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Write About Asia Winter 2021 – Art and Renewal in Times of Crisis in Asia

Scenes before and after fire in Edo (detail), 1868-1872, Utagawa Kunitoshi, Japan, (1798-1861), painting, pair of handscrolls, ink and color on silk, 14 1/2 x 37 ins., c. Trustees of the British Museum, Creative Commons License.


Write about Asia was offered by the East Asia Resource Center at the University of Washington in conjunction with the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s (SAAM) Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas and its seasonal Saturday University Lecture Series. This series is titled Art and Renewal in Times of Crisis in Asia and looked at how has art and creative activity contributed to confronting crises in Asia. While we faced the current pandemic, along with deep social, political, and economic challenges, we took heart in artists’ creative responses to violent conflict, environmental change, and panic.

About the SAAM Saturday University Lecture Series

Participants delved into new themes every season with a different speaker each week. Challenging, thought-provoking, and sometimes surprising, this long-running and always popular lecture series incorporated audience discussion as experts from around the world joined us to share their insights on Asia throughout time.

About Write About Asia

Write About Asia was offered following each SAAM public lecture and facilitated by Mary Roberts. During the workshop, time was be given to solitary writing in response to the morning lecture. The workshop nurtured educators as writers through self-reflection and group discussion, and took place after each lecture from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM.

Write About Asia was offered at no cost to current, in-service teachers, and was sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center (EARC) in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington with funding from a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA).

Online procedure for each Saturday University Lecture + Write About Asia:

  • 10:00 to 11:30 AM, PST: participants attended the online Zoom SAAM lecture for 90 minutes.
  • Following the lecture, participants drafted a response to the lecture topic offline. This exercise took about 45 minutes.
  • 1:00 to 2:00 PM, PST: participants attended the online Zoom Write About Asia Group to share writing with other educators.

SAAM Lectures and Write About Asia Schedule



  • Free participation to the SAAM public lecture.
  • Four free WA OSPI clock hours were available for each workshop. Participation to a minimum of two workshops and fulfillment of online discussion prompts were required in order to obtain clock hours.