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Wednesday, 11th May

2016 Chuan Lyu Lectures in Taiwan Studies

Dr WU Rwei-Ren (吳 叡 人)
Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Quo Vadis Formosa?
The Dilemma of Taiwan

Second Lecture

  • Wednesday, 11th May, 2016
    5pm in Rooms 8 & 9 (Ground Floor)
    Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Sidgwick Site)
    On the Black Tide: A Historical and Politico-Economical Analysis of Taiwanese Nationalism and the Sunflower Movement

This is a historical and politico-economic analysis both of the Sunflower Movement of 2014 that signified the maturity of Taiwan as a nation-state and the changing social bases of Taiwanese nationalism over the past century. Drawing on Tom Nairn’s argument of “peripheral nationalism,” I construct a framework for understanding the rise, development and formation of Taiwanese nationalism and Taiwan as a nation-state in the narrow crevices between multiple empires. I divide the process of the formation of modern Taiwan into the four stages of capitalist/imperialist domination: (1) the colonial rule of Japan’s formal empire (the age of classical imperialism); (2) the domination of the informal empire or imperium of the USA during the Cold War era; (3) the post-Cold War new liberal hegemony of the USA; and (4) the age of new imperialism since the rise of China in the 2000s. Originating in the period of classical imperialism, the nationalism and nation-state formation in Taiwan was molded during the Cold War and the post-Cold War period of neoliberalism, and the process of being subordinated to China. The contemporary forms of Taiwan’s nationalism and nation-state formation eventually took shape during the Sunflower Movement.

Dr WU Rwei-RenDr WU Rwei-Ren (吳 叡 人) is an associate research fellow of the Institute of Taiwan History at Academia Sinica, Taiwan, and an adjunct professor at National Tsinghua University in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Among his many writings He is the author of “Toward a Pragmatic Nationalism: Democratization and Taiwan’s Passive Revolution,” in Stéphane Corcuff , ed., Memories of the Future: National Identity Issues and the Search for a New Taiwan (M.E.Sharpe, 2002) and “Redeeming the Pariah, Redeeming the Past: Some Taiwanese Reflections on the Murayama Statement," in Kazuhiko Togo, ed., Japan and Reconciliation in Post-war Asia: The Murayama Statement and Its Implications (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). He has also translated Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism (Verso, 1991, 2006) into Chinese (China Times Publishing Co., 1999, 2010). Throughout his academic career he has published extensively in both Chinese and Japanese on the modern political and intellectual histories of Taiwan and Japan, with emphases on themes such as nationalism, state-formation, colonialism, left-wing movement and transitional justice. He is now working on a comparative analysis of nationalism in Taiwan, Okinawa and Hong Kong. The recipient of a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago in 2003, Dr Wu first taught for a year at the School of Political Sciences and Economics of Waseda University in Tokyo and then at the end of 2004 joined Academia Sinica, with which he has since been associated.

The annual Chuan Lyu Lectures in Taiwan Studies is generously funded by the Chuan Lyu Foundation.

For further information, contact:

Dr Adam Yuet Chau
University Senior Lecturer in the Anthropology of Modern China
Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies