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Marc Yamada Named as New Asian Studies Coordinator

Photo: Marc Yamada, at far right, with a BYU study abroad group in Japan in 2018.

The Kennedy Center is pleased to announce that Marc Yamada has been named the new Asian Studies program faculty coordinator. This new appointment comes as Eric Hyer, who has been the coordinator since 2008, retires.

Yamada, an associate professor of Comparative Arts and Letters, has been at BYU since 2013. He received a BA in Japanese and International Relations and a MA in Comparative Literature from Brigham Young University and a PhD in Japanese Literature & Culture from UC Berkeley. Marc has published articles and books on modern Japanese and East Asian literature, film, and culture. He is the recipient of a Fulbright fellowship, a scholarship from The Japanese Ministry of Education, and a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship from the US Department of Education.

“I’m excited to work with faculty and students to build a vibrant Asian studies community at BYU!” he says. “Asia is no longer the mysterious other to Western and European culture that it once was—Korean pop music, Japanese anime, Chinese dramas, Bollywood, and Hong Kong action cinema have all become part of mainstream culture around the world—just ask your kids!”

On the importance of having programs such as Asian Studies, he says, “As we move further into the ‘Asian Century,’ it is imperative that we provide more opportunities for students to learn about Asian cultural, political, economic, and social perspectives so they’ll be prepared to effectively interact with 60% of the world population.”

Yamada will officially step into his new role in July of this year.