Taiwan and its realms of memory: affects and attachment to community

Every 3rd Monday of the month, from 19 October 2020 to 21 June 2021, from 15h to 18h.

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

Fieldwork Grants

Bibliographical References

Seminar Summary (in French)

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.

In this fifth year of the seminar, we will continue our exploration of the concept of ‘making community’.In particular, we will question the way in which the past is mobilised at a time when the question of what is common, i.e. the feeling of a shared belonging to the same political and social space, is being asked. In doing so, we will focus on affects, with a more specific study of sensitivities.

This seminar is open to Masters and doctoral students, as well as the general public.


2020-2021 Schedule

Monday 19 October 2020

Introductory session.

Monday 23 November 2020

Group work – Reading and analysis of texts related to the paradigm “The pain of being born Taiwanese”:

Monday 18 January 2021

Follow-up on the work initiated on 23 November.

Monday 15 February 2021

Continuation of the study of the texts《生為台外人的悲哀》et 《無知才是最大的悲哀》. Exchanges between groups and question and answer session. Terminological analysis of community attachments.

Lundi 15 March 2021

Study of two texts:

  1. “帝國主義者和後殖民地精英” (prepared by the third group)
  2. “La mémoire collective entre sociologie de la mémoire et sociologie des souvenirs ?” (prepared by all three groups). This text will allow us to start exploring the field of the sociology of memory:
    • The problematics of memory (authors, questions…)
    • The definitions attached to the notion of memory (concepts & tools, vocabulary)

Monday 17 May 2021

Introduction to fieldwork. Session led by Jérôme Soldani (Lecturer at the University of Montpellier 3) and Béatrice Zani (Post-doctoral fellow at the University of Tuebingen).Study of the following article by Howard S. Becker: “L’enquête de terrain : quelques ficelles du métier”, in Sociétés contemporaines N°40, 2000. pp. 151- 164.

Monday 22 June 2020

Review of the previous session. Study of the text by Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan, “La violence faite aux données”, Enquête [Online], 3 | 1996, published online on 11 July 2013.

Fieldwork grants

The French Taiwan Studies programme allocates a field grant to seminar students, covering the costs of their research during field trips (lasting a maximum of one month).

The call for applications for the year 2020-2021 is now open.

Applications must be submitted by 15 February 2021 to samia.ferhat[at]gmail.com.

List of documents to provide:

  • Curriculum Vitae
    Presentation of current master’s or doctoral research
    Programme of the planned field survey: location, duration, objectives


  • Constitution of a jury (February)
  • Course of the mission (the return of the mission must take place before 15 September 2021)
  • Mission report in French or Chinese to be submitted by the recipient before 15 October 2021

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