Contemporary Aboriginal. The Mixing.

Written by Terry O'Reilly 易光海 Wednesday, 26 August 2015 15:08
    For my Fulbright grant I chose a topic of immense richness: the aboriginal peoples of Taiwan. What I found exceeded my every expectation.  I have experienced countless encounters and exchanges, celebrated the sacred rites and important dates of the harvest and hunting calendars of the Pangcah (also known as Amis), the Paiwan, the Atayal and Saisiyat peoples.  My Fulbright grant became a mixture of scholarship and art.       To begin at the beginning: I became aware of the cultural and artistic vitality of Taiwan during a short visit in 2005; and at that time I also began…

A Midyear Reflection on the State of my Research

Written by Lance Crisler 柯則已 Friday, 20 March 2015 19:10
           I do a lot of reading; it’s part of my job description as a graduate student. I read all types of works: newspaper articles, opinion pieces, scientific data, political diatribe, etc. I also read quite a bit of Chinese literature and modern scholarship on such works. Recently, it occurred to me that I have lost, to some degree at least, my love of reading for pleasure, especially reading works of fiction. I tend to get lost in critical works, the argumentative polemics and rhetorical strategies of academic work published in scholarly periodicals, but I realized…

Notes from a Sufi Shrine in Sindh, Pakistan

Written by Pei-Ling Huang 黃佩玲 Friday, 13 March 2015 13:22
  The heat of the day had receded as we walked into the shrine after 'isha, the final evening prayers. The marble ground felt cool to our bare feet when we took off our sandals and went in. There was no guard at the gate, no shoe-keeping stand, and people sat on the ground in small groups, chatting, eating, and sleeping. Children and even dogs ran around in the informal and mildly festive atmosphere of the beautifully-lit shrine courtyard. This place, the shrine of Shāh Abdul Latīf in Bhit Shāh, Sindh, was beyond doubt one of the most open and…

On Shamanism, Positivism, and Shifting One’s Frame of Reference

Written by Mary Hamilton, B.A., Fordham University Sunday, 01 March 2015 20:48
       An important skill that I have adopted for living overseas in a different culture is shifting my frame of reference to accommodate new experiences or ideas.  Living in Taiwan for the last six months has certainly challenged me to do so in refreshingly unexpected ways.         Since new understandings begin with language and so much of language is based upon context, even a play-on-words can illustrate the value of shifting one’s frame of reference to unlock new meaning in a different culture.  As my Social Cultural Anthropology teacher, Futuru Tsai, said jokingly in class, "If you…

Chinese Buddhist Poetry and Academic Lineages in Taiwan: Part Two of Two

Written by Jason Protass, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University Tuesday, 24 February 2015 19:43
         In this two-part essay, I survey two important academic lineages in Taiwan and their contributions to the study of Chinese Buddhist poetry. In the first part, I focused on the cohort of scholars that worked and trained at National Chengchi University. In this second part, I examine the other major lineage. In addition to tracing the origins of this second group, I highlight some recent works and offer a more in-depth summary of their contents.        The other major school of scholarship on Buddhist poetry is associated with National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) and…

Chinese Buddhist Poetry and Academic Lineages in Taiwan: Part One of Two

Written by Jason Protass, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford University Tuesday, 24 February 2015 19:28
         Chinese Buddhist poetry and literature remains largely unstudied in Western academia. The study of Buddhist poetry requires facility with the disparate fields of Chinese literature and Buddhist studies. These demands are a formidable challenge even for native speakers of East Asian languages. Nonetheless, several generations of East Asian scholars have made significant inroads into this field of inquiry. In this two-part essay, I will briefly outline two important academic lineages in Taiwan and their contributions to the study of Chinese Buddhist poetry.        Thanks to the generosity of Fulbright Taiwan, this past year I…

Children’s Literature Ambassadors: Advocates of the 1960s: Munro Leaf and Helen R. Sattley

Written by Andrea Mei-Ying Wu 吳玫瑛 Monday, 02 February 2015 16:45
        This research period, so far, has been a fruitful one, thanks to the generous support of the Fulbright Taiwan Foundation for Scholarly Exchange. My current research project was launched when my curiosity was triggered by an unpremeditated encounter, as I was reading a historical sketch of the development of children’s literature in Taiwan, with two legendary figures who appear to be the earliest, or first, “ambassadors of children’s literature” from the United States and who introduced new concepts and visions of literature for children and young adults to Taiwanese audiences in the 1960s. This is the…

Of Fishing Boats and Comfort Boats: Playing with Gender Ideology in A'tolan a Niyaro

Written by Donald Hatfield 施永德 Tuesday, 20 January 2015 17:08
      "If they won't go on the boats, then we'll just go fishing, go far oceaning, ourselves!" says the wife of a member of my age set (kapot) at an informal gathering that she has organized to cheer up one of her "classmates," also married to our kapot. Composed of men born within five years of each other, kapot are the primary social organization in 'Amis (Pangcah) communities on Taiwan's East Coast. Kapot have mutual responsibilities as well as a particular place in the workings of the community, which is determined by their age relative to other age sets.     My kapot is named LaKancin.…

Late-Imperial Bibliographic Studies and Digital Quantitative Analysis

Written by Paul Vierthaler 李友仁 Friday, 05 September 2014 11:15
       Modern scholars of late-Imperial Chinese literature benefit from collected texts printed during the Ming and Qing dynasties that are supplemented with bibliographic information on both extant and non-extant books. Cataloging old texts was traditionally an important part of late-Imperial Chinese scholarship. Scholars closely researched important works by exploring their textual histories, identifying forgeries, and tracing their provenance. Some of this information was eventually preserved in large annotated indexes.        Publishing houses also printed compilations of popular texts and sometimes reprinted entire libraries. Though some were commercial products, other endeavors aimed to preserve (particularly those sponsored…

On the Road with Xuanzang

Written by Benjamin Brose 本博澤 Sunday, 13 April 2014 16:36
       The story I want to tell has a clear beginning but no clear end. It starts like this: On December 23, 1942,Takamori Takasuke, the commanding officer of Japanese soldiers stationed in Nanjing, was overseeing the construction of an Inari Shinto shrine just outside of the city’s southern gate. While excavating the shrine’s foundation, his men discovered the crypt of an old Buddhist pagoda. Inside a stone sarcophagus they found two nested boxes, the outer of bronze, the inner of silver. The inner box contained one small gold Buddha statue, several bronze and ceramic implements, hundreds of coins,…
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