Monday, February 28, 2005

This one hits home!

"My Day..." from "Stupid Undergrounds" cracked me up... (but rang too true...)

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Scholarly publishing in the humanities

James Aune over at the Blogora raises an interesting question: why should scholarly journals in the humanities refuse to allow multiple submissions?

[And here's more discussion from Crooked Timber on the speed (or lack thereof) of academic publishing...]

Friday, February 25, 2005

Language teaching conference cfp--last call

Got this call for papers in my e-mail box the other day. It sounds interesting, despite its use of the dreaded "interrogating". Unfortunately, I'm not going to be able to submit anything. But you can!

FINAL CALL FOR PAPERS

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON
INTERROGATING THIRD SPACES IN LANGUAGE TEACHING,
LEARNING AND USE

CENTRE FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE TEACHER EDUCATION AND APPLIED LINGUISTICS
(CELTEAL), UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER

27-28 JUNE 2005

This conference, hosted in the multicultural and multilingual city of Leicester in the centre of England, marks the establishment of CELTEAL (Centre for English Language Teacher Education and Applied Linguistics) within the School of Education in the University of Leicester. The theme of the conference, 'Interrogating Third Spaces in Language Teaching, Learning and Use', derives from the interests of the group who have all been involved in working across multilingual and multicultural contexts.
We would like to interrogate the concept of third space which has been in use for several years in cultural studies and applied linguistics. We believe it is time now to explore the validity of this concept, both theoretically and practically in terms of its applicability to a wide range of applied linguistic topics. We would like to take the opportunity to invite those with an interest in the idea of third spaces to engage with us in discussion of its potentials and problematic.

Plenary Speakers
  • Adrian Holliday
  • Bonny Norton
  • Ben Rampton
  • Helen Spencer-Oatey

The intermediate spaces - linguistic, discursive and cultural spaces - between established norms have habitually been seen as problematic, because they constitute neither one thing nor another but are, by definition, in-between. A result of contact, they are heterogeneous spaces, but they can also reach autonomy, transcending their component sources through a dialectical process to make a new, expanded space which had not been dreamt of before. On the other hand, the very concept of 'Third Spaces' presupposes, and thereby reinforces, relatively stable and homogeneous norms in the 'first' and 'second' spaces, and this presupposition needs to be examined.

Postmodern theory, particularly in anthropology and cultural studies, has taught us to celebrate these intermediate zones, which have been named 'Third Spaces', because through the struggles of those who create them they present the possibility for stimulation and renewal, as well as threat. But we do not need to adopt postmodernist theory to begin to value these third spaces, whether they become stable or are always in transition.

This Conference will examine what there is to celebrate in the existence of third spaces, and will interrogate the usefulness of the concept itself, in the following areas:

  • How language learners construct (or are constrained from constructing) learning experiences that are meaningful for themselves out of what teachers and others intend for them.
  • How inter-language (phonology, syntax, pragmatic strategies, discourse strategies, genres...) thrives as an independent system in the spaces between the norms of L1 and L2, as fossilised forms, pidgins, idiolects, emergent systems and 'errors'.
  • How language varieties emerge against established standards, in regional and sub-cultural pockets.
  • How particular teachers and learners in particular classrooms adopt, adapt, co-opt and corrupt teaching methodologies, course materials, syllabi, curricula and examination systems, and make them work for themselves.
  • How participants in multi-language interactions mix, switch, translate, and otherwise manage to communicate in one language or another.
  • How identities are lost, reduced, confounded, re-shaped, and re-made in the move from one language to another.
  • How learning to write in academic and other genres means finding a way between the established conventions and how you want to express who you are.
  • How readers extract and impose their own meanings from and on texts, moving themselves towards the text, and the text towards themselves.

Submitting abstracts:

Abstracts of 250-300 words, in English, should demonstrate a clear relationship to the conference theme. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 7 March 2005.

Papers will last for 30 minutes, including at least 10 minutes for discussion. PowerPoint and OHPs will be available as standard.

Abstracts should contain:

  • Title of presentation
  • Name(s) of the author(s)
  • Affiliation of the author(s)
  • Both email and postal addresses
  • Telephone and Fax numbers
  • Any special audio-visual/IT requirements

Abstracts should be submitted as email attachments by 7 March 2005 to the following address: email:its2005@le.ac.uk

Details about registration, accommodation, etc. can be found on the conference website: www.le.ac.uk/se/conference/its2005/

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Book meme: 123.5

(After reading the chutry experiment)
  1. Grab the nearest book.
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
  5. Don't search around and look for the "coolest" book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

Well, this definitely won't impress anyone:
Note that M. and P. before names may be abbreviations for the titles Monsieur 'Mr.' and Père 'Father' (M. René Char, P. J. Reynard). (123)
From the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, sixth edition. (Yeah, I'm working on my Research Methods syllabus...)

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Online resource for Chinese speech communication study

Found this website in my travels: 網上口語傳播研究中心 (Speech Communication on the Web), set up by Jack Tzu-hsiang Yu of Shih-Hsin University's Speech Comm. department. It looks like he hasn't updated it in a while, but it has some interesting links, such as to the full texts of most of the R.O.C. presidential inaugural addresses, resources on debating, and resources on interpersonal communication. (It's mostly in Chinese, I should mention.)

Monday, February 14, 2005

Identity crisis

Hmmm... might use this to start off my presentation in Belgium...

Googlism for: taiwan

taiwan is business as
taiwan is the future of china'
taiwan is safe for now
taiwan is qualified for membership of the international
taiwan is getting ready for a war with china
taiwan is integral part of china
taiwan is an inalienable part of
taiwan is "very dangerous"
taiwan is ready
taiwan is a province of china
taiwan is a province of china?
taiwan is now available for temporary importations using a tecro
taiwan is committed to reunification
taiwan is developing advanced technologies for electronic warfare
taiwan is inextricably linked to security
taiwan is this
taiwan is uncertain 6/16/
taiwan is independent"
taiwan is taiwan"
taiwan is business as usual
taiwan is a 'state
taiwan is key issue
taiwan is looking good for 2000
taiwan is not a part of china
taiwan is here
taiwan is ignored
taiwan is a beacon of hope for chinese
taiwan is an important reminder to us all
taiwan is not a province of china
taiwan is to auction five 3g mobile phone licenses in october
taiwan is not a member
taiwan is nobody's pawn
taiwan is experiencing job losses due to global it slowdown
taiwan is a rabies
taiwan is an unwatered region
taiwan is an island and the main water resource is precipitation
taiwan is my harashi
taiwan is a de
taiwan is the future of china' jimmy lai on feeling lucky
taiwan is safe for now the washington post
taiwan is the `motherland'
taiwan is standing in china's way
taiwan is not china by jeff jacoby
taiwan is qualified for membership of the international community
taiwan is down
taiwan is expected to grow to more than us$60 billion by 2010
taiwan is getting ready for a war with china the relations between china and taiwan could be best described with one phrase ? no peace
taiwan is integral part of china member states of the shanghai cooperation organisation proceed from the fact that the chinese
taiwan is an inalienable part of china"? taiwan has belonged to china since ancient times
taiwan is "very dangerous"
taiwan is an internal affair of china
taiwan is a matter of honour
taiwan is ready; are you?
taiwan is 394 kilometers
taiwan is a province of china"
taiwan is now available for temporary importations using a tecro / ait carnet
taiwan is rare and valuable
taiwan is uncertain
taiwan is a sovereign state
taiwan is independent"
taiwan is taiwan"
taiwan is business as usual by bruce einhorn
taiwan is in the first place of the worldwide cd
taiwan is not troublemaker
taiwan is not a part of china in the first year when yung
taiwan is a modern industrialised megalopolis clinging to the fringes of an ancient culture; a string of teeming cities at the feet of a glorious
taiwan is an independent sovereign country
taiwan is ready on 16/7 http
taiwan is not a protectorate of any country
taiwan is a multi
taiwan is world's second
taiwan is world's third
taiwan is ___ island
taiwan is not a member of the who
taiwan is
taiwan is a part of china
taiwan is experiencing job losses from global it slowdown
taiwan is a modern industrialized megalopolis clinging to the fringes of an ancient culture; a string of stinking cities at the feet of a
taiwan is the right thing to do
taiwan is not united with china
taiwan is by definition independent of people's republic of china
taiwan is a thriving free
taiwan is a beautiful island home to over twenty
taiwan is so convenient i wonder if it's a bit much
taiwan is now
taiwan is ready to produce its own submarines
taiwan is a small island on the west side of the pacific
taiwan is free for evangelism
taiwan is turning its back on software from the likes of microsoft to
taiwan is easy to find
taiwan is now ranked among the top countries in the number of sci papers published per capita
taiwan is a small island with a population of only 23 million people
taiwan is an island of 36
taiwan is probably not the first country mentioned when the conversation turns to the spectacular scuba diving that exists in asia; but
taiwan is one of the few countries in the world that has been barred from the 190
taiwan is made a province of china and liu ming
taiwan is a stable democracy
taiwan is controversial
taiwan is at a point about midway
taiwan is a very delicate question because of the tenseness that has historically
taiwan is a modern industrialised megalopolis clinging to the fringes of an ancient culture; a string of teeming cities at the feet of a glorious mountain range

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Can't resist.... the meme is too strong...

Places I've lived (after reading StepAside, 9th grade Tuba Player, and Lyings and Tirades...):

Cockeysville, MD
Allentown, PA
Grantham, PA
Philadelphia, PA
Hedgesville, WV
Athens, OH
Taichung, Taiwan (before and after Syracuse)
Syracuse, NY

Hmmm... actually not as many places as I had thought...

[Update: I added Allentown, PA--I lived there for a summer in 1985 with my aunt, uncle, and cousin, while I worked in my uncle's jewelry store. Does that count?]

Saturday, February 12, 2005

New journal on Taiwan Studies

Just received this information about a new journal:


New Journal

Taiwan Inquiry


Editor: Wylie I. Lee


Editorial Board

Ching-chi Chen, Southern Illinois University-Edwardville; Wen-yen Chen, University of District of Columbia; Y. Frank Chiang, Fordham University; Shutsung Liao, University of Chicago; Bao-tyan Wang, Changhwa Chirstian Hospital; De-min Wu, University of Kansas; Shi-kuei Wu, University of Colorado-Boulder.

Editor, Media Graphics: Bor-jiunn Niu

Assistant Editor, Final Proof: Taitzer Wang

Taiwan Inquiry is the new official publication of the North America Taiwanese Professors' Association (NATPA). It is intended to be published twice a year, but the first phase of publication will be annually. The journal invites the submission of original articles on Taiwan in all disciplines of the social sciences and humanities with a close examination of matter. All articles are refereed for acceptance.


Manuscripts, in English, must not exceed 25 pages and should be typed and double-spaced. Footnotes are to be typed at the bottom of the text, with references at the end of the manuscript. For information on styling, please consult The Chicago Manual of Style.


Please send two hard copies of your double-spaced manuscript and a Windows compatible disk, preferably in Microsoft Word, and a short biographical note to:


Dr. Wylie I. Lee,

Editor-in-Chief

Taiwan Inquiry

TI_editor@natpa.org

8 Bayonne

Mission Viejo, CA 92692

Friday, February 11, 2005

International publishing and local academic discourse

I was working on another post re: the SSCI discussion(s) from here and Scott's blog, but the discussion that has gone on in my absence has made my comments sort of irrelevant. (Don't you guys go anywhere for Lunar New Year? ;-) )

It seems that the discussion has moved from how much we should push individual professors to try to publish in SSCI (or A&HCI) journals to the (possible) effects of SSCI-type criteria on publishing within Taiwan. I think Michael and Clyde are correct that the long-term effects of this new emphasis could be positive if the system leads to a careful reevaluation of what consitutes good research, rather than simple mimicry (or worship) of the Western system. I still share Chu's concern about a "blind following of Western theory"--particularly Western theories of what constitutes "knowledge."

To give an example: Suresh Canagarajah (who grew up and taught in Sri Lanka until 1994) writes about how an article of his was rejected by an American journal partly because of the article's "'unnecessarily hostile tone ... towards western society and values in general'" (this is quoted from a referee's comments). Let me quote from his book, A Geopolitics of Academic Writing:
Consider the many ironies behind my own experience of writing a paper on the social and cultural conflicts for local students in using an American textbook in ESL classrooms. I sent the paper to an American journal after considerable revision, well aware of the need to restrain the expression of feelings in my writing. However, no amount of postgraduate training in the West and further efforts helped to efface all direct indexes of affect (some of which were necessary to carry out my purposes in that paper). The paper was subsequently rejected, primarily on the findings of the referees that a demonstration of excessive feelings betrayed my ideological biases. This is how one referee stated his or her judgment:
Certainly, impassioned writing is to be admired, especially if it is grounded in theoretical writings, as much of this article is. ... Despite these valid aspects of the article, the unnecessarily hostile tone of the writer towards the specific materials used and towards western society and values in general undermines the logic of this argument. ... While I will always support provocative articles which enable readers to re-examine long-held beliefs, articles whose logic is obscured by hostility are counterproductive. Rather than open dialog, they preclude it. For this reason, I am not recommending publication.
It is interesting how in such an important gatekeeping context this reviewer adheres to the classic Western stereotype that feelings are automatically opposed to logic. Feelings are translated as "hostility," which is then rules as "unnecessary" and turns out to be a reason to bar the paper from publication. It is significant how easily something "critical" becomes something that is "hostile." It is in this sense that writing conventions can become a weapon for suppressing positions oppositional to the dominant discourse. Style colonizes! (153-4)
Note also that this article was rejected despite the admission by the referee that it was well-grounded in theory. But the theory upon which rejection was based was the "classic Western stereotype" regarding what constituted acceptable expression of emotion (coming out of the mind/body logic/feeling divisions that still have a great deal of influence in Western academia, despite postmodernist and feminist critiques of these divisions).

This kind of example indicates to me that Western academia has some way to go in opening up to the concerns and ways of knowing of non-Western thinkers. I hope that what happens as a result of local adoption of SSCI/A&HCI is not a one-way transfer of a system of evaluation. In terms of Taiwan, what I hope will come out of these experiments by the MOE in the long run is some kind of understanding of academic discourse that irons out some of the practical problems that Clyde, Michael, and others see with the local academic scene and usefully complicates the standards handed "down" from the West so that we can address the legitimate concerns of people like Chu.