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Taiwan Research Programme
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE


Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

Dr Fang-Long Shih

Cry on a Storied Mountain: implications on family and community of trauma caused by political violence, from a psychoanalytic perspective

With Dr Yu-Jui Wu (University of Essex)

Series: Seminar on Taiwan in Comparative Perspective 

Date: Thursday 30 November 2006, 6pm-8pm

Venue: Seligman Library (Room A607), Old Building, London School of Economics (LSE)

Chair: Professor Stephan Feuchtwang (Taiwan Culture Research Programme)

Convenor: Dr Fang-Long Shih (Taiwan Culture Research Programme)


This seminar is a fraction of a survey about 'collective trauma'. It examines the impact of a political violence incident from a psychoanalytic perspective. Theoretical and empirical dimensions are both used to investigate this phenomenon, which will include issues such as 'collective' memory and cultural trauma. And the subject I use in this study is Gao Yi Sheng (高一生), a Taiwanese Tsou tribe intellectualist, who scarified from political bigotry in 1954.

Literature review includes various assertions of trauma theories, group psychology and associated theories corresponding to collective memory and trauma. In previous related studies, psychoanalysis has become popular foci in historical, sociological and political discourses. However, a systematic psychoanalytical approach is still reluctant. That is, this study aims to administrate a more detail examination by closely looking for the locations and forms of trauma thereby adhere the general accepted and applied 'collective' idea in related studies. The pilot work is to collect and analyse narratives of the victim's family. This proto-research also addresses itself as the underpinning of further hypotheses. In this seminar, multi-media will be used. And the content will be focused on Gao-Yi Sheng and his family member's story and music. It is to provide readers/audience a multi-sensory experience.

The results of this pilot work basically fit the general concerns about trauma. However the hypotheses remains limited to be persuasive from a psychoanalytical perspective. In order to meet different aspects of the complexity, and to complement the inadequacy of the current associated supporting historical, sociological and political studies, apart from scrutinizing the context of each case, a more cautious and subtle way of examining the events and defining the terms at an epistemological level is urgent and necessary.

About the speaker

Mr Yi Jui Harry Wu has done MA Psychoanalytic Studies in Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at University of Essex. Now he is continuing refugee care studies in both the University and Tavistock Centre in West Hampstead. He was educated and qualified a medical doctor degree in Chung-shan Medical University, Taiwan. After one-year psychiatry training in Taipei, he resigned and flew all the way to England as a journey of self-exploration. He has published Island Parasitism (poetry, 2003), Spring on the Burnt Land: 2004 Adversaria (political observation, chief editor, 2005), and River: Lai-ho memorial music album (producer, composer, 2005).