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Villanova University Hosts "Asia Beyond Borders," 2009 Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies Conference

Award-winning documentary, “Wings of Defeat,” caps off the three-day conference; Film director, along with local WWII veteran to speak at Nov. 1 screening

Oct. 20, 2009

VILLANOVA, PA., Oct. 20, 2009 – Villanova University will host “Asia Beyond Borders,” an annual conference convened by the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies from Oct. 30-Nov. 1. World War II veteran Fred Mitchell of Glen Mills, Pa., will join documentary director and producer Risa Morimoto on Nov. 1 to cap off the conference with a screening of her award-winning documentary, “Wings of Defeat.” Mitchell, who survived the kamikaze assault on the U.S.S. Drexler in which 158 men lost their lives, appears in the documentary.

The “Asia Beyond Borders” Conference features renowned Asian cultural scholars from more than 50 institutions around the world. In addition to the documentary screening, conference participants will take part in numerous academic panels on topics including nation-building, globalization and pop culture.

“Villanova is honored to host the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies Conference for the first time,” said Dr. A. Maria Toyoda, director of East Asian Studies at Villanova University and the 2009 conference manager. “It’s a rare opportunity for diverse Asia scholars in the region to meet in an intimate environment. Our own Asian Studies Program has been very active in developing linkages between regional institutions, so we welcome this gathering.”

Conference events open to the public include:

  • Photography exhibit of Afghanistan and Southeast Asia by photographer Steve McCurry, known for his iconic image of an Afghan girl featured on the cover of National Geographic; Oct. 23-Dec. 13 in The Gallery in Connelly Center.
  • A debut performance of the original play “All-Victorious Ocean” about the first Tibetan to achieve enlightenment; Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. in Connelly Center Cinema.

The “Wings of Defeat” documentary will be screened at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 1 in The Connelly Center Cinema on Villanova University’s main campus. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about the documentary, visit:

To learn more about the Mid-Atlantic Region Association for Asian Studies’ 2009 Conference, including a complete schedule of events, visit:

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.