Yu Ying-shih (余英時), a historian and a member of Taiwan's Academia Sinica, has been named one of the winners of the 2006 John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanities, the US Library of Congress announced on Wednesday.
Yu, 76, and the other winner of the prize, historian John Hope Franklin, 91, will share a cash prize of US$1 million.
Noting that Yu has been described by his peers as "the greatest Chinese intellectual historian of our generation" and "the most widely read contemporary historian writing in Chinese" who has written more than 30 books, which span more than 2,000 years of history, a Library of Congress spokesman said Yu deserves the John W. Kluge Prize -- commonly called "the Nobel Prize of the humanities" -- for his achievement.
The spokesman said Yu was not only known for his scholarship but also for his sympathy for the democracy movement in China and his support for the young democracy advocates exiled after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.
Despite Yu's outspoken criticism of the Chinese Communists' policies, most of his scholarly works have been published in China, including a recent 10-volume collection of his Chinese-language works.
Endowed by Library of Congress benefactor John W. Kluge, the Kluge Prize rewards lifetime achievement in a wide range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes, including history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, the arts and humanities and linguistics.
Franklin and Yu have each played a pioneering role in bringing previously neglected major aspects of American and Chinese history into the mainstream of scholarship and public consciousness of their respective native lands, the spokesman said.
Both have done demanding work using a wide variety of primary documents and historical approaches. Each has had an enduring impact on both scholarship and his society, and has opened a path for others to find new materials and methodologies for understanding both their and our cultures, the spokesman said.
Yu's work examines major topics over two millennia of Chinese civilization; Franklin's work covers three centuries of the history of the United States.
Yu is an Emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies and History at Princeton University.
During his academic career, which began in 1962, Yu taught at Princeton, Harvard, Yale and the University of Michigan.
He also served concurrently as president of New Asia College, Hong Kong, and vice chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong from 1973 to 1975.
He spent the bulk of his academic career at Princeton, where he taught from 1987 to 2001.
In his early 40s, Yu was elected to be a lifetime member of Academia Sinica, the most distinguished academic institution in Taiwan. He was recently elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, according to the spokesman.
A scholar reviewing Yu's nomination stated: "The rare distinction of having been elected to full professorships at Harvard, Yale and Princeton undoubtedly confirms the high esteem in which he is held. However, his actual scholarship is a much more important indication of his lifetime achievement, compared to his career successes."
First awarded in 2003, the Kluge Prize is international; the recipient may be of any nationality, writing in any language. The main criterion for a recipient is deep and sustained intellectual accomplishment in the study of humanity that extends beyond narrow academic disciplines.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or