ERCCT Taiwan Colloquium Winter 2020/2021

Mondays 12.30 – 13.45 p.m. (CET) online

The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world with unforeseeable speed and dimension since the beginning of 2020. Amid the pandemic, we have come to realize the significance and urgency of understanding Taiwan from social, political and historical perspectives more than ever. Against this background, the ERCCT colloquium continues to introduce the latest research on contemporary Taiwan to explore various themes, such as aboriginal peoples, global mobility, and literature.

This colloquium is organized as a luncheon seminar with presentations. It is an online event that takes place on Mondays from 12.30 to 13.45. Speakers will talk for 20-30 minutes, followed by 30-40 minutes Q&A.


Please follow this link to register for the colloquium and receive the access data.

Dates and Topics

Nov. 16, 2020 - Prof. Kerim Friedman

Space, Time, and Indigeneity in Contemporary Taiwanese Documentary Film

(in corporation with the 15th Taiwan Documentary Film Festival)

This talk will explore the shifting representations of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples in films by indigenous and non-indigenous directors alike. Drawn from over sixty films in the archives of the Taiwan International Ethnographic Film Festival (TIEFF), these films offer a snapshot of the changes in how indigenous personhood has been constructed in Taiwanese documentary films going back to the end of the martial law era. The films are grouped into three overarching Bakhtinian chronotopes, each of which uses indigenous identities to highlight different relations between Taiwan’s past, present, and future, as well as different spatial relations following from those choices. The first chronotope highlights the Japanese colonial encounter with indigenous peoples. The second the continuity between ancient Austronesian culture and the present. And the third focuses on encounters between indigenous people and the modern Taiwanese state. Films are compared within and across these chronotopes to reflect on the shifting nature of indigenous personhood in Taiwan, tracing the way these chronotopes have adapted to shifts in Taiwan’s wider political economic framework. Finally, the paper turns to the work of two young indigenous filmmakers whose films draw on oral histories to transcend all three chronotopes. Salone Ishahavut’s “Alis’s Dreams” (2011) and Su Hung-En’s “The Mountain” (2015), each formulates a unique indigenous “voice” to call for indigenous sovereignty over their own destiny. 

Prof. Kerim Friedman is an associate professor in the Department of Ethnic Relations and Cultures at National Dong Hwa University in Taiwan. His research explores language revitalization efforts among indigenous Taiwanese, looking at the relationship between language ideology, indigeneity, and political economy. An ethnographic filmmaker, he co-produced the Jean Rouch award-winning documentary, 'Please Don't Beat Me, Sir!' about a street theater troupe from one of India's Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs). Kerim is also a co-founder of the anthropology blog anthro{dendum} (formerly Savage Minds).

Dec. 7, 2020 - Zhu Yifei

Developmentalism Across the Strait: An Institutionalist Explanation of Taiwan’s Economic Policy toward China between 1990 and 2016

Zhu Yi-Fei (Ph.D. candidate from Freie Universität Berlin, Graduate School of East Asian Studies)

Since the 1990s, the relations across the Taiwan Strait have been characterized by high political-security hostility intertwined with high economic-societal interactions. Meanwhile, Taiwan’s economic policy toward China has been on the track of liberalization despite fluctuation in speed and scope. Why was that? How could Taiwan afford risking its de facto independence for economic gains? With the rise of China as a global powerhouse, Beijing has learned to flex its economic muscles to achieve its political objectives beyond its border. Therefore, Taiwan provides an invaluable case study to examine the impact of the so-called China factor on other countries and the international system.

Yifei Zhu is a PhD student on East Asian Studies and political science at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. His doctoral dissertation focuses on explaining Taiwan's economic strategies toward Mainland China in the Post-Cold War Era. With a particular emphasis on East Asia under the rise of the P.R. China, his academic interests include international relations, political economy, state theory, and institutional theory. Before his doctoral studies, he obtained a M.A. in International Relations and a B.A. in English literature. He speaks Chinese (Wu & Mandarin), English, German and Korean to various degrees. 

Dec. 14. 2020 - Cheng Chenching

Nostalgia in Four Rhymes: the Changes of Nostalgic Narratives in Taiwan’s Popular Music from Teresa Teng to Lo Da-Yu

Cheng Chenching, Chu Hai College of Higher Education, HK 

Jan. 11, 2021 - Hsu Chieh

The Path to an Occupation: The (Early) Experiences of Highly Skilled Taiwanese and Chinese "Wives" in Germany

Hsu Chieh, Global Asia Research Center, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Jan. 18, 2021 - Lee Po-han

Solidarity with whom? Repositioning Taiwan beyond the WHO’s epidemiological (inter)nationalism

Lee Po-Han, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Feb. 1, 2021 - Zhan Min-xu

Taiwan Literature from a Global South Perspective

Zhan Min-xu (National Chung Hsing University)

Feb. 8, 2021 - Beatrice Zani

Women Migrants in Southern China and in Taiwan. Mobilities, Digital Economies, and Emotions

Beatrice Zani (Teach at Tübingen Fellow, Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies)

Feb. 15, 2021 - Gwennaël Gaffric

Taiwan Literature at the Era of Anthropocene

Gwennaël Gaffric, Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3, France

Feb. 22, 2021 - Tseng Hsun-hui

Motherhood and Moral Economy: The Art of Negotiation of Marriage Migrants Engaged in the Sex Entertainment Industry in Taiwan

Tseng Hsun-hui, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

Taiwan Colloquium

During the summer and winter terms, all ERCCT Research Fellows and Visiting Scholars meet weekly in the Taiwan-Colloquium to discuss their research projects. Project ideas and intended field studies will be communicated, applied theory and methodology scrutinized and empirical findings gathered in the field critically assessed. The Visiting Scholars play an important role here, as they not only evaluate the Fellow's projects but also present their own research and subject it to open academic debate.