Who/what/where in the world is “Suzy Wong?”

In late 1960, the film "The World of Suzie Wong," based on the 1957 novel of the same name, premiered in New York. The film might be best summarized as being about a mediocre white man who turns up in Hong Kong hoping to find himself, doing so by falling in love with a prostitute…Read more Who/what/where in the world is “Suzy Wong?”

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“I too am afraid” 「我也怕」

Last night, a Taiwanese friend messaged me  about the US presidential election. My succinct response: 「我也怕」 ("I too am afraid.") Maybe this goes without saying, but I didn't sleep much. I began the morning with a email from a distressed student, unable to attend class because of their emotional state after the results of the…Read more “I too am afraid” 「我也怕」

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

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?

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

A Novel of China: The Mandarin’s Daughter, 1876

While traveling to DC and back last week, I read The Mandarin's Daughter by Samuel Mossman, 1876, which is another 19th century novel about China that I read so you don't have to. (Previously: Out in China by Mrs. Archibald Little, 1902) Mossman's introduction states that the amount of fiction in his novel, The Mandarin's…Read more A Novel of China: The Mandarin’s Daughter, 1876

Recommended Reading: Against My Fear, I See That You Hope

As students in Hong Kong lead the territory in protesting against Chinese efforts to block direct elections in 2017, I find myself trying very hard not to get pulled into watching, waiting, and weeping from afar as I did during the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan during March and April earlier this year. For those of…Read more Recommended Reading: Against My Fear, I See That You Hope