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

Visiting a Buddhist Statue Factory in Taiwan

Thursday, 02 November 2017 11:53
       During my 2016–17 Fulbright fellowship in Taiwan, I had the opportunity to visit the Taoyuan factory of Sheng Kuang 聖光 (Sacred Radiance), a leading manufacturer of Buddhist statuary whose finished work can be found in temples and sacred sites across Taiwan and other parts of Asia. While the company produces Buddhist images of every size, some of their…
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
       I recently discovered that I indeed had something in common with the esteemed Paul Krugman, the 2008 winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. Not surprisingly, it has to do with Taiwan. My recent visit back to the island brought back to mind many of the reasons why my family and I grappled with leaving in the…
Published in Education & Management
  Introduction and Background      Many of us would agree that Senator J. William Fulbright’s vision of “a world with a little more knowledge and a little less conflict” will feature healthy ecosystems, appreciation of cultural diversity, and of course, delicious food. However, the world has been moving in the wrong direction over the past century. Today, 75% of…
Published in Cultural Insights
        Despite the ahistorical claims of those who misread “nationhood” into the millennia of history in present day Greater China, a “Chinese Nation” is a fairly recent concept. As a political ideal, its roots are found in the writings of late Qing dynasty anti-Manchu and anti-imperialist intellectuals and revolutionaries. As a “reality,” it is no older than…
Published in Public Policy
       “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

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