Welcome to my new blog! I have been reading and commenting on--mainly political--blogs since about May 2003 when I first discovered Dean for America and all of the related sites, including dailykos.com, et al. Actually, it was only two months prior to that when I first heard the word: "blog" (What the heck's a blog?). It was while auditing an anthropology class at the University of Pennsylvania, called "Orality, Literacy, and Technology," which explored changing media--beginning with the origins of human speech--and their effects on human consciousness and societies.
Although I have spent many an hour reading other peoples' blogs since my first exposure, it is only now that I create my own, since my priority (ha ha!) was completing my dissertation. Now it is finished (amen!) and I eagerly await my defense in about two weeks. Thus, I finally have some time to channel some of my limited energy into creating an exciting, informative, fun-filled extravaganza of a blog.
I will write about a variety of subjects, including but not limited to those which emanate from my graduate training in Chinese religious, cultural, and intellectual history. One of my primary interests is the nexus between religion and politics, as expressed in a writing seminar I taught during the past year--Political Metaphors in Chinese Religion/Religious Icons in Chinese Politics--the central theme of which was the politico-religious (I like that word) manifestations of the Mandate of Heaven天命 throughout Chinese history, both in the center and on the periphery of the Chinese empire. This is also an important theme in my dissertation, especially the second half. Stay Tuned: At a later date I will pen some exciting posts which discuss my dissertation. For now, the title is, Mediating the Yao/Chinese Encounter: Writing, Daoism, and Politico-Religious Legitimation on the Imperial Frontier.
Blossoming from my interest in the relationship between religion and politics throughout Chinese history is a newly discovered fascination with the political uses of media in contemporary American society, as well as other societies around the world. I hope this blog (please!) will stimulate discussion that transcends intellectual, cultural, political, and religious boundaries. Let us make connections beyond our limited fields of awareness. This is not a site restricted to those with expertise on one or another field, though those with such expertise are certainly welcome. Feel free to comment unless you are mean and intolerant. If your goal is to attack and shut down discussion, then you are not welcome; I will reserve the right to erase inappropriate comments. Otherwise: Let a hundred flowers bloom.
Lastly, once I really get this site up and running, I will begin to invite guest posts. Let the games begin!