Taiwan Indigenous Studies
In the scholarship on contemporary Taiwan studies, some areas such as national identity, cross-Strait relations and democratisation have received extensive academic interest. However, one area that we feel needs greater academic attention concerns the study of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. Though there has been high quality research on this subject, much of the literature has been historical, and issues related to modern Taiwan have been less well covered. For this reason, SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies is currently conducting a research project funded by the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, with the aim of establishing a Taiwan indigenous teaching programme and producing an English language textbook that can inform wider audiences about Taiwan’s indigenous peoples.
♦ Contemporary Taiwan Indigenous Studies Series
A series of lectures on Taiwan's indigenous peoples will be held in 2018 and 2019. Renowned scholars from all over the world as well as brilliant research students working in this field will be invited to take part in this project and give a talk on their recent research at SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies. These lectures will engage with variety of topics related to Taiwan's indigenous peoples. All these events are free to attend and open to members of the public without prior registration. For any further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
♦ Handbook on Taiwan's Indigenous Peoples
A number of topics would be covered in this project.
- The state of indigenous academic studies in Taiwan
- Political representation and voting behaviour of indigenous peoples
- Indigenous media in Taiwan
- Migration history of indigenous peoples
- Indigenous peoples and music/arts
- Labour issues and indigenous peoples
- Education issues related to indigenous peoples
- Indigenous rights social movements
- Indigenous peoples in Taiwan’s international relations
- Legal and constitutional issues related to Taiwan’s indigenous peoples
- Social problems facing Taiwan’s indigenous peoples
- Religion practices among Taiwan’s indigenous peoples
- Local politics in indigenous areas
- Modern literature and film
- National, ethnic and local identities among indigenous peoples
- The China factor
- The internet and social media
- Environmental issues concerning indigenous peoples
♦ The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines
The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines was founded in 1994 as a specialist museum for the display of artefacts pertaining to the Taiwan indigenous peoples. Originally established on the basis of donations by its founder and Chairman, Safe C.F. Lin, the Museum has over the years developed into an organisation that seeks to celebrate, through research and preservation, the uniqueness of the Taiwan indigenous cultures.
In 2010, Dr Niki Alsford, at the Centre of Taiwan Studies, began researching, on behalf of the Museum, the archival collections of the Presbyterian Church of England (PCE), housed in the vaults of the School of Oriental and African Studies’ library. This collection is the largest in the UK and contains some of the earliest written histories of the Taiwan indigenous peoples in the English language. Aside from the written documentary and visual evidence of culture, pre-Japanese ethnography, language, and architecture of the people, it also contains some of the earliest and rarest photographic records of the Presbyterian Mission and its activities in Taiwan from the 1860s through to the early 1940s.
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