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Month: November 2017

Reflections on the Fulbright Taiwan Experience

It is with great anticipation and excitement that I embark on this new journey of exploration, discovery and learning through the Fulbright Taiwan program. I deeply appreciate the thorough preparations and full support from the dedicated staff of the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan); I felt well taken care of from as early as the pre-departure stage. My first Fulbright experience was in Japan fifteen years ago. It was an amazing experience both culturally and educationally. Since then, I’ve had many opportunities to participate in educational visits almost annually in countries such as Spain, Germany, Cuba, South Africa, and China, yet Fulbright’s mission to provide participants from both the United States and the host country with the opportunity “to gain a little more knowledge, reason and compassion, while reducing conflict” sets this program above the rest. Working with Fulbright means collaborating with people who are passionate about international educational exchanges and devoted to promoting world peace. I.  Fulbright Taiwan Group 2017 We are a diverse group from eleven educational institutions in different parts of the United States, and each group member brings with them extensive international experiences, interesting personal backgrounds, and professional accomplishments. All participants feel very honored to

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華語教學夢 – FLTA經驗

華語教學夢 我在公立學校擔任英語教師,一直以來,都夢想著到海外教華語。當我看到傅爾布萊特學術交流基金會開放「教師赴美進修暨協助華語教學獎助計畫」時便立刻報考,也順利取得資格,成為台灣第一批傅爾布萊特華語助教。 赴美前,我參加了華語教學培訓,當時的我對新生活充滿期待。除了即將實現我在美國大學教華語的夢想,還修習免費課程,結交美國的朋友。

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Contents and Orientations of Chinese Nationalist Discourse

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 the interests of another.”2 This is not typical; as Linley notes, only about 40 percent of Japanese affirm such an “unconditional support” for their national interest.3      More importantly, China’s sense of nationhood appears to be highly salient at the individual level. More than four-fifths of PRC citizens polled in 2010 and 2014 agreed, “When other people criticize China, it is as though they are criticizing me.”4 As Dickson writes, “This is a clear indicator that the self-identity of many Chinese is intimately tied to their country.”5 So it was unsurprising when, in late May, a disparaging description of China’s air quality coupled with

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A Case of China’s Economic Power

A case study provides the opportunity to delve deeper into the perceived advantage that China wields over the United States in monetary power. By analyzing a real world case of Chinese monetary power, this research aims to answer the questions: when is economic coercive action in the Chinese-United States relationship likely to succeed, and why aren’t there more instances in which China tries to make use of its theoretical leverage. Over the course of the case studies, deeper analysis presents a more complex and complicated picture of the broader and more definitive areas of leverage presented in the analysis of economic realities. This suggests that theoretical advantage, while supported by economic figures, can often be hard to capitalize on in reality. In the case of China’s monetary power, this research makes use of “the most likely case” of economic coercive action (Eckstein, 1975). As such, this research aims to take a case of Chinese utilization of economic power that has a high likelihood of success and explore how successful it was in reality as well as what were the circumstances of its failure or success. This falls short of an all-out attempt to disprove the theoretical advantage, as is often

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流連柏克萊:嬉皮、創客與旅行學者

拿到學位從美國回台轉眼已經二十年,這期間雖然時常來美國開會,進行短期研究,但總是來去匆匆,學校的教學行政研究壓力如影隨形,未能停下來聞聞路邊的花香。二十幾年前得到傅爾布萊特基金會的獎助,讓我能專心攻讀博士學位,一直銘感於心,此次再度獲得基金會的青睞,得到資深學者赴美研究獎助,格外覺得意義重大。二十年攸忽疾逝,我已從年輕新秀熬成資深前輩,這兩次赴美標誌著我學術生命與個人生命的不同階段,也交織著我對美國社會與文化的不同觀察,與對自己台灣社會認知的進化。 1993年我在傅爾布萊特基金會的贊助下來美國東岸攻讀博士學位,那不僅是我第一次來美國,也是我人生中第一次坐飛機離開台灣。初來美國,心情興奮而充滿好奇,儘管我的專業是英美文學,對西方文化已有一定的認知,但實際的日常生活接觸仍面臨許多衝擊,在地理、交通、金融、語言、人際關係、社交應對、上課方式、課堂生態等面向,都需在短期間適應,並迅速進入備戰狀態,那四年專心投入課業,對美國學術圈的認知多於對美國文化的品味觀察,一心只想早日完成學業,回國再執教鞭。

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見山是山,見水是水

如同十個月前離開的那天,我喝著巷口甘醇的古早味紅茶,迎面而來的不是克里夫蘭仍然微涼的冷風,而是濕黏厚重的空氣緊貼在皮膚上,耳邊傳來閩南語與國語夾雜的日常,於是清楚地知道,我到家了。

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Visiting a Buddhist Statue Factory in Taiwan

      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 statues are remarkably large, including the Ushiku Daibutsu 牛久大仏 in Japan, which at 390 feet is (as of this writing) the third-tallest statue in the world. They have also produced large-scale statues for temples in Taiwan, such as the 236-foot tall image of the Buddha Maitreya at the Tian’en Maitreya Buddha Temple 天恩彌勒佛院in Hsinchu. Visiting their factory offered an amazing chance to witness firsthand how these statues are produced, and to better understand how new technologies are changing the manufacture of Buddhist statues.       Scholars of Buddhism know that images and icons have been fundamental to Buddhism’s historical spread across Asia since its emergence in roughly the 5th century BCE, and statues of the Buddha Śākyamuni, bodhisattvas, and other figures have always featured prominently on the altars of Buddhist temples and played an important role in the everyday religious lives of

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