New book: Taiwan Since Martial Law

Taiwan Since Martial Law book cover

A few days ago I received a long awaited package from Taiwan in the mail. It contained copies of a new book, Taiwan Since Martial Law: Society, Culture, Politics, Economy.

I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of the book because it contains a chapter I wrote titled, “Nation vs. Tradition: Indigenous Rights and Smangus.” The chapter is based on the research I did for my thesis in the Masters of Taiwan Studies program at National Chengchi University (NCCU).

While it is great to finally hold the book in my hands it is important to acknowledge the great amount of work that went into its production. Thanks must go to David Blundell for his tireless work as the editor. Many others were also involved in the project. The quality of the final product shines through in the beautiful artwork and design on the cover. Continue reading

Call for papers – 2010 Taiwan Studies Postgraduate Symposium

The Asia Institute, the Taiwan Research Reading Group, and the Chinese Studies Research Group of the University of Melbourne cordially invite all postgraduate (PhD, Masters and Honours) scholars working in the field of Taiwan Studies to present their work at a symposium to be held in Melbourne on the 7-8 December 2010. The theme of the symposium is “Taiwan Studies: the State of the Field”. The deadline for submitting abstracts is 14 June 2010.

The symposium will be held at The University of Melbourne, Australia, in conjunction with an international conference on Taiwan Studies — focused on the theme of space and culture — on 9-10 December 2010.

More details here.

Completed my Master’s, now in Taichung

I recently completed my Master’s thesis, about two and half years after I began studying for a Master’s degree in Taiwan Studies at NCCU (國立政治大學). Although I still have a few administrative matters to complete before I can get my degree certificate. My thesis is titled “Indigenous Rights in Taiwan and the Smangus Case”. It examines the Smangus Beech Tree Incident which I have written about in a number of articles on this blog.

I moved to Taichung this week. After more than five years living in Taipei I look forward to experiencing life in another part of Taiwan. I am now a research assistant in the Research Centre for Austronesian Peoples at Providence University (靜宜大學). It is a good chance to continue doing research work in the same field as my thesis.

Austronesian Taiwan 2.0

austronesian-taiwan-coverAustronesian Taiwan: Linguistics, History, Ethnology, Prehistory was first published in 2000 and has been out of print for past few years. A new edition of the book was published to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Shung Ye Museum and the exhibition of artifacts from Japan’s National Museum of Ethnology.

The new edition was edited by Dr David Blundell, my thesis advisor at NCCU, with assistance from Chris Anderson and the people at SMC Books. I also played a small role in the editing process.

Austronesian Taiwan is a wonderful collection of papers on the Austronesian speaking peoples of Formosa. It is a great reference for anyone who would like to learn more about the rich culture and history of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. The book gives many insights into the value of Austronesian languages and their associated cultures as  living heritage and as a cultural resource for Taiwan and the world. Continue reading

End of the last semester at NCCU

The end of this semester marked my completion of the coursework requirements in the Master’s of Taiwan Studies program at NCCU (國立政治大學). The classes I took this semester were Political Development of Taiwan and International Relations of Taiwan. They were both great classes — Taiwan presents a vast amount of rich subject matter on these topics.

In International Relations I gave a presentation on “Taiwan and the Pacific Island Nations”. This topic is very worthy of further research, particularly looking at Taiwan’s relations with the Solomon Islands and the effects of China’s growing influence in the region.

On Monday I presented my thesis proposal to my thesis committee. The thesis looks at the current situation of indigenous rights in Taiwan based on a case study of the Smangus Beech Tree Incident. The proposal was passed and now I need to work hard on writing my thesis over the summer.

Although the semester is over next week there is a conference of the Society for East Asian Anthropology of the American Anthropological Association at Academia Sinica. A group of students from the Taiwan Studies program are presenting posters with the theme of “Latitude 121° East: Locality in Our Time”. My poster is titled “Indigenous Rights in Taiwan and the Smangus Case”.

Shung Ye Museum marks 15th anniversary

2009-06-09_shung-ye-museum_2120

The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines (順益台灣原住民博物館) celebrated its 15th anniversary yesterday. The day was marked by the opening of a special exhibition from Japan.  The exhibition contains artifacts from the National Museum of Ethnology in Japan. This marks the first time artifacts from the museum have ever been returned to their country of origin for an exhibition.

In the afternoon speeches were given by Eric Yu (游浩乙), Director of the Shung Ye Museum, Lin Chiang-I (林江義), Deputy Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Director of the Japanese Museum of Ethnology. Indigenous students from Xizhi Primary School also performed a short play. Continue reading