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University of California, Los Angeles renews Taiwan Studies Lectureship MOA

University of California, Los Angeles renews Taiwan Studies Lectureship MOA
On August 21, 2017, a renewed Memorandum of Agreement on Taiwan Studies Lectureship was signed by David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Zhou Min, Director of the UCLA Asia Pacific Center (APC), and by Rebecca Lan, the Director of the Education Division, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, on behalf of the Ministry of Education. This renewal will continue the collaboration between Taiwan and UCLA to foster Taiwan Studies.

The UCLA Taiwan Studies Lectureship is a joint effort of the Asia Pacific Center and the Division of Humanities, supported by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education that was initially launched in 2014. The aim of the Taiwan Studies Lectureship is to promote and broaden understanding of Taiwan’s politics, history, society, languages and culture. The MOA provides funding for Taiwan-related research and activities, courses, curriculum development, academic publications, conferences, seminars and for Taiwan Studies events on UCLA campus.

The initial phase (2014–2017) of the TSL focused on connections between contemporary Taiwan and the classical tradition in which it is rooted. The second phase, beginning in 2017, will examine Taiwan’s culture and identity in historical, global, and transnational contexts.

The signing ceremony was held at the TECO office in Los Angeles. It was attended by four representatives from UCLA: APC Executive Director Elizabeth Leicester and Assistant Director Aaron Miller. They all spoke positively about the long-standing co-operation between Taiwan and UCLA and thanked Taiwan for its support over the years.

The Deputy Director General of TECO-LA, Benson Wang praised UCLA for its many achievements and for contributing to stronger academic links between the U.S. and Taiwan. In the past three years, UCLA’s Taiwan Studies Lectureship has helped to expand the study of Taiwan on campus, and its role as a locus of scholarship on the Chinese classics. The Taiwan Studies activities have also promoted greater visibility and stronger ties between scholars in Taiwan and UCLA faculty and graduate students. Under this latest MOA, collaboration will continue for another three years until 2019,

The signing ceremony was followed by a press conference, during which David Schaberg and Zhou Min were interviewed by local Chinese media. They pointed out that Taiwanese students and faculty members are all hardworking, and their academic performances are outstanding, thereby making a great contribution to promoting internationalization at UCLA.

The goal of the second three-year stage of the UCLA Taiwan Studies Lectureship program is to stimulate greater and broader interest in its continual development, and to promote Taiwan in a global context.

As well as offering Taiwan Studies courses and lectures, the program will continue to host visiting scholars and provide funding for graduate students and faculty to undertake research in Taiwan. It also supports the acquisition of databases of unique Taiwan archival material to augment the Richard C. Rudolph East Asian Library collection which was recently designated as a Taiwan Resource Center for Chinese Studies.

Prof. Michael Berry, a prominent scholar and translator of contemporary Chinese and Sinophone literature, Prof. Wu Yinghui, a scholar of Ming and Qing dynasty fiction and drama, and Prof. Shih Shu-mei, a scholar of Asian Language, Culture and Asian American Studies will also participate in the Taiwan Studies Lectureship program’s activities. They believe that these will help more people understand Taiwan’s political, economic, social and cultural transformation and development.

Photo:L-R: Aaron Miller, Assistant Director of the Asia Pacific Center at UCLA; Elizabeth Leicester, Asia Pacific Center Executive Director; Zhou Min, Director of the Asia Pacific Center; David Schaberg, Dean of Humanities at UCLA; Benson Wang, Deputy Director General of TECO-LA; and Rebecca Lan, Director of the Education Division, TECO-LA at the signing ceremony of the MOA on Taiwan Studies Lectureship signed by the Education Division at TECO-LA and UCLA.