Comparatizing Taiwan: A Book Talk
Abstract: “As the site of crossings of colonizers, settlers, merchants, and goods, island nations such as Taiwan have seen a rich confluence of cultures, where peoples and languages were either forced to mix or did so voluntarily, due largely to colonial conquest and their crucial role in world economy. Through an examination of socio-cultural phenomena, Comparatizing Taiwan situates Taiwan globally, comparatively, and relationally to bring out the nation’s innate richness.
This book examines Taiwan in relation to other islands, cultures, or nations in terms of culture, geography, history, politics, and economy. Comparisons include China, Korea, Canada, Hong Kong, Macau, Ireland, Malaysia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and the Caribbean, and these comparisons present a number of different issues, alongside a range of sometimes divergent implications. By exploring Taiwan’s many relationalities, material as well as symbolic, over a significant historical and geographical span, the contributors move to expand the horizons of Taiwan studies and reveal the valuable insights that can be obtained by viewing nations, societies and cultures in comparison. Through this process, the book offers crucial reflections on how to compare and how to study small nations.”
About the speaker: Shu-mei Shih is the Hon-yin and Suet-fong Chan Professor of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong and professor of Comparative Literature and Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the author of The Lure of the Modern: Writing Modernism in Semicolonial China, 1917-1937 (2001) and Visuality and Identity: Sinophone Articulations across the Pacific (2007), and co-editor of Minor Transnationalism (2005), The Creolization of Theory (2009), Sinophone Studies: A Critical Reader (2013) and Comparatizing Taiwan (2015).