French Taiwan Studies Project

Island of traditions and contrasts, Taiwan attracts the interest of many academics and students throughout the world. The many articles, theses, dissertations, films and projects deserve to be collected and widely diffused. This is what our site intends to do. Enthusiasts, browsers, professionals and all are welcome to discover the research on Taiwan carried out in France and elsewhere.

Meeting with Beatrice Zani for the discussion of her book Women Migrants in Southern China and in Taiwan. Mobilities, digital economies and emotions (Routledge, 2022).

Beatrice Zani Chargée de recherche au CNRS (LISE UMR 3320)

Conférence Beatrice Zani 08 janvierThis book, based on extensive original research, explores the lives, the migratory experiences and the social, economic, and emotional practices of Chinese migrant women during their migrations and mobilities in China, from China to Taiwan, from Taiwan to China and in between the two countries. It illustrates how women on the move experience social contempt, misrecognition and economic marginalisation; how women migrants seek autonomy, economic independence, upward social mobility and modernity, but discover the Chinese inegalitarian social order and labour regimes which produce obstacles and impede their ambitions; and how old and new forms of subalternity are reproduced. Overall, the book emphasises what it feels like for the women migrants as they negotiate their way at the crossroad between subalternity and resistance, between subordinated labour and independent, digital entrepreneurship, and between an inegalitarian labour market and new, online opportunities for business and commerce.




Presentation of the half-day conference


© Wang Xihao

Since 2017, the seminar dedicated to Taiwan and its Places of Memory has been examining Taiwan’s process of affirming its identity as well as its cultural and memorial roots. For Pierre Nora, “realms of memory are not what we remember, but rather the point where memory operates”. Thus, by focusing on how Taiwanese actors are operating on their own memory, we looked into the debates around historical, cultural and identity legitimacy in the constitution of a “common”. As Maurice Halbwachs argued, posing the question of the “social frameworks of memory” ultimately means questioning what binds us together as a group. What stories do we pass on? What narratives do we construct? What emotions do we mobilise? Which protagonists do we remember? Whom do we address? With what words, in what languages, through which reference points?


This year, we approached the issues of memory in Taiwan through the prism of bond, to which we added the terms space and distance. However, these terms ought not to be apprehended  as mere spatial and geographical categories. Whether material, social or symbolic, space is a locus where meaning and significance are produced. The dynamics of memory that traverse it and operates on it construct the near and the far, the ‘us’ and the ‘others’. A fourth term emerges from this triptych of ‘bond, space, distance’: the boundary that delimits the space, constructs the distance, and is traversed by the bond.


Our lines of questioning mobilised have been wide-ranging and the terms polysemous. This is a deliberate choice, in order propose a common reflection based on what is concrete: our fieldwork (whether geographical or textual, in Taiwan or elsewhere). Thus we discussed the Waishengren people’s link to their homeland, the boundary between sacred and profane spaces in the Ba Jia Jiang ritual, or broadened our horizons by thinking Koreans’ bonds with and distance from Kazakhstan.


For this half-day conference, the students enrolled in the seminar will take the floor and explore these issues. What spaces are investigated? What borders are observed? What bonds are forged t and how are they maintained? What distances do these bonds traverse? What narratives and memories are mobilised? How can the construction of a ‘common’ be observed?


The objective is to set up a benevolent setting where the  reflection  on these issues, in the light of our own fieldwork and in the presence of our colleagues and established researchers, may be stimulated. However, the question of the bond should not be confined to Taiwan. This workshop is also intended to de-compartmentalise our work and make it accessible to those interested in Formosa, and will therefore be open to the wider public.


Guest researchers: Stéphanie Homola (CNRS), Vincent Goossaert (EPHE), Jérôme Soldani (Université Montpellier 3), Xiaohong Xiao-Planes (Inalco), Beatrice Zani (McGill University).

Organisers: Luc Castaneda and Wang Xihao, with Samia Ferhat.

Panel 1

2.00 pm – 3.30 pm

Same-sex marriage rituals in Taiwan: the initial stages of a survey

Nausica Rivière, doctoral student (IFRAE – INALCO)

From monolingualism to multilingualism: democracy in Taiwan’s language policies

Chen Shen-Bin, doctoral student (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle)

Coffee break

3.30pm – 4pm

Panel 2

4pm – 6pm

Diplomacy and missionary strategy of the Holy See towards the Republic of China from 1928 to 1946

Father Landry Védrenne, doctoral student (FASSE, Institut Catholique de Paris)

The Bodhisattvas of the 13th arrondissement: Tzu Chi, from Taiwan to Paris and from Paris to Taiwan

Luc Castaneda, Master 2 in Asian Studies (EHESS)

Academic Year 2023-2024

The French Taiwan Studies team is happy to announce that its seminar is returning for its seventh year. The first session will take place on 4 December 2023.

About the Project

Find out more about the story of our project and the team behind it.

The Seminar

FTS is centred around a seminar conducted each year at the EHESS.

Bridging The Strait

In front of a camera, young Chinese and Taiwanese students share their outlook on cross-strait relations.

Taiwan Studies

Directory of archives of academic works on Taiwan.