Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two new books in the former native speaker's library

We visited Chung-Yo Dept. Store last night and, as usual, spent most of the time in the Eslite Bookstore there. I picked up two interesting, picture-filled books about Taiwan:
  • 台灣西方文明初體驗 (Taiwan's First Experiences of Western Civilization), by 陳柔縉 (Chen Rouxin). This has some interesting chapters in it about how aspects of "Western Civilization" like toothpaste, running water, and English first entered Taiwan. (A lot seems to have come via the Japanese.)
  • 一九五0年代的臺灣 (1950s Taiwan), by 吳昆財 (Wu Kuncai). This is an illustrated history of Taiwan in the 1950s. (For some reason, LibraryThing has this book mixed up with a book of Japanese manga...?)
Anyway, I can look through these while the in-laws are playing mah-jong...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The socially inept interviewer, or, Things I wish we had covered in the methods course

Dear Miss Manners,

Semi-hypothetical situation: You're writing an e-mail to people you want to interview. You want to ask them about some experiences they had, say, thirty or forty years ago. At the time, they were a couple and you have no information that indicates that they are no longer together. So you write to them both: "Mr. and Mrs. X" (or something like that, depending on circumstances).

You get a response from one of them, using the first person singular throughout. S/he is willing to do the interview. But you really want to interview the other member of that couple, too. How do you ask the person who responded to you about the other person?

(Stop looking at me like that! I told you I was socially inept from the beginning!)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

New mantra

Provided by the inimitable ERG:
Gonna be all done
When I'm forty-one.
We'll see...

Monday, January 07, 2008

Bill Degenaro on his tenure portfolio

Bill Degenaro at the University of Michigan Dearborn has two posts up about working on his tenure portfolio. I'm hoping he says more about the process, but perhaps there are some things he wouldn't want to go into (just like I wouldn't want to go too much into my feelings about the three-year review process that some of us are in here). He does mention one thing that I think is similar with our situation here:
The university-wide format does not always allow for easy articulation of the work of humanists. I can see how some of the categories that represent the work of scientists can cause anxiety. I have nothing to put under patents, licensures, synergistic activities (the example given in the tenure guidelines literature: "developed a methodology for modeling and analysis of system robustness"... err, I haven't done that), or technical reviews. Does that make me look weak? Conversely, I find myself relegating some work--writing entries for encyclopedias, chairing the 4Cs nominating committee--to "other" sections.
We have a three-year review form tailored (I think) to the College of Arts faculty, but there are still a few things that need to be ironed out about it. In the version that I used (given to us in Excel worksheet format, natch), you could get 100 points in research for publishing in an SSCI ranked journal, 80 for publishing in TSSCI, and 50 for other journals. No distinction was made for A&HCI or THCI. (This situation will be changed in the near future, I hope.)

Fortunately, I haven't been required to detail any synergistic activities I've been involved in (sounds mighty personal, if you ask me).

CFP: "Re-visioning English Studies in Asia"

Looks interesting...
“Re-visioning English Studies in Asia”

The English Language and Literature Association of Korea
International Conference
November 20-22, 2008
Onyang Hot Spring Hotel, Onyang, Korea

The English Language and Literature Association of Korea (ELLAK) invites papers for its 2008 international conference on “Re-visioning English Studies in Asia.” The conference aims at bringing together scholars and teachers of English language and literature to discuss academic, professional, and institutional issues particular to English studies in the wider Asian region. We are interested in examining the history of English studies in Asia—its past, present, and future—in different national and cultural contexts around Asia. How is “English” defined today in Asia? What are the particular responsibilities and challenges of this field today? We hope to foster new cross-cultural and cross-regional conversations that will lay the basis for cooperative projects and debates in the future.

Topics of discussion may include (but are not limited to):

- Teaching English Literature in English vs. Teaching English Literature in an Asian Language
- ESL/EFL Policies at the National/State Level
- Canon and Curriculum
- English Literature and Cultural Capital
- Whose Asia? Orientalism and Occidentalism
- Contemporary Asian Literature in English
- English Studies in Asia in the Age of Theory
- Nationalism/Transnationalism in Asia
- Globalization Theories and Literary Studies
- Asian-American Studies in Asia
- Diversifying “English Literature”
- The South Asian Novel in English
- Postcolonialism and Subaltern Studies in Asia
- Writing/Mapping Asia: Representing Asia in English Literature
- Effective Pedagogical Strategies to Manage the Asian Classroom
- Diaspora Studies
- (Bilingualism & Multilingualism in) Inter-Asia Studies
- Digital/Computation and English Studies in Asia

Proposals for 20-minute papers should include a 250-word abstract and a brief curriculum vitae with contact and affiliation information. Please send proposals to Dr. Eun Kyung Min (Dept. of English, Seoul National University, by March 1, 2008. Proposals for panels are also welcome. Accepted papers will be announced by April 15, 2008. Please consult for updates and announcements.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Three new books in the former native speaker's library

First, a Christmas gift from my brother and sister-in-law:
  • The Ugly American by William Lederer and Eugene Burdick (1958)
    Read it before, but didn't have my own copy.
Two books that came today:
I suspect I'll dip into these two during the winter vacation (when I'm not dissertating, of course. Ahem...)