English Department, Tamkang University, Tamsui, Taipei Hsien, Taiwan 251
TEL: 886-2-26215656 EXT. 2329 E-MAIL: email@example.com
CALL FOR PAPERS
Literature, Politics and Ethics in the Age of Globalization
Deadline for Submissions: 20 September 2006
The neighbor, as a central figure in Kierkegaard’s Works of Love, Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents, and Lacan’s Ethics of Psychoanalysis, is a nebulous, enigmatic category that calls for rethinking in terms of subjectivity, desire, fantasy, communication, and community. The neighbor in its various manifestations―immigrants, ideal egos, ethnic Other, enjoyment, for example―provokes ambivalent responses of love and hate, fascination and fear, and problematizes the demarcations of the private and public, proximity and distance, inside and outside, hospitability and aggressivity, law and transgression. In our age of globalization, driven by fluidity, becoming, and deterritorialization, the neighbor turns out to be an unavoidable issue in the fields of literature, politics and ethics.
Tamkang Review will launch a special issue on the neighbor in spring 2007. Papers addressing the following topics are particularly welcome:
- ethnic differences and conflicts
- Neo-Nazism and xenophobia
- fundamentalist and terrorist violence
- urbanization, immigration, and diaspora
- global consumerism and tourism
- cultural translation
- monsters in Gothic fiction or horror films
- Tamkang Review only publishes papers in English not being simultaneously submitted elsewhere.
- Please send your MLA-styled manuscript, an abstract of (no more than 250 words), a list of no more than 10 keywords, and a curriculum vita as Word-attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The manuscript should be anonymous. Your name and affiliation should only appear in the curriculum vita.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
CFP: Tamkang Review issue on "The Neighbor: Literature, Politics and Ethics in the Age of Globalization"
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
- The Tour de France: A Cultural History, by Christopher S. Thompson (U of California P, 2006)
Get my copy now! ;-)
For those who are counting, this was the tenth attempt by Taiwan to get observer status (not even full status as a member!) in the World Health Assembly. For those who are not counting, you should be.
As the Taipei Times reports, the assembly refused (again) even to include Taiwan's application on its meeting agenda (pdf). This was after the assembly listened to protests from Pakistan and the PRC (those role models of humanitarianism). (If you're interested in the discussion of the adoption of the agenda, you can find it in this document [pdf], page 10, Item 1.4)
The Taipei Times quotes "Ambassador and permanent representative to the UN Sha Zukang (沙祖康)" as
Maybe the reason that CNN and the BBC haven't reported on this is that, after 10 years, it isn't news anymore.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Got this in our mailboxes on Friday. It confirms something I heard about earlier, but didn't want to mention here because I didn't have all the details.
The university is following an MOE mandate to evaluate teachers every three years. Teachers are evaluated by four categories: Teaching (40-50%), Research (20-40%), Service (10-30%) and Student counseling (10-30%). Teachers need to have 70 points in total to pass the evaluation. There is no minimal point requirement for each category, but there has to be at least some points for each category. Teachers will be evaluated every three years and the evaluation is done at the college level, not the department level. If a teacher does not pass the first time, then s/he will be evaluated once a year (maximum of 6 years) also, the teacher will not be allowed to teach part-time outside of Tunghai, will not be paid overtime, annual-promotion-pay will be frozen, and cannot be "lent to other institution". If a teacher does not pass after 6 years of yearly review, s/he will be referred to the university FAC, which reserves the right to terminate his/her contract. Each college needs to come up with guidelines to calculate points for evaluation. These guidelines have to be approved by the college FAC and university FAC, but they also have to meet the MOE mandate. Each college has flexibility in assigning points. We need to create guidelines to submit to the college that will meet the needs of the teachers in our department.The main conclusion that I draw from this is that
- Are other schools doing this? Is this only new for private universities or is it new for public and private schools?
- Can someone point me to the relevant MOE guidelines/mandate? I'd just like to take a gander at it myself.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
See, over the last three years, I've lived in a town where there are no rules, exactly, for driving. They're more like suggestions. You know: "if it's not too much trouble, you might want to consider keeping your car right of the center line--but no biggie. We know sometimes you just need the whole road." Since moving here, Lee and I have (in most cases, many times) seen drivers:
turn left from the right lane
turn right from the left lane
wait in the right
lane until traffic clears so they can get into the left lane to turn left
back up on the interstate to take an exit
back up on a busy four-lane
road to turn into a business (and then still just drive onto the curb and into the grass between the street and the parking lot)
stop in the middle of the road to hand a package from one DHL van to another
park in the entry drive of the TJ Maxx lot because it's easier than finding a spot
pull up to an intersection, wait until we were upon said intersection, then pull out in front of us (and proceed to go 15 mph below the posted limit)
come to a complete stop to turn right from a busy street
There are more, too, but my neural net can only process so much at once.
Here are the two books I ordered:
- Radio Goes to War: The Cultural Politics of Propaganda during World War II, by Gerd Horten (Berkeley: U of California P, 2002)
- Importing Diversity: Inside Japan's JET Program, by David L. McConnell (Berkeley: U of California P, 2000)
- The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen, by Jeffrey L. Broughton (Berkeley: U of California P, 1999) (One of my colleagues has already laid claim to it if I am unable to return it!)
[Update, 5/20/06: The representative I e-mailed apologized for the error and sent out the book I had actually ordered. She asked me to tear off the cover of The Bodhidharma Anthology and send it back so that they can count it for inventory purposes. So I cut off the cover (if you're reading, Mr. Broughton, my apologies!) with one of those razor-knives that all Taiwanese elementary students seem to carry around, and I'll send it back on Monday.]
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Monday, May 08, 2006
- What is the mission of your language center?
- What is the history/development/reasons for creation?
- Introduce your language center (staff, faculty, students, structure within the universities, etc.).
- What are the facilities (space, allotment/office space)?
- What is the number of faculty and staff?
- What is the status of teachers/kind of contracts?
- What are the requirements in terms of teaching load and responsibilities for teachers?
- What programs/classes do you offer?
- What are some of the pros and cons of having a language center?
- How are teachers in the language center evaluated?
I'm not going to summarize each person's presentation, but I want to mention a few of the major themes that came out of the presentations. In no particular order, here they are:
- There's an increasing attempt to reach out to honors or otherwise advanced students through special semester-long or short-term courses. The program at one school (and possibly more) is also feeling pressure from the rest of the school to offer courses and other kinds of help to graduate students and faculty who now are feeling more pressure to publish in English-language international academic journals.
- Most of the language centers would probably be better labelled "language programs" because they are responsible for the required first-year English courses and elective language courses. There was one (if I remember correctly) language center that did not have the responsibility for the FY-English program. It operates more as a center that offers short-term courses, lectures, study groups, and other activities for extracurricular English learning. (And the staff there consists of one director, 2 staff members, and no faculty.)
- There are more and more attempts to make use of computer-aided self-study systems so that students can learn on their own. Some programs require the computer-aided learning to be graded as part of required courses; some just provide the learning stations and hope that students will come. (One director mentioned that they had increased the number of computers in one lab from 7 to 41, but only the same 7 students were showing up...)
- Most of the directors complained of being understaffed, particularly in terms of full-time faculty. As one director put it, the problem is not a sense that part-time teachers are not as hard-working; the problem is that because it is difficult to give part-time teachers the same level of pay and facilities as full-timers (office space, etc.), part-timers usually have to teach at more than one school and therefore cannot be around for program activities, office hours, or important program meetings. This makes it harder both for students to have more interaction with their teachers outside of the classroom and for programs to be as unified as directors would like. [This is my recollection of what was said--if it doesn't quite accurate to others who were there, please let me know!]
- I felt a sense that teachers and administrators in the language center are not as highly respected as teachers or administrators in regular departments. The term "second-class citizens" was used more than once in characterizing the language centers' status.
- Related to this, I noticed a concern that language center faculty will end up being evaluated in the same way as faculty in other departments (in other words, a heavy emphasis on research), despite the heavier teaching responsibilities that come with teaching English to the entire freshman class, teaching English electives to upperclass students, and running various programs to encourage students to use English outside of class and to ensure that the English proficiency of the students meets some sort of externally defined standard (the GEPT or TOEFL, for example).
Again, this summary of the symposium is based on my impressions/memories of the meeting. I'd appreciate the corrections of anyone else who was there. (Like Kris Vicca, who in a careless moment admitted that he's read this blog before!) I have thought about whether or not I should mention who said what, but have opted not to at this point, though if the directors want their names attached to particular comments or opinions, I'll be happy to comply with their requests. And the paragraph above is based almost entirely on my own slightly muddled view of things. I'll try to develop these ideas in more depth at some point in the future.