Indiana University Bloomington


Dr. Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is a comparative lawyer specializing in Japan. He is the Director of the School of Culture, History and Language in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific and holds a joint appointment with the ANU College of Law. Kent has an eclectic background, having completed tertiary studies in Japan, the US, and the UK, and working first as a marketing manager with a US regional airline, then as a practicing commercial lawyer in Hawaii, and, before joining ANU, as associate professor at Hokkaido University School of Law. He has also been a visiting professor at Waseda, Nagoya, and Chuo Universities in Japan. Outside of work, Kent enjoys brewing Ales, listening to the Blues, and playing with his Child – the ABCs of life.

Research interests: In addition to private international law and insolvency, Kent teaches a variety of Japanese law courses including a cross-listed introductory course, an advanced seminar, a language course on reading Japanese legal materials, a moot arbitration and negotiation in Japan course, and an intensive graduate course in Kyoto. His research has focused on Japanese insolvency, conflict of laws, and recently the introduction of Japan’s new quasi-jury system (saiban-in seido).

Dr. Heidi A. Ross

Heidi Ross is a professor of education and teaches social foundations and comparative and international education courses in the Educational Policy Studies program. Her primary interests include education and schooling in China, and she is director of Indiana University’s East Asian Studies Center.

Research Interests: Heidi has investigated gender socialization, secondary schooling, and environmental education in Chinese schools and the difficulties faced by faculty at China’s private colleges and universities as China experiences an unprecedented demand for higher education. Most recently, she has been involved in two longer-term field based projects. One is a longitudinal study of girls’ educational access and expectations in rural China. The second is a collaborative project with other IU and Chinese colleagues, “Developing National Student Engagement Surveys for Chinese Secondary and Higher Education: Effective Practice for an Era of Mass Schooling.” The project includes implementation of IU-developed surveys that measure student engagement in China’s diverse institutions of higher education.

Associate Directors

Dr. Ariel Heryanto

Ariel Heryanto is Associate Professor of Indonesian Studies. He is the author of State Terrorism And Political Identity In Indonesia: Fatally Belonging (Routledge, 2006), editor of Popular Culture in Indonesia; Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics (Routledge, 2008), and co-editor of Challenging Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia; comparing Indonesia and Malaysia (RoutledgeCurzon, 2003). He joined The Australian National University in 2009 and before that taught at The University of Melbourne, National University of Singapore and Satya Wacana University in Indonesia. His first two university degrees were in Education. He received his Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, USA in Asian Studies, and his Doctorate of Philosophy from Monash University, Australia in Anthropology.

Research interests: Ariel’s chief interest has revolved around issues of cultural signifying practices, especially the everyday politics of identity and representation. He is interested in the study of semantic history (key words), discourse analysis, media, popular culture, ethnicity, nationality, hybridity, and diasporas. Although Indonesia is the country he knows best, he is keen on comparative studies especially among the neighbouring countries in Southeast Asia. As evident in his previous works, his favourite thinkers include (alphabetically) Mikhail Bakhtin, Jean Baudrillard, Pierre Bourdieu, Antonio Gramsci, Ivan Illich, Joel Kahn, YB Mangunwijaya, Achile Mbembe, Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Putu Wijaya, and Raymond Williams.

Melissa Biddinger

Melissa Biddinger has more than twenty years experience in international education and programming. Spending more than four years in Malaysia, where she served first as an academic advisor with the IU-MUCIA-Institut Teknologi MARA twinning program and subsequently as program officer for The Asia Foundation, she has a particular interest in Southeast Asia and the ways in which multiethnic societies develop and maintain strong and stable civil societies. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Oberlin College and a master’s degree with honors from The University of Chicago in International Relations.

Graduate Assistant

Yimin Wang

Yimin Wang is a doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies with a concentration in International and Comparative Education. She obtained her Master’s degree in China Studies from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Prior to joining Indiana University, Yimin worked as a research associate at the National Institute of Education in Singapore where she was actively involved in several large-scale projects, funded by the Ministry of Education, which were aimed at the reform of nationwide curriculum and assessment procedures. Her current research interests include the College Entrance Examination in China, reforms of Chinese higher education, Comparative and International Education, and inquiry methodologies.