Dr. Chang Bi-Yu 張必瑜


Dr. Chang Bi-Yu 張必瑜

Home Institiution:

University of London

Duration of Stay:

Nov. 11–14, 2009


Dr. Bi-Yu Chang (張必瑜) is a Research Associate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London), and a Visiting Fellow at the Ruhr University Bochum (Germany).The central concerns of her research are the politics of culture and the role played by the state in identity construction. She is interested in examining the complex interplay between knowledge and power, and the ideological construction of the notions of ‘nation’ and ‘home’ in cultural sphere.

Her PhD dissertation was titled “Cultural Change and Identity Shift in Relation to Cultural Policy in Post-war Taiwan”. It covered over 50 years of Taiwanese cultural policy (1945-2001), and examined the relationship between cultural regulations and the island's political, social and economic development. The central concern of her PhD research was to explore how power is exercised through culture construction and discourse formation, and how national narratives are constructed and presented.

Since the completion of her PhD, she has continued her research in the areas of culture construction, identity formation, and nation building. In the last few years, the focus of her research has broadened from culture building to include spatial construction and cartographic representation. Nonetheless, her research remains focused on the interplay of culture and power. In 2006, she was awarded a two-year Post-doctoral Fellowship by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation to undertake a research project on Taiwan’s cartographic history. This project investigated the geographical construction of an imagined ‘China’, and examined the contested rhetoric surrounding cartographic representation. By focusing on maps produced in post-war Taiwan, the research explored the ways in which and to what extend that a notion of ‘true China’ was constructed in Taiwan. 

Building on this work, she carried out research in 2008 and 2009, and will conduct further fieldwork in summer 2010, all three projects were funded by Taiwan’s Ministry of Education. This 2008 research project explored the reasons for the apparent cartographic blankness in Taiwan during the early post-war period. This project argued against the general wisdom of attributing this ‘blankness’ simply to the supposed backwardness of the KMT regime. To continue her research in Taiwan’s spatial construction, and especially the period of the 1950s, she conducted a research project on Chung-hsin New Village (zhongxin xincun 中興新村) last summer. This village was built in 1956, according to the concept of the “New Town”, developed by the British urban planner Ebenezer Howard. The community was established as a model “Sanminzhuyi city” for future ROC rule once the mission of the recovery of China was accomplished. The new project due to commence in 2010 is entitled “The concept of baodao (Treasure Island) in the 1950s”.  

She is currently working on two books: an edited volume Imaging Taiwan (co-edited with Dr. Henning Kloeter, forthcoming in 2010) and a monograph Treasure Island: Space, Nation and Identity in Post-war Taiwan.

List of Publication

Edited works and chapter in books

“Imaging National Landscape: Yushan, Modern Myth and Identity” in Imaging Taiwan. (eds.) Bi-yu Chang & Henning Klöter. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, ("Studia Formosiana" series) (forthcoming, 2010) (Peer-reviewed)

“‘The Cultural Turn and Taiwanese Identity in the 1990s’, in Cultural Discourse in Taiwan, (eds) Wang I-chun, Chin-Chuan Cheng & Steven Totosy de Zepetnek, Kaohsiung: National Sun Yat-sen University Press, 2009. pp. 31-51. (Peer-reviewed)

Entry of “Film Industry, Taiwan” in Encyclopedia of Modern China. Vol. 2, (eds) David Pong, et al. Detroit, MI: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2009, pp. 49-52.

“Disclaiming and Renegotiating National Memory: Taiwanese Xiqu and Identity,” in Carsten Storm & Mark Harrison (eds.) The Margins of Becoming: Identity and Culture in Taiwan. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz ("Studia Formosiana" series). 2007, pp. 51-67. (Peer-reviewed)

“Constructing the Motherland: Culture and the State in Taiwan” in Dafydd Fell, Bi-yu Chang & Henning Klöter (eds.) What has Changed? Taiwan Before and After the Change in Ruling Parties. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2006. ("Studia Formosiana" series), pp. 187-206. (Peer-reviewed) 

Journal articles

“What’s in a Name? The Nationalisation of Traditional Opera in Taiwan”, Study of Ethnicity and Nationalism. Vol. 6, No. 2, 2006. pp.89-104. (Peer-reviewed)

“From Taiwanisation to De-sinification: Culture Construction in Taiwan since the 1990s”, China Perspectives. Edited by Dafydd Fell, Bi-yu Chang. No. 56. November - December 2004, pp. 34-44.  [French version: “De la taiwanisation à la dé-sinisation: la politique culturelle depuis les années 1990”. Perspectives Chinoises. Edited by Dafydd Fell, Bi-yu Chang. No. 85. September - October 2004. pp. 38-49.] 


“Book Review of ‘Transformation! Innovation? Perspectives on Taiwan Culture’”. The China Quarterly, Vol 179, September 2004, pp. 835-837. Cambridge University Press.

peer-reviewer for articles submitted to China Quarterly, and for Routledge Taiwan Series.  

 Other publications

“Youth, Tobacco, and the Smell of the Rebel: DV8 Special Report (青春 菸草 叛逆的氣味: DV8 特別企畫)”, In Performing Arts Review (表演藝術雜誌), No. 147, March 2005. pp.14-19. (Chinese)

Sleeves & Rouge: Performance and Life of Wei Hai-ming in Beijing Opera (Shuixiu yu yanzhi Wei Haimin de wutai shengya 水袖與胭脂:魏海敏的舞臺生涯). Taipei: Shang-chou Culture (商周文化), 1996. (Chinese)

Papers under Review

So Close, Yet So Far Away: Imaging Chinese ‘Homeland’ in Taiwan’s Geography Education (1945-67), submitted to Cultural Geographies.