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…

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…

Contents and Orientations of Chinese Nationalist Discourse

Written by Daniel Glockler 葛樂德 Tuesday, 14 November 2017 14:26
       Chinese nationalism continues to be an important but inadequately understood phenomenon. On the one hand, it is evident that nationhood and national identity are deeply embedded in Chinese society. Polling conducted in 2005 and 2010 among the publics of thirteen Asian countries ranked PRC citizens first in positive feelings towards their nation.1 This unusually strong sense of national pride appears to be supported by a particularly nation-oriented worldview. In but one example, a 2008 survey showed that 84.3 percent of Chinese respondents agreed with the assertion, “Your country should pursue its national interest even if it could harm…

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…

The Meaning of John Dewey’s Trip to China, 1919-1921

Written by James Behuniak 江文思 Friday, 11 September 2015 13:18
       This year, in addition to teaching American philosophy in Taiwan, I have been researching John Dewey’s visit to China from 1919-1921.  The facts surrounding Dewey’s visit are fairly well known.  Dewey arrived in China at the height of the May Fourth Movement.  His former students invited him to tour and to give lectures throughout the country, and there are detailed records of his itinerary and the content of his talks.  I have focused primarily on how this experience influenced Dewey himself, and I have been reading his papers and personal letters in order to gain some insight.…

For What Can We Hope? Concrete Houses and Hopeful Indigeneity in 'Amis Country

Written by Donald Hatfield 施永德 Thursday, 21 January 2016 14:10
Where is This Stairway Going?        Nearby my residence in 'Atolan, a Taiwanese Indigenous Communityon Taiwan's East Coast, there is a simple, flat-roofed house. The house, constructed of steel bar reinforced concrete, resembles nearly any other solafo, or concrete slab, house you might see around this town, which perches on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean. Sand for mixing the concrete likely came from a stream mouth not too far north of here, and the house required no outside contractors: men who had worked construction abroad--some in Japan, others in Singapore or even the Arabian Peninsula--gathered to assist…
  As an individual with Manchu and Sibe language skills and an interest in the development of Manchurology, I am following closely a situation in which two scholarly camps have engaged in a fight with virtually no results. One camp is comprised of scholars based in Taiwan and China, who adhere to the Chinese view that a major reason for the Qing Empire’s success in ruling China for approximately three centuries is the Sinicization of the Manchus. The “New Qing History” camp, which is led by American academia, however, dismisses that view as a reflection of Chinese chauvinism, but maintains…

Translation of “Enlightenment” in Late Qing and Republican China Political Thought

Written by Chien-Shou Chen 陳建守 Thursday, 30 April 2015 15:03
        My research as a Fulbright grantee at Harvard University concerns the appropriation of political terminology from the West in late Qing and Republican China. Here is a small section of my work, to give an idea of the research my Fulbright grant supports.         In recent research, LuoZhitian 羅志田 has argued that during the integration of Western culture, modern China showed some ambiguity in the translation and utilization of imported words. Most understanding towards European historical events took place either through literal translation or through definitionof the meanings of terms, such as “qimeng…

What the Taotao Means to Me

Written by Mary Hamilton 何美笑 Friday, 22 April 2016 11:38
     On Orchid Island, the Taotao is a ubiquitous symbol.  It can be found inside churches, outside of 7-11, adorning many a tourist trinket, and most importantly, on every Tao boat.  Known as (人型 renxing the person symbol), the Taotao is often depicted as a small person with swirled arms and “curly Qs” coming out of its head. Whimsical in appearance, but steeped in meaning, the Taotao represents a person’s relationship with his or her physical environment.  For Tao people, this environment includes dense mountainous jungle, rocky beaches, and the crystal blue expanse of the Pacific Ocean.        …