Hello and welcome! I’m Stephanie Tsai Karlik.
Born in the cornfields of Nebraska and having pursued linguistic and cultural studies in California, Argentina, Spain, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and Indonesia for nearly two decades, I appreciate the value of venturing out into the unknown, encountering new experiences, and deeply embedding myself into diverse societies, all while keeping an eye on culture.
Graduating valedictorian from Pepperdine University in 2004 with degrees in international relations and Spanish, I have worked for global think tanks, foreign government ministries, and international organizations focused on global political, economic, environmental, and cultural issues. Some of my greatest passions in that arena included pursuing political recognition for the independent nation-state of Taiwan, writing speeches for Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou in his American public outreach efforts, and expanding Japan's national immigration policy for wider inclusion of international migrants.
While receiving my M.A. in international relations in Tokyo, specializing in cultural anthropology, I completed ethnography projects on Latin dancers in Tokyo's underground salsa scene, on Hindu plays and Balinese dancers in Bali, Indonesia, and on "new gold rush" Chinese-American professional migrants to Shanghai, China. In late 2019, I’ll publish a creative non-fiction novel entitled Shanghai Seduction, a colorful and realistic portrait of Shanghai's French Concession foreigners' scene in a time of great growth, wealth, and expansion for China's sexiest cosmopolis.
As an anthropologist and artist, I now combine my extensive world travels, writing and research background, multilingual skills, Asia expertise, and classical design training to do creative ethnographies and applied anthropological work.
Through my latest project, Mizugiri, I examine the Western holistic health arena, Eastern concepts of wellness, intentional design, and conscious living. I’m deeply concerned with ensuring the mind-body-spirit health of myself and others in the increasingly fast-paced world we’re living in. I’m also critical of the envelope of “holistic health” and other new-age buzzwords and trends that have been co-opted by an uncompromisingly hypercapitalist economy and industry structure. With my personal work and research in this arena, my aim is to help myself and others to live healthier, more balanced, and inspired lives.
Thank you for stopping by, and please let me know how we might connect!
English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean
Qualifications & Certifications:
2018; Art & Design Coursework & Training; Otis College of Art and Design; Los Angeles, CA.
2015; Hado Instructor (Love, Gratitude, and Mindfulness) Certification; Hado Institute; Tokyo, Japan.
2014; Advanced Feng Shui Certification; American Feng Shui Institute; Los Angeles, CA.
2012; M.A. in International Relations; Cultural Anthropology Focus ; Waseda University Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies; Tokyo, Japan.
2010; Japanese Language Program Completion; The Naganuma School; Tokyo, Japan.
2009; Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK); Level 8 (highest score) Mandarin Chinese Language Certification; Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China.
2007; Korean Language Program Completion; Korean Language Institute; Yonsei University; Seoul, Korea.
2005; Advanced Chinese Language Certification; National Taiwan University; International Chinese Language Program; Taipei, Taiwan.
2004; B.A. in International Studies, B.A. in Spanish; Valedictorian; Pepperdine University; Malibu, CA.
2003; Spanish Language Certification; Universidad Nebrija; Madrid, Spain.