Recent Asian Studies Student Accomplishments, 2020-2021

Here are a few Asian Studies student and alumni announcements from the past academic year. Please join us in recognizing their outstanding efforts!


Marcela Lopez Bravo (PhD, 2021) ImageDr. Marcela Lopez Bravo, alumna of the Asian Studies Program at FIU (2016), is a Research Associate at Waseda University, where she recently completed her PhD in International Studies. Her dissertation is titled, “Using Virtual Reality to Teach Interactively the Role of Place in Tale of Genji Monogatari.” She is also an instructor for the Asian Studies Program, where she regularly teaches: Introduction to East Asia, Spirituality of Japan, East Asian Texts in Translation, Virtual Reality of East Asia, History of Japan, and Women in Asia.

Dr. Rayna Rusenko (PhD, 2020) Dr. Rayna Rusenko, an Asian Studies MA alumna, defended her dissertation in the Global and Sociocultural Studies doctoral program on the topic, “The Legacies of Vagrancy Law in Contemporary Homelessness Regulation: A Global Historical Examination of Tokyo, Japan and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia” in summer 2020. She also published an article in the leading journal Antipode: “Homelessness Regulation and Neoliberalism’s Imperial Past: The Janus Face of Anti-Homeless Urbanism and Tokyo’s Modern Socio-Spatial Development.”

Image Lisa Mueller (MA, 2019) Lisa Mueller defended her dissertation proposal for the FIU Global and Sociocultural Studies Program in summer 2020. She submitted an article based on her Asian Studies MA thesis to a peer-reviewed journal. The article is titled “Local Roots, Global Vines: Human Rights Museums in Western Japan as Expressions of Identity.” She also gave birth to a son in the summer. {right:lisam-1.jpg ,Image}

Logan Walker (MA, 2021), and Kristin Hynes (MA 2021) After graduation with an Asian Studies MA in the summer of 2021 with a research project on the prospects for the remilitarization of Japan, Logan Walker will be joining the International Relations doctoral program with a focus on East Asia. Kristin Hynes is also completing her MA degree in Asian Studies and is already part of the joint doctoral program with International Relations, in which she will continue her project on the impact of Korean popular culture on postcolonial Korea-Japan relations, especially since the economic crash of 1997.

Rachel Levine (MA, 2019) and Maytinee Kramer (MA, 2020) Rachel Levine has joined a doctoral program in East Asian Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara and teaches for Asian Studies a very successful course on Japanese Anime and Manga. Maytinee Kramer is working as a schoolteacher and has introduced for us another successful new course on Korean K-Pop and Japanese J-Pop.

Elisa Romulo Borges (MA, 2016) MA alumna and instructor for the Asian Studies Program, Elisa Romulo Borges completed a second MA in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and in fall 2020, she began the PhD program in Global & Sociocultural Studies. In April 2021, she presented part of her research in a symposium on the theme of Travel in Japanese Culture, along with Marcela Lopez Bravo. Elisa’s talk dealt with her doctoral research on Okinawan immigration to Cuba and the formation of a Japanese community there.

Image: elisarb.png

Malik Hall (BA, 2021) Malik Hall presented at FIU’s 2021 Undergraduate Research Conference. His topic was titled, “Seclusion and Self-Cultivation: The Embodied Philosophy of Mendicants and Traveling Warriors in the Early Edo Period,” which marked the culmination of his ongoing research on the relation between traditional Japanese religion and the martial arts. He will continue this topic in future scholarly projects.