Audio recording of my paper presentation from the Association for Asian Studies Conference 2015

Click here for the paper abstract. Click here for the full panel abstract. For the sake of turning this into a movie for upload to Youtube, I included some of the images shown during my presentation. They aren't cued to the talk, however, so you needn't worry about following along. All images are also located…Read more Audio recording of my paper presentation from the Association for Asian Studies Conference 2015

“What times are these?” (1854)

When I tell people about my research on late Qing baojuan, I talk about how ordinary lives can animate history. Non-official histories and religious texts can give us a poignant sense of daily concerns and their solutions. My work gives voice again to long-silent popular perspectives on the late Qing, some anonymous, some by named…Read more “What times are these?” (1854)

Teaching Chinese with awful pop music

Listening through my music library on shuffle is a dangerous thing, sometimes. Perhaps also stemming from the same place from which springs my appreciation of cheaply carved and awkward looking Chinese woodblock prints, I have a perverse love of some bad pop music. Not all pop music, much of it I remain blissfully ignorant of,…Read more Teaching Chinese with awful pop music

Ten Thousand Treasures of 1895

Printed in 1895, the Newly Expanded Druggist's Ten Thousand Treasures Encyclopedia (新增懸壺萬寶全書) contains far more than medical advice. Even if you can't read a word of Chinese, the charming illustrations alone lead me to recommend that you take a couple minutes to browse through the work anyway. There's a lot more going on in it…Read more Ten Thousand Treasures of 1895

Followup with PayPal on my issue with shipping to a Taiwanese address

PayPal customer service (@AskPayPal) and I had a conversation this morning via direct messages on Twitter. I appreciate their prompt response. They looked into the issue where the Taiwanese address I gave them was passed on to the seller with "Province of China" appended. They will forward it on to the software engineers behind the…Read more Followup with PayPal on my issue with shipping to a Taiwanese address

You thought we wouldn’t notice? : Eroding Taiwan’s international identity

Followup to this issue can be found here. ----- Do you use PayPal? Do you have things that you buy using PayPal shipped to Taiwan? Did you know that PayPal adds "Province of China" to Taiwanese addresses after the fact? I discovered this when a book I ordered for my father in mid November failed…Read more You thought we wouldn’t notice? : Eroding Taiwan’s international identity

Didactic literature that no longer seems edifying: what’s the point?

Lienü zhuan is a collective biography of exemplary Chinese women compiled at the end of the 1st century BCE. It was, according to Ban Gu, a 1st century CE historian, intended to counteract the influence of lower-class, immoral women who destabilized the dynasty and to provide the emperor with positive examples of female virtue so…Read more Didactic literature that no longer seems edifying: what’s the point?

Maiden Huang 黃寶姑 (3)

(1: Tainan local women, Taiwan local religion) (2: Mother Gu Temple 辜婦媽廟) This post has been a very long time in coming because Huang Baogu's story is so rich with issues to discuss that it keeps threatening to turn itself into an article or a book chapter. Which, in fact, it may end up becoming…Read more Maiden Huang 黃寶姑 (3)

9-in-1 elections: A candidate who won’t win, and a plea for candidates who might

Next Saturday, Taiwanese will go to the polls in local elections for a record number of posts: over 11,000 nationwide. Since nine categories of elected offices (from mayors down to village wardens) make up the 11,130 open posts, the elections have been termed the 9-in-1 elections. Mr. Chao Yan-ching is running for Taipei mayor. He…Read more 9-in-1 elections: A candidate who won’t win, and a plea for candidates who might