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


Professor Stephan Feuchtwang

Dr Fang-Long Shih

'Taiwanese Consciousness' in Transformation: retrospect and prospect

With Professor Chun-chieh Huang (National Taiwan University)

Series:  London Taiwan Seminar

Date: Thursday 6 November 2008, 6pm-8pm

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

Chair: Professor Stephan Feuchtwang (Taiwan Research Programme)


A significant phenomenon in Taiwanese society following the lifting of martial law in July 1987 was the sudden volcanic eruption of 'Taiwanese Consciousness', the formation and development of which is an important theme in the intellectual history of Taiwan. 'Taiwanese consciousness' here refers to the Taiwanese people's characteristic spirit and sentiments in their struggle for self-identity, as exhibited in their quest to form a sense of who the 'Taiwanese people' are, and indeed what 'Taiwan' itself is. To trace the development and metamorphoses of Taiwanese consciousness is a complex and challenging project.

In this lecture, I will outline the development of this process and offer suggestions for its future. I analyze the development of 'Taiwanese consciousness'  in five stages, and I identify the persistent generic trait of this consciousness as 'protest'. In conclusion, I offer suggestions on what route 'Taiwanese consciousness' should take in the twenty-first century.

About the speaker

Professor Chun-chieh Huang is currently Distinguished Professor of History, Dean of the Institute of Humanities and Social Science, and Director of the Program of East Asian Classics and Cultures, at the National Taiwan University. He is also Research Fellow of Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy at the Academia, Sinica, Taiwan. He has been awarded The Wang Fellowship in Chinese Studies, USA (1988), the Outstanding Scholar Award (1997-2002), the Hu Shih Chair Professorship (2005-6), the Sun Yat-sen Academic Award (2006), and the Distinguished Book Award, National Taiwan University (2006, 2007). He was previously Adviser to the Confucian Ethics Team of Singapore, and he has been Visiting Professor at the University of Washington, the University of Maryland, and the Rutgers University, and President (Now Honorary President) of the Chinese Association for General Education. He was awarded his PhD in 1980 from the University of Washington (Seattle, USA).

Professor Huang is the author of several books in English, including: Taiwan in Transformation: 1895-2005 (2006, Transaction Publishers), and Mencian Hermeneutics: A History of Interpretations in China (2001, Transaction Publishers). Volumes he has edited include: Notions of Time in Chinese Historical Thinking (co-edited with John B. Henderson, 2006), Postwar Taiwan Experience in Historical Perspectives (co-edited with F. F. Taso, 1998), Time and Space in Chinese Culture (co-edited with Erik Zürcher, 1995, E. J. Brill), Imperial Rulership and Cultural Change in Traditional China (co-edited with Frederick P. Brandauer, 1994), Cultural Change in Postwar Taiwan (co-edited with Stevan Harrell, 1993), and Norms and the State in China, (co-edited with Erik Zürcher, 1993, E. J. Brill).

His personal website is: http://huang.cc.ntu.edu.tw