Since early September, Dr. Xinmin Liu has been a visiting scholar at the Center for Chinese Studies (CCS) of the Taiwan National Central Library in Taipei. For his three-month stay in Taipei, he was awarded a research grant of NTY 50,000, which converts to about $6,000, by the CCS in Taipei. He has undertaken a research project to explore the works of a few eminent Taiwanese scholars on how attitudes towards landscapes art and literature have evolved drastically through the Jin-Song 5th-12th periods, and how these changes have exerted a lasting influence on the formation of modern Chinese views towards natural landscapes. He gave a lecture on “’The Picturesque Theory’ and Its Impact on the English Landscaping Movement of Eighteenth-century England” in November at the CCS in Taipei.
He has also rejoined the English faculty at the Tamkang University in Tamsui to organize an international symposium on Writing S-F/Sci-fi and Giving Voice to Planetary Healing. He will guest-edit a special issue under the same topical rubric for the English-language journal Tamkang Review based at Tamkang University. Dr. Liu will return to Pullman in late December to continue his other term of sabbatical leave in Spring 2017.
Dr. Weiguo Cao was awarded a PhD in Chinese this past August by the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His dissertation, “Liang Yusheng’s Critical Study of the Doubtful Passages in the Grand Scribe’s Records and Its Impact on Modern Scholarship” was completed under the direction of Dr. William H. Nienhauser.
In our last newsletter, we shared the story of Trudy Boothman’s success at the regional Chinese competition. Her success at the regional competition granted her a free trip to San Francisco to compete at a national level. Trudy was one of two students from Washington who qualified to compete at the West Coast National Chinese Bridge Competition, hosted and sponsored by the Chinese Embassy in San Francisco. There were 12 contestants from Universities across the West Coast. After delivering a speech, answering cultural questions from the panel of judges, and performing a Chinese song, Trudy received a second-place trophy and third-place all-around award. Lin Xiaotong patiently coached Trudy in preparation of her speech and cultural/lingual knowledge. Trudy said, “I am really grateful for Lin’s encouragement to compete and for her guidance all the way! It was wonderful to interact with other students who are so enthusiastic about Chinese language and culture. I even met a student from another state who is also learning both Chinese and Spanish, just like me! I encourage current WSU students to consider competing—it is a great motivator to increase your knowledge and speaking ability and to network with people who have similar interests!”
Visiting Lecturer Hongwei “Anna” Wang arrived in October to co-teach Chinese courses, sponsored by the Confucius Institute. Ms. Wang is an associate professor in the Foreign Languages College at the South-Central University for Nationalities (SCUN) where she teaches English majors as well as international students taking Chinese courses. The DFLC is thankful to have her here at WSU with us.
The Chinese language table is an out-of-the-classroom time to practice the knowledge our students gain in class. This is an optional activity that many students have participated in and enjoyed over the years. Senior Trudy Boothman is majoring in Chinese and Spanish and has attended the language tables since her first year at WSU. Trudy said, “Here at WSU, Chinese learners have a great resource in the Chinese Language Table. I have been attending the language table meetings since my first semester taking Chinese and have gained a lot from it. We meet together in the Honor’s Hall and anyone, who is interested in Chinese or the culture of China, is welcome! We always share a meal and some Chinese snacks. The Chinese language faculty members are committed to attending the table every time, so you know you will have a chance to practice what you learn in class and to ask questions. Chinese-speaking international students also join in, creating a language- and culture-rich environment. It is also a venue where newer learners can interact with upper-level learners. It was through the Chinese Table that I got to know the older students who encouraged me to go to Harbin for study abroad. At the Chinese Table, we also celebrate Chinese festivals including the Mid-Autumn Festival. Students had a chance to share traditional Chinese stories, poems, or music related to the holiday. I was also able to be a host for the bi-lingual Mid-Autumn Festival event hosted by several international student organizations. I’m privileged to be a part of our Chinese program—it has really opened up my life to the great international community we have right here on campus!”
The WSU Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) hosted a Mid-Autumn Festival event in Daggy Hall on October 8. The concert was a lively show of individuals and groups performing songs, dances, and comedy skits in both Chinese and Korean. It also included live streaming of WeChat commentary by the audience on a large screen projected on the back of the stage and several phone app games for raffle prizes, such as a large, flat-screen TV and gift certificates from local businesses. The festival was attended by more than 100 students, faculty, and community members young and old, as well as visitors from the Chinese consulate who flew in from California for the event.