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Dr. Joel Brereton, Chair 120 INNER CAMPUS DR STOP G9300 WCH 4.134 78712-1251 • 512-471-5811

Asian Studies Awarded Grant for the Expansion of Taiwan Studies

Posted: January 15, 2009

The Department of Asian Studies has been awarded a grant from Taiwan's Department of Education to support the expansion of our course offerings and other programs relating to Taiwan Studies at UT.

With this funding, the Department hopes to:

  1. Establish a new undergraduate degree program in Taiwan Studies in the Department of Asian Studies
    Currently undergraduate students in the Asian Studies degree program can choose to major in China, Japan, or South Asia, and we will soon initiate the process to add Taiwan as a new option for the ANS majors. The degree requirement would include a number of language courses in Mandarin Chinese, emphasizing traditional characters, and a range of upper-division courses that cover topics related to Taiwan. Our overriding aim in this new program will be to encourage students to approach the study of Taiwan from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective.
  2. Develop new courses on Taiwan in different academic disciplines
    In addition to the three existing undergraduate courses on Taiwan offered at UT, we plan to develop or redesign five new courses that are primarily devoted to Taiwan. The objective is to have eight regularly offered courses that can fulfill the degree requirements of Taiwanese majors. These courses will be offered in departments throughout the colleges of Liberal Arts and Communications.
  3. Strengthen the program's research potential by exploring "Taiwan in Context"
    One goal we hope to achieve is to build the university as a center for the interdisciplinary study of Taiwan within different contexts--cultural as well as geopolitical. We will approach this goal by promoting individual and collaborative faculty research, academic and financial support for graduate students, distinguished speakers series, the establishment of a postdoctoral fellowship program, and interdisciplinary symposiums.
  4. Offer graduate fellowships to students specializing in studies of Taiwan, or of Taiwan in regional, global, or various thematic contexts
    We will offer fellowship support to graduate students conducting thesis and dissertation research on either Taiwan or "Taiwan in context." Such funds will be used to facilitate field trips to Taiwan, and will be offered on a competitive basis to students in departments throughout the colleges of Liberal Arts and Communications.
  5. Create a Postdoctoral Fellowship Program in Taiwan Studies
    Holders of this fellowship will be given time to develop their dissertations into publishable manuscripts. They will also be expected to contribute to teaching, organizing seminars, and collaborative research with faculty members at UT.
  6. Sponsor lectures and symposia on Taiwan
    We plan to bring in distinguished scholars to give public lectures and small-size seminars on Taiwan, focusing on a targeted theme for each year. We will welcome specialists from both Taiwan and the United States. We would also like to hold workshops and symposia on Taiwan, drawing from the expertise of faculty at UT and abroad. The purposes of these programs will be to expose students to new and innovative research on Taiwan, expand the program's connections to faculty and academic institutions in the Taiwan Studies field, and provide our faculty with new opportunities for collaborative research.
  7. Organize a major conference on "Taiwan in East Asia" in the third year of the grant period
    We plan to organize a major interdisciplinary conference on the theme "Taiwan in the East Asian Context: Culture, History, and Society," in collaboration with the other programs within the Center for East Asian Studies at the University. By including scholars from both UT and other universities in the region, the conference will strive to promote an interdisciplinary and inter- regional approach to Taiwan Studies and to expand and strengthen the links between UT's East Asian Studies program and interested scholars in Texas and the Southwest.
  8. Offer a course on Mandarin pedagogy
    The course is targeted at both undergraduate students in the U-Teach Program, a program that certifies K-12 public school teachers, and graduate students in the Department of Foreign Language Education. Among the objectives for this course is the enhancement of future Chinese language teachers' sensitivity to the modern use of Mandarin in Taiwan in terms of structures, styles and phonological features.
  9. Expand library collection of titles on Taiwan

For more information on the Taiwan grant or our development plans, please contact Dr. Yvonne Chang at yvonne@mail.utexas.edu.

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