Month: January 2015

An American Vegetarian in Taiwan

The first time I came to Taiwan, I lived in Taipei for two months during the summer while I took Chinese classes at a local university. I was only here for a short time, so I never really developed any close friendships and spent much of the summer exploring Taipei by myself. As someone who has been a vegetarian for most of my life and does not generally enjoy cooking, I spent a great deal of my free time that summer hunting down vegetarian restaurants. One day I was trying out a particularly interesting restaurant: a multi-level Taiwanese-style vegetarian buffet. The price was a bit expensive, but it was all-you-can-eat, which I was excited about, because like all vegetarians I have ever met and contrary to stereotypes, I really love to eat and can put away quite a large amount of food in one sitting. As a single white female, I stood out in the sea of hungry Taiwanese people at the buffet.  Still, I was not treated like an outsider. People kept pushing me out of the way to get to the food, just as they did with everyone else. At one point, a pile of fresh mock-seafood kabobs

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

      “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. If you were to visit our community, ‘Atolan, you would likely notice t-shirts printed with our kapot name and hear our greeting when we meet on the street, “Kapot! talacowa kiso?– Kapot! Where are you headed?” Men in a kapot are, in theory, equals; women married into a kapot often view each other as sisters.   “That’s right….” says another, “I keep telling my man to go far oceaning, but he won’t listen! We’ll have to make our own boat.” Then she turns to me and says, “A-Te, you should be our fishing master.”   “Huh?” I ask. I can sense that the kapot’s women

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My Fulbright Experiences

I was delighted and honored to learn that I had been named a Fulbright Senior Scholar while on sabbatical leave from SUNY-­‐Buffalo -­‐ not merely on account of the award’s prestige or the actual monetary support it entails, but most importantly because it represented a golden opportunity to deepen my knowledge in the field of pre-­‐mRNA splicing by learning from an international expert in the land of my birth, which I had left thirty years ago. This paper contains reflections on my stay in Taiwan as a Fulbright Senior Scholar over the past 6 months. Cultural Experiences: It has been over 30 years since I left Taiwan for the United States and in the intervening time, I have managed a handful of short visits. While I am as familiar with the language as anyone who lives here – meaning I can read the local newspapers, watch the local television, and on the whole lead my daily life without difficulty here in Taiwan – there is still a bit of disconnect in term of idiomatic word usage and appropriate situational responses. On reflection, I would rank the lack of personal space and/or distance as the most important adjustment I had to

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Why Fulbright Works for America?

    The Fulbright Program began after WWII and is the oldest, most prestigious large-scale exchange scholarship program supported by the U.S. and partner counties. The ROC was a founding partner, and the Program has jointly supported over 3,000 academic leaders, teachers, researchers, and leadership elites. In 2014-2015, 47 Taiwanese and 87 American scholars, student, and teachers participated. Many of the American Fulbright scholars and students shared their views on Fulbright Program’s effort to make “a world with a little more knowledge and a little less conflict.”

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Why Fulbright Works for Taiwan? on Distinguished Alumnus: Paul Chiu


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Fulbright Taiwan

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Research & Reflections

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