Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Politics of Multiculturalism in Taiwan – June 2010

Friday 4th June at 6pm will see this topic being addressed by widely published Mau-kuei Chang, research fellow of the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, and adjunct Professor of the Department of Sociology, Taiwan University.

On considering the question ‘Is Taiwan a multicultural country? Is multiculturalism an official position of the country?’ the answer must be ‘yes’. Not only do both the DPP and the KMT parties mention multiculturalism in revision articles of the Constitution (1996), but also it has become a “must learn” subject in the high school curriculum since 2006. How has this development come about? How do we make sense of this in Taiwan where politics are always about “unified” and one nation-ness? And, what does this term mean for the general public?

Chang will address this with a quick sketch of different political discourses on nationhood, on people, on difference and on civil rights since 1970’s and examine how these diverse discourses somehow suddenly converge on a very vague, little understood notion of multiculturalism, which in reality and through institutional arrangements affect the daily lives of the people.

Mau-kuei Chan received his PhD sociology degree from Purdue University and has visited U.C. Berkeley and McGill University as Fulbright and exchange scholar. His research and teaching interests include social movement studies, identity politics, and ethnicity and nationalism. He is widely published in both English and Chinese with his most recent being an edited volume titled “Nation and Identity, ideas of some Waishengren” (2010).

Date: Friday 4 June
Time: 6pm-7.30pm followed by a drinks reception

This event is free. To reserve a seat for this talk please email or call 0131 662 2180.

Win trip to Shanghai-closing date 31 July

Borrow a book from the Confucius Institute`s `Window of Shanghai` section in our library and you could win a trip to this year`s Expo City. To enter the competition simply write a piece of between 1500-5000 words in English or 1000-3000 words in Chinese as a book review, or an essay on your personal musings as stimulated by the book selection.


All entries should be completed and submitted by July 31, 2010.
All entries should be submitted in word format and to be emailed to or sent on CD-ROM to

Ms Dennie Lee
Shanghai Library Competition
Room 1310
1555 Huai Hai Zhong Lu
200031, Shanghai, China

All writing must be original and no liability is accepted by the organisers for any infringement of copyright or IPR.


A total of 20 top entries will be selected by a panel of professional judges. The result will be notified in August 2010.


The first place prizewinner and three second place entrants will each be invited to an award ceremony in Shanghai. The airline and accommodation costs will be covered by the organisers.

The additional 16 finalists will each receive gift with a value of US$100.


Please contact the Confucius Institute on 0131 662 2180 or email us on to request access and borrowing rights to the library.

Urban Utopia and Contemporary Visual Arts in China – June 2010

Given the speed of development in China it is hardly suprising that the idea of a city constructed in the blink of the eye is central to recent Chinese visual arts.

The instant city is visually represented by miniature models and computerized simulations. The extensive use of architectural modelling -in the media, on the theatre stage, and on the screen – is a symptom of the neoliberal state`s need to reify its vision in idealized form.

In response, some filmmakers have turned to preserving the present condition of cities in images. Others go beyond using new media to propose to propose a post-cinematic and post-spatial understanding of the city.

The Confucius Institute for Scotland is delighted to present a lecture by Professor Yomi Braester, Professor of Comparative Literature and a core member of the the Cinema Studies Program at the University of Washington in Seattle. He has published extensively on film, drama, and fiction in the PRC and Taiwan and is the author of `Witness against History: Literature, Film, and Public Discourse in Twentieth-Century China` (2003) and `Painting the City Red: Chinese Cinema and the Urban Contract` (2010).


Urban Utopia and Contemporary Visual Arts in China
Monday 7th June 2010
Ground Floor, Abden House

Followed by a drinks reception

This event is free. To reserve a seat for this talk please email or call 0131 662 2180.

Learn to play Yang Ch`in – July 2010

Discover the music that can be made on the beautiful Yang Ch’in (Chinese Hammered Dulcimer) with our summer school workshop programme offering four hours of tuition and up to four hours for self practice.

Yang Ch’in playing is melodic, rhythmical and melodious. It is a key instrument within a Chinese orchestra. The instrument is portable and can be played initially without the need to read music.

Led by Kimho Ip, Yang Ch`in performer and musical curator at the Institute, workshop sessions take place on Saturday 24th and Saturday 31st July from 10am-noon.

At the first workshop you will learn the structure of the instrument, the technique of using the ‘hammers’ and begin to create pentatonic chord patterns to delight the ears.

Between the two workshops, you can book up to four hours for self-practice time at the Institute. This will allow you to practice the technique of using the hammers and will help extend your knowledge and confidence before returning to work again with Kimho for the second workshop. Practice times can be booked Monday – Friday between 09.30 and 16.30.

In the second workshop participants will learn to play up to three traditional Chinese tunes as a group. This session will also introduce basic knowledge required to maintain of the instrument including tuning, changing keys etc.

And, should you have fallen under the spell of the Yang Ch`in, advice on purchasing a suitable instrument is also available. Prices start from around £400 including delivery.

The cost of the course is £125 for four hours of tuition and up to four hours of self practice. Classes are restricted to a maximum of six students. The ratio of instruments to students is 1:2.

To register,please download, complete and return the PDF registration form form along with payment made out to the University of Edinburgh. If you have any questions please contact us on 0131 662 2180.

PDF Registration Form