Taiwan and its realms of memory: eras and generations

Every 3rd Monday of the month, from 18 October 2021 to 20 June 2022, from 16h to 19h.

Address : EHESS-Condorcet Building, Room A302, 2 cours des humanités 93300 Aubervilliers. The seminar is also accessible online.

Annual Schedule

Practical Information

Bibliographical References

The aim of this seminar is to retrace the different stages of a process of identity affirmation which has resulted in Taiwan in what we might call “Formosan tropism”. We will attempt to identify the historical and cultural supports around which an identity has gradually crystallized that is increasingly assertive in relation to the Chinese referent, and claimed to be fully marked by the island’s singularity.

While observing these changes in identity in the light of the debates that continue to accompany them, we also trace their memorial underpinnings by exploring the places of memory at work in Taiwan. We focus as much on the places of memory linked to the Republic of China, and thus brought back to the continental and Chinese trajectory, as on those specific to the Taiwanese historical and cultural experience. The study focuses on concrete, material, geographically situated objects, but also on more abstract and diffuse embodiments of memory, such as political symbols, terms and names in public and private space, characters in national and local history, narratives, etc.

The seminar uses first and second hand written sources in French, Chinese and English. It is also an opportunity to screen video sequences, fiction films and documentaries related to the theme of identity and memory.

In this sixth year of the seminar, we will more specifically question the social frameworks of memory by exploring different periods and generations of memory.

The validation of the seminar requires the completion of a written work which will also be the object of a preliminary oral presentation.

Due to the current health situation, the seminar will be held in a mixed mode, face-to-face and by videoconference. To subscribe to the seminar mailing list and obtain the connection link, please write to us at contact@frenchtaiwanstudies.org.

Calendar 2021-2022

Monday 18 October 2021

Introductory session.

Monday 15 November 2021

Study of two sources: Alain Lewkowicz’s documentary entitled Taïwan, une démocratie à l’ombre de la Chine (Arte 2020, available on Arte’s website until 8 January 2022),  and Andy G. Chang et T. Y. Wang’s article, “Taiwanese or Chinese? Independance or Unification? An Analysis of Generational Differences in Taiwan”, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 40 (1/2), 2005, p. 29-49.

Complementary session of the seminar 13 december 2021

A conference held by Yasuhiro Matsuda (University of Tokyo)
Cross-Strait Relations in the 21st Century: Dilemma Prosperity and Self-Reliance
With the participation of Juliette Genevaz (Lyon 3 University)
Preparatory readings:
MATSUDA Yasuhiro, The Taiwan Policy of the Xi Jinping Administration in its Second Term: An Outlook on Cross-Strait Relations in the « New Era », Project of the Kajima Institute of International Peace, Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies.
MATSUDA Yasuhiro , Normalized Tensions in the Cross-Strait Relations — Structural Changes in Taiwanese Society and the Xi Jinping Administration’s Strategic Shift —, Society of Security and Diplomatic Policy Studies.

Monday 17 January 2022

Session postponed to May.

Monday 21 February 2022

Analysis of the generational issue through three documents:
– Andy G. Chang et T. Y. Wang, “Taiwanese or Chinese? Independance or Unification? An Analysis of Generational Differences in Taiwan”, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 40 (1/2), 2005, p. 29-49.
– Claudine Attias-Donfut, “Rapports de générations. Transferts intrafamiliaux et dynamique macrosociale”, Revue française de sociologie, 2000, 41-4. p. 643-684.
– Maurice Halbwachs, La mémoire collective, Albin Michel, 1997 (1ère édition 1950), p. 117-119 (extrait).

Monday 21 March 2022

In order to further explore the issue of generation, we will examine Ryan Brading’s text on the so-called ‘political generation’ of millennials:

Ryan Brading, “Taiwan’s Millennial Generation: Interests in Polity and Party Politics”, Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 2017, 46, 1, p. 131–166.

Monday 16 May 2022

The session will address research methodology and, in particular, in-depth interviews. This session will be co-hosted by Isabelle Thireau.
Bibliographical references :
–Jean-Claude Kaufmann , L’Entretien compréhensif, 4e édition, Paris : Armand Colin, 2016.
–Isabelle Thireau, Des lieux en commun. Une ethnographie des rassemblements publics en Chine contemporaine. Paris, Éditions de l’EHESS, 2021.

Monday 20 June 2022

This session will be dedicated to synthesizing this year’s program; we will take this opportunity to briefly come back to the previous session, “Field methodology”. We will also listen to Corentin Ludwig’s presentation: “Being young and studying young people – an investigation of the youth of the Kuomintang”.

Practical Information

The seminar takes place at EHESS (Campus Condorcet), Room A302 (3rd floor), 2 cours des humanités, 93300 Aubervilliers.

Access: Metro line 12, Front Populaire