Kerry S. Walters and Robin Jarrell
Publication Date: 2-2013
All of us yearn for a peaceable and just world, but some roll up their sleeves and set to work to make the dream real. Blessed Peacemakers celebrates 365 of them, one for each day of the year.
Their stories are richly diverse. They share a commitment to peace and justice, but the various contexts in which they work make each of their stories uniquely instructive. The peacemakers include women, men, and children from across the globe, spanning some twenty-five hundred years. Many are persons of faith, but some are totally secular. Some are well known, while others will be excitingly new. They are human rights and antiwar activists, scientists and artists, educators and scholars, songwriters and poets, film directors and authors, diplomats and economists, environmentalists and mystics, prophets and policymakers. Some are unlettered, but all are wise. A few died in the service of the dream. All sacrificed for it.
The world is a better place for the presence of blessed peacemakers. Their inspiring stories embolden readers to join them in nonviolent resistance to injustice and the creative pursuit of peace. [From the publisher]
Daniel R. DeNicola
Publication Date: 8-2012
What is a liberal arts education? How does it differ from other forms of learning? What are we to make of the debates that surround it? What are its place, its value, and its prospects in the contemporary world? These are questions that trouble students and their parents, educators, critics, and policy-makers, and philosophers of education--among others.
Learning to Flourish offers a lucid, penetrating, philosophical exploration of liberal learning: a still-evolving tradition of theory and practice that has dominated and sustained intellectual life and learning in much of the globe for two millennia. This study will be of interest to anyone seeking to understand liberal arts education, as well as to educators and philosophers of education.
Daniel R. DeNicola weighs the views of both advocates and critics of the liberal arts, and interprets liberal education as a vital tradition aimed supremely at understanding and living a flourishing life. He elaborates the tradition as expressed in five competing but complementary paradigms that transcend theories of curriculum and pedagogy and are manifested in particular social contexts. He examines the transformative power of liberal education and its relation to such values as freedom, autonomy, and democracy, reflecting on the importance of intrinsic value and moral understanding. Finally, DeNicola considers age-old obstacles and current threats to liberal education, ultimately asserting its value for and urgent need in a global, pluralistic, technologically advanced society. The result is a bold, yet nuanced theory, alert to both historical and contemporary discussions, and a significant contribution to the discourse on liberal education. [From the publisher]
Publication Date: 4-2012
Is relativity Jewish? The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein's revolutionary theory by calling it "Jewish science" a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers. Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein's theory of relativity is Jewish. Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may-or may not-have influenced the work of the scientist. You cannot understand Einstein's science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it. No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einstein's Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working. To understand what "Jewish" means for Einstein's work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of "Jewish" and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einstein's theory of relativity. He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, René Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and Émile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors. Einstein's Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion means-and what it means to science. There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E = mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book. [From the publisher]
Allen C. Guelzo
Publication Date: 5-2012
The Civil War is the greatest trauma ever experienced by the American nation, a four-year paroxysm of violence that left in its wake more than 600,000 dead, more than 2 million refugees, and the destruction (in modern dollars) of more than $700 billion in property. The war also sparked some of the most heroic moments in American history and enshrined a galaxy of American heroes. Above all, it permanently ended the practice of slavery and proved, in an age of resurgent monarchies, that a liberal democracy could survive the most frightful of challenges.
In Fateful Lightning, two-time Lincoln Prize-winning historian Allen C. Guelzo offers a marvelous portrait of the Civil War and its era, covering not only the major figures and epic battles, but also politics, religion, gender, race, diplomacy, and technology. And unlike other surveys of the Civil War era, it extends the reader's vista to include the postwar Reconstruction period and discusses the modern-day legacy of the Civil War in American literature and popular culture. Guelzo also puts the conflict in a global perspective, underscoring Americans' acute sense of the vulnerability of their republic in a world of monarchies. He examines the strategy, the tactics, and especially the logistics of the Civil War and brings the most recent historical thinking to bear on emancipation, the presidency and the war powers, the blockade and international law, and the role of intellectuals, North and South.
Written by a leading authority on our nation's most searing crisis, Fateful Lightning offers a vivid and original account of an event whose echoes continue with Americans to this day. [From the Publisher]
Allen C. Guelzo and Richard Beeman
Publication Date: 8-2012
As president, Abraham Lincoln endowed the American language with a vigor and moral energy that have all but disappeared from today’s public rhetoric. His words are testaments of our history, windows into his enigmatic personality, and resonant examples of the writer’s art. Renowned Lincoln and Civil War scholar Allen C. Guelzo brings together this volume of Lincoln Speeches that span the classic and obscure, the lyrical and historical, the inspirational and intellectual. The book contains everything from classic speeches that any citizen would recognize—the first debate with Stephen Douglas, the “House Divided” Speech, the Gettysburg Address, the Second Inaugural Address—to the less known ones that professed Lincoln fans will come to enjoy and intellectuals and critics praise. These orations show the contours of the civic dilemmas Lincoln, and America itself, encountered: the slavery issue, state v. federal power, citizens and their duty, death and destruction, the coming of freedom, the meaning of the Constitution, and what it means to progress. [From the publisher]
William K. Hathaway
Publication Date: 2012
Brian M. Jordan
Publication Date: 1-2012
Many readers of Civil War history have been led to believe the battle of South Mountain (September 14, 1862) was but a trifling skirmish, a preliminary engagement of little strategic or tactical consequence overshadowed by Antietam’s horrific carnage just three days later. In fact, the fight was a decisive Federal victory and important turning point in the campaign, as historian Brian Matthew Jordan argues convincingly in his fresh interpretation Unholy Sabbath: The Battle of South Mountain in History and Memory, September 14, 1862.
Most writers brush past the mid-September battle in a few paragraphs or a single chapter. Jordan, however, presents a vigorous full-length study based upon extensive archival research, newspaper accounts, regimental histories, official records, postwar reunion materials, public addresses, letters, and diaries. Readers will not only come away with a full understanding of the military actions at Fox’s, Turner’s, and Crampton’s gaps, but a deeper and more meaningful appreciation for the ways in which Civil War veterans and the public at large remembered military events—and why some were forgotten.
The Union victory on the wooded and rocky slopes provided a substantial boost for the downtrodden men of the Union army, who recognized the battle as hard fought and deservedly won—a ferocious hours-long fight with instances of hand-to-hand combat and thousands of casualties. Jordan demonstrates conclusively that South Mountain was the first major victory for the Army of the Potomac, and the first time its men held the field and were tasked with the responsibility of burying the dead.
Unholy Sabbath proposes a new rubric for evaluating this important combat by examining not only the minute military aspects of the battle, but how soldiers remembered the fighting and why South Mountain faded from public memory. Former Confederates true to the Lost Cause, argues Jordan, downplayed the victory, emphasized how outnumbered they were, and argued that their defense of the passes “protected the concentration of General Lee’s army on the field of Sharpsburg.” Union veterans, however, remembered South Mountain as a full-scale engagement wholly distinct from Antietam, and one where they outfought and completely defeated their Rebel opponents and disrupted the entire Southern invasion. [From the Publisher]
Publication Date: 10-2012
The first major biography of the iconic actor Henry Fonda, a story of stardom, manhood, and the American character
Henry Fonda's performances—in The Grapes of Wrath, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Lady Eve, 12 Angry Men, On Golden Pond—helped define "American" in the twentieth century. He worked with movie masters from Ford and Sturges to Hitchcock and Leone. He was a Broadway legend. He fought in World War II and was loved the world over.
Yet much of his life was rage and struggle. Why did Fonda marry five times—tempestuously to actress Margaret Sullavan, tragically to heiress Frances Brokaw, mother of Jane and Peter? Was he a man of integrity, worthy of the heroes he played, or the harsh father his children describe, the iceman who went onstage hours after his wife killed herself? Why did suicide shadow his life and art? What memories troubled him so?
McKinney’s Fonda is dark, complex, fascinating, and a product of glamour and acclaim, early losses and Midwestern demons—a man haunted by what he'd seen, and by who he was. [From the Publisher]
Wilhelm Raabe, Alison E. Martin, Eric Lehmann, Michael Ritterson, and Florian Krobb
Publication Date: 4-2012
Ritterson translated, co-translated, or revised each of the two novellas and one story in this collection, all dating from the years 1873-75. The story, German Moonlight, was first translated by a Gettysburg College student collaborative in 2007 and published in 2009.
Stephen J. Stern
Publication Date: 5-2012
In The Unbinding of Isaac, Stephen J. Stern upends traditional understandings of this controversial narrative through a phenomenological midrash or interpretation of Genesis 22 from the Dialogic and Jewish philosophies of Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and, most notably, Emmanuel Levinas. With great originality, Dr. Stern intersects Jewish studies, Biblical studies, and philosophy in a literary/midrashic style that challenges traditional Western philosophical epistemology. Through the biblical narrative of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Rebecca, Dr. Stern explains that Rosenzweig, Buber, and Levinas Judaically exercise and offer an alternative epistemic orientation to the study of ethics than that of traditional Western or Hellenic-Christian philosophy. The Unbinding of Isaac makes the works of these three thinkers accessible to those outside philosophy and Jewish studies while also introducing readers to the playfulness of how Jewish tradition midrashically addresses the Bible. [From the publisher]
Donald G. Tannenbaum
Publication Date: 2012
Inventor of Ideas connects the major philosophers' original political and societal views with current politics and political thought. Significantly revised to give increased coverage to the major thinkers, the Third Edition covers the traditional canon of writers. Inventor of Ideas gives students the practical and historical foundations with which to look at contemporary political issues. [From the publisher]
Ryan T. Teitman and Jane Hirshfield
Publication Date: 4-2012
This book carries both startling imaginative freedoms and the impulsion of a person navigating the terrain of his life by means of the star-chart and sextant of poems. From Foreword
Kerry S. Walters
Publication Date: 3-2012
The Underground Railroad provides the richest portrayal yet of the first large scale act of interracial collaboration in the United States, mapping out the complex network of routes and safe stations that made escape from slavery in the American South possible. ||Kerry Walters' stirring account ranges from the earliest acts of slave resistance and the rise of the Abolitionist movement, to the establishment of clandestine "liberty lines" through the eastern and then-western regions of the Union and ultimately to Canada. Separating fact from legend, Walters draws extensively on first-person accounts of those who made the Railroad work, those who tried to stop it, and those who made the treacherous journey to freedom ”including Eliza Harris and Josiah Henson, the real-life "Eliza" and "Uncle Tom" from Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. [From the publisher]
Kerry S. Walters
Publication Date: 6-2012
The choice of whether or not to consume animals is more than merely a dietary one. It frequently reflects deep ethical commitments or religious convictions that serve as the bedrock of an entire lifestyle. Proponents of vegetarianism frequently infuriate non-vegetarians, who feel that they're being morally condemned because of what they choose to eat. Vegetarians are frequently infuriated by what they consider to be the non-vegetarians' disregard for the environment and animal-suffering.
Vegetarianism: A Guide for the Perplexed offers a much needed survey of the different arguments offered by ethical vegetarians and their critics. In a rigorous but accessible manner, the author scrutinizes the strengths and weaknesses of arguments in defense of vegetarianism based on compassion, rights, interests, eco-feminism, environmentalism, anthrocentrism, and religion. Authors examined include Peter Singer, Tom Regan, Carol J. Adams, and Kathryn Paxton George.
As the global climate crisis worsens, population increases, and fossil fuels disappear, ethical and public policy questions about the ethics of diet will become ever more urgent. This book is a useful resource for thinking through the questions. [From the publisher]
Andrew M. Wilson, Daniel W. Brauning, and Robert S. Mulvihill
Publication Date: 11-2012
This book documents current distribution and changes in status for nearly two hundred bird species. More than two thousand dedicated birdwatchers completed surveys of birds across the state from 2004 to 2009. The data amassed reveal the distribution of each species and show changes in distribution since the publication of the first Atlas. Additionally, a highly trained survey crew carried out bird counts at more than 34,000 locations statewide. These counts tabulated not just species but individual birds as well, in a manner that—for the very first time—enabled precise estimates of the actual statewide populations for more than half of the 190 breeding species detected. In all, more than 1.5 million sightings were compiled for the second Atlas, providing an unprecedented snapshot of the bird life of Pennsylvania—and perhaps of any comparably sized region in the world. From the Publisher
Charles Wiltse and Michael J. Birkner
Publication Date: 8-2012
Fresh from receiving a doctorate from Cornell University in 1933, but unable to find work, Charles M. Wiltse joined his parents on the small farm they had recently purchased in southern Ohio. There, the Wiltses scratched out a living selling eggs, corn, and other farm goods at prices that were barely enough to keep the farm intact.
In wry and often affecting prose, Wiltse recorded a year in the life of this quintessentially American place during the Great Depression. He describes the family’s daily routine, occasional light moments, and their ongoing frustrations, small and large—from a neighbor’s hog that continually broke into the cornfields to the ongoing struggle with their finances. Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal had little to offer small farmers, and despite repeated requests, the family could not secure loans from local banks to help them through the hard economic times. Wiltse spoke the bitter truth when he told his diary, “We are not a lucky family.” In this he represented millions of others caught in the maw of a national disaster. [From the publisher]
Christopher R. Fee
Publication Date: 1-2011
Myths of gods, legends of battles, and folktales of magic abound in the heroic narratives of the Middle Ages. Mythology in the Middle Ages: Heroic Tales of Monsters, Magic, and Might describes how Medieval heroes were developed from a variety of source materials: Early pagan gods become euhemerized through a Christian lens, and an older epic heroic sensibility was exchanged for a Christian typological and figural representation of saints. Most startlingly, the faces of Christian martyrs were refracted through a heroic lens in the battles between Christian standard-bearers and their opponents, who were at times explicitly described in demonic terms.
The book treats readers to a fantastic adventure as author Christopher R. Fee guides them on the trail of some of the greatest heroes of medieval literature. Discussing the meanings of medieval mythology, legend, and folklore through a wide variety of fantastic episodes, themes, and motifs, the journey takes readers across centuries and through the mythic, legendary, and folkloric imaginations of different peoples. Coverage ranges from the Atlantic and Baltic coasts of Europe, south into the Holy Roman Empire, west through the Iberian peninsula, and into North Africa. From there, it is east to Byzantium, Russia, and even the far reaches of Persia. [From the publisher]
Localidad y Globalidad en el Mundo Maya Prehispánico e Indígena Contemporáneo: Estudios de Espacio y Género
Gómora Gallegos, Miriam Judith, and Julia A. Hendon
Publication Date: 2011
This book is a collection of research articles by scholars in Mexico, the United States, and Canada centering on the themes of gender, landscape, and the interplay between local and global, with global defined as the greater Mesoamerican Prehispanic world. In addition to editing the volume, Dr. Hendon contributed a chapter based on her research in Honduras and a summation of the volume’s chapters.
Brown’s Battleground: Students, Segregationists, and the Struggle for Justice in Prince Edward County, Virginia
Jill Ogline Titus
Publication Date: 10-2011
When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, Prince Edward County, Virginia, home to one of the five cases combined by the Court under Brown, abolished its public school system rather than integrate.
Jill Titus situates the crisis in Prince Edward County within the seismic changes brought by Brown and Virginia's decision to resist desegregation. While school districts across the South temporarily closed a building here or there to block a specific desegregation order, only in Prince Edward did local authorities abandon public education entirely--and with every intention of permanence. When the public schools finally reopened after five years of struggle--under direct order of the Supreme Court--county authorities employed every weapon in their arsenal to ensure that the newly reopened system remained segregated, impoverished, and academically substandard. Intertwining educational and children's history with the history of the black freedom struggle, Titus draws on little-known archival sources and new interviews to reveal the ways that ordinary people, black and white, battled, and continue to battle, over the role of public education in the United States. [From the publisher]
Robin Wagner and Sunni DeNicola
Publication Date: 2011
What is a Treasure? Is it something rare like a Shakespeare folio or is it something dazzling like pieces from the Asian Art collection? Is it simply old, like a 17th century copy of Euclid's Geometry? Or, is it neither costly nor ornate, but valuable in the classroom, as a teaching tool? In this volume, 30 faculty, alumni and friends write about their favorite "treasures" from the Gettysburg College Library. Enjoy their stories of discovery and surprise. You'll find everything from art and literature to sports - with a murder mystery tossed in.
Print copies of this elegant, 12x12" paperback book are available for purchase from the Gettysburg College Bookstore.Thirty Treasures, Thirty Years is the perfect gift for any Gettysburg College graduate or friend!
Introduction Robin Wagner
Ancient Chinese Ritual Objects Yan Sun
Samurai Armor and Katana Dina Lowy
Portrait of Martin Luther Baird Tipson
The John H. W. Stuckenberg Map Collection Barbara A. Sommer
Shakespeare Folio Christopher Kauffman
Euclidis Elementorum Darren Glass
The Book of Martyrs Charles "Buz" Myers
Gulliver’s Travels Joanne Myers
German Broadside of the Declaration of Independence Daniel R. DeNicola
New-England Primer Timothy J. Shannon
A Manual of Chemistry Michael Wedlock
Samuel Simon Schmucker’s Letters to His Wife Catherine Anna Jane Moyer
Architectural Drawings of Old Dorm Charles Glatfelter
Portrait of Thaddeus Stevens Janet Morgan Riggs
Gettysburg from McLean’s Hill Peter S. Carmichael
Jacobs’ Account of the Rebel Invasion Allen C. Guelzo
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Catherine Quinn Perry
Alexander von Humboldt’s Secretary William D. Bowman
Portrait of Jeremiah Zimmerman Christopher J. Zappe
Eddie Plank’s Baseball Dave Powell
Spirit of Gettysburg Timothy Sestrick
A Photographic Atlas of Selected Regions of the Milky Way Larry Marschall
Movie Posters James Udden
Photographs of the College Playing Fields Daniel R. Gilbert, Jr.
A Catalogue of Chinese Pottery and Porcelain Mike Hobor
Address Unknown George Muschamp
Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Presidential Correspondence Michael J. Birkner
The Photographs of Stephen Warner Roger Stemen
The Papers of Jerry Spinelli, Class of 1963 Sunni DeNicola
Confucius Pendant Deborah Sommer
The Library at Gettysburg College: Past and Present Christine Ameduri
Julia A. Hendon
Publication Date: 5-2010
In Houses in a Landscape, Julia A. Hendon examines the connections between social identity and social memory using archaeological research on indigenous societies that existed more than one thousand years ago in what is now Honduras. While these societies left behind monumental buildings, the remains of their dead, remnants of their daily life, intricate works of art, and fine examples of craftsmanship such as pottery and stone tools, they left only a small body of written records. Despite this paucity of written information, Hendon contends that an archaeological study of memory in such societies is possible and worthwhile. It is possible because memory is not just a faculty of the individual mind operating in isolation, but a social process embedded in the materiality of human existence. Intimately bound up in the relations people develop with one another and with the world around them through what they do, where and how they do it, and with whom or what, memory leaves material traces.
Hendon conducted research on three contemporaneous Native American civilizations that flourished from the seventh century through the eleventh CE: the Maya kingdom of Copan, the hilltop center of Cerro Palenque, and the dispersed settlement of the Cuyumapa valley. She analyzes domestic life in these societies, from cooking to crafting, as well as public and private ritual events including the ballgame. Combining her findings with a rich body of theory from anthropology, history, and geography, she explores how objects—the things people build, make, use, exchange, and discard—help people remember. In so doing, she demonstrates how everyday life becomes part of the social processes of remembering and forgetting, and how “memory communities” assert connections between the past and the present.
Allen C. Guelzo
Publication Date: 1-2009
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln was known as a successful Illinois lawyer who had achieved some prominence in state politics as a leader in the new Republican Party. Two years later, he was elected president and was on his way to becoming the greatest chief executive in American history.
What carried this one-term congressman from obscurity to fame was the campaign he mounted for the United States Senate against the country's most formidable politician, Stephen A. Douglas, in the summer and fall of 1858. Lincoln challenged Douglas directly in one of his greatest speeches -- "A house divided against itself cannot stand" -- and confronted Douglas on the questions of slavery and the inviolability of the Union in seven fierce debates. As this brilliant narrative by the prize-winning Lincoln scholar Allen Guelzo dramatizes, Lincoln would emerge a predominant national figure, the leader of his party, the man who would bear the burden of the national confrontation. [From the publisher]
Allen C. Guelzo
Publication Date: 2-2009
Beneath the surface of the apparently untutored and deceptively frank Abraham Lincoln ran private tunnels of self-taught study, a restless philosophical curiosity, and a profound grasp of the fundamentals of democracy. Now, in Lincoln: A Very Short Introduction, the award-winning Lincoln authority Allen C. Guelzo offers a penetrating look into the mind of one of our greatest presidents.
If Lincoln was famous for reading aloud from joke books, Guelzo shows that he also plunged deeply into the mainstream of nineteenth-century liberal democratic thought. Guelzo takes us on a wide-ranging exploration of problems that confronted Lincoln and liberal democracy--equality, opportunity, the rule of law, slavery, freedom, peace, and his legacy. The book sets these problems and Lincoln's responses against the larger world of American and trans-Atlantic liberal democracy in the 19th century, comparing Lincoln not just to Andrew Jackson or John Calhoun, but to British thinkers such as Richard Cobden, Jeremy Bentham, and John Bright, and to French observers Alexis de Tocqueville and François Guizot. The Lincoln we meet here is an Enlightenment figure who struggled to create a common ground between a people focused on individual rights and a society eager to establish a certain moral, philosophical, and intellectual bedrock. Lincoln insisted that liberal democracy had a higher purpose, which was the realization of a morally right political order. But how to interject that sense of moral order into a system that values personal self-satisfaction--"the pursuit of happiness"--remains a fundamental dilemma even today.
Abraham Lincoln was a man who, according to his friend and biographer William Henry Herndon, "lived in the mind." Guelzo paints a marvelous portrait of this Lincoln--Lincoln the man of ideas--providing new insights into one of the giants of American history. [From the publisher]
Allen C. Guelzo and Michael Lind
Publication Date: 1-2009
Abraham Lincoln was a skilled politician, an inspirational leader, and a man of humor and pathos. What many may not realize is how much he was also a man of ideas. Despite the most meager of formal educations, Lincoln’s tremendous intellectual curiosity drove him into the circle of Enlightenment philosophy and democratic political ideology. And from these, Lincoln developed a set of political convictions that guided him throughout his life and his presidency. Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas, a compilation of ten essays from Lincoln scholar, Allen C. Guelzo, uncovers the hidden sources of Lincoln’s ideas and examines the beliefs that directed his career and brought an end to slavery and the Civil War.
These essays reveal Lincoln to be a man of impressive intellectual probity and depth as well as a man of great contradictions. He was an apostle of freedom who did not believe in human free will; a champion of the Constitution who had to step outside of it in order to save it; a man of many acquaintances and admirers, but few friends; a man who opposed slavery but also opposed the abolition of it; a man of prudence who took more political risks than any other president.
Guelzo explores the many faces of Lincoln’s ideas, and especially the influence of the Founding Fathers and the great European champions of democracy. And he links the 16th president’s struggles with the issues of race, emancipation, religion, and civil liberties to the challenges these issues continue to offer to Americans today.
Lincoln played many roles in his life—lawyer, politician, president—but in each he was driven by a core of values, convictions, and beliefs about economics, society, and democracy. Abraham Lincoln as a Man of Ideas is a broad and exciting survey of the ideas that made Lincoln great, just as we celebrate the bicentennial his birth. [From the publisher]
James N. Udden
Publication Date: 2009
Hou Hsiao-hsien is arguably the most celebrated Chinese-language film director in the international film festival realm. However, this is not due to an inert cultural tradition so much as to numerous historical/contextual factors – most of all his being from Taiwan -- which together explain the accomplishments of Hou.