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The Emergence of 'History': A Survey of the History of Taiwanese Historiography

A podcast of the talk by WU MI-CHA (Professor of Taiwanese Literature, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan)is now available.

Friday, January 29, 2010
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
Sierra Room
Faculty Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095

The Literature on Taiwan Series (Taiwan wenxian congkan), compiled and published by the Office of Economic Research of the Bank of Taiwan, contains the largest number of historical sources on Taiwan written in Chinese. There are four types: (1) government archives and official records, mostly from the Qing period; (2) a variety of writings about Taiwan by officials and sojourners from the mainland; (3) a number of local gazetteers (fangzhi) compiled officially or semi-officially by Qing officials and their assistants, who included Taiwanese gentry and scholars; and (4) a greater number of local gazetteers and writings in various genres by Taiwanese in the period of Japanese rule. Though the fourth type extended the third, it was more significant in the development of Taiwanese historiography, because it reflected and registered the emergence of a native, or Taiwanese, consciousness. This Taiwanese consciousness was nurtured by the unique experience the islanders underwent after the Qing ceded their land to Japan.

Wu Mi-cha (PhD, University of Tokyo) is a Professor of Taiwanese Literature and the Chair of the Department of Taiwanese Literature at National Cheng Kung University (Tainan, Taiwan). Professor Wu formerly taught at National Taiwan University and was the Director of the National Museum of Taiwan History. Among his many publications (in Chinese, Japanese, and English) are Studies in Modern History of Taiwan (in Chinese; Taipei, 1990), A Concise Compendium of History Materials on Taiwan (co-author; in Chinese, Taipei, 2004); “The Nature of Minzoku Taiwan and the Context in Which It Was Published,” in Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule (in English, Ping-hui Liao and David Wang, eds., Columbia Univ. Press, 2006); “Ino Kanori, Japanese Ethnography and the Idea of the ‘Tribe,’” in In Search of the Hunters and Their Tribes: Studies in the History and Culture of the Taiwan Indigenous People (in English; David Faure, ed., Taipei, 2001).


Professor Wu will speak in Chinese. Translation will be provided.

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