Posts Tagged ‘Jinan’

8/10: US-Norway Fulbright Orientation….

Where Does One Begin?

Perhaps with Fulbright maven, Ragnhild Sohlberg, Ph.D., of former Norsk Hydro management and Rand specialist to whom, alongside Sonia Mykletun (see bottom), can be attributed the recently established Arctic Research Chair position?

With newly minted Fulbrighters musing on Art and Love in the Oslo Fulbright Office?

We back up and return to our visit at Nobel Institute?

To our roof-top reception following our Award Ceremony?

With where Prez B. Obama received his Nobel Peace Prize?

To imagine ourselves at Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

After introductions to begin a series of discussions about life in Norway?
Chatting, down the steps, onward toward ceremony and reception?

Let’s walk alongside past the King’s Royal gardens?

To begin under the celebrated chandeliers?

The paparazzi search beams, yes, for stars of my left and my right?

With the gendered children’s spam (pâté for the sensitive)?

There indeed are so many places to begin, as if to say, how can any one paparazzi ethnographer capture all the fleetings of such ritualized settings?

8/9: Entering into the Fulbright reception:

6/23/2012: I was awarded the US-Norway Fulbright Research Chair 2012-2013 at University of Tromsø (yay!). Reading my previous blog, see below, seems like a long time ago that I began the application. And it was! One year ago. I want register here and now that I plan to attend the Fulbright Orientation upcoming in August and to capture that event in paparazzi ethnographic style… 🙂

I recounted the entire saga of the award application to Svetlana L., with whom I had several wonderful conversations in April at Cambridge U. while attending the BASEES conference. Afterward, we met up in London over drinks at the Lanesborough where I poured out the entire story. She confessed to me that my tale was indeed, interesting. Here is Svetlana chatting on Hyde Corner:

To provide one example, I received news of the Fulbright award while in a hotel room in Jinan, China. I was visiting folks at the Department of Anthropology at Shandong U., with the generous offer to take the position as Associate Professor. For several days, I wandered around Jinan wondering how in world I would fit into that city scape, with all its unique food items, such as sea slugs, rose petals, and lettuce, as shown in the image below, taken at a high-end delicacy restaurant.

On the third day of my visit, returning to the hotel from a preview of the apartment that the university offered me as part of the hiring package and after walking out of the shower — a blast furnace of a water faucet, thank the lord — I noticed a new email in my inbox, from the Fulbright Foundation in Washington DC.

It was an eye spot. I paused for a few moments before reading the word: “congratulations”. And I plan to provide some updates right here, especially as I get news of the orientation.

6/23/2011: Last month, in Houston, I had dinner at the residence of Sonia Mykletun, recently Executive Director of the US-Norway Fulbright Program. Toward the end of the evening, she graciously invited me to apply for the newly created US-Norway Fulbright Arctic Chair, launched during her tenure. Sonia’s husband is the Royal Norwegian Consul General, Dr. Jostein Mykletun.

Both Jostein and I attended the Arctic Oil and Gas North America Conference that week where we were invited as keynote speakers.

Jostein presented the Norwegian Government’s High North Strategy, since he was Foreign Ministry Ambassador for the High North.

I decided to take Sonia up on her offer to apply for the Arctic Chair and have created here a post to document the process of putting together the Fulbright proposal.

What I find interesting, in fact, are all the threads that come together to make an application happen. In advance of my discussion with Sonia, I had discussed this opportunity with anthropologist Sidsel Saugestad of University of Tromsø (UiT). Initially, I was short listed for assistant professor in her department, though the job went to David Anderson, formerly of U. Aberdeen.

Some months followed and Sidsel and I chatted in SFO at the Anthropological Meetings about my spending time in Norway. And now, we are coordinating on the application.

Nezune Menka and the Band

The artist community of Svolvær in mid-winter

Another connection at UiT is Dr. Paul Wassmann of the Marine Biology Department who also has joined the Fulbright application effort on my behalf.

Not too long ago, Paul invited me along with early career scholars to Svolvær, Norway, in winter, on a cruise ship traveling the Norwegian inside passage from Tromsø, so that we could talk shop on oil and gas development in the Arctic. The conversations were intense. To cool off, we were provided with our own entertainment, in the form of a salsa band flown in from Barcelona, Spain.

That was an amazing voyage and Svolvær is so beautiful, especially in winter. In fact, there were artists in residence and we attended gallery showings. One of my favorite set of paintings was from Maud Brood, who, a bit of a recluse, became quite animated when talking about her work.

Hill Side by Maud Brood

Anthropologist Carly Dokis

pausing to catch a breath

During that trip I came to know quite well anthropologist Carly Dokis, who is wonderfully witty.

We spent all our time just hashing out ideas, intellectualizing our emotional lives, recounting our individual experiences through the language of anthropological texts. It is impossible not to do so when you have spent so much of your life sitting around reading. Having an interlocutor of that caliber, like Carly, made the trip.


heading south

But I should not forget the wonderfully clever anthropologist Najune Menka, also in attendance and who originates from Alaska. Najune works at the intersection of science, environmental politics and identity.

What is funny, Carly was living in Calgary, Alberta, where I was also living at the time, having been awarded the US-Canada Fulbright Scholar, North American Research Chair, at the University of Calgary.

The project I am proposing to carry out now extends my research into energy analysts in Norway. For this, many persons I have met so far as part of the US National Science Foundation research, including Arild Moe, Kaare Hauge, Elana Wilson Rowe, will be part of the project.

I have just completed what is nearly a first draft, and I am quite excited about it, and perhaps for this reason, I decided to create this post.

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Enroute China

March 18-28: Colloquium Lecture, Shandong University, Department of Anthropology, Jinan, China.

In Moscow, I received an email from Zongze Hu, Chair, Department of Anthropology, Shandong University, inviting me to China to take up a post as Associate Professor.

Previous to Zongze’s email, I did not expected to visit China, let alone take up a faculty position there. I suggested to Zongze that we should also discuss a Plan B, such as a Research Appointment, where I could blow in and out of Jinan at will, examining energy policy on construction of long distance natural gas pipelines.

I arrived. Zongze made me a generous offer that I could not accept, and so we moved to Plan B. I am now in the process of negotiating a Visiting Associate Professor position, as a Research Appointment for short-term teaching (2-6 weeks) and long term research on energy issues.
China made a strong impression on me. I felt as if I had not flown to a different country, but in fact, boarded a time machine for a visit to the future. It took for absolutely ever to get there — 14 hours– unheard of by my body clock. And when I arrived, I could only marvel at the way they built everything new.

Upon arrival, the translator, Shing-Lui (Madison in her English name), picked me up at the airport, and chatted me all the way into Jinan. Without Madison, my trip would have been worse for wear. In this image above, she is seen sitting across from me in what I now refer to as my favorite coffee shop in China.

I had arrived and lunched with Zongze at the University Hotel, where I was staying. After taking a long hot shower, around 4PM, I decided to wander through the city, to see what was there to my liking. That first evening was an adjustment. I could see everything, but I could not recognize much.  In short, I was lost. But I kept wandering.

The next day, Madison gave me a tour of the City, through its heart, and we spent quite a bit of time at Boutu Spring Park and Five Dragon Pools, which are a series of springs along a canal that is nearly in the same part of the town of Boutu. We crossed Quancheng Square, with its mighty sculpture in honor of the springs and then passed through Furong Street (seen directly below), where we stopped for a wonderful bowl of noodle soup, shown in the first image above.
Quail eggs on the street next door to a monster of a business building.

But that is Jinan.

I plan to go again, perhaps next year, to teach a course, and begin a research project, of more I will write soon.

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