University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta

May 25-26, 2013


The international conference “Taiwan in Dynamic Transition,” hosted by the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Alberta, will take place on May 25-26. At the conference, distinguished scholars from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States will present original research on some of the most salient aspects of Taiwan’s social, political, and cultural transformation in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The experts participating in this interdisciplinary conference represent a range of academic disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Their presentations pertain to such topics as the influence of political discourse and education on the imagination of Taiwanese history and identity; democratization and political reform at local and national levels; cultural, racial, and gender tensions as seen through the lens of popular literature; Taiwan as a provider of foreign aid and developmental expertise; the influence of global norms on Taiwanese society and political institutions.


May 25, 2013

9:00-9:30  Welcome and Opening Remarks

Ryan Dunch, Chair, Department of East Asian Studies

Lois Harder, Associate Dean, Faculty of Arts

Michael Y. K. Tseng, Director General, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Vancouver

“Why is the East China Sea Peace Initiative Important?”

9:30-11:00  History, Identity, and Political Discourse

Panel Chair:  Ashley Esarey, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta


 Rwei-ren Wu, Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica “Nation-state formation at the interface: The Case of Taiwan”

Jennifer Wei, English Department, Soochow University “Familial Metaphors in Taiwanese Campaign Rhetoric: a comparative study of Mme. CKS and Annette Lu, and of Tsai Ing-wen in contrast”

I-Hsin Hsiao, Department of Sociology, University of Essex “A New Form of National Imagination in the High School History Curriculum: On the Non-Linear Development of Taiwanese History Course during Lee Teng-Hui and Chen Shui-Bian Eras”

Discussant:  Maukuei Chang, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica

11:00-12:30   The Political Dimension: Political and Legal Reform

Panel Chair:  Gordon Houlden, China Institute, University of Alberta


 Jiunn-rong Yeh, National Taiwan University Law School “The Legacy of Incremental Constitutional Reform in Taiwan”

Benjamin Read, Politics Department, University of California, Santa Cruz “Urban Taiwan’s State-Structured Neighborhood Governance: Deepening Democracy, Partisan Civic Engagement, Inverted Class Bias”

Eric Setzekorn, Department of History, The George Washington University “Military Reform in Contemporary Taiwan: The Lafayette Scandal, National Defense Law and All-Volunteer Force”

Discussant: Bruce Jacobs, Monash University

14:00-16:00   Global and Local Interconnections

Panel Chair:  Thomas Gold, Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley


 Szu-Chien Hsu, Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica “Constructing a “Common Field” across the Taiwan Strait via Environmentalism? Case Studies of Cross-Strait Environment NGO Exchanges”

Lee Chia-wen, National Cheng Kung University “Taiwan’s Death Penalty in the Local-Global Dynamics”

Gerald Chan, Department of Political Studies, University of Auckland “Taiwan as an ‘established’ aid donor: creating space between traditional and emerging donors?”

Lee Hyunji, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary “An Uninvited Guest at the Policymaking Table: The Rise of Mass Opinion in Post-Developmental States”

Discussant: Thomas Gold, University of California, Berkeley

May 26, 2013

9:00-11:00  Social Change, Gender, and Popular Culture

Panel Chair: Lin Jenn-Shann, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta


Shu-ning Sciban, Shu-ning Sciban, Department of Germanic, Slavic and East Asian Studies, University of Calgary “How to Do Things with Neologisms: A Study of Wang Wenxing’s Language”

Isabella Cheng, School of Languages and Area Studies, University of Portsmouth “Bridging Across or Sandwiched Between? The In-Between Identity of Chinese Immigrant Women in Taiwan”

Lin Pei-Yin, School of Chinese, University of Hong Kong “Voice from the Margin: Gender and Ethnicity in the Works of Rimuy Aki”

Jérôme Soldani, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Ottawa “’Aborigines people are Strong, Chinese are Smart:’ Racial Stereotypes on Autochthonous players in Taiwanese Baseball”

Discussant: Daniel Fried, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta

11:00-12:30   Plenary Roundtable Discussion: Next Steps

Many thanks to our sponsors:

  •  Ministry of Education Republic of China (Taiwan)
  •  University of Alberta China Institute
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of China (Taiwan)