Shih, Fang-Long

Dr Fang-Long Shih  


Position held

Asia Research Centre

Co-Director of the Taiwan Research Programme

Experience keywords:

anthropology of Chinese religious culture; death rituals; Confucianism; Taiwan society; heritage and place-making; Chinese Buddhism; identity and citizenship; political trauma; gender and feminism; cultural transformation; Daoism

Research summary > [Click to expand]

Dr Fang-Long Shih is a specialist in the study of religion, gender, society, and politics within the context of Taiwan, and she is Co-Director of the Taiwan Research Programme at the London School of Economics. She regards religion as being always embodied in social, economic, and political processes, and her work has considered religion in relation to issues such as family, kin, gender, ethnicity, the state, social movements, modernity, and globalisation. Dr Shih is also interested in theoretical and methodological problems in the study of religion, and she argues that we write religion from within economic and political circumstances and within academic traditions and lineages. In particular, her work considers questions of translation, context, and location in the writing and re-writing of religion in Taiwan. Her current research interest is on religious practice in relation to place-making and environmental discourse.

In the early 1990s Dr Shih conducted a survey and analysis of local religion in I-Lan County, Taiwan, and since the mid-1990s she has worked on the double issue of women and religion, focusing on "maiden death”. She has published several articles on the anthropology of religion in Taiwan; recent publications include a chapter on 'Feminisms and Religions', which was published in the New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion (2010); ‘Addressing Injustice through State, Local Culture and Global Civil Society: The White Terror Incidents in Taiwan’, published in Global Civil Society 2011; and 'Memory, Partial Truth and Reconciliation without Justice: The White Terror Luku Incident in Taiwan', published in the special issue on justice of the eJournal Taiwan in Comparative Perspective (2011).

Dr Shih is also interested in how places should be understood in relation to their connections. She emphasizes that the study of Taiwan must take account of the way Taiwan is constituted as a place through its relationships and connections, and that it is through these that particular human experiences are mobilized for engaging with specific issues. As such, the LSE Taiwan Research Programme under her directorship contextualizes processes of modernization and globalization through cross-disciplinary studies of significant issues that use Taiwan as a point of comparison. In 2010, she organised a research theme on Justice in Comparative Perspective, and she is currently co-ordinating a research theme on Taiwan Studies and Irish Studies in comparative perspective. Dr Shih also convenes and teaches an MSc course on Taiwan in Comparative Perspective at the LSE.

Dr Shih has been consulted on Taiwanese matters by BBC Radio 4. In 2010 she was a Visiting Lecturer at Masaryk University in Brno in the Czech Republic, and in 2011 at the University of Tübingen in Germany. In May 2011, Dr Shih’s research was identified as having a potential for impact on undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, and she was invited to give a presentation on Teaching Theology/Religious Studies and Gender in a conference organised by the Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies of the Higher Education Academy, to be held at the University of Leeds. She is also due to participate in a panel on “From National Identity to Global Citizenship: Discovering Taiwan’s Niche and Responsibility”, at the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA) conference in June 2011.

Countries and regions to which research relates:

Taiwan; China


Fujianese [Spoken: Intermediate]; Mandarin [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Fluent]; Taiwanese [Spoken: Fluent]

Media experience:


Contact Points

LSE phone number:

+44 (0)20 7955 6439


LSE Research Online, Funnelback Search


Shih, Fang-Long and Jones, Carol (2014) Introduction to Taiwan and Hong Kong in comparative perspective: centres–peripheries, colonialism, and the politics of representation Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, 5. 1-20. ISSN 1752-7732

Shih, Fang-Long (2014) Transition to democracy at the expense of justice: the 2-28 Incident and White Terror in Taiwan Pathways to transitional justice in the Arab world — reflections on the Asia Pacific experience, Middle East Institute , Washington, USA.


Shih , Fang-Long and Scott, John McNeil (2012) Taiwan and Ireland in comparative perspective Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, 4. ISSN 1752-7732

Shih, Fang-Long (2012) Generating power in Taiwan: nuclear, political and religious power Culture and Religion, 13 (3). 295-313. ISSN 1475-5610

Shih, Fang-Long (2012) Taiwan's subjectivity and national narrations: towards a comparative perspective with Ireland Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, 4. 6-33. ISSN 1752-7732


Shih, Fang-Long (2011) Addressing injustice through state, local culture and global civil society: the white terror incidents in Taiwan In: Albrow, Martin and Seckinelgin, Hakan, (eds.) Global Civil Society 2011: Globality and the Absence of Justice. Global Civil Society Yearbook. Routledge, Basingstoke, UK, 30-37. ISBN 9780230272019

Shih, Fang-Long (2011) Memory, partial truth and reconciliation without justice: the white terror Luku incident in Taiwan Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, 3. 140-151. ISSN 1752-7732

Shih, Fang-Long (2011) Re-writing culture in Taiwan Asia's transformations. Routledge, New York, USA. ISBN 9780415602938


Shih, Fang-Long (2010) Women, religions, and feminisms In: Turner, Bryan S. , (ed.) The New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, UK, 221-243. ISBN 9781405188524

Shih, Fang-Long (2010) Chinese 'bad death' practices in Taiwan: maidens and modernity Mortality, 15 (2). 122-137. ISSN 1357-6275


Shih, Fang-Long and Thompson, Stuart and Tremlett, Paul-François, eds (2008) Re-writing culture in Taiwan Routledge studies in Asia's transformations. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415466660

Shih, Fang-Long (2008) Re-writing religion: questions of translation, context, and location in the writing of religion in Taiwan In: Shih, Fang-Long and Thompson, Stuart and Tremlett, Paul-François, (eds.) Re-Writing Culture in Taiwan. Routledge studies in Asia's transformations. Routledge, London, UK, 15-33. ISBN 9780415466660

Feuchtwang, Stephan and Shih, Fang-Long (2008) Taiwan in comparative perspective Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, 2. ISSN 1752-7732


Shih, Fang-Long (2007) The 'red tide' anti-corruption protest: what does it mean for democracy in Taiwan Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, 1. 87-98. ISSN 1752-7732

Shih, Fang-Long (2007) Generation of a new space: A maiden temple in the Chinese religious culture of Taiwan Culture and Religion, 8 (1). 89-104. ISSN 1475-5610

Feuchtwang, Stephan and Shih, Fang-Long (2007) Taiwan in comparative perspective Taiwan in Comparative Perspective, 1. ISSN 1752-7732


Shih, Fang-Long (2006) From regulation and rationalisation, to production: government policy on religion in Taiwan In: Fell, Daffyd and Klöter, Henning and Bi-Yu, Chang, (eds.) What Has Changed? Taiwan Before and After the Change in Ruling Parties. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, Germany, 265-283. ISBN 9783447053792

Shih, Fang-Long and Feuchtwang, Stephan and Tremlett, Paul-François (2006) The formation and function of the category “religion” in anthropological studies of Taiwan Method and Theory in the Study of Religion, 18 (1). 37-66. ISSN 0943-3058


Shih, Fang-Long and Yu, Chien (2003) Local religion in I-Lan County, Taiwan (in Chinese) I-Lan County Government, Taiwan, I-Lan City, Taiwan. ISBN 9570144262


Shih, Fang-Long (2002) Disdain and dread: The problem of maiden-death and its cultural implications and corrective practices in Taiwan (in Chinese) In: Bi, Heng-Da, (ed.) Xingbie Jiema Quanjilu (Decoding Gender). Ministry of Education, Republic of China (Taiwan), Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan), 236-253.


Shih, Fang-Long (1997) Contempt and fear - The problem of maiden death and its cultural implications and solutions in Taiwan (in Chinese) Liangxing Pingdeng Jiaoyu Jikan (Journal of Equal Gender Education), 18. 51-58.

Shih, Fang-Long (1997) Ten different goddesses, one homogeneous face: an analysis of goddess worship in I-Lan County (in Chinese) I-Lan Wenxian (Journal of I-Lan History), 26. 3-37. ISSN 1021-4607


Shih, Fang-Long (1993) The legends of temples and deities in I-Lan County (in Chinese) I-Lan Wenxian (Journal of I-Lan History), 5. 5-30. ISSN 1021-4607

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