CFP: [Ethnic] Locating Taiwan: Space, Culture and Society (NATSA)

full name / name of organization: 
Fang-Yu Wang
contact email: 

NATSA 2009
The 15th Annual North American Taiwan Studies Conference
Call for Papers
Abstract Submission Deadline: November 30, 2008
Date: June 26-28, 2009
Location: The University of Texas at Austin, USA

Main Theme: Locating Taiwan: Space, Culture and Society

In the past two decades, Taiwan has experienced major transformations in
the remapping of space. The operation of Taipei and Kaoshiung's Rapid
Transit Systems and the High Speed Rail has integrated more people into
the metropolis and fosters different lifestyles. The direct weekend
flights between Taiwan and China not only attract Chinese tourists but
also allow Mainland-based Taiwanese entrepreneurs to reconnect to their
homes with greater convenience. Apart from the implementation of
transportation infrastructure, digital communication technology also
constructs a virtual geography. While the (re)generation of spaces,
virtual or real, bring people into intimate contact, a reconfigured
landscape might also mean destruction. For instance, the demolition of
mainland veteran quarters and the relocation of Le-Sheng Rehab jeopardize
the wellbeing of local communities and disown the already marginalized
minorities. The challenges as well as the possibilities make it an urgent
task to reexamine how a shifting geography bears on the domains of
Taiwan's culture, politics and society.

This year's conference is defined under the rubric of "Locating Taiwan:
Space, Culture and Society." First, we invite scholars from all
disciplines to situate Taiwan in terms of space and explore the
relationships between the changing landscape and various realignments in
cultural and social formations. While our attention is focused on Taiwan's
physical localities, we also encourage writers to explore the evolving
definition of space. In particular, global capital flows interface and
destabilize familiar territorial demarcations and as a
consequence, "interstitial spaces" emerge to accommodate new social
groupings, the bloggers and Otaku for instance. How do these new
communities enable political empowerment and/or aggravate economic
inequality? To what extent are these new spatial identities embedded in or
uprooted from the physical environment and what are the impacts? Writers
do not limit themselves to the current phenomenon of globalization.
Historical reflections are also crucial to the discussion on the
relationship of space and culture.
Minor Themes:
A). Regionalism and Nationalism in Taiwan's Context
In the context of Taiwan, there seems to be at least two versions of
regionalism at work. Externally, Taiwan is situated in a particular node
of Pacific Rim where interests of China, Japan and the U.S. collide and
converge. Domestically, Taiwan has its own regionalism that divides the
South from the North, which has a direct correlation to the emergence of
Taiwan's nationalism. In this minor theme, we invite submissions that
discuss the forces of nationalism and regionalism pertaining to Taiwan.
How does each of these dominant forces manifest itself in international
relations, cross-strait negotiations and domestic politics? Since
regionalism and nationalism in the case of Taiwan is closely related to
the concern of economy, scholars from the field of economics and finance
are encouraged to bring in their expertise to the discussion.

B). Eco-Politics in Taiwan

Since the mid 1980's, Taiwan has faced the difficult task of conserving
environment in a stage of high industrialization. Although global
investments and international trading agreements such as the WTO might
help Taiwan economically, technological intervention has also brought
irremediable damage to the land. In this minor theme, we would like to
encourage discussions on Taiwan's eco-movements and the imagination of
a "green politics." As Taiwan's politicians continue to put the issue of
nuclear plants on their ballot during election campaigns, does it mean
that Taiwan's eco-movement is co-opted by bipartisan politics? How might
the grassroot eco-consciousness challenge Taiwan's political makeup? Or
how does the focus on the environment call for a traditional sense of
community as practiced in Taiwan's aborigines? These are part of the
issues relevant to Taiwan's eco-movements and we hope to incorporate both
empirical studies and critical evaluations in our discussion.

C). Identity and Hybridity in Cultural Spheres
In its efforts to shape a distinctive political identity, Taiwan also
strives for self-expression in both domestic and global cultural domains.
On the one hand, Taiwanese film auteurs such as Hou Hsiao-hsian and Edward
Yang have established their stature and gained international recognition
from the 1980s onward with their stylistic innovation and humanist
concerns. On the other hand, Taiwan's local creative industries have
demonstrated vitality and diversity partly as a result of democratization,
as best exemplified by the recovery and revival of Taiwanese aborigines'
cultures. In this minor theme, we want to invite writers to address the
complications between identity politics, cultural industries, new
technologies and contemporary sociopolitical ideologies. Considering that
The National Palace Museum has to repackage traditional artifacts in a
glossy modern design by Alessi of Italy, we also welcome submissions that
explore the hybrid phenomenon manifested in Taiwan's cultural intersection
with the world.
Panel Proposal and Poster Presentation
This year, NATSA invites panel proposals by discipline or field of
interest. In order to foster discussion, each panel should consist of
three to four writers. The panel proposal submission should include the
panel abstract, together with all the paper abstracts to be presented in
the conference. Each panel and paper abstract is subject to review. All
disciplines are welcome, and proposals from less represented disciplines
are particularly encouraged.

NATSA will also continue to hold poster presentation for the second year.
Please indicate what kind of presentation you want to give when submitting
your abstract through our online submission system. The system will be
open from October 10th through November 30th, 2008 (Eastern time, USA).
Conference contributors may be eligible for travel grants. For a full
version of our Call for Paper and other detailed information please visit
our website at

Best Paper Award
To encourage graduate students making quality contribution to the field of
Taiwan Studies, NATSA continues the Best Paper Award for the second year.
The winner will receive a prize of $300USD.

The Hermes Program
The NATSA encourages universities and research institutions in the United
States and Canada that are planning to hire new faculty members (at any
level) with specialization in Taiwan Studies come to our annual meeting
and interview with potential candidates in person. The NATSA will cover
all the representatives' traveling expenses and lodging fees incurred
during their visits to our annual conference.
Book Exhibition
This year's conference will continue past years' tradition of bringing in
publishers active in Taiwan and North America to present their products at
a discounted rate (15~20% off), such as the University of Washington
Press, the University of Hawaii Press, the Cornell University Press, the
Columbia University Press, and the Stanford University Press. The book
exhibition presents many important as well as most updated works in
various fields relevant to this year's conference themes. Don't forget to
stop by the booths during coffee breaks!

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Thu Nov 13 2008 - 11:52:33 EST