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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

Ideological Perspectives in Taiwanese English-Language Newspapers over the Last Decade

With Dr Lutgard Lams (Katholieke Universiteit van Brussel)

Series: Seminar on Taiwan in Comparative Perspective 

Date: Thursday 28 February 2008, 6pm-8pm

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

Chair: Professor Stephan Feuchtwang (Taiwan Culture Research Programme)


Drawing on the insights of critical discourse analysis and linguistic pragmatics, this study looks into patterns of continuity and change in ideological investments underlying English-language newspapers in Taiwan over the last decade. It compares findings of two discourse-analytical studies on coverage of the 1997 Hong Kong handover and the 2004 ROC parliamentary elections. The common denominator in the press representations of these two distinct events is the relevance of cultural and political identity. This comparative study shows how diverging ideological lights on the identity issue are refracted in the various newspapers during both periods.

The choice of these particular time frames is significant as they belong to two different political epochs in Taiwan, the fading Kuomintang rule versus the democratic progressive party era. The power shift as a result of the 2000 presidential elections reflecting a changing mood at the heart of Taiwanese society begs the question whether the emerging localization trend will be paralleled in any ideological repositioning of the newspapers.

About the speaker

Dr Lutgard Lams is a research associate and part-time lecturer at the Sinology Department of the Catholic University of Louvain (KUL), Belgium. She also teaches language pragmatics and media analysis in the Department of Languages and Literature at the College University of Brussels (HUB) within the MA programme for journalists. She studied Germanic Philology at the Catholic University of Louvain, got a master's degree in Literary Theory at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU, Pittsburgh),and completed her PD. at the University of Antwerp (UA). Her interest in Taiwan stems from the period she spent as a lecturer at Feng Chia University (Taichung, Taiwan) from 1984 to 1990. Her scholarly research areas include political communication, media discourse analysis, and ideology critique. Her foremost interest is the study of discursive representations of nationalism and identity politics in China/Taiwan/Hong Kong.