SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

SOAS CTS Summer School 2020 Student Presentations

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED

Date: 9 July 2020Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 9 July 2020Time: 4:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Summer School

Student Presentations Seminar (SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School Day 4: Thursday 9th July 2020 10:00-16:30 BST) Open to Everyone

As part of the Summer School, we have scheduled a student-focused research seminar open for all to attend. The session offers undergraduate and post-graduate students the opportunity to share their research, get feedback and gain valuable experience in presenting in an academic environment. If you are interesting in taking part please register your interest here and we might be able to fit you in as a last minute entry. 

Student Presentations Seminar Programme

As part of the 2020 SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Summer School, we kindly ask that you register to attend.

This event will be held online through Blackboard Collaborate.


*Please be aware that all Summer School event times follow British Summer Time (BST). This agenda may be subject to last minute changes.

Venue: Virtual Event
Time AM Social Science Panel AM Humanities Panel
10.00-10.30 Christine Shao-Fang Kao Zrinka Tomasic
10:30-11:00 Tabea Muehlbach Christine Hristova
11:00-11:30 Ratih Kabinawa Kuan-Wei Wu
11:30-12:00 So Hyun Kim
Break
PM Social Science Panel PM Humanities Panel
13:00-13:30 Chuyao Zeng Chen Yu-Chen
13:30-14:00 Chung Man Leung Jessica Siu-yin Yeung 
14.00-14.30 Eva Mazzeo Jane Lau
Break
15.00-15.30 Dominika Remzova Linshan Jiang
15.30-16.00 Lars Johansen Henoch Gabriel Mandelbaum
16.00-16.30 Huan-Cheng (Thomas) Liu Yahia Zhengtang Ma 

Advisory Panel

Professor Emma Teng
Emma Teng Profile 2020

Emma J. Teng is the T.T. and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Asian Civilizations at MIT. She teaches courses in Chinese culture, Chinese migration history, Asian American history, East Asian culture, and women’s and gender studies. Professor Teng earned her Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, where she specialized in Chinese studies and Asian American studies.

Dr. Lin Pei-Yin
Lin Pei-yin Profile

Dr Lin Pei-yin is Associate Professor in the School of Chinese, University of Hong Kong. Prior to teaching in Hong Kong, she was Lecturer in the Department of East Asian Studies, Cambridge, an assistant professor in the department of Chinese Studies of the National University of Singapore, and a part-time teacher and post-doctorate research fellow in modern Chinese literature at SOAS, University of London.

Dr. Xiaoning Lu
Xiaoning Lu

Xiaoning Lu is Lecturer in Modern Chinese Culture and Language at SOAS, University of London, where she teaches modern Chinese literature and cinema. She is also affiliated with the Centre for Creative Industries, Media and Screen Studies and the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies. Xiaoning received academic training in Chinese language and literature at Nanjing University and Fudan University in China and earned her PhD degree in Comparative Literature at Stony Brook University, USA.

Dr. Isabelle Cheng
Isabelle Cheng

Isabelle Cheng is Senior Lecturer in East Asian and International Development Studies at the University of Portsmouth. Taking Taiwan as a case study, her research focuses on migration in East Asia and the Cold War in Taiwan. For the former, her research focuses on multiculturalism, statelessness, sovereignty, political participation and, lately, migrant workers’ pregnancy. For the latter, she concentrates on the politicisation of death and economic mobilisation for the war of retaking China, as well as the use of women broadcasters for conducting psychological warfare. She is a Research Associate of the Centre for Taiwan Studies of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She serves as the Secretary-General of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (2018-2020).

Dr Ming-Yeh Rawnsley
Ming-Yeh Rawnsley

Ming-Yeh Rawnsley received her BA degree from National Taiwan University and worked as a research assistant, journalist and television screenwriter before going to the UK to pursue postgraduate studies. Dr Rawnsley received her PhD (on the topic “Public Service Television in Taiwan”) from the Institute of Communications Studies (ICS), University of Leeds in 1998. Since then, Dr Rawnsley worked as a researcher at the University of Nottingham (1999–2005) and became Head of Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC, 2005–2007). Upon returning to the UK from China, Dr Rawnsley left the University of Nottingham and taught East Asian film industries at the ICS, University of Leeds (2007–2013).  Dr Rawnsley is Research Associate at the Centre of Taiwan Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London (2013-present); Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham (2014-present); Research Fellow, European Research Centre on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT), Tubingen University (2015-present); and Research Associate, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

Student Presentation Abstracts

AM Social Science Panel

Christine SHAO-FANG Kao (National Taiwan University Taipei, Taiwan)
“Fighting the Good Fight against COVID-19: The Gradual Emergence of the Taiwanese Identity”

Various news reports, columns, and research papers have tried to point out why Taiwan’s response to combat COVID-19 become such a model for the world to learn from. Though dissent regarding the invasion of privacy through electronic tracking records and lack of sufficient legal authorization had been raised, health policies combined with the ban of exporting masks are highly praised among epidemiologists. However, the historical and political contextual background of the cross-strait relationships between Taiwan and China hasn’t been well discussed in the Global North.

I argue that despite the top-down approaches from the government brought up already, Taiwan’s success was mainly due to the general publics’ willingness to cooperate with officials, the change of perception on China shown in recent elections and polls, and the traumatic memory during the 2003 SARS outbreak. As Taiwan is a democratic state, officials do lean toward voters to secure their legitimacy to serve. In other words, the opinions and actions of the general public are, in fact, the true heroes fighting against the virus behind the scenes, by paying intensive attention to personal hygiene and supporting the policies implemented at the same time.

Tabea Muehlbach (Freiburg University)
“Recent Policies of Transitional Justice in Taiwan”

Ever since Taiwan's democratic transition, the question of how to come to terms with its authoritarian past has preoccupied both non-governmental and political groups. The DPP's 2016 election victory allowed for the establishment of comprehensive legislation and institutions that deal with party assets (Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee), events such as the 228 Incident and the martial law era/white terror (Transitional Justice Commission), and indigenous issues (Presidential Office Indigenous Historical Justice and Transitional Justice Committee). In this presentation, I will give a brief overview of recent events and discuss some issues related to the current status of my PhD research on transitional justice policies and narratives of the past.

Ratih Kabinawa (University of Western Australia)
“Taiwan’s Non-State Diplomacy in Southeast Asia: Evolutions, Challenges, and Opportunities”

Taiwan’s limited space for formal diplomatic manoeuvre in the Southeast Asian region makes non-state actors critical to state diplomacy. Non-state actors are likewise essential foreign policy tools for any state in Southeast Asia which intends to develop or maintain substantive relations with Taiwan short of official diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China (ROC) Taiwan. This paper aims to analyse Taiwan’s long-standing support for non- state diplomacy in Southeast Asia from the beginning of resettlement in Formusa to the current development of the New Southbound Policy. With the changing strategic environment and the expansion of informal diplomacy worldwide, how has Taiwan cultivated and managed the challenges and opportunities that come from its non-state diplomacy in Southeast Asia? This paper draws on the extensive literature on non-state actor diplomacy in the study of foreign policy. The case of Taiwan casts new light on the study of diplomacy and foreign policy that has been previously dominated by the state- centric approach. A focus on Taiwan’s Southeast Asia foreign policy demands that non-state actor diplomacy be recognised as playing a much more important role than has been acknowledged in the literature.

Keyword: non-state diplomacy, state diplomacy, Taiwan, foreign policy, Southeast Asia

So Hyun Kim (金韶顯) (National Chengchi University, International Master’s program in Asia-Pacific Studies (IMAS))
“Relationship between Democratization and Nationalism: Focusing on the case of Taiwan and South Korea”


The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the relationship between democratization and nationalism by examining the democratization case of Taiwan and South Korea. Two countries share a similar historical path that is being colonized by Japan, ruled by an authoritarian regime, and achieving remarkable economic growth which has given the title ‘Asian tigers'. The most significant common political trajectory is becoming a liberal democratic nation after division with China and North Korea, respectively. During the political evolution, from an authoritarian regime to democracy, Taiwan and South Korea have experienced the changes in their national identity. The national identity strongly affected the people’s perception toward the reunification issue in Cross-Strait and Inter- Korea relations. Thus, it brings two questions “What is the impact of democratization on Taiwanese and South Koreans national identity?” and “How national identity is represented through perception toward the reunification issue?”. These two questions will be addressed throughout the presentation.

The presentation is divided into four sections, the first section focuses on Taiwan and South Korea under the authoritarian regime and national identity. The following section discusses changes in national identity during the democratization and how the consolidation of democracy affected national identity. The third section provides the prospect of national identity development. Lastly, based on what has discussed in all three sections the question of “What is the relationship of democratization and nationalism?” will be addressed in the conclusion.

AM Humanities Panel

Zrinka Tomasic (University of Zagreb, University of Ljubljana, Ca'Foscari)
“Taiwan indigenous clothing and Taiwan identity”

Taiwan indigenous population`s clothing and customs have been neglected for a long time. For a self-identification the most important is to distinguish a person/group from others. The indigenous Taiwanese clothing and customs are dying in the memories of its people. That is why it should have been made recorded clothing and customs of indigenous Taiwanese This work will give an overview on Taiwanese indigenous people traditional clothing and how it is being revived in recent times. Also, shall give a brief insight into History of Taiwan indigenous people clothing, from Japan invasion when their clothing started slowly to be replaced with other types of clothing: through KMT and early Republic of China, when their clothes and customs were neglected, prosecuted and even criminal; to nearer history, when it is trying to revive Taiwan indigenous customs and clothing in the search for national identity - thus transforming Taiwan Indigenous from unwanted savages to the rescuers of the nation.

Christine Hristova (School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester)
“Neither Here Nor There?: Examining the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum as a Third Space”

This research focuses on the Southern Branch of the National Palace Museum in Taiwan. Opened in 2015, the Southern Branch brands itself as an “Asian Art and Culture” museum with a mission to achieve regional cultural equity in Taiwan. As a branch of an institution well-known for its collection of Chinese-originated artifacts as well as its Sinocentric institutional identity, it is interesting to examine the Southern Branch against Bhabha and other’s theory of the Third Space. Based on this theoretical framework, this research asks: is the Southern Branch a Third Space? If so, how does it operate as such? I will explore these questions from three main aspects:

1) Locality: How the Southern Branch interacts with its environment which enables it to connect with the local community. “Local embeddedness” will be examined to see if/how the Southern Branch grows within its location and promotes a different historical perspective (Pan-Asian) than its main site (Sinocentric.) Within the framework of the Third Space, the Southern Branch and its relationship with its locality are important elements of a new dynamic which challenges the existing hegemony.

2) Museums with Multiple Sites: Southern Branch serves as an interesting example to explore the phenomenon of museums with multiple sites. How does a newly established branch within a long established museum network navigate the power dynamic and assert its uniqueness? Existing modules such as the Guggenheim (Bilbao, Abu Dhabi) and the Louvre (Lens, Abu Dhabi) will be referenced to establish a framework, in order to examine how the Southern Branch represents itself as a branch within the National Palace Museum network, and how the institutional identity is negotiated across different locations and mission statements. Within this dynamic, the Southern Branch is examined as a Third Space in which conversations of new (institutional/regional) identities occur.

3) Pan-Asianism: The Southern Branch looks to pan-Asianism to differentiate itself from the main site. By doing so, the Southern Branch repositions Taiwan not as a peripheral island on the edge of the Chinese cultural circle, but as an Asian island in the Pacific Ocean. How does a museum, with a collection it inherits from its Sino-centric counterpart, as well as a brand which is closely connected to the émigré KMT regime, promote itself effectively as an Asian art and culture museum? This research explores this disruption of hegemony and also examines the Third Space dynamic: the Pan-Asianism (the hybridity, and in this case represented by the Third Space-the Southern Branch) is resulted from both Taiwanese (the locality) and Chinese (the institution) origins.

Keywords: Locality, Museums with Multiple Sites, Taiwanese Identity, Third Space

Kuan-Wei Wu (PhD Student of East Asian Studies, Ruhr-University Bochum)
“Si̍t-chûn Movement, a Taiwanese Philosophy”


This paper is an arduous attempt to revisit a ‘Formosan ideology’, whereas an intellectualism engrounded and engendered self (sui genersis) at the dawn of the twentieth century. Throughout the unearthed materials, documents, and intellectual works, this paper would 1.) sketchily illustrate an intellectual history of Si̍t-chûn Movement. Embarked in the year 1916, in which a Presbyterian and Mandarin scholar Lin Mosei (林 茂生, 1887-1947) issued a comparative study on ‘Wang Yang-ming’s Liangzhi’ (王陽明の良知說), Sit-chun Movement was a formulation of ‘Formosan’ being in face of Japanese colonial domination and other hegemonic acculturation in the 1920/30s; intellectuals eg. Hung Yao-hsun (洪 耀勳, 1903-1986), Joshua Wen-kwei Liao (廖 文奎, 1905-1952), Zeng Tianzong(曾 天從, 1910-2007), Chin-sui Hwang (黃 金穗, 1915-1967), Shenqie Zhang(張 深切, 1904-1965), Chen Shao-hsing (陳 紹馨, 1906-1966), Isshū Yō(楊 杏庭, 1909-1987) had their ‘Sturm und Drang’ contra different intellectual systems incl. the Kyoto School, American Pragmatism, and Neo-Confucianism. 2.) dialectically illuminated an intellectual constellation of Sit-chun Movement. An intellectual inquiry of a Formosan being from ‘Que est Formosa’ to ‘Quo Vadis Formosa’, haunted with the nationalism problematics of ‘Kulturnation’ and ‘Staatsnation’. For instance, Hung Yao-hsun who inherited from the Kyoto School and reformulated the community through temporality and spatially whereas Joshua Wen-kwei Liao as a Meadean pragmatist disciple laid with a civil society groundwork to consolidate his Formosan fellows. In short, Si̍t-chûn Movement may be rendered as a Taiwanese Philosophy which sui genesis engrounded and engenderd as an intellectual and civil movement under the colonial suppression and upheaval aggression responding with the East-Asian geopolitical scenarios.

Keywords: Si̍t-chûn Movement, Taiwanese Philosophy, Taiwanese intellectual
History.


PM Social Science Panel

Chuyao Zeng (SOAS)

"The Legislative Process of the Anti-Infiltration Act and the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement in Comparative Perspectives: Recurrence of Authoritarianism in Contemporary Taiwan?"

The Anti-Infiltration Act in Taiwan was passed by the Legislative Yuan on 31 December 2019 and was designed by the DPP government under Tsai Ing-wen to prevent the mainland China government, namely the ‘external hostile forces’, from exerting political influences on Taiwan’s democracy. Tsai government’s assertive and rushed decision of enacting the Act has attracted considerable attention across the Strait. The extraordinarily quick passage of the Act has made many concerning a possible recurrence of authoritarianism in Taiwan under Tsai. Dissidents who opposed the Act, strongly criticized its hasty legislative process, blasted that the passage of the Act had already violated procedural justice. The ruling DPP’s parliamentary majority allowed the Act to be passed in an irregularly short period of time (34 days), where the regular legislative procedure was skipped, and opposition views were largely ignored and dismissed. [1] Following Tsai’s specific instruction of enacting the Act before the 2020 Presidential election, the Act was successfully passed through with neither committee reviews nor a public comment period.

Interestingly, while the former President Ma Ying-jeou strongly condemned the Anti-Infiltration Act as the “malicious law” that harms Taiwan’s democratic rule of law and ‘represents a return to martial law era’ [2], similar critics against KMT government under Ma himself were also commonly heard during his terms of presidency. In fact, one key reason that led to the outburst of the Sunflower Movement in 2014, was out of the strong public opposition against Ma government’s unilateral and hasty move of pushing through the controversial Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) without sufficient open public discussion and a strict adherence to the democratic legal procedure [3]. Nevertheless, although DPP politicians openly expressed their support to the social movement in 2014, advocated the establishment of the new Cross-Strait Agreements Supervision Act (CSASA) for better monitoring and scrutinizing cross-strait associated agreements, the DPP incumbent government in fact has put the official enactment of the CSASA on hold for years and it has still not yet been passed. The procrastination in passing the CSASA is in stark contrast to the hasty enactment of the Anti-Infiltration Act. The DPP government’s inconsistent attitude in dealing with different cross-strait related bills is eye-catching indeed.

Referring to Henderson (1991) and Coppa (2006), it is believed that no matter how laudable or deplorable the ruling authority’s aims and achievements are, if formal governmental procedures were discarded and extralegal means were employed by the ruling authority to achieve their own ends, it could hint at a dangerous possibility of the recurrence of authoritarianism in a democracy (Henderson 1991; Coppa 2006; Fatovic 2019). Although both the passage of the Anti-Infiltration Act in 2019 under Tsai and Ma government’s coercive attempt to pass the CSSTA in 2014 have engendered considerable controversy, particularly over the issue of procedural justice as well as two leaders’ political legitimacy. As a matter of fact, according to Fell (2019), politicians from both blue and green camps all accuse each other for threatening Taiwan’s democracy, and are presenting a rather divergent interpretation on what might have constituted the ‘threat’ and where the threat might have originated from.

Concerning two parties’ radical differences in conceptualizing and interpreting the issue of ‘recurrence of authoritarianism in Taiwan’, specifically how politicians from two camps differ in framing their rhetoric and conceptualizing ‘the recurrence of authoritarianism’ in Taiwan is worthy of detailed examination and thus will be further investigated and analyzed. In order to critically evaluate the validity of the KMT and the DPP’s divergent interpretation on the issue of ‘the recurrence of authoritarianism’ in Taiwan, the legislative process of the Anti-Infiltration Act under Tsai and the Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) under Ma, as well as the protracted ongoing legislative process of the Cross-Strait Agreements Supervision Act (CSASA), will be looked into in detail.

Chung Man Leung (SOAS)
“Multi-tracks diplomacy in contested nations – A comparative study of Taiwan and Hong Kong”

Formal diplomatic negotiation between states, normally regarded as track-one diplomacy, has been limited in some nations due to different internal and external political factors. It thus allows rooms of involvement for non-state actors and the practice of track-two and multi-tracks diplomacy, which is crucial in the case of Taiwan and Hong Kong on their ways to consolidate or seek for democracy. By studying the two cases, we can understand the importance of these alternative forms of diplomacy, why they are necessary, and how they could work as contribution forces to achieve certain democratic goals.

Eva Mazzeo (SOAS)
“The 'Hong Kong Factor': Assessing the Impact of Hong Kong Protests in Shaping Taiwan's Socio-Political Environment”

Since the outbreak of the Sunflower Movement and the Umbrella Movement, there has been an increasing connection between social protests in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The common element linking the movements is the “China factor”, which is a consequence of the People Republic of China’s (PRC) agenda to consolidate or take control in these two areas. One of the arguments of this dissertation will be that, due to the continuing threat coming from the PRC of incorporating the two actors in its authoritarian system, this could result in a sense of solidarity and shared destiny vis-à-vis the Mainland. In this context, the demonstrations starting in June 2019 in Hong Kong against the extradition bill have the potential to rebound in Taipei’s political and social environment as well. The purpose of this research is analysing the debate on the island and to assess the impact that these protests are having on Taiwanese people’s opinions. Therefore, after studying the existing literature on the Taiwan-Hong Kong nexus, the focus of this dissertation will be threefold. First, I will explore the debate at an élite level, trying to see how the narrative among Taiwanese politicians has changed in the traditional media and on social media after the beginning of the protests, considering the fact that political discourse in this case was also particularly crucial in the context of the 2020 Taiwan’s presidential elections. Second, my intention is to show the debate from a bottom-up perspective, especially among university students, who are the leading actors in social movements. In order to do that, I will analyse Taiwanese students’ rhetoric on social media and how it changed after the beginning of the protests in the former British colony. Finally, I would like to explore the debate from the perspective of pro-China media in Taiwan and the media in China, to see how the “Hong Kong factor” has affected the Taiwan-China relation. The expected result is that, in all these cases, the protests in Hong Kong have deeply affected Taiwanese people’s perception of China and cross-Strait relations.

Dominika Remzova (SOAS)
“Blame or Reconciliation?: Contextualising transitional justice measures in post-transition Slovakia (1994-1998) and Taiwan (1992-1996)”

Despite the wider scholarly consensus on the importance of transitional justice for democratic consolidation of transitioning regimes, there has been a limited scholarly attention to transitional justice measures in both Slovakia and Taiwan. Slovakia and Taiwan share many similarities when it comes to the nature of the countries’ authoritarian regimes and democratic transitions, namely the duration of the authoritarian period, democratisation during the Third Wave and post-transition continuation of the authoritarian parties’ hold on power (even if redressed in the case of Slovakia). The countries’ first democratically elected parliaments, however, adopted opposing measures when it came to addressing the human rights abuses of the former regimes, with Slovakia pursuing retributive transitional justice measures (targeting perpetrators by condemning the atrocities of the former regime, implementing a lustration law and accessing secret police files), and Taiwan restorative transitional justice measures centred on the monetary reparations and honour restorations for the victims. This paper provides a comprehensive approach to explaining such divergence, comparing the domestic, regional and international dynamics shaping the design of the countries’ different transitional justice measures. Moving beyond the domestic factors of transition type, elite configuration, ethnic politics (in the case of Taiwan) and the preceding regime’s legitimacy, civil society demands for the new regime’s redress of past human rights abuses are considered. The regional dynamic focuses predominantly on the geopolitical context, especially Taiwan’s relations with China and the US and Slovakia’s relations with the Czech Republic and Russia. The international dynamic became of primary significance following the ruling party change, when both countries tried to improve their democratic image in their bids for memberships in various regional and international organisations, namely the EU in the case of Slovakia and the UN in the case of Taiwan. In the case of Taiwan, it was not until the legislative majority of the DPP in 2016 that the fuller implementation of transitional justice emerged, broadening the scope (property restitutions and investigations of the KMT party assets) and time limits (incorporating atrocities conducted by the Japanese and Qing colonial regimes, thus pursuing historical justice for indigenous peoples) of these measures. This shift from purely restorative measures under the KMT to truth-seeking and pursuance of accountability under the DPP can be again explained by the aforementioned contextual factors, as can be the lack of change in Slovakia.

Lars Johansen (SOAS)
“The Procedural and Substantive Impacts of LGBTQ+ Social Movements Under Progressive and Conservative Administrations in Taiwan and South Korea”

My research will examine the procedural and substantive impacts of LGBTQ+ social movements under progressive and conservative governments in Northeast Asia, focusing on the case studies of South Korea and Taiwan in the post-authoritarian era. In other words, it will examine the responsiveness of progressive and conservative governments in the two countries to calls for LGBTQ+ friendly policies by the Korean and Taiwanese queer movements. My study will focus on the impact of LGBTQ+ social movements under the progressive Chen administration (2000-2008) and the conservative Ma administration (2008-2016) in Taiwan, and the progressive Kim and Roh administrations (1998-2003; 2003-2008) and the conservative Lee and Park administrations (2008-2013; 2013-2017) in South Korea as they provide similar timeframes of progressive and conservative rule.

Huan-Cheng (Thomas) Liu 劉奐呈 (William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA) “Speaking a Universal Language: Taiwan and the UN Sustainable Development Goals

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the phrase “Taiwan can Help, Taiwan is Helping” is now one that is familiar not only within Taiwan but also in the Taiwanese diaspora and greater international community. Ever since leaving the UN in 1971, ROC Taiwan has continuously been struggling to gain international recognition and participate in the global space in a meaningful and consistent manner. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Global Goals, is not only an agenda for the 193 UN member states but is intended to apply to all actors in the international community. Taiwan, while not a UN member, can, and has already been contributing to the SDGs, both locally and internationally. For example, Taiwan is one of the global leaders in the SDGs localization movement, with both Taipei City and New Taipei City, having published its Voluntary Local Review to access its progress towards realizing the SDGs. The presentation will begin with Taiwan’s efforts towards sustainable development before the SDGs era, highlight how the national and local governments, in addition to civil society and private sectors, have been responding to the SDGs. The presentation will also provide suggestions on how Taiwan can leverage its SDGs progress towards improving its status within the international community, ultimately demonstrating that “Taiwan can Help, Taiwan is Helping.”

PM Humanities Panel

Chen Yu-Chen (University of Toronto)
“Who Is the Enemy? Taiwan’s Shifting War Metaphors in the SARS and COVID-19 Epidemics”

Viewing epidemic prevention as war (防疫視同作戰) is a form of political rhetoric that Taiwanese authorities have employed to frame policy-making and measures for curbing epidemics. It first emerged during SARS epidemic of 2003. Since then, the war metaphor has been repeatedly employed in policy promotion by Taiwanese government branches whenever an epidemic occurs, and COVID-19 is no exception. Taiwan unfortunately was defeated in its “battle” against SARS, and suffered the world’s third-worst outbreak. In contrast, Taiwan has emerged as one of the most successful countries in curbing the epidemic. If, as various literature shows, the war metaphors frequently deployed by East Asian governments are used as justification for prevention measures and serve as an effective propaganda tool for mobilizing the public to “fight” against the coronavirus alongside the government (Baehr, 2006; Ching& Duann, 2007; Ibrahim, 2007), why did the very same war metaphors work in the COVID-19 epidemic but fail against SARS? This research examines war metaphors used by the Taiwanese authorities, media, and general public during the SARS and COVID-19 epidemics, with the goal of determining why the very same metaphors seemed to produce widely divergent outcomes in these two different cases. By examining the language employed by official sources, social media, and mainstream media outlets, I argue that subtle shifts in how war metaphors were perceived — mainly, the reframing of “the enemy” from the virus itself to the threat posed by China — had a profound effect in terms of generating increased support for preventative measures promoted by the Taiwanese health authorities.

Jane Lau (SOAS)
“Relooking Chiang Ching-kuo: the role of Chiang’s personal beliefs in political liberalisation of Taiwan”

This study relooks the personal role of Chiang Ching-kuo in the political liberalisation of Taiwan. There has already been a rigorous debate on the significance of Chiang’s role in kick-starting political reform in Taiwan. Scholars who give the most credit to Chiang point to decisive moments when Chiang put Taiwan on the course of political reform; others contest that Chiang was forced into these same decisions by external actors and events. So far, the debate has been based largely on statements and actions, which are only an indirect proxy for intentions. This leaves Chiang’s motivations largely unexplained and open to interpretation. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of how Chiang’s personal beliefs and vision for Taiwan shaped the political liberalisation process. It will examine material on Chiang’s life experiences and personal thoughts that was published since the late 2000s but which has not worked its way into the debate as yet. Beyond the field of Taiwan politics, this study also hopes to contribute to a better understanding of how the personal beliefs and values of a leader are important to political outcomes in their country.

Linshan Jiang (UCSB)
“Wanderers’ Past and Future Nostalgia: Hualing Nieh Engel’s First and Last Novels”

Hualing Nieh Engel is one of the major writers I am researching into for my dissertation project entitled “Women Writing War Memory: Hayashi Fumiko, Hualing Nieh Engel, and Zhang Ling.” In this presentation, I will focus on the first and last novels written by Nieh, i.e. The Lost Golden Bell (失去的金鈴子, 1961/1964/1969/1980/1987) and Far Away, A River (千山外,水長流, 1984/1985/1996) and how these two novels present the figure of wanderer in the tumultuous China, including the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War, and the Cultural Revolution. In these two novels, both the female protagonists are in the journey of self-exploration and searching for the reconciliation with themselves and with people around them. While The Lost Golden Bell is seen as an autobiographical novel about Nieh’s experience during the Second Sino-Japanese War, Far Away, A River also reflects her experience and thoughts about “the lost generation” in China and the United States after she emigrated to Iowa in 1964. Borrowing the American psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton’s notion of “proteanism,” I would like to explore the nostalgic and redemptive journey of the female protagonists while experiencing the traumatic social upheavals within the two novels.

Jessica Siu-yin Yeung (SOAS)
“Intermedial Translation as Circulation: Chu Tien-wen, Taiwan New Cinema, and Taiwan Literature”

We generally believe that literature first circulates nationally and then scales up through translation and reception at an international level. In contrast, I argue that Taiwan literature was first sacralized internationally through intermedial translation during the New Cinema period (1982-90) and then subsequently recognized nationally. These intermedial translations included not only adaptations of literature for film, but also collaborations between authors who acted as screenwriters and filmmakers. The films resulting from these collaborations repositioned Taiwan as a multilingual, multicultural and democratic nation. The shifting of media facilitated the circulation of these new narratives. Filmmakers could circumvent censorship at home and reach international audiences at Western film festivals. The international success ensured the wide circulation of these narratives in Taiwan.

Henoch Gabriel Mandelbaum (University of São Paulo)
"Territorializations, Transformations and Taiwanese Community Life in Liberdade Neighborhood’s “Oriental Quarter” in the City of São Paulo, Brazil”

Around 80,000 immigrants and descendants of Taiwanese background live in Brazil, and most of them are concentrated in the city of São Paulo. This research focuses on the Taiwanese immigrants and their territorializations in Liberdade neighborhood’s “Oriental Quarter,” in São Paulo. The analysis prioritizes the transformations of the urban space undertaken by the immigrants throughout their history; the community life that has flourished in this space; and the formation of national and transnational territorial networks. As for a method, I carry out an analysis of secondary sources, which is based on the survey of books and academic articles dealing with the history of Liberdade’s “Oriental Quarter” and the Taiwanese presence in São Paulo. I also rely on the theoretical contributions on the migration and territorialization processes, which range from the “deterritorialization” of the allochthonous community until its “reterritorialization” in the new environment. In the final considerations, I outline the transformations in the urban landscape and the current relations of the neighborhood.

Keywords: Taiwanese migration; City of São Paulo; Territorialization.

Yahia Zhengtang Ma (The University of Melbourne)
“Queering the Translation of Same-Sex Desire in Qiu Miaojin’s Last Words from Montmartre”

The Taiwanese pioneering writer Qiu Miaojin’s 1996 genre-pushing same-sex romance Last Words from Montmartre (Mengmate yishu) has been examined from the perspectives of queer studies and literary studies. However, the book has yet to be analysed from the perspective of queer translation studies. To examine the representations of same-sex desire, attention needs to be paid to the translation of queerness and the queering of translation. Qiu’s attempt to push the boundaries of genre, culture, and language created a pluralism of queerness in identity, gender and sexuality, which opens up possibilities for a queer translation. This thesis frames Ari Larissa Heinrich’s English translation of Last Words from Montmartre as a queertranslation. The analysis of the English translation begins with Qiu’s experimental use of the Chinese noun yuwang [desire] as a verb in the source text and its translation as ‘desire’ in the target text. Heinrich’s English translation of Qiu’s inventive language demonstrated the translator’s deep understanding of the subject matters such as identity, sexuality and the body. Taking a close reading of the translation, the multiplicity of same-sex desire, either affectional, carnal or spiritual, is unfolded and articulated layer by layer in the translation. After problematising the significance of the role of desire in the source text I analyse the translation of the narrator’s same-sex desire for the major characters Xu, Laurence and the professor in the target text. Through linguistic and cultural analyses of the translation of same-sex desire, I conclude two ways of queering translation, considering translation as a queer practice and considering translation as a feminist activity. Ultimately, the thesis aims to call translators and translation academics’ attention to the problematisation of queerness in translation as a way of rethinking translation for translation studies.


Organiser: SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: ml156@soas.ac.uk