Exploring the Historical Narrative of Taiwan in the 17th Century

Key information

9:00 am to 10:30 am
Brunei Gallery, SOAS, University of London

About this event

In the global context, the Taiwan experience warrants explanation, maybe now more than ever in view of the increased Western media attention in international relations and the play of aggressive power politics.

Some of these geopolitical dynamics can be partially illustrated at the hand of a historiographical account on the 17th century, when the island Formosa was at the crossroads of the encounter between East and West. This encounter produced documentation and scholarship in both regions and in a number of languages that are now more easily accessible with the digital humanities wave generating new research findings on the meta-level.

This lecture situates Dutch overseas expansion history within the context of Taiwan historiography on the 17th century. The following sections will be discussed:

  1. How to comprehend Taiwan historiography against the background of ‘a divided nations’ framework the island has been discussed in history textbooks
  2. An analysis of the pillars and research trends in the discursive construction of the Dutch Formosa historical narrative
  3. Its connection to themes in global history and culture research.


Speaker's bio

Prof. Ann Heylen

Ann Heylen is Professor in the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature and the Director of the International Taiwan Studies Center, National Taiwan Normal University.

After completing her PhD in Chinese Studies at the Faculty of Arts, Catholic University Leuven (K.U. Leuven) in 2001, I became an associate researcher of Japanese Studies, K.U. Leuven (2002-2008) and obtained a post-doctoral research grant at Taiwan Research Unit, Ruhr University Bochum (2003-2004). In 2008 she took up a faculty position at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) in Taipei and was appointed Associate Professor at the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, which in 2011 expanded into the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature.

In 2009, she became the Director of the International Taiwan Studies Center (ITSC), affiliated with the College of Liberal Arts, NTNU. She is also a Research Associate of the ERCCT, Eberhard Karls Universitaet Tuebingen.

About 2023 SOAS Taiwan Studies Summer School

The Centre of Taiwan Studies (CTS) at the SOAS, University of London is excited to present a 2.5-day Summer School programme filled with engaging talks, seminars, and roundtables, taking place right after the EATS annual conference from the afternoon of June 28th to June 30th, 2023.

In our commitment to promoting the study of Taiwan, we are pleased to offer free and open-to-public attendance for the Summer School. We highly encourage individuals from all walks of life who are interested in Taiwanese culture and Taiwan studies attend our course.