Taiwan and its Realms of Memory: Bond, Space and Distance

Every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, from 14 November 2022 to 26 June 2023 from 16:30 to 18:30.

Address : EHESS-Condorcet Building, Room 327, 2 cours des Humanités 93300 Aubervilliers. The seminar is also accessible online.


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 2022-2023, the seminar will more specifically explore the notion of bond. We will examine how the dynamics of memory construct and undo the territories of the common by ceaselessly displacing the boundaries between the near and the far.

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

This seminar is open to master’s and doctoral degree students.

Calendar 2022-2023

Monday 14 November 2022

Introductory session.

Monday 21 November 2022

Screening of the documentary Blessed Corps directed by Hsieh Chwen-ching, and round table: “The Spiritual Body: Experiencing the Processions of Ba Jia Jiang 八家將”.

Moderation: Samia Ferhat (Paris Nanterre -UMRCCJ EHESS)

Vincent Goossaert, Director of Studies, EPHE, PSL, member of the GSRL (Group, Societies, Religions, Secularities)
Chanyueh Liu, PhD in ethnoscenology, lecturer in Mandarin and Taiwanese at Inalco, member of PLIDAM at Inalco
This event is organized as part of the Spotlight Taiwan Program.

Complementary session of the seminar Monday 05 December 2022

A conference held by Fu Si-tai (傅思台) (Doctor of Sociology, EHESS)
“Bonds to the native land: three generations of Waishengren (外省人) in Taiwan”

Fu Si-tai will present the results of his fieldwork conducted among three generations of Waishengren, Taiwan, from 2017 to 2018. While focusing on the bonds to the native land, his talk will also investigate the dynamics of identification as well as the attachments to places that can be perceived as the homeland and/or the hosting land.

Discussant: Évelyne Ribert (CNRS – IIAC/LACI)
Room AS1-24 (basement) – Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (54, Boulevard Raspail 75006 Paris)
From 5 pm to 7pm.

Monday 12 December 2022

Conference by Eunsil Yim (Université Paris Cité, CCJ-CRC)
A discussion on her book : Être coréens au Kazakhstan – Des entrepreneurs d’identité aux frontières du monde coréen (Collège de France, Institute of Korean Studies, 2016)

As part of the “Plumes (dé)masquées du CCJ”, Eunsil Yim will discuss the identity and memory issues specific to the Korean minority in Kazakhstan.

Discussant: Samia Ferhat (Paris Nanterre University, CCJ-CECMC)
Location: Room 0.030 (South Research Building) – Condorcet Campus (5, cours des Humanités, 93300 Aubervilliers)
Starting at 16:45.
More information: https://ccj.hypotheses.org/31017

Monday 09 January 2023

We have reviewed and synthesised the content of the last three sessions of the seminar. This has led — from a multidisciplinary perspective, including sociology, geography, anthropology, history and literature — to prompt our reflection on the entangled issues of “bond, space and distance”.

Monday 13 February 2023

In order to further explore the issue of “Waishengren” (外省人) in Taiwan, we will examine the text of Yang Dominic Meng-hsuan and Chang Mau-kuei : « Comprendre les nuances des Waishengren », Perspectives chinoises, 2010/3 | 2010 http://journals.openedition.org/perspectiveschinoises/5667

Monday 27 February 2023

We will continue to explore the issue of bonds to the native land and to the host land through Hu Tai-li’s documentary : Stone Dream ( (胡台麗, 石頭夢, 2004).

Monday 13 March 2023

God of the soil, god of riches: ethnology of the quest for prosperity in the Hongludi Nanshan Fude temple in Taiwan

This session inaugurates a new space within the Taiwan Studies Workshops: the Young Researchers’ Workshop.Marta Pavone, a doctoral student in social anthropology at Inalco, will present her research work conducted in the heart of the Hongludi Nanshan Fude temple in Taiwan. This temple is dedicated to Tudi Gong 土地公, the god of soil. Marta Pavone’s presentation will be discussed by Stéphanie Homola, anthropologist, researcher at the CNRS – IFRAE.

Monday 27 March 2023

Discussion on the issue of “Narratives and memory” with Évelyne Ribert and Sébastien Ledoux, based on the book Le Temps des mots, un dialogue sino-taïwanais.
More information

Monday 15 May 2023

We will further explore the issue of ” bond, space and distance” through Hu Tai-li(胡台麗)’s documentary (石頭夢)and Chang Mau-kuei (張茂桂)’s article: 《心中之石 從 “石頭夢”談‘族群和解’》, 自由時報 2005-02-23.

Friday 26 May and 2 June 2023

Tsai-Yu-yueh (IOS -Academia Sinica) will speak on the occasion of two complementary sessions of the seminar “Taiwan and its Realms of Memory: Bond, Space and Distance”. These lectures are part of the cycle of conferences “Taiwanese Perspectives”.

Monday 12 June 2023

This session will be dedicated to synthesizing (and discussing) this year’s seminar content.

Monday 26 June 2023

The session will be devoted to the half-day conference of the Young Researchers’ Workshop.

Session schedule

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

3.30 pm – 4 pm

Panel 2

4 pm – 6 pm

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)

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