Book Talk: Island Fantasia with Wei-Ping Lin

On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 5p.m. PT, the UW Taiwan Studies Program will welcome Professor Wei-Ping Lin to discuss her newly published work, Island Fantasia: Imagining Subjects on the Military Frontline between China and Taiwan. This is a virtual event which will be livestreamed on our Facebook and YouTube pages. Click here to register.

The Matsu archipelago between China and Taiwan, for long an isolated outpost off southeast China, was suddenly transformed into a military frontline in 1949 by the Cold War and the Communist–Nationalist conflict. The army occupied the islands, commencing more than 40 long years of military rule. With the lifting of martial law in 1992, the people were confronted with the question of how to move forward. Professor Lin’s in-depth ethnography and social history of the islands focuses on how individual citizens redefined themselves and reimagined their society. Drawing on long-term fieldwork, Lin shows how islanders used both traditional and new media to cope with the conflicts and trauma of harsh military rule. She discusses the formation of new social imaginaries through the appearance of “imagining subjects,” interrogating their subjectification processes and varied uses of mediating technologies as they seek to answer existential questions.

“Refugee Youth Agency in Flux: Active and Passive Waiting in Transit Country Indonesia”

Talk by Realisa Masardi, Universitas Gadjah Mada and University of Michigan

For more than two decades, Indonesia has been a transit spot for asylum seekers from Central Asia, South Asia, East Africa, and Southeast Asia while irregularly en route to Australia. Following Australia’s controversial ‘stop the boats’ policy, thousands of refugees, including the young population, must wait longer in Indonesia to get their refugee status processed by UNHCR and to have a chance to resettle in a third country. As a non-signatory state to the 1951 Refugee Convention, Indonesia has a limited legal framework to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, which causes grave precarious conditions for them. Nevertheless, arbitrariness in Indonesia’s legal framework and its flexibility in handling refugees surprisingly has provided a certain level of “informal protection” and opportunities for young refugees to make maneuvers in the fluid arenas. As they wait, the young people also plan, anticipate, negotiate, hustle, play, and rest. This talk will focus on the dynamics of refugee youths’ agency-in-waiting. Professor Masardi explores how young refugees exercise passive and active waiting and what contributing factors catalyze or impede the distribution of their agency.

Realisa D Masardi is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia. She is the awardee of the prestigious 2022 Gosling-Lim Postdoctoral Fellowship in Southeast Asian Studies. Currently, Professor Masardi is completing her postdoc program at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. Professor Masardi has been working on the issues of children and young people in several migrants/refugees communities in Southeast Asia, focusing on their identities, access to rights, and agency, particularly on their everyday survival movements. She received her PhD in anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her dissertation focuses on the social navigation of independent young refugees from diverse countries facing precarities during transit in Indonesia.

Boundary Pushing in Asian Studies: Editors’ Roundtable

This roundtable is part of the “Boundary Pushing in Asian Studies” workshop organized by the editors of the Journal of Asian Studies in partnership with the Asian Studies Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Editors of leading journals — Tina Chen (Verge: Studies in Global Asias), Suzy Kim (positions: asia critique), Sumit Guha (Modern Asian Studies), Paolo Sartori (Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient), Hyung Gu Lynn (Pacific Affairs), and Andrea Jain (Journal of the American Academy of Religion) — will join Joseph Alter, Purnima Dhavan, Kelly Anne Hammond, Kate McDonald, and Albert Park (Journal of Asian Studies). Each editor will talk briefly about their experience highlighting things that are especially important for early career scholars to know and understand about the peer review process. This will be followed by Q&A with participants in the workshop. Registration is free and the roundtable is open to the public.

Book Talk: Imperial Gateway with Seiji Shirane

On Thursday, January 19, 2023 from 3:30 to 5:00p.m. PT, Professor Seiji Shirane will join the UW Taiwan Studies Program to discuss his newly published monograph, Imperial Gateway: Colonial Taiwan and Japan’s Expansion in South China and Southeast Asia, 1895-1945.

Shirane’s book explores the political, social, and economic significance of colonial Taiwan in the southern expansion of Japan’s empire from 1895 to the end of World War II. Challenging understandings of empire that focus on bilateral relations between metropole and colonial periphery, the book uncovers a half century of dynamic relations between Japan, Taiwan, China, and Western regional powers. Japanese officials in Taiwan did not simply take orders from Tokyo; rather, they often pursued their own expansionist ambitions in South China and Southeast Asia. When outright conquest was not possible, they promoted alternative strategies, including naturalizing resident Chinese as overseas Taiwanese subjects, extending colonial police networks, and deploying tens of thousands of Taiwanese to war. Drawing on multilingual archives in six countries, Imperial Gateway shows how Japanese officials and Taiwanese subjects transformed Taiwan into a regional gateway for expansion in an ever-shifting international order.

Book Break: ‘Comfort Stations’ as Remembered by Okinawans during World War II

The speakers will be Yunshin Hong and Robert Ricketts.

Okinawa was the only Japanese prefecture to be invaded by US forces during the battle fought there in the spring of 1945. It was also the only part of Japan proper forced to accommodate a network of 146 Japanese military “comfort stations”. After the war, how did Okinawans remember the intrusive and intimidating spaces of the sex venues and their destructive impact on village society? What was their role in the Japanese army’s battle plans? To answer these questions, the author focuses not on Korean and Okinawan comfort women per se, but on the comfort stations and the Okinawans who witnessed them in their daily lives.

Choson History Society Talk (Gowoon Seong)

The Choson History Society is inviting Gowoon Seong (Fudan Univ.) for a talk titled, “Hakata merchants and the distribution of ceramics in Northeast Asia in the 15th-16th centuries”
Presented by Gowoon Seong, PhD Candidate, Fudan University (复旦大学)
Date: July 28, 2022, 11:00pm (Seoul) / 7:00am (Los Angeles) / 4:00 pm (Paris)

Visit the event website to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Hakata merchants served an essential role in the circulation in Northeast Asia of Ming ceramics and Chosŏn ceramics in the 15th to 16th centuries. In scholarship on the Chinese ceramic trade, Ryukyu islanders have received significant attention. However, Ryukyu islanders were more involved in Southeast Asia trading deeper than in Northeast Asia. Investigating the role of Hakata merchants provides a more profound understanding not only of ceramic trading in Northeast Asia but as well as of its changing value in different cultures. This presentation will use a combination of historical documents and excavated materials to examine three different roles of Hakata merchants in the ceramic trade.

Beyond the Verse of Korea

This is a special literary lecture by David McCann, a Harvard professor specializing in Korean Literature. It will be an online lecture, as the in-person event is now full. It is commemorating the 10th anniversary of King Sejong Foundation Institute with the guest speaker Professor David McCann presenting “The Charm of Korean Literature: Sijo”. We are diving into the depth of Korea’s literature and poetic beauty!

AAS Digital Dialogues: Meet the Asia Shorts Editor

Join us June 29 at 3:00 pm ET for an AAS Digital Dialogue session featuring David Kenley, editor of the Asia Shorts book series. Published by AAS in conjunction with Columbia University Press, Asia Shorts has a unique mission in our contemporary publishing environment. Kenley will introduce the series and, more importantly, discuss how potential authors can prepare a manuscript for submission. Participants can submit questions regarding Asia Shorts in particular or about the broader state of disseminating scholarship in a rapidly changing publishing industry. Open access, “pay to publish,” the explosion of social media, and the blurring of the boundary between trade texts and scholarly monographs—these are only some of the topics Kenley will address in this important Digital Dialogue session.


Register Now

ASPAC Webinar on Research and Publishing Trends in Asian Studies, 2022

In lieu of both an in-person conference and a virtual conference, our region decided to take the opportunity to do a webinar to showcase award-winning graduate student research with the winners of our two graduate student paper prizes: Li Haoyue, the Mori Prize in Asian Studies and Sean Cronan, the Barlow Prize in Chinese Studies, to offer expert advice on transforming your dissertation into a publishable book with Lorri Hagman, Executive Editor at University of Washington Press, and to inspire with a keynote address from the AAS Vice President, Kamran Ali through his current and future research on Pakistani cinema in the 1960s.

Click on this LINK to join the Zoom Webinar

All are welcome!

Meet the Journal of Asian Studies (JAS) Editor (Virtual)

This AAS Digital Dialogue session will be an opportunity to meet with Joseph S. Alter, the editor of the Journal of Asian Studies, to learn about the preparation of manuscripts for submission and the peer review process. Alter will begin the session with a brief overview of points that are outlined in a short document entitled “Guidelines for Publishing in the Journal of Asian Studies,” which you may access below. The document is designed to address many common questions that relate to publishing and to highlight key points that are especially relevant as you consider submitting your work to the JAS.

Following this overview, the session will be structured around questions you are invited to submit in advance (you may submit questions when registering for the session, or through the button below). These may range from the practical and procedural to broader concerns about how the field of Asian Studies is changing, and how to conceptualize your work in relation to changes in academia more broadly.

AAS2022 Member Meeting (Virtual)

Join AAS for a rebroadcast of the Member Meeting that took place on March 26 at the 2022 Annual Conference in Honolulu. Following the recorded event, there will be a live Q&A with Executive Director Hilary Finchum-Sung. We welcome all current and prospective members to this event to learn about the new AAS Strategic Plan, governance changes, and upcoming programs.

Register today—and on the registration form, please share any questions, comments, or topics you’d like Hilary Finchum-Sung to address during the live Q&A session.

Book Talk: The Landscape of Historical Memory

Please join us on April 7 at 5 pm for Professor Kirk A. Denton’s book talk on the political narratives that surround Taiwan’s museums!

The Landscape of Historical Memory: The Politics of Museums and Memorial Culture in Post–Martial Law Taiwan

Book Talk with Professor Kirk A. Denton (Professor Emeritus of Chinese literature, Ohio State University)

Available in-person (Room 337, The HUB, UW) & online

RSVP required for both in-person and online attendance:

The Landscape of Historical Memory explores the place of museums and memorial culture in the contestation over historical memory in post–martial law Taiwan. The book is particularly oriented toward the role of politics—especially political parties—in the establishment, administration, architectural design, and historical narratives of museums. It is framed around the wrangling between the “blue camp” (the Nationalist Party, or KMT, and its supporters) and the “green camp” (Democratic Progressive Party, or DPP, and its supporters) over what facets of the past should be remembered and how they should be displayed in museums. Organized into chapters focused on particular types of museums and memorial spaces (e.g., archaeology museums, history museums, martyrs’ shrines, war museums, memorial halls, literature museums, ethnology museums, and ecomuseums), the book presents a broad overview of the state of museums in Taiwan in the past three decades. The case of Taiwan museums tells us much about Cold War politics and its legacy in East Asia; the role of culture, history, and memory in shaping identities in the “postcolonial” landscape of Taiwan; the politics of historical memory in an emergent democracy, especially in counterpoint to the politics of museums in the People’s Republic of China, which continues to be an authoritarian single party state; and the place of museums in a neoliberal economic climate.

Kirk Denton is Professor Emeritus of Chinese literature at Ohio State University. He studied at Colby College and the University of Toronto. For more than twenty years he has edited the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture and oversaw the rich collection of materials at the MCLC Resource Center. Prof. Denton wrote The Problematic of Self in Modern Chinese Literature: Hu Feng and Lu Ling and Exhibiting the Past: Historical Memory and the Politics of Museums in Postsocialist China.

Energy Issues in East Asia Lecture Series

Join the University of Washington Taiwan Studies Program for the Winter 2022 Lecture Series covering Energy Issues in East Asia.

Thursday, Feb 24, 2022, 4 – 5 PM PT
Energy Transition and Climate Action in East Asia
with Dr. Wei-Ming Chen (Biden School of Public Policy & Administration, University of Delaware)

Tuesday, Mar 1, 2022, 4 – 5 PM PT
Offshore Wind Power Development in Taiwan and its Spatial Impact
with Dr. Pei-Wen Lu (Geography, National Changhua University of Education, Taiwan)

Thursday, Mar 3, 2022, 4 – 5 PM PT
Towards a Multi-Scalar Approach to Energy Transition in East Asia
with Dr. Ker-Hsuan Chien (Institute of Technology Management, National Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan)

Sinology in Russia

“Sinology in Russia” is the largest international event in Russia devoted to researches in various fields of sinology. It aims to present current research trends in Russian sinology. In its frames presentation of the following reports will be held:

Lobanova Tatiana, Dr. Sci. (Philology), Director of the Regional Center for Chinese Language and Chinese Studies of the Moscow Region State Univesrity. The topic is “China’s media discourse on COVID-19 related topic as a subject of Applied Analysis”. The report is on discursive practices of media discourse in Chine for the period of 2019-2021. The aim of the research is to describe media discourse in China and to present the experience of using the methodology of critical discourse analysis and content analysis;

Dubyaga Anastasiya, English and Chinese teacher at school №947 (Moscow), 1st year PhD student of Moscow State Regional University. The topic is “Linguocultural types in the categorical system of conceptology description”. The report is devoted to the study of a linguocultural type as a generalized image of a person whose behavior and value orientations determine the uniqueness of a certain society. The aim of the research is to identify the main characteristics of a linguocultural type as one of the varieties of conceptology and to determine their place in the categorical system of conceptology through the prism of the theory of modern linguocultural types;

Sivova Daria, 1st year PhD student of Moscow State Regional University majoring in Linguistics and Literature: Theory of Language with 4 working languages: Russian, English, Chinese and French. The main scientific interest is Applied Linguistics, particularly the Study of Discourse Analysis. The topic is “Informational Vaccine Wars in the Mass-Media Discourse: Linguistic aspect”. The report examines the linguistic aspect of the Information Vaccine War in the mass media discourse. The aim of the research is to describe the functioning of a language in the mechanisms of Informational Vaccine Wars.

Book Talk: The Tiger Leading the Dragon, with Professor Shelley Rigger

The University of Washington Taiwan Studies Program will host Professor Shelley Rigger for a Book Talk on her recent publication – The Tiger Leading the Dragon: How Taiwan Propelled China’s Economic Rise.

This virtual event will take place at 3:30pm Pacific Time on Thursday, January 13th. Please fill out the RSVP to directly receive viewing links for the event:

How did the once-secretive, isolated People’s Republic of China become the factory to the world? Shelley Rigger convincingly demonstrates that the answer is Taiwan. She follows the evolution of Taiwan’s influence from the period when Deng Xiaoping lifted Mao’s prohibitions on business in the late 1970s, allowing investors from Taiwan to collaborate with local officials in the PRC to transform mainland China into a manufacturing powerhouse. After World War II, Taiwan’s fleet-footed export-oriented manufacturing firms became essential links in global supply chains. In the late 1980s, Taiwanese firms seized the opportunity to lower production costs by moving to the PRC, which was seeking foreign investment to fuel its industrial rise. Within a few years, Taiwan’s traditional manufacturing had largely relocated to the PRC, opening space for a wave of new business creation in information technology. The Tiger Leading the Dragon traces the development of the cross-Taiwan Strait economic relationship and explores how Taiwanese firms and individuals transformed Chinese business practices. It also reveals their contributions to Chinese consumer behavior, philanthropy, religion, popular culture, and law.

Global Asia in a Multipolar World Virtual Lecture Series (Arizona State University)

As part of Arizona State University’s commitment to global engagement, sustainability, and future-oriented knowledge and research, the Center for Asian Research has organized a series of virtual lectures for the 2021-2022 academic year on the theme of “Global Asia in a Multipolar World.” This virtual lecture series highlights research from prominent scholars in an array of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and beyond, broadly centered on Inter-Asian networks and flows of ideas, peoples, and texts across national and linguistic borders.

Roundtable – Challenging Hegemony: Taiwan, the Baltic, and the EU

Lithuania’s recent decision to accept a Taiwan Representative Office has created outsized reverberations across Europe, Asia, and the world. With the decision to utilize the name “Taiwan,” Lithuania has drawn the ire of the People’s Republic of China and thrust Taiwan into the center of European Union politics. Why did Lithuania and the Baltic countries decide to develop closer relations with Taiwan at the cost of alienating China? What does this entail for the future of European relations with Taiwan and China? And what does this shift mean for Taiwan’s international status and future?

Please join us as three scholars from Taiwan and the Baltic discuss the implications of unfolding contemporary events


Chih-Mei Luo
Jean Monnet Chair Professor, Department of Public Administration and Policy, National Taipei University

Daunis Auers
Professor of European Studies, University of Latvia

Zsuzsa Anna Ferenczy
Postdoctoral Researcher, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien
Non-Resident Fellow, Taiwan NextGen Foundation


Guntis Smidchens
Kazickas Family Endowed Professor in Baltic Studies, UW Department of Scandinavian Studies

James Lin
Assistant Professor in Taiwan Studies, UW Jackson School of International Studies

Choson History Society Zoom Talk

The Choson History Society is welcoming Dr. JUNG, Donghun for a presentation on Chosŏn-Ming relations and unofficial channels of interactions that have shaped Sino-Korean history. JUNG Donghun (Ph.D. Seoul National University 2016) is an assistant professor at Seoul National University of Education. He majored in premodern Korea-China relations, especially from the 10th to the 15th centuries.

Title of the Talk: Emperor Between the Lines: Private Channels of Imperial Desire in Early Chosŏn-Ming Relations
Date: November 2, 5:00pm (LA) / November 2, 8:00pm (New York) / November 3, 9:00am (Seoul) / November 3, 00:00am (London)

This is a virtual Zoom event. Please register below. We look forward to seeing all of you!

Abstract, Presenter’s Bio, and Images of the Talk are available from the Choson History Society website:

Death and Life on the Yangtze: Extinction, Conservation, and Environmental Change in Modern China

As part of ASU’s commitment to global engagement, sustainability, and future-oriented knowledge and research, the Center for Asian Research has organized a series of virtual lectures for the 2021-2022 academic year on the theme of “Global Asia in a Multipolar World.” This virtual lecture series highlights research from prominent scholars in an array of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and beyond, broadly centered on Inter-Asian networks and flows of ideas, peoples, and texts across national and linguistic borders.

Our first lecture, titled ‘Death and Life on the Yangtze: Extinction, Conservation, and Environmental Change in Modern China,’ will be provided by David Pietz, Professor of Chinese History at the University of Arizona. This presentation will seek to identify and explore, in a preliminary way, research questions on the social construction of the extinction of the Yangtze Baiji dolphin and subsequent conservation efforts of the Yangtze Finless Porpoise. Specific questions include: How did animal life fit into Chinese world views? How is the notion of extinction mediated by cultural context? To what degree is conservation laden with cultural meaning and values? How was animal life perceived during the Maoist period? How was the science of conservation biology (re) introduced in China during the post-Mao era? How do conservation efforts fit patterns of bureaucratic behavior in China? How has the term “biodiversity” been adopted by different social constituencies in China during the post‐Mao era? The presentation will not engage the entirety of this laundry list of questions but instead represents an initial effort at developing a research agenda to explore these and other analytical themes.

Nov. 4 Book Talk: Time and Migration with Prof. Ken Sun

Professor Ken Chih-Yan Sun of Villanova University is invited by the UW Taiwan Studies Program and UW Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology to present a Book Talk. Professor Sun will speak on his new work, Time and Migration: How Long-Term Taiwanese Migrants Negotiate Later Life, on Thursday, November 4th, at 4pm Pacific Time.

Please RSVP to receive a talk invite via your email:

Based on longitudinal ethnographic work on migration between the United States and Taiwan, Time and Migration interrogates how long-term immigrants negotiate their needs as they grow older and how transnational migration shapes later-life transitions. Ken Chih-Yan Sun develops the concept of a “temporalities of migration” to examine the interaction between space, place, and time. He demonstrates how long-term settlement in the United States, coupled with changing homeland contexts, has inspired aging immigrants and returnees to rethink their sense of social belonging, remake intimate relations, and negotiate opportunities and constraints across borders. The interplay between migration and time shapes the ways aging migrant populations reassess and reconstruct relationships with their children, spouses, grandchildren, community members, and home, as well as host societies. Aging, Sun argues, is a global issue and must be reconsidered in a cross-border environment.