Writing with Water: Postcolonial Eco-literature in Taiwan

Key information

4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Virtual Event

About this event

Chang Ti-Han

As part of the 2021 SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School, we kindly ask that you register to attend .

This event will be held online through Microsoft Teams.

*Please be aware that all Summer School event times follow British Summer Time (BST)

Photo source: https://e-info.org.tw/node/205672


This lecture proposes to study contemporary literary scene in Taiwan, with a focus on the writing of postcolonial eco-literature. Works of three authors, Wu Ming-yi 吳明益, Fang Hui-chen 房慧珍 and Syaman Rapongan夏曼藍波安 are selected for examination, and the theme of aquatic imagination is outlined for textual analysis. Colonised successively by the Dutch, the Japanese, and the Republican Chinese, changes of natural environments are significantly tied to the island’s past experiences. These experiences are not only kept in Taiwanese authors’ memories, but are often translated into their literary creations. Works that are published in the post-90s era, imagination of oceans and rivers plays a key role to narrate Taiwan’s postcolonial ecology and historiography. In this lecture, three different types of literature — climate fiction, indigenous writing and literary journalism – are selected for scrutiny, demonstrating the diversity and richness of contemporary eco-literary scene in Taiwan. Overall, the lecture will be presented in the following order: (1) a brief introduction to the Taiwanese postcolonial environment; (2) an analysis of the relationship between postcolonial literature and ecological writings in a global literature context; (3) the rise of eco-literature in Taiwan. (4) textual analysis of the works from the above three authors.

Speaker's Bio:

Chang Ti-Han holds a PhD in Transcultural and Transtextaul Studies from the University of Lyon III, and is a lecturer in the Asia Pacific Studies at University of Central Lancashire. She researches and teaches across a range of interdisciplinary subjects such as sustainable development and socio-political movements in the Asia Pacific region. Specialised mainly in Taiwanese postcolonial literature, she also delivers a module specifically dedicated to the postcolonial history, literature and society in Taiwan. With regard to research, Ti-han is particularly interested in postcolonial ecocriticism, which draws her attention to topics such as nonhuman agency, borders and nations, climate change and migration. Since 2019, she is engaged with multiple research projects which investigate the impacts of climate change on the Pacific Islands and the voices of indigenous populations. Her recent publications analyse the nonhuman agents in Wu Ming-yi’s climate fictions, the transpacific ecocriticism drawn from Syaman Rapongan’s indigenous writings, etc. Currently, she is co-writing a paper with the film producer of There Once Was an Island: Te Henua E Nnoho (2010) on the socio-political issues related to i-Kiribati climate migrants in New Zealand, and she is also working towards her monograph publication on Contemporary Eco-literature in Taiwan .

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: jl91@soas.ac.uk