Coding Disputes

As a large portion of my honors thesis, I will be using a large n database to conduct quantitative comparisons across different territorial disputes. Before I am able to do the tests, however, I must first complete my database and code every dispute (since 1949) to test my hypotheses. As I have done so, I have run up against a number of difficult coding decisions that could potentially change the face of my dataset and, through that, my results. Here are some of the questions that I face: [Read more...]

Historical Analogies in the Pivot to Asia

In 2011, the Obama administration unveiled a much-publicized “pivot to Asia”—a grand strategy to strengthen America’s position in the region through the overt use of military, diplomatic, economic, and cultural instruments. “Pivot” is an appropriate title; it is a definitive break from past policy. Waxing engagement and waning containment characterized American strategy towards China in the 1990s and 2000s. Now, it seems, the U.S. government is refocusing on military balancing.

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Translation of Li’s Poem “Cicada”

Just translated another Li’s poem and I feel it’s really hard to keep the poem’s original tone. There’re only five syllables in each line in the original work, while iambic pentameter barely allows me to extract most literal meanings. Therefore, I let go all his fancy language, which is almost untranslatable. The original poem doesn’t have any pronoun, which makes it mostly consist of many pictures rather than the poet’s conversation with a cicada.

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Different Views about the Romantic Theme in Li Shang-yin’s poetry

After roughly looking over the criticisms of the most important scholars over the past 10 centuries, I found many people, though have reached a consensus that Li is a romantic poet, hold different view on the themes of his love poems. There’re basically three opinions.

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A Possible Reason for Li Shang-yin to Write Vague Poetry

Before  started the research this summer, Li Shang-yin to me was no more than a celebrated, talented and may be unfortunate poet. I loved reading his poetry, but I didn’t think too much about why he got so distinct writing styles, how those styles might be connected with his life experience, and why the poetry written during his late years are so vague.

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