By Breanne Smith
Neil Bernstein made his first trip to Taiwan in 2000 and has returned to the country for short visits almost annually. September, however, will mark the beginning of a longer visit for Bernstein, an assistant professor in the Department of Classics and World Religions who has earned a Fulbright Lecturer position at National Taiwan University in Taipei.
Bernstein will teach courses on ancient Greek and Roman drama and the classical tradition in modern drama, fiction and film in the university's Department of Drama and Theatre. He earned the award through the U.S. Department of State-sponsored program that sends 800 U.S. faculty and professionals abroad each year to lecture or conduct research in a wide variety of academic and professional fields.
"I'm very excited to have this opportunity," said Bernstein, who joined the Ohio University faculty in 2004. "I'll be able to make new contacts with both faculty and students."
He plans to take advantage of his time in Taiwan by working on his reading, writing and speaking of Mandarin Chinese and researching literary representations of ancient Chinese and ancient Roman family life, the latter of which he has researched and written about extensively. He notes that both cultures had patriarchal family structures, highly developed cults of ancestors and conflicts between aristocratic families and imperial regimes.
Besides his focus on the ancient cultures, Bernstein is looking forward to spending time in Taiwan's modern one.
"It's a great opportunity to study a culture," he said. "It will be a massive spur to both my research and teaching, as I'll be able to conduct comparative research in a new way and expand my teaching by working with students with different backgrounds and expectations."