University Hosts International Conference to Illuminate Asian Culture and Society

Feb 16, 2015

During the final weekend in March, an interdisciplinary group of international scholars and artists in Asian studies and in East-West intercultural studies will meet at The University of Scranton to present their works and learn from each other. The 2015 “International Conference on Asian Studies: Taiwan and China in the Global Context” will include two keynote addresses, seven panel discussions, a dance workshop and a Daoism workshop and art exhibit as well as a dance performance at Marywood University.

The workshops and folk dance performance are appropriate for elementary, middle and high school aged children as well as adults.

The conference will commence on Saturday, March 28, at 3 p.m., with registration at the Loyola Science Center Atrium, followed by keynote speech in the PNC Auditorium of the Loyola Science Center at 4 p.m. Nancy S. Steinhardt, Ph.D., professor and chair of the East Asian Languages and Cultures Department at the University of Pennsylvania, will present “France, U.S., China, Taiwan, Russia: Early Twentieth Century Chinese Architecture in Global Context.”

A dinner, which requires a ticket, will be held in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall following the keynote speech.

Following dinner, a bus will take participants to nearby Marywood University for a 7:30 p.m. performance of the Taipei Folk Dance Theatre at the Sette LaVerghetta Center for Performing Arts. The performance is open to the public and free of charge. A limited number of tickets are available upon request for reserved seating. General admission seating is also available the evening of the performance on a “first come, first served” basis.

On Sunday, March 29, following registration at 8:30 a.m., participants can choose between two concurrent sessions in Brennan Hall, running from 8:45 to 10:15 a.m.: “Capitalism in Asia: Divergent Approaches” or “Early Chinese Thought in a Global Context: Methodology, Gender and Transcendentalism.”

After a coffee break, participants can choose among three concurrent sessions in Brennan Hall from 10:30 a.m. to noon: “New Features of Buddhism in Contemporary Taiwan;” “Daoism, Stoicism and Christianity: Comparative Critiques;” or “Language, Culture and Chinese-American Interactions.”

Lunch, which requires a ticket, will be served at noon in the DeNaples Center.

From 1 to 2:15 p.m. in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall, the Taipei Folk Dance Theatre will present a master class, question-and-answer session and a workshop. After a coffee break, participants can choose between two concurrent sessions in Brennan Hall, running from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m.: “Family History and Sufism in China;” or “Confucian Moral Philosophy in Dialogue with Medical Ethics: East-West Approaches.”

After a coffee break, a Daoism workshop, art exhibit and presentation will take place from 4 to 5:15 p.m. in Brennan Hall.

The conference’s second keynote speech, “Progressive Confucianism and Our Global Future,” will be delivered by Stephen C. Angle, Ph.D., chair of the College of East Asian Studies and professor of philosophy at Wesleyan University, in the Pearn Auditorium of Brennan Hall from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The conference will conclude with cocktails and a banquet from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Rose Room of Brennan Hall. Tickets are required to attend the banquet.

The conference is co-presented by the University’s Asian Studies Program and the Taiwan Ministry of Culture – Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York, in collaboration with Marywood University. The program is supported by special patron  Samuel Yin, Ph.D., a Spotlight Taiwan Grant and a University of Scranton – Marywood University Collaborative Grant.

The University of Scranton is among just 15 organizations in the world awarded a 2014-2015 Spotlight Taiwan Grant, a project initiated by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture that brings examples of Taiwanese culture to select college campuses and their local communities throughout the world. This is the second year that the University was awarded a grant to participate in this initiative. The conference is also a collaborative program with the Schemel Forum at The University of Scranton.

All conference presentations are free of charge and open to the public. There is a fee to attend the lunch, dinner and banquet. Registration is not required but is encouraged. For a full schedule of events and to register, visit the conference website at

For more information, contact the Conference Program Committee at 570-941-7643 or; or Ann A. Pang-White, Ph.D., director of the Asian Studies Program, at 570-941-6312 or For reserved-seating ticket information or for other information about the performance by the Taipei Folk Dance contact Philip Jenkins at 570-348-6211 (extension 2972) or; or call the Asian Studies Program Office at Scranton at 570-941-7643.

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