Special students and visiting scholars from Kainan University, Taiwan, will join the MIT community beginning in January 2006.
The Asian visitors will be part of a collaboration between Kainan and CMS and the MIT Communications Forum. The partnership aims to fortify and extend the multicultural interests of both the Forum and CMS by adding a Taiwanese perspective to ongoing teaching, scholarship and public forums centered on Asian media and cultures.
David Thorburn, director of the Communications Forum, conceived the partnership during a visit to Taiwan in March, where he gave lectures on new media and met Michael Tang, president of Kainan University. He returned to Taiwan in August to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between MIT and the Taiwan institution.
The collaboration will bring four students and two Kainan faculty members to MIT each year. The CMS program will form the core of the students’ curriculum, though they will also be eligible to enroll in other MIT subjects appropriate to their interests. The Kainan faculty visitors will participate in the visiting scholars’ program; some will speak at CMS colloquiums and appear as guests in classes.
The collaboration will be supervised by a governing board consisting of Thorburn, Tang, Henry Jenkins, director of CMS, and Jing Wang, head of Foreign Languages and Literatures at MIT.
Emma Teng, associate professor of FL&L, will serve as faculty advisor to the Kainan students. Teng is the author of Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683-1895, and teaches the popular CMS course 21F. 030, East Asian Cultures: From Zen to Pop. Teng’s father is a native of Taiwan.
The collaboration also supports an annual conference in Taiwan where MIT scholars will be featured.