AAS Member Spotlight: Monika Dix

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Dr. Monika Dix, Department of Modern Foreign Languages, Saginaw Valley State University, Associate Professor of Japanese Language, Literature, and Culture

Literature; Japan

 
How long have you been a member of AAS?

Since 2000
 
Why did you join AAS and why would you recommend AAS to your colleagues?

Initially, I joined AAS to engage in networking with colleagues in Japanese studies. Over the years, this academic network has not only enriched my field-specific expertise in Japanese literature and related fields such as Japanese history, religion, and language, but due to my increasing interest in cross-cultural studies, AAS has become an important source for interdisciplinary dialogue.

Since I teach at a small teaching-intensive university, where I am the only Japan specialist and have very limited resources for research, AAS - especially its online resources - and the colleagues who I met over the years at both regional and annual AAS conferences, offer an effective means of productive academic dialogue for scholars like me in remote locations with limited support.
 
How did you first become involved in Asian Studies?

When I was a graduate student, my supervisor recommended that I join AAS, and it has been a rewarding decision. I have had the opportunity to present at AAS several times since I became a member, both as a graduate student and Ph.D. AAS employment resources were especially useful when I was on the job market, and very recently I have benefitted from AAS grant resources.
 
What do you enjoy most or what have been your most rewarding experiences involving your work in Asian Studies?

AAS encompasses a range of topics related to Asia, including societies, cultures, history, literature, politics, religion etc. which allows for cross-cultural comparison and dialogue.
 
Tell us about your current or past research.

My area of specialization is premodern Japanese literature from the 12th-14th centuries. I am particularly interested in illustrated Buddhist narratives which explore the interrelationship between poetry, Buddhist discourse, and gender
 
What advice or recommendation do you have for students interested in a career in Asian Studies?

A career in Asian Studies complements many academic disciplines, including communication and media studies, history, engineering, marketing, political science and international relations, art and design, etc.. Graduates with a good understanding of Asian cultures and languages are in short supply and have excellent employment prospects around the world and in the rising economy of Asia. Employers in the fields of human rights, education, tourism, trade, foreign affairs, as well as computer and technology, often give priority to graduates with an Asia-related background. Therefore, a career in Asian Studies might be a good path to pursue.

Outside of Asian Studies, tell us some interesting facts about yourself.

When I have time off, which happens too rarely, I enjoy skiing and scuba diving.

Dix, Monika

"Over the years, this academic network has not only enriched my field-specific expertise in Japanese literature and related fields such as Japanese history, religion, and language, but due to my increasing interest in cross-cultural studies, AAS has become an important source for interdisciplinary dialogue."

— Monica Dix