Written by Fang Tang. The word ‘diaspora’ derives from the Greek – dia, ‘through’, and speirein, ‘to scatter’， and was used to refer to the exile of the Jewish people from their homeland, the historic Israel. William Safran extends this concept in modern society to encompass a feeling of alienation, a nostalgic longing for the homeland and the self-consciousness act of defining one’s ethnicity. Over the past several decades, Chinese diasporic literature has generally been concerned with the motifs of nostalgia, homesickness, cultural identity and a sense of belonging.
Written by Milo Hsieh. Alan Yang’s first feature film, Tigertail, recounts the tale of Pin-jui, a Taiwanese immigrant estranged from his family after arriving in New York. The Taiwanese backdrop sets the film apart from The Farewell, which also captured attention with its Asian American immigrant narrative. This has heightened expectations among Taiwanese and diaspora audiences for a film that portrays Taiwan not as a generic East Asian country but one with a unique culture and history.
Written by Ti-Han Chang. Many more can be said on the comparative study of these two novels, yet what is important here is to highlight what sort of future prospect that one can further expect from the development of Taiwanese postcolonial literature as well as its significance in “worlding” Taiwanese literature as a whole. An emerging feature that may potentially be established into a kind of “new traditions” for Taiwanese postcolonial literature is the sparks that come out from its cross-disciplinary reference to environmental literature.
Written by Brian Hioe. New Bloom Magazine, which is approaching its sixth anniversary, was originally founded in 2014 in the aftermath of the Sunflower Movement. Other founders of the publication and myself were participants in the Sunflower Movement, and we first began talking about the need to found a bilingual publication to connect Taiwan to the international world in April, which was around the time of the withdrawal from the Legislative Yuan. The publication subsequently launched in July 2014.
Written by Wen-Ren Liu. When travelling around Taiwan one will inevitably encounter small temples whose religious affiliation is not immediately evident. The prevalence of such temples reflects an area where Chinese religiosity generally differs from the monotheism prevalent in many other societies – while many Chinese believe in the existence of a realm of invisible, non-material existence, they are less inclined to confine their belief to a specific God. In line with this, many religious sites in Taiwan demonstrate an interesting juxtaposition of spiritual beings and symbols pertaining to different religious/spiritual traditions, the main ones being Buddhism, Taoism (and Folk Taoism), and Confucianism…
Written by Shang Haifeng.
This venerable and influential company began releasing publications on Buddhism as part of its “Series of Annotated Modern Translations of [Chinese] Classics” (古籍今注新譯叢書) as early as the 1960’s. This was at the same time that China’s heritage – and its religious heritage in particular – was suffering sustained attacks during the Cultural Revolution.
Written by Chen-yu Lin. It is evident that “being Chinese” today can influence both music production and perceptions. The chapter argues that the construction and perception of Chineseness through popular music is multidimensional, whether the investigation concerns a China Wind song or a person’s experience of it. It also further explores other dimensions to be considered alongside the sonic journey music provides.
Written by Kuing, GuoTing Lin. Music is in full blossom in Taiwan, as evidenced by the vibrant contemporary Taiwanese music being produced by its indigenous musicians, which has spurred a rich cultural dialogue surrounding their production. Thus, in 2019 a diverse indigenous subjectivity has begun to enter the Taiwanese pop music market through new albums. Hence, it is worth exploring how this phenomenon differed from previous eras when albums were dominated by indigenous languages, and what this new phenomenon offers regarding a reflection of indigenous cultural consciousness.
Written by Hao-li Lin. Beginning as a musical experiment by mostly rock or folk musicians from the late 80s to the early 90s, from the outset, rap music in Taiwan was not part of a coherent Hip-Hop culture, even though Hip-Hop images and products were already visible.
Written by Jocelle Koh. During my time as a university student, what I would have given to have a copy of Routledge’s latest edition to their ‘Made in…’ series, ‘Made in Taiwan’. It would have been handy! As a student doing my thesis on the Taiwanese music industry in a university about as far removed from the topic as you can get, procuring the Taiwanese instalment of this academic series – completely in English and geared towards advanced understandings of Taiwanese popular music – would have saved me a lot of trouble.
Written by Eva Tsai. Sure, I had an agenda: First, I wanted to create at the time—with popular culture details—a sense of the social and cultural space. Second, I wanted to suggest that any entry point is a good entry point into Taiwanese popular music, so long as it is put into a historical and geopolitical context, along with developing a curiosity and mindfulness about what else was going on when it was made and circulated. Such was the spirit we carried into Made in Taiwan: Taiwanese popular music as world history.
Written by Ti-Han Chang. From a global perspective, today’s Taiwan is known for its cultural and ethnic diversity, its complex political relationship with China, and its recent achievements in socio-political democratisation (for instance, the Sunflower student movement and the legalisation of same-sex marriage). Yet, not many people have come to know contemporary Taiwan through its postcolonial literature, which, for me, is an important field that foregrounds Taiwan’s significance in the geographical context of the Asia Pacific in modern time.