NATSA 2018: North American Taiwan Studies Association 2018 Annual Conference

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May 24-26, 2018

Abstract submission Deadline: December 15, 2017

Scholarship has approached Taiwan through comparison under various contexts. The Cold War structure inspired the study of Taiwan either as exceptions to global norms or as proxies to China Studies. The social and cultural liberalization brought by democratization further prompted scholarship to search for Taiwan’s subjectivity, comparing and contrasting with other political entities that also had colonization experiences. Amid the pressure of globalization, disciplines still share the comparative common ground but diverge on their goals of studying Taiwan. Some scholars treat Taiwan Studies as case studies and seek to test the universality of models and theories developed elsewhere. Other scholars see Taiwan Studies as battlegrounds for epistemological anti-imperialism, attempting to challenge the centrality of Euro-American discourses by exporting locally-produced theories to “creolize” processes of knowledge production in Western academia. Despite the divergent goals, through the lens of comparison, Taiwan Studies claims a nexus of intellectual inquiries that both commands and benefits from scholarship produced elsewhere, especially beyond the purview of Western academia.

The 24th Annual Conference of the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA) seeks to build upon, engage in, and further promote the idea of “Taiwan in Comparison.” With a comparative angle, the significance of studying Taiwan comes less from a pure gaze at Taiwan, but more from relaying Taiwan to multiple “elsewheres.” The comparative perspective provides an opportunity for scholars to reconceptualize Taiwan and redefine the relevance of Taiwan (to whom and to what) in our time, and it opens up a chance to re-regionalize or re-territorialize Taiwan in knowledge production. Through comparison, the 24th conference also aims to deepen our understanding of what aspects of Taiwan provides valuable insight in different disciplines and amid what theoretical debates Taiwan is an indispensable case. The ultimate goal of introducing comparative perspective queries why, how, and on what ground Taiwan studies is essential for our understanding of the world.

Our emphasis on “Taiwan in Comparison” defines “comparison” generously. Comparison can be across time and space, languages and ideas, events and incidents, species and groups, etc. The object of comparison can be either visible or unseen, material or conceptual. We also encourage lateral associations amid Taiwan and other Southeast Asian countries and/or Sinophone societies. These lateral comparisons help transcend the silos of each national genre or tradition. We aim at critical reflections on the conceptual presuppositions, historical premises, and theoretical (even epistemological) grounds to which Taiwan as a case can meaningfully contribute. We also aspire to situate Taiwan on the map of world knowledge with the potential to allow Taiwan studies to travel beyond a dialogic relation between the island and an Western scholarship.

Citer ce billet
Administrateur (2017, 9 novembre). NATSA 2018: North American Taiwan Studies Association 2018 Annual Conference. Études Taïwanaises. Consulté le 18 avril 2024, à l’adresse

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