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Peng, Rong-Bang, Ph.D.


I was born in 1970 in small city named Chiayi in the southern part of
Taiwan, and before 18, the city pretty much defined my world. 1988,
one year after the KMT government lifted the martial law, I left my
hometown and became a freshman student in National Taiwan University at Taipei. I was originally a chemistry major student, but later as I realized that I was more interested in the psychological life of people rather than in the world of molecules, I changed my major to psychology. It was during my undergraduate years that I first
encountered the indigenous psychology movement in Taiwan, which
eventually, after nearly 2 decades, became the topic of my doctoral

I was introduced to continental philosophy and cultural psychology in
the last two years of my undergraduate years by my mentor Der-Heuy Yee, who was a core member of the indigenous psychology movement and was also the pioneer of phenomenological psychology in Taiwan. Under his direction, I finished my master's thesis on the psychological explication of a Taiwanese folk ritual Chien-Wang, in which the deceased was summoned to interact with the living. The thesis was my first attempt to understand the psychological life of the Taiwanese people, which was completely ignored by the psychology I knew--that was, American psychology.

In 2002, I was accepted to the PhD psychology program at Duquesne
University. I went to Duquesne with the expectation to further my
understanding of phenomenological psychology, which I thought would be helpful in explicating the psychological life of the Taiwanese people.
But thanks to the diversification of the Duquesne psychology program,
I actually learned more than phenomenological psychology from the
faculties and my colleagues. In fact, phenomenology was temporarily
postponed in my research agenda, for I found that in order to point
out the predicament of the indigenous psychology movement in Taiwan, I had to face the power-knowledge-desire relation within the practice of psychology in Taiwan.

I defended my dissertation, "Decolonizing psychic space: Remembering the Indigenous , psychology movement in Taiwan," in November, 2012. The abstract of my dissertation is as follows:

This project is part of the historical struggle of the indigenous
psychology movement in Taiwan. It turns a critical gaze back upon the
movement itself in order to decolonize it from colonial cultural
imaginary. The contribution of this project is two-fold. First, on the
theoretical level, it introduces a critical perspective into the growing body of indigenous psychological research. The indigenous psychology movement risks repeating the vicious cycle of colonization and re-colonization without critically looking back at its own historical trajectory.Second, on the level of intervention, writing the history of the indigenous psychology movement will make this project a crucial first step toward relieving Taiwanese psychologists from the cultural aphasia resulting from the traumatic encounter between two worlds.

I can be reached at this email: I am
currently in the process of finding a teaching job in Taiwan and
therefore is not affiliated with any institution.