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…
Published in Cultural Insights
           In my language, we say “I love you” a lot.       Think about that sentence for a minute. Really think about it. Does it strike you as odd? I speak of my native language, which happens to be English, as though it belongs to me.  But how can something as massive and unruly as…
Published in Cultural Insights
       “Where are you from?” is a question almost every Asian American has grown up hearing (in addition to its ruder close cousin—“What are you?”). I've bristled at that question, swinging from being patient and polite—“You mean where are my parents from?”—to snarky—“New Jersey.” It's a question that rankles because it assumes foreignness and otherness, one that, in…
Published in Cultural Insights

Identities, Past and the Present

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 21:28
     For a long time, I have wanted to complete a manuscript contributing to understanding the complicated political and economic relationships between the Republic of China (ROC, or Taiwan), the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China), and the United States of America (USA). Part of the motivation is personal. While my parents and grandparents were born citizens of…
Published in Public Policy

My Reflections

Tuesday, 03 March 2015 12:22
      Taiwan is a welcoming, multicultural environment offering wonderful opportunities to international scholars. I have known Taiwan for 30 years, having first come at age 28 to teach English for a summer at the Tainan YMCA, and returning a year later for Chinese language study at the Stanford Center at National Taiwan University.  After earning my PhD in East…
Published in Life & Reflections
      Sounds in the city are everywhere but can be easily ignored. However, they are very dynamic and precious for sound artists. The sounds of scooters, the voices selling in the night markets, the bell in the temples, every sound has profound meanings which shape a city’s identity.     Dr. This email address is being protected from…

Finding a Home

Friday, 05 September 2014 11:24
       “Where is home?”  For most people, this is a very straightforward question. But for me, it’s a little more complicated. Although I was born in the United States, I spent most of my life living in Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing. I have grappled with the concept of “home” for as many years as I…
Published in Life & Reflections

Amber Kao: Dance to strengthen my roots

Thursday, 03 July 2014 16:51
       Through dancing, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. // tackles the ethnicity and identity issue she deals with every day. Dance brought her to her parent's homeland and she has learned a whole new choreographic language with the master Lin Hwai-min and the Cloud Gate Theatre Dance Company.…
Published in Video: Arts

Amber Kao: Mirrors of Time

Sunday, 13 April 2014 15:53
       The colossal size of the two-story, membership-only wholesale club had me mesmerized before I entered. I was stunned at the sight of the massive warehouse vibrant with business. I walked through the aisles of Costco gathering items off my grocery list, happily noticing familiar brands from back home. Spotting “Pepperidge Farm” and “Ziplock” products momentarily transported me…
Published in Video: Arts