Dr. Ann Heylen is Associate Professor at the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature (TCLL) at National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), Taipei, Taiwan (2008 -) and currently serves as director of the International Taiwan Studies Center of NTNU. She holds a Ph.D. in Chinese Studies (Sinology) from Catholic University Leuven (K.U.Leuven) in Belgium. She is one of the founding board members of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) and on the editorial panel of the e-journal International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies (IJAPS), published by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang. She has held numerous academic and scholarly positions. These include senior research fellow at the Research Unit on Taiwanese Culture and Literature (TCL), Ruhr University Bochum in Germany, where she conducted her postdoctoral research on Cai Peihuo's diary writing (2003-2004), and associate researcher at the Taipei Ricci Institute (1999-2001). Following graduation, she was associate researcher of Japanese Studies, K.U.Leuven (2001-2007) and invited guest scholar at Stockholm University, Center for Asia Pacific Studies (CPAS) (January-February 2008). Her areas of research expertise are the history of 17th Century Dutch Formosa, the Japanese colonial period and postcolonial historiography. Recent publications include: ã€ŒNarrating History in Taiwan's Changing Societyã€ (Berliner China-Hefte 32, 2007) and ã€ŒAn Excursion into Cai Peihuo's Colonial Diary (1929-1936),ã€ (Journal of Chinese Overseas (JCO), 3.2., 2007). She has two forthcoming books: Japanese Models, Chinese Culture and the Dilemma of Taiwanese Language Reform and an edited volume with Scott Sommers, entitled Becoming Taiwan: From Colonialism to Democracy to be released by Studia Formosiana, Harrassowitz in 2010.
Her current research project, awarded by the National Science Council (NSC) for 2009-2010, is a return to seventeenth century Dutch Formosa manuscripts. The project entitled Brievenboek, Kerkboek van Formosa, 23 januari 1642- 4 maart 1660 furthers the disclosure of unpublished manuscripts as part of the documentation and study of Dutch archival materials pertaining to Taiwan (1624-1662). The purpose of this research is the preparation necessary for a systematic transcription of the handwritten manuscript. Findings from this project will be incorporated in a further discussion of educational development in 17th century Dutch Formosa. This project aspires to contribute to ongoing scholarly attention to indigenous cultures and cast a critical eye upon the euro-centric narratives that have informed scholarly debates for the past centuries.
In addition, she keeps working on various aspects of Taiwanese history, including the preparation of Cai Peihuo's diary for publication in translation.