J. Bruce Jacobs

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Jeffrey Bruce Jacobs AM (19 September 1943 – 24 November 2019) was an American-born Australian orientalist who specialized in Taiwan studies. He taught at La Trobe University before joining the faculty at Monash University as professor of Asian languages and studies, where he was granted emeritus status upon retirement. In Taiwan, he was known as Chia Po (Chinese: 家博; pinyin: jiābó), a simplified transliteration of his surname, or by the nickname Big Beard (大鬍子; dàhúzǐ).

Life and career[edit]

J. Bruce Jacobs was born on 19 September 1943[1] in the United States,[2] and educated at Columbia University, where he earned bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.[3] While completing master's-level coursework, Jacobs spent 1965 and 1966 in Taiwan, with the History Research Institute of National Taiwan University.[2][4] Jacobs finished his master's degree in 1970. He returned to Taiwan between 1971 and 1973, during his doctoral study, which he completed in 1975. In 1976, Jacobs was named a lecturer at La Trobe University.[2] In 1980, Jacobs was detained for three months, and falsely accused of involvement in the stabbing death of Lin Yi-hsiung's mother, as well as the murder of twin daughters [zh] born to Lin and Fang Su-min.[4][5] In its coverage of the murders, the United Daily News became the first publication to refer to Jacobs as "Big Beard."[6] Following his departure from Taiwan in May 1980,[7] Jacobs was barred by the Kuomintang government from entering Taiwan until 1992.[4][5]

In the early 1990s, Jacobs was appointed to the Australia-China Council.[4] He began teaching at Monash University in 1991,[4] and was granted emeritus status upon retirement in 2014.[2][3] Jacobs received the Order of Brilliant Star with Grand Cordon from the government of the Republic of China in November 2018,[4][5] and was named a member of the Order of Australia in the 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours.[8] Jacobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2017,[9] and died in Melbourne on 24 November 2019, aged 76.[2]

Publications[edit]

Several opinion pieces written by Jacobs were published in the Taipei Times. While writing for that publication, he argued that a paradigm shift was necessary in Taiwanese politics and diplomatic efforts, while comparing the one-China policy to the flat Earth model.[10] Jacobs also opined on the teaching of Taiwanese history,[11] the Senkaku Islands dispute, territorial disputes in the South China Sea,[12][13] and Cross-Strait as well as foreign relations of Taiwan.[14][15] In 2013, Jacobs argued for Taiwan's status as a middle power.[16] Many of Jacobs' writings took the form of an open letter in which he discussed a wide array of topics relating to politics in Taiwan.[17] Such letters were specifically addressed to Taiwanese politicians Wang Ching-feng,[18] Ma Ying-jeou,[19] and generally to Taiwanese people,[20] as well as Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau[21] and Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce.[22] Jacobs regularly penned electoral analyses for the Taipei Times, including in 2004,[23] 2005,[24] 2008's presidential[25][26] and legislative election,[27] 2010,[28] 2014,[29] 2016,[30] and 2018.[31]

In written and spoken commentary, Jacobs was critical of Su Chi,[32][33] as well as the presidency of Chen Shui-bian.[34] He also discussed the loss of Taiwan-centric publications Taiwan Communique and Thinking Taiwan, which both ceased publication in 2016.[35] In Lee Teng-hui and the Idea of Taiwan Jacobs and I-hao Ben Liu discussed Lee Teng-hui's contribution to Taiwan's democratization, Taiwanization, and Taiwanese nationalism.[36][37] Jacobs wrote a number of books about Taiwan, which included Local Politics in Rural Taiwan under Dictatorship and Democracy (2008),[38] Democratizing Taiwan (2012),[39][40][41] The Kaohsiung Incident in Taiwan and Memoirs of a Foreign Big Beard (2016),[42][43][44] and Changing Taiwanese Identities (2018, edited with Peter Kang).[45][46][47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Emeritus Prof Bruce Jacobs AM". The Age Tributes. The Age. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Baker, Diane (25 November 2019). "Taiwan specialist Bruce Jacobs dies in Melbourne". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Bruce Jacobs". Monash University. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Shih, Hsiu-chuan (16 November 2018). "Australian professor decorated for lifelong contribution to Taiwan". Central News Agency. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Strong, Matthew (16 November 2018). "Australian academic who played part in darkest days of Taiwan history decorated". Taiwan News. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  6. ^ Han Cheung (1 December 2019). "Taiwan in Time: Remembering the 'Big Beard'". Taipei Times. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  7. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (13 September 2009). "Murder probe reveals nothing new". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  8. ^ "Queen's Birthday 2019 Honours: The full list". Sydney Morning Herald. 9 June 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  9. ^ Shih, Hsiu-chuan (13 November 2018). "Hundreds gather to meet Australian 'greatest lover of Taiwan'". Central News Agency. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  10. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (16 November 2018). "Paradigm shift needed on Taiwan". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  11. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (9 February 2007). "Describing Taiwan's real history". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  12. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (26 July 2014). "China's territorial claims are weak". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  13. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (4 August 2016). "Tsai government must fix errors". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  14. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (1 February 2005). "China lives down to expectations". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  15. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (14 May 2008). "Spending money where it matters". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  16. ^ Cole, J. Michael (17 July 2013). "Think again, mister — Taiwan isn't actually 'small'". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Open letter on erosion of justice in Taiwan". Taipei Times. 6 November 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Eroding justice: Open letter No. 2". Taipei Times. 2 December 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  19. ^ "Open letter to Taiwan's president". Taipei Times. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  20. ^ "Open letter to democratic Taiwan". Taipei Times. 9 January 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  21. ^ "An open letter to the Canadian PM". Taipei Times. 30 January 2019. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  22. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (15 June 2018). "Open letter to Qantas CEO Joyce". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  23. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (23 March 2004). "Chen victorious is Taiwan's gain". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  24. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (6 December 2005). "DPP's loss highlights urgent need for reform". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  25. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (10 September 2008). "President Ma must reform the KMT". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  26. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (24 March 2008). "Some suggestions for Ma Ying-jeou". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  27. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (14 January 2008). "Can the DPP overcome a drubbing?". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  28. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (30 November 2010). "Election pointers for the future". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  29. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (2 December 2014). "Analyzing the massive KMT defeat". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  30. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (18 January 2016). "What a difference four years makes". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  31. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (26 November 2018). "Analyzing the DPP election debacle". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  32. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (24 February 2010). "Su Chi's resignation long overdue". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  33. ^ Cole, J. Michael (9 January 2010). "ANALYSIS: In beef debacle, Su Chi emerges as main villain". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  34. ^ Jacobs, Bruce (4 September 2009). "Taiwan's legal system and Chen". Taipei Times. Retrieved 28 November 2019.
  35. ^ Han Cheung (9 June 2016). "Losing voices". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  36. ^ Jacobs, J. Bruce; Liu, I-hao Ben (June 2007). "Lee Teng-hui and the Idea of "Taiwan"". The China Quarterly. 190 (190): 375–393. doi:10.1017/S0305741007001245. JSTOR 20192775.
  37. ^ Cole, J. Michael (26 February 2010). "ANALYSIS : Ma 'error' throws Taiwan back two decades". Taipei Times. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  38. ^ Schak, David (January 2013). "Local Politics in Rural Taiwan under Dictatorship and Democracy, by J. Bruce Jacobs. Norwalk: East Bridge, 2008. xx + 350 pp. US$29.95 (paper-back)". The China Journal. 69: 212–214. doi:10.1086/668958.
  39. ^ Seymour, James D. (2013). "Democratizing Taiwan by J. Bruce Jacobs (review)". China Review. 13 (1): 165–167.
  40. ^ Sullivan, Jonathan (July 2013). "Democratizing Taiwan, by J. Bruce Jacobs. Leiden: Brill, 2012. xiv + 305 pp. €75.00/US$103.00 (hardcover)". The China Journal. 70: 292–294. doi:10.1086/671322.
  41. ^ Phillips, Steven (2012). "Democratizing Taiwan by J. Bruce Jacobs (review)". China Review International. 19 (4): 605–607. doi:10.1353/cri.2012.0104.
  42. ^ Alsford, Niki J. P. (20 February 2018). "The Kaohsiung Incident in Taiwan and Memoirs of a Foreign Big Beard, written by J. Bruce Jacobs". International Journal of Taiwan Studies. 1 (1): 238–240. doi:10.1163/24688800-00101016.
  43. ^ Arrigo, Linda Gail (January 2018). "The Kaohsiung Incident in Taiwan and Memoirs of a Foreign Big Beard, by J. Bruce Jacobs. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2016. viii+178 pp. €82.00/US$98.00 (cloth, eBook)". The China Journal. 79: 203–207. doi:10.1086/694820.
  44. ^ Wright, David Curtis (September 2018). "The Kaohsiung Incident in Taiwan and Memoirs of a Foreign Big Beard J. Bruce Jacobs Leiden: Brill, 2016 xi + 178 pp. $41.42 ISBN 978-90-04-31601-0". The China Quarterly. 235: 907–909. doi:10.1017/S0305741018001145.
  45. ^ Cabestan, Jean-Pierre (May 2019). "Changing Taiwanese Identities ed. by J. Bruce Jacobs and Peter Kang (review)". China Review. 19 (2): 193–194.
  46. ^ Alsford, Niki J. P. (20 January 2019). "(2018) Changing Taiwanese Identities, edited by J. Bruce Jacobs and Peter Kang". International Journal of Taiwan Studies. 2 (1): 177–179. doi:10.1163/24688800-00201009.
  47. ^ Zheng, Shiping (June 2018). "J. Bruce Jacobs and Peter Kang, eds., Changing Taiwanese Identities (London and New York: Routledge, 2018), 142p. $150 hardcover". Journal of Chinese Political Science. 23 (2): 301–302. doi:10.1007/s11366-018-9546-7.