SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Scholars, Generals, and Other Outsiders: Masculinity Politics in the Taiwan Rap Scene

CTS-IMG-Meredith Schweig
Assistant Professor Meredith Schweig

Date: 5 July 2017Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 5 July 2017Time: 12:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: DLT

Type of Event: Summer School

This is part of SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School Programme.
To register to attend please click HERE.


In this presentation, I explore the gender practices of Taiwan’s male-dominated rap scene.  My focus is on the sonic, textual, and ritual reverberations of Confucian ideologies, especially the conceptual pairings of nei/wai (inside/outside) and wen/wu (civil/martial).  In the context of shifting gender roles driven by dramatic sociopolitical and economic change over the course of the past two and a half decades, I argue that artists reimagine and refashion Confucian gender regimes and notions of intra-group hierarchy to create critical new spaces for male sociality, avenues for male self-empowerment, and opportunities for the articulation of masculine identities not otherwise audible in Taiwan’s popular music.


Meredith Schweig completed her MA (2009) and PhD (2013) in ethnomusicology at Harvard University, where she also received her BA (2003) in Music and East Asian Studies. Her research explores twentieth- and twenty-first-century musics of East Asia, with a particular emphasis on popular song, narrativity, and cultural politics in Taiwan and China. An assistant professor of ethnomusicology at Emory, she is currently working on a book about Taiwan's hip-hop scene. A second project in development refracts questions about music, memory, and transmedia storytelling through a study of global pop icon Teresa Teng. She maintains additional research interests in sound studies, sensory studies, translation studies, kinetic sound sculpture, and the museology/musicology nexus.

Schweig was a 2013-2015 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities and Hyperstudio Fellow at MIT, and has received fellowships and grants from the Asian Cultural Council, Whiting Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, and the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research at Harvard University. She was the recipient of the Lise Waxer Graduate Student Paper Prize (2013) from the Popular Music Section of the Society for Ethnomusicology and the Barbara Barnard Smith Student Paper Prize (2011) from the Association for Chinese Music Research. Her 2014 article "Hoklo Hip-Hop: Re-signifying Rap as Local Narrative Tradition in Taiwan” was awarded the Rulan Chao Pian Publication Prize from the Association for Chinese Music Research.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

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