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Professor Will Spend Year in North Carolina

UC Riverside Professor is Fellow of the National Humanities Center

Deborah Wong will study Taiko drumming in Asian-American California

(July 18, 2005)

Deborah Wong, (photo by Steve Walag)<br />
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Deborah Wong, (photo by Steve Walag)
click for high resolution version

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( -- Deborah Wong, an ethnomusicologist and Professor of Music at UC Riverside, will spend the coming academic year in North Carolina as one of 39 scholars appointed as Fellows of the National Humanities Center for 2005-2006.

The fellowship will allow her to work on a book project called Big Beats: Taiko in Asian American California.

“A year at such a celebrated place is a gift,” says Wong. “I’ll miss teaching but I’m thrilled to have this opportunity.”

She specializes in the music and performance of Asian America and Southeast Asia, particularly Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Java. Her broader interests include identity politics, performance studies, cultural studies, the mass media, popular culture, critical pedagogy, and music and ritual.

At the National Humanities Center, a privately incorporated institute for advanced study in the humanities in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, scholars come from all over the U.S., as well as one scholar each from Israel, Italy and the United Kingdom.

They will work individually on research projects in history, literature, philosophy, musicology, anthropology and other subjects The fellowship program identifies talented scholars and provides financial support and a stimulating environment.
Other UC Riverside faculty members who have received Fellowships at the National Humanities Center include history professors Dale Kent and Thomas Cogswell, and philosophy professor Georgia Warnke.

"I look forward to welcoming this exciting group of scholars," said Geoffrey Harpham, Director of the National Humanities Center. "They represent a truly remarkable range of interests."

Funding for these fellowships, amounting to $1.3 million, comes from the Center’s endowment and by grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation, the Lilly Endowment and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Wong, who came to UC Riverside in 1996, has won many previous awards, including the Grace Jeanmee Yoo Unity Award (1999); UC Pacific Rim Research Grant (1999); the Woman of Achievement Award, Black Voice Foundation (2001); California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (2001); University of California Humanities Research Institute (2002); Creative Residency at the Centrum Center for the Arts, Port Townsend, Washington (2003); University Honors Professor of the Year, UCR (2004); and Women Who Make a Difference award, UCR Women’s Resource Center (2005).
UCR Taiko in action<br />
(click for print-quality version)Enlarge

UCR Taiko in action
(click for print-quality version)

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