Published: Aug. 28, 2023 By

Just a few weeks ago, I returned to Boulder after spending a wonderful sabbatical year as a Fulbright Scholar in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

As I step back into the CAS faculty director position, I am excited to welcome four new staff members. Shae Frydenlund is a Teaching Assistant Professor. She is a human geographer who studies the relationship between capitalism and displaced people, with a focus on Southeast Asia and Southeast Asian migrants. She earned her PhD in Geography from CU Boulder in 2019 and she will be teaching our new line-up of Climate and Society courses. Lucy Lin is an Accounting and Grant Assistant. Lucy has worked in accounting for many years and will work on the financial management of grant funded projects for CAS and Teaching East Asia. Hannah Palustre is an Outreach Coordinator. She first worked as a business journalist, then worked with legislators and civil society in the Philippines to advocate economic and legal reforms. Hannah will be working on outreach and engagement initiatives for CAS. Finally, Nurul Wahyuni is our newest Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant. She is from Palembang, South Sumatra, and has a BA and MA in English language education. She will be teaching Indonesian language classes and organizing cultural events and activities related to Indonesia, including our annual Indonesian potluck.

This academic year our theme is Fluid Asia. With this theme, CAS seeks to gather together divergent interests in ‘blue humanities’, ‘wet ontologies’, environmental justice movements associated with water, climate change induced experiences of flood and drought, and social fluidities of all sorts – from labor migrant streams to ‘be like water’ protest movements – all in the spatial and temporal contexts of Asian places. We are particularly interested in how the social effects of anthropogenic climate change are experienced through human relations with water. Stay tuned for events and speakers related to this theme throughout the year!

Finally, while I was in Yogyakarta, I was fortunate to collaborate with faculty and students at Gajah Mada University, which is also a partner for undergraduate exchanges with CU Boulder. In fact, the first CU Boulder undergraduate student is currently spending the fall semester at Gajah Mada. If you or a student you know is interested in this program, please see https://abroad.colorado.edu/index.cfm?FuseAction=Programs.ViewProgramAngular&id=10285 for more information.