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Chair Prof. and Alumna Shu-mei Shih Appointed as Edward W. Said Professor



Chair professor and outstanding alumnus of NTNU, Prof. Shih Shu Mei was appointed the inaugural Edward W. Said Professor of Comparative Literature at UCLA in mid-July. Prof. Shih is tremendously important in the development of Taiwan studies in UCLA. A graduate from the English Department, she initiated the collaboration and mutual exchange opportunities between UCLA and NTNU. What’s more, the annual event of Taiwan studies was also held in UCLA. Prof. Shih said that Taiwan studies has been decentralized for many years, it’s her honor to be given the title and hopes to fight for more attention academically.

Founder of postcolonial studies Edward W. Said is known for his theory of Orientalism. He has profound influence on the humanity studies in the states.

Prof. Shu-Mei Shih is an alumna of NTNU. After her study at the English Department, she completed her master at the University of California, San Diego and doctoral degree at UCLA. She is a professor at the Department of Comparative Literature, Asian Languages and Cultures, and Asian American Studies with 27 years of experience. Prof. Shih is one of the leading academic authorities on Sinophone Studies and is also the Vice President of the American Comparative Literature Association.

Shih is one of the pioneers of Sinophone studies Sinophone. She is the author of Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations across the Pacific and Against Diaspora: Discourses on Sinophone Studies. According to Shih, Sinology in the western world is mostly about China, which makes Taiwan, Hong Kong less noticed.

Her goal of establishing Sinophone studies in the states is to break the concept of China centered studies, in which Chinese descendant and Chinese speaking groups are attached to China. She starts from a diversified angle and focus the differences of Chinese groups all over the world and open up a space for Taiwanese scholars and South East Asian scholars. She wants to put Taiwan back to the world, and understand the world from Taiwan, with the concept of “academic justice”.