Sonntag, 27. Oktober 2019, 10:00 - 13:00 iCal

Taiwan's Cultural Diplomacy

A Decade of Intercultural Discovery

Aula am Campus der Universität Wien + SIN 1, Department of East Asian Studies
Spitalgasse 2-4 / Hof 1.11, 1090 Wien


Weitere Termine

Freitag, 25. Oktober 2019, 14:00 - 22:00

Samstag, 26. Oktober 2019, 09:00 - 18:00

Conference Registration is now open!

Taiwan studies are an important place to locate cultural diplomacy concerning Taiwan. What then is „cultural diplomacy“, and where are such Taiwan studies to be found?


Cultural Diplomacy

Cultural Diplomacy (CD) is based on a broad understanding of culture and cultural exchanges, between states, but also among individuals. The „cultural“ aspects that may represent Taiwan include food, film, clothes, music, religious rituals, ethnic activities such as festivals, social events like the annual (Taiwan) pride parade or the annual (Taipei) Women's March and much more. Culture is also represented through its languages.


Taiwan studies can include all of the above and demonstrate the peculiar, specific character of Taiwan. The planned conference, Taiwan’s Cultural Diplomacy: A Decade of Intercultural Discovery, focuses on the development of Taiwan studies, their contents and range within Asian studies and beyond.


Vienna as an example

Aspects of Taiwan are taught occasionally and often project-related at Asian studies institutions, but also at other university faculties. For example, Taiwan issues have been taught at the University of Vienna for decades. But only after the establishment of the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies in 2009 did teaching about Taiwan at the department of East Asian Studies become permanent and uninterrupted. The success of the BA and MA classes on Taiwan finally led to appointment of a four-hours-per-term lecturer of Taiwan studies at the Department of East Asian Studies in last year's (2018) summer term.

Taiwan Studies and the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies

The job description of the lecturer in Taiwan studies included involvement in the management of the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies (VCTS). Hopefully, the ongoing institutionalization can prevent Taiwan Studies at the University of Vienna from being short-lived, as has often been the case at other institutions.


The many submissions to the conference call from all parts of the world and from different academic fields prove the global prevalence Taiwan studies meanwhile enjoy. The Conference attempts to list and illustrate the different forms that have been developed in the field of Taiwan studies.


A Decade of Intercultural Discovery

The Conference has several aims:

1. Firstly, papers and presentations should provide an overview of the broad scope of Taiwan studies (Michael Hsin-huang Hsiao, Susanne Weigelin-Schwiedrzik); the relation of Taiwan studies and cultural diplomacy; and the content of such relationships (Gary Rawnsley), as well as the institutionalization of Taiwan studies at European universities (Gunter Schubert). Their keynote speeches will be followed by examples of Taiwanese music.

2. Secondly, the conference will highlight the special relationship that Taiwan studies at VCTS has developed with scholars from several universities in Taiwan. While some of them have already been partner universities of the University of Vienna for decades, Taiwan studies at the VCTS has added others and offered more opportunities for Taiwan scholars to visit Vienna. The special relationship of VCTS includes a recent new focus of Taiwan studies in Vienna, namely film (Yu-wen Fu); law (I-Ming Liao); and (Chinese language) education (Jade Lee). The conference thus provides an opportunity to scholars from other European countries to interact with the potential of Taiwan studies in Taiwan.

Furthermore, the VCTS relations to Taiwan universities has also led to cross-continental teaching exchange in Taiwan studies (Chang Jung Christian University, Prof. Jens Damm) and more general teaching (human rights taught by Dr. Lipinsky at National Kaohsiung University). On this basis, the conference is going to discuss the possibilities of Taiwan studies beyond Taiwan contents.

In our conference panels, Taiwanese professors will exchange directly with European colleagues who have cooperated with Vienna for many years (Ming-Yeh Rawnsley, Chris Berry, Corrado Neri on film; Chung Cheng-ming, Vienna, on language education). The intra-European collaboration has been facilitated by the regular attendance of Dr. Lipinsky at annual conferences of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS) and her service on the EATS board (2014-18).


3. Thirdly, the VCTS recently met experts in music and discovered this medium as a singularly effective way to introduce Taiwan. Because the conference is Vienna-based - „the city of music“ - having a panel on music seems appropriate (L.K. Kam and Kate Walker). Furthermore, Professor Kam from National Chiaotung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan, is representative of the growing number of Taiwanese coming to Vienna to visit the Center, to familiarize themselves with our research and offer their respective expertise. This shows the attraction Taiwan studies – and their institutionalization in Taiwan studies centers – have for scholars from Taiwan.

4. Fourthly, the conference attempts to provide an overview of Taiwan studies and institutions elsewhere featuring Taiwan studies (Canada: Scott Simon & André LaLiberté; UK: Lara Momesso; Switzerland: Simona Grano). The conference will offer an opportunity for Vienna students to personally meet Taiwan studies experts from abroad, and discover the Taiwan studies opportunities available elsewhere.


5. Finally, the conference wishes to highlight the importance of (international) politics in Taiwan studies and will discuss the role of NGOs (Caroline Zillessen, Berlin, Germany); city diplomacy (Hermann Halbeisen, Cologne, Germany) and the Taiwan democracy case (Christian Goebel, Vienna).


The Format of the Conference

The conference will begin on 25 October with four keynote speeches during the afternoon and evening. For this event, the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies will rent the campus auditorium (Aula), to accommodate a larger audience.


Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies

Um Anmeldung wird gebeten


Astrid Lipinsky
Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften
4277 43844