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Academic Year 2010-2011

The 2010-2011 academic year brought many exciting new developments to the CEAS Taiwan Studies Initiative. The biggest news came when Taiwan’s Ministry of Education via Taipei Economic Cultural Office (hereafter TECO) in Chicago pledged funding to CEAS for the next four years to begin building the program. Specifically, this amounts to over $70,000 to be used for three purposes: course development, library collection building, and for supporting visiting scholars from Taiwan. Last year Professors Thomas Popkewitz (School of Education) and Richard Miller (CEAS) took advantage of this course development support. Professor Popkewitz is creating a course on education with Taiwan as a case study, and Professor Miller is putting together a course on global popular culture, also with a Taiwan component. These courses will be added to our campus’s existing Taiwan-related courses and will be part of a Taiwan Studies curriculum. Another part of this funding is matched by CEAS and is given to continue to build the Memorial Library’s East Asian Collection with resources from Taiwan, and the last part of this funding (also matched by CEAS funds) is to bring major scholars from our Taiwanese partner universities (see below) to have short residencies here on campus.

The second huge success for our Taiwan Studies Initiative was announced at a press conference as then UW Chancellor Biddy Martin was visiting Taipei in November 2010. A treasure trove of 30 classic and new Taiwan films were to be donated to the UW-Madison. These films were to be reprinted in 35mm by their respective film studios, newly subtitled, and shipped to the U.S. for short tours before they arrived home in UW-Madison’s Center for Film and Theatre Research collection, where they will join our already respectable collection of Taiwanese 16mm films, donated in 2003 by the Press Division of TECO in Chicago. This amazing donation was the fruit of several collaborations between our Center (especially our Director, Nicole Huang) and Professor Wenchi Lin, Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts at National Central University in Taiwan (who is the curator of the collection of donated films), Taiwan’s Government Information Office, UW-Madison’s Center for Film and Theater Research, UW Cinematheque, and the Wisconsin Film Festival.

film donation to CEAS and UW-Madison

UW Chancellor Biddy Martin (center) in gifting ceremony at a press conference in Taipei, Nov. 2010

The film gift will continue over a three year period, in groups of about five each semester. In Spring of 2011 CEAS used the first shipment of recent films from Taiwan as an opportunity to celebrate Taiwan’s films and culture with a series called Island of Light. Professor Wenchi Lin, who is a renowned scholar of Taiwanese film, was here to give a kick-off lecture about new Taiwan films and also to provide additional insight on the films production and cultural elements in each of the five films: Parking, God Man Dog (shown through the Wisconsin Film Festival), Cape No. 7, ORZ Boyz, and Yang Yang (shown at UW Cinematheque).

To accompany the series of films and film lectures, CEAS put together a 1-credit short course on Taiwan film led by Prof. Nicole Huang and CEAS Assistant Director David Dettmann.

The rest of the Island of Light series was devoted to lectures on Taiwan’s literature and music, and important scholars from UW-Madison’s partner universities National Taiwan University (NTU), and National Chengchi University (NCCU) came for short stays on campus where they offered guest lectures, workshops, and seminars. Professor Ming-ju Fan (NCCU) gave a guest lecture called “Two Golden Ages of Women’s Literature in Taiwan”, and also gave a special workshop on “Post-regional Fiction from Contemporary Taiwan”. Later Dean of International Affairs at NTU Professor Tung Shen delivered a lecture on the topic of popular songs between Shanghai and Taipei in the early to mid-20th century. Chia-ling Mei, Director of the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature at NTU, gave a presentation on language in poetry in Taiwan of the 1950s. Finally Wen-hsun Chang, also of NTU, gave a seminar on modern literature “From Eileen Chang to Murakami Haruki: Subjectivity in Contemporary Taiwanese Literature”.

Prof. Mingju Fan leading a seminar

Visiting Prof. Ming-ju Fan leading a seminar on post-regional literature in Taiwan

CEAS and the UW-Madison has been working to build closer relations to the above institutions, in terms of faculty visits like those in our Island of Light series, and also for study abroad. In September of 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by then UW Chancellor Biddy Martin, Dean of the Division of International Studies and Vice Provost for Globalization Gilles Bousquet, Huei-wen Hsu, then Director of the Cultural Division at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago, and Professor Nicole Huang, Director of CEAS, to strengthen our ties.

 

     

Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO)

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