance of the Asian Pacific region. Dr. Fung's expertise in international and Chinese business provides an invaluable resource for the campus and community.
An Opportunity for Campus and Community
The Dr. Y.S. Tsiang Professorship in Chinese Studies supports conferences, distinguished speaker's programs, visiting scholars, faculty research and cultural programs about China. It not only strengthens the academic excellence of the University, but also brings a global vision to the St. Louis region and enhances our relationship with the local Chinese-American community.
Dr. Michael B. Cosmopoulos
Professor of Archaeology
The Local Inspiration
The initiative to create a professorship in Greek studies came from the Greek-American community in St. Louis. Motivated by a common commitment to preserve the Greek heritage in the United States, 300 individual contributors, the government of Greece and the Karakas Family Foundation pooled their resources to create The Hellenic Government-Karakas Family Foundation Professorship in Greek Studies.
With the assistance of a community-based advisory committee, the Greek Studies program seeks to promote the study of ancient, Byzantine and modern Greek culture. In accordance with the wishes of the donors to enhance the preservation of the Greek language, history and heritage, the Professorship offers courses in modern Greek language and culture. The program is the first of its kind in Missouri.
Serving Campus and Community
In addition to the teaching and research components of the Greek Studies Professorship, The Karakas Family Foundation Alliance for the Advancement of Hellenic Studies has been established to develop and promote outreach education in Greek studies and culture for the broader community. These programmatic activities include lectures, symposia, concerts and film series. The Alliance annually sponsors a major international conference. According to Nick Karakas, chairman of the Karakas Family Foundation and the Greek Studies Advisory Council, these programs fill a very important void in the understanding and appreciation of the input of the Hellenic civilization into Western thought. They explore, feature and publicize the rich legacy of Hellenic culture and foster the continued interest and development of Hellenism in the St. Louis area, the Midwest and the country at large. For students, the Greek Studies program creates new opportunities to study another language and culture. The Professorship also symbolizes the intentions of UM-St. Louis to become an international university, to internationalize the experiences of its students, and to provide leadership for Missouri and the St. Louis region in preparation of the 21st century.
His research interests are the social, political, and cultural history of Greece, about which he has published seventeen books and more than one hundred articles and scholarly papers in international journals. He has excavated at several ancient sites in Greece and Ukraine, including Eleusis, Mycenae, Pylos, Epidauros, Ancient Corinth, Ithaca, Oropos, Olbia.
Currently, he directs the excavations at Iklaina, in the region of Pylos. The Iklaina site has been included in the top ten archaeological discoveries in Greece and was covered extensively by the national and international press. Cosmopoulos is a featured Explorer of the National Geographic Society and for his research has been awarded the Canada Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Scholarship and Research in the Humanities and the Trustees Award from the Academy of Science (St. Louis).
At UMSL, Professor Cosmopoulos teaches courses on Greek history, archaeology, and culture. His teaching extends beyond the classroom and into the field, where he has trained over one thousand undergraduate and tens of graduate students. In recognition of his teaching, the University of Manitoba has awarded him a Merit Award for Teaching (1991) and the prestigious Olive Beatrice Stanton Award for Excellence in Teaching (1999). In 2001 he was nominated for the national “Canadian Professor of the Year Award” and in 2004 he was awarded the Archaeological Institute of America Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Dr. Cosmopoulos serves or has served as an Academic Trustee of the Archaeological Institute of America; Chairman of the Gennadeion Library Committee and member of the Managing Committee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens; and a life member of the Archaeological Society of Athens. At the University of Manitoba he served as Vice-Provost of University College and founding Director of the Centre for Hellenic Civilization. Also he has served as President of the Winnipeg Society of the Archaeological Institute of America and of the Classical Association of Manitoba, and Vice-President of the Archaeological Institute of Canada.
Dr. Cosmopoulos has worked intensely for the promotion of Greek Studies in North America. In 1993, in close cooperation with the Consulate General of Greece in Toronto and the Pan-Macedonian Association of Ontario he founded the Pan-Macedonian Association of Manitoba, of which he served as first president. In 1995 he founded the Centre for Hellenic Civilization of the University of Manitoba, the only university center in Canada, dedicated to the study of ancient, medieval, and modern Greece. In 1998, he established the Canadian Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles. At the UM-St. Louis he established the “Nicholas and Theodora Matsakis Greek Culture Center”, instituted a Certificate in Greek Studies, established two Study-in-Greece programs, the Archives of the St. Louis Greek community including the Oral History Project, and a variety of other activities aiming at preserving and promoting Hellenic Studies and the local Greek Community.
Books: Mysteria. The Archaeology of Greek Secret Cults, Routledge, London and New York, in press. The Rural History of Ancient Greek City-States: the Oropos Survey Project, Oxford 2001. The Mycenaean Pottery from Grotta, Naxos Athens 2001. Macedonia. An Introduction to its Political History, Winnipeg 1992. The Early Bronze 2 in the Aegean, Göteborg 1991. Neolithic Anatolia, Athens 1984. Pericles, a Biographical Study, Athens 1979.
Other: More than seventy articles in journals (including Oxford Journal of Archaeology, Prähistorische Zeitschrift, Aegaeum, American Journal of Archaeology, Classical Views, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater Exploration, and Platon) and scholarly papers presented at international and national conferences.
For further information, please contact
Dr. Eamonn Wall
Professor of English
A Unique Gift in Support of International Education
In 1996, Dr. Michael Smurfit pledged the funds to create the Smurfit-Stone Endowed Professorship in Irish Studies. As a major multinational corporation, Smurfit-Stone Corporation clearly exemplifies what it means to be a good corporate citizen in the era of global economic interdependence. Integral to the efforts to internationalize the University of Missouri-St. Louis, this professorship represents another important step in ensuring that our students and the local community understand and communicate with people of different cultures.
Eamonn Wall, a native of Co. Wexford who immigrated to the US in 1982, was educated at University College Dublin, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the City University of New York-Graduate Center, where he received his Ph.D. in English. Before joining UMSL, he was a professor of English at Creighton University. In 2014, he was chosen as the Heimbold Irish Studies chair at Villanova University.
Wall teaches courses in Irish and British Literature, coordinates UMSL’s Global’s Irish Speakers and Performances Series, and directs the UMSL Summer Study-Abroad Program in Galway.
His books include From Oven Lane to Sun Prairie: In Search of Irish America (Arlen House/Syracuse UP, 2019), Writing the Irish West: Ecologies and Traditions (Notre Dame, 2011) and From the Sin-e Café to the Black Hills: Notes on the New Irish (Wisconsin, 2000). He is a past-president of the American Conference for Irish Studies, and a past vice-president of Irish American Writers & Artists INC. Eamonn Wall is also the author of seven collections of poetry: Junction City: New & Selected Poems 1990-2015 (2015), Sailing Lake Mareotis (2011), A Tour of Your Country (2008), Refuge at De Soto Bend (2004), The Crosses (2000), Iron Mountain Road (1997), and Dyckman-200th Street (1994), all published by Salmon Publishing in Ireland. His co-edited volume, with Saeko Yoshikawa, Coleridge and Contemplation was published by Poetica in 2016. In 2013, he edited two volumes of Irish poet James Liddy’s literary essays: On American Literature and Diasporas and On Irish Literature and Identities, both published by Arlen House/Syracuse University Press. Essays, articles, and reviews of Irish, Irish American, and American writers have appeared in The Irish Times, New Hibernia Review, Irish Literary Supplement, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, South Carolina Review, Religion and Literature, and other journals. Further information is available at www.eamonnwall.net
Programs for Campus and Community
The establishment of the Smurfit-Stone Distinguished Lecturer series has permitted International Studies and Programs to offer outstanding programs for campus and community audiences. The events include presenting speakers on Irish culture, literature, history, politics, and performers of Irish music and dance.
A Special Gift
In 1999, Mr. Seigo Arai, businessman and friend of the Shibusawa family, made a generous gift to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to establish the Ei'ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Professorship in Japanese Studies. The professor strengthens the profile for Japan studies by developing and offering additional courses, conducting research, and by organizing and presenting programs for the campus and local community about Japanese culture and society.
About Professor Miller
Dr. Laura Miller is an internationally prominent scholar of Japan studies and linguistic anthropology. After graduation from the University of California, Santa Barbara with BA degrees in Anthropology and Asian Studies, she supervised an English language program for a Japanese company in Osaka (1977-1981). She received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988. She has published more than ninety articles and book chapters on Japanese culture and language. She is the author of Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics (University of California Press, 2006). She co-edited Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan (with Freedman and Yano, Stanford University Press, 2013), Manners and Mischief: Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan (with Bardsley, University of California Press, 2011), and Bad Girls of Japan (with Bardsley, Palgrave 2005). Diva Nation: Female Icons from Japanese Cultural History, co-edited with Rebecca Copeland, was published in 2018 by the University of California Press. Dr. Miller has been active as a leader in many professional organizations, and is currently the Past President of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, and is a member of the American Advisory Committee for the Japan Foundation.
Programs for Campus and Community
The Professorship sponsors a variety of speakers and programs on Japan studies. Past academic events supported by the Professorship include a symposium on The Politics of Speaking Japanese (2014), and a symposium on Pop Heroines and Female Icons of Japan (2012). Recent invited lectures have focused on Edo period letter writing, the Japanese typewriter, and morning television drams called asadora.
For further information, please contact
Miriam Jorge, Ph.D
College of Education
Dr. Miriam Jorge serves as the Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker Endowed Professor of Education and International Studies in Collaboration with Springboard to Learning. In this capacity, she works to connect UMSL and the Springboard staff to promote arts education and global citizenship education in the St. Louis Public Schools.
Prior to joining UMSL, Dr. Jorge was a professor of Applied Linguistics in Brazil. She is a sought-after lecturer and has published in relevant international journals and in various peer-reviewed books. She is the Associate Editor of the Brazilian Journal of Applied Linguistics, and a member of the editorial board of The Latin Americanist.
As the Associate Dean for International Affairs at a globally-focused university with 50,000 students, Dr. Miriam Jorge has experience in the internationalization of higher education. She has collaborated in the development and implemented Internationalization at Home activities, international degree programs, research, and teaching collaborations. Currently, she is developing complementary academic partnerships between UMSL, China and Brazil.
In more than two decades devoted to higher education, Dr. Miriam Jorge has dedicated herself to community engagement within transcultural and social justice-oriented perspectives. She has developed and led partnerships with schools in Brazilian favelas, created tuition-free continuing education for public school teachers of English, shaped nationwide textbook selection, taught languages and education courses for social movements, and advocated for the implementation of Affirmative Action Measures in Brazilian higher education.
The legacies of the African Diaspora in Brazil and the United States represent one of the current interests of Dr. Jorge's research and teaching. Dr. Jorge collaborates with global scholars in the Transperipheries Research Project. In global urban peripheries, translocal and transnational flows are an integral part of social practices, allowing for transperipheral literacies related to new linguistic, cultural, and identitary configurations.
A native of Minas Gerais, Brazil, when she is not working, Dr. Jorge enjoys watching films and listening to music. She has travelled extensively, and has visited more than a dozen countries.