Taiwan and its memory spaces: particularism and attachment to community

Every 3rd Monday of the month from 5pm to 8pm, from 18 November 2019 to 15 June 2020.

Room 751, EHESS, 54 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris.

Session Agenda

Fieldwork Grants

Bibliographical references

This seminar will chart the different stages of an identity affirmation process expressed in Taiwan by what we might call “Formosan tropism”. Indeed, we will try to identify the historical and cultural framework within which an increasingly assertive and insular identity with regards to China was formed and advocated. While observing these identity mutations in light of the debates that continue to accompany them, we will also chart the memorial foundations by exploring memory spaces in Taiwan itself. We will focus just as closely on places linked to the Republic of China, and thus relating to the trajectory of the Chinese mainland, as to those places specific to Taiwan’s own historical and cultural experience.Our studies will deal with concrete, material and geographically located objects, but also with more abstract and diffuse incarnations of memory, such as political symbols, the terms and names for public and private spaces, figures from local and national history, the formulation of narratives, etc.

The seminar will call for the use of primary and secondary written sources in French, Chinese and English. It will also be an opportunity to project video footage, as well as fiction and documentary films connected with the theme of identity and memory.

This year, the seminar will deal more specifically with concurrent readings and interpretations of the past. In particular, we will question the significance of the Sino-Japanese War and the figure of Chiang Kai-shek in today’s collective memory.

From school textbooks to the evolution of historiography, via the analysis of various remembrance policies, we will attempt to follow the evolution of a relationship to the past which tells us as much about the changes specific to Taiwanese society, as to its position towards the memory transformations taking place across the strait, that is in contemporary Chinese society.


2019-2020 Calendar

Monday 18 November 2019

Introductory session.

Monday 16 December 2019

Session cancelled due to the current strikes.

Monday 20 January 2020

Expressing community: terminological research around social frameworks of memory and generational stratifications.

Monday 17 February 2020

After a first hour devoted to the question of social frameworks of memory, studied under the framework of Maurice Halbwachs’ book, Les Cadres sociaux de la mémoire (1925) (Albin Michel, 1994, pp.V-VIII), the session will welcome from 6.30 p.m. Félix Jun Ma (Senior Lecturer, Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3) for a conference twinned with the Taiwanese Perspectives cycle. His talk is entitled “In Search of a Chinese National Identity: Implementation and Use of the Concept of Zhonghua Minzu 中華民族”.

Monday 16 March 2020

No session.

Monday 20 April 2020

No session.

Monday 18 May 2020

Session cancelled due to restrictions imposed by the EHESS in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Monday 25 May 2020

Session cancelled due to restrictions imposed by the EHESS in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Monday & Tuesday 15-16 June 2020

Conference postponed due to restrictions imposed by EHESS in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.
More information

Monday 22 June 2020

Session cancelled due to restrictions imposed by the EHESS in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Fieldwork Grants

The French Taiwan Studies programme provides field grants to seminar students to enable them to cover the costs of their research during field trips (lasting a maximum of one month).

The call for applications for the year 2019-2020 is closed since 15 January 2020.


  • Ms Caroline Mouangvong (Master 2 – Inalco)
    Research theme: “Nature in the cauldron of the Tsou Aborigines of Taiwan”.
  • Mr Corentin Ludwig (Master AMO – EHESS)
    Research theme: “The Youth of Kuomintang” (中國國民黨青年團 )

Members of the jury:

  • Ms Sandrine Marchand (University of Artois)
  • Mr Jérôme Soldani (CERCE – Université́ Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3)
  • Ms Samia Ferhat (University of Paris-Nanterre – UMR CCJ/EHESS)

Practical Information


The seminar takes place at the EHESS, Room 751 (7th floor) at 54 Bd Raspail, 75006 Paris.


  • Metro, line 5, stop Saint-Placide
  • Metro, line 12, stop Notre-Dame des Champs