The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, a branch of Taiwan's Ministry of Culture, selected Georgia State University College of Law assistant professor Ryan Rowberry to participate in a Young Scholars Delegation to Taiwan in May.
Ten scholars under the age of 40 were selected from the Southeast United States to network with Taiwanese government agencies, nongovernmental organizations and academic institutions. The goal of the meetings was to build stronger bonds between the two countries and identify areas for future collaboration.
Rowberry's research concentrates on cultural heritage and historic preservation, so he was particularly interested in learning more about how Taiwan portrays its history.
"We visited the National Museum of History, and I was able to see how Taiwan is displaying its cultural heritage and telling its narrative," Rowberry says of the May 23-30 trip. "It was interesting to learn how Taiwan's portrayal of its history compares to the People's Republic of China's description."
Rowberry has previously lectured in English and history at Peking University in Beijing and now teaches Property Law, Natural Resources Law, Environmental Law and Anglo-American Legal History course at Georgia State Law. He plans to incorporate his experiences from Taiwan into his natural resources class next semester.
"During the section when we discuss historic preservation and cultural heritage, I will use Taiwan's National Museum of History as a comparative counterpoint to museums in the United States regarding how each portrays its past," he says.
The highlight of Rowberry's trip was meeting with Shie-Ming Peng, vice president of Academia Sinica, Taiwan's premier academic research institution, to discuss military affairs with one and two-star generals from the Taiwanese Department of Defense.
"We met with a number of people in high level positions within the military and academic institutions. They were all very interested in establishing connections with our country's universities," he says.
Kim Reimann, associate professor and director of Georgia State University's Asian Studies Center, nominated Rowberry for the program. She previously participated in the same delegation.