September 22, 2018

I depart from Richmond for Chicago today after a long and productive summer. I leave family and church behind, whom I will miss until my Winter Break beginning in December, but I also go to dear friends and a mission in Chicago that I have missed dearly as well. I think this says something about the nature of my spiritual reflection over the summer, that it has been a good time to work on my heart so that I can… Read more

September 21, 2018

Of the many brilliant lines in the Internet scholar Yasmin Nair’s lengthy critique of the online left, one in particular stands out to me. ‘Call me a luddite,’ she says, ‘but I happen to think that intellectual work needs to originate and be nurtured away from, not in the public eye.’ The ironies of her writing this sentence, and me liking it, should not be lost on our readers. Nair has spent her career writing public pieces online. I have… Read more

September 20, 2018

When I was about seven years old, I sat with my grandfather as he drank his daily mug of tea. He was a great storyteller, and from him, I learned the basic form of what I do in my career studying Chinese Americans today. He told me the tales of the Four Great Novels, especially the travels of the Monkey, Sun Wukong, and his sidekicks in Journey to the West, but also enough of The Three Kingdoms for me not to be an… Read more

September 19, 2018

I was about five years old when I learned the term sexual harassment. It thoroughly confused me, so much so that I was unable to figure out what having sex was until I was far too old to have any excuse. I first heard the term on television. There, news reporters were prattling on about these two words sexual harassment and what it meant for our culture, which probably was the first time I had ever heard that word too. I was not sure what that… Read more

September 18, 2018

At least for me, an easy misunderstanding of the literary theorist Michael Warner’s first book, The Letters of the Republic, to the field of study on public spheres might be in his reading of letters. When I first started reading the text, I thought that he meant the epistolary form of communication between persons, as a kind of public exchange between the politicians we now know as the bourgeois revolutionaries of the American War of Independence (or the ‘Founding Fathers,’ if… Read more

September 17, 2018

Yesterday I served my last Sunday as the unofficial cantor until December at our temple in Richmond. The school year at Northwestern University is finally starting, and I am back for a third year of teaching. It was a fitting conclusion here in Richmond, at least for now. The Eparchy of New Westminster is on the New Calendar, so we just finished the cycle of eight tones, on the postfeast of the Elevation of the Cross no less. Next week,… Read more

September 15, 2018

In this time of the postfeast of the Universal Exaltation of the Holy and Life-Giving Cross, I would like to reflect on the reception of a brother of mine in the Lord whom I shall call Paul-san into our Eastern Catholic Church, together with the baptism of his youngest son. Paul-san and his family are from Hokkaido Prefecture in Japan, and they came to our temple in the middle of August. Paul-san was already a Catholic in the Latin Church;… Read more

September 14, 2018

Sam Rocha gave me three years to narrate myself on this blog, and I made the mistake of taking him literally at first. It is now the opening of my third year in blogging on Patheos, and I think I have a better handle on what this task of narration is about. Over the past week, I have logged my recapitulation of all of what I understood myself to be doing on the blog. I thought that the genre was… Read more

September 13, 2018

This is the seventh and final post in a series reflecting on what I’ve been doing on the blog. The first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth are here.I said at the beginning of this series that I had stumbled upon what I was looking for on this blog and that I would eventually get to it after telling the story of how I got there. Sam Rocha wrote me mid-series to tell me that it was kind of a… Read more

September 12, 2018

 This is the sixth in a series reflecting on what I’ve been doing on the blog. The first, second, third, fourth, and fifth are here.Two things happened in May that brought me back to reviving the blog after I was stunned into silence by discovering I had been writing about public transference, the bad intellectual habit of seeing the world as a mirror for one’s problems, all along. The first was that I went to see the Chinese dissident artist… Read more

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