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What Can Pacific Studies Tell Us about Taiwan Studies?: An Analysis of Collaborative Possibilities within Area Studies
April 26, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
26th Apr 2017 1:00pm to 2:00pm
6 Kelburn Parade Seminar Room 102 (6KP 102)
In critically evaluating similarities and differences between Taiwan Studies and Pacific Studies, Jess Marinaccio seeks to examine why Pacific Studies has largely excluded Taiwan and why Taiwan Studies rarely engages with Pacific Studies.
Pacific and Taiwan Studies are brought into conversation here not only because of geographic and Austronesian ties between Taiwan and the Pacific but also because the basic trajectories of Pacific and Taiwan Studies promise to expand the underpinnings of Taiwan Studies and reveal certain tensions within the field. In this seminar, Jess will offer select examples of phenomena in Taiwan that suggest the potential for linking Taiwan and the Pacific (e.g., presidential speeches featuring concepts of Taiwan as an Austronesian “ocean nation,” as well as the oceanic writings of indigenous author Syaman Rapongan), after which she will discuss the mutual invisibility of Taiwan Studies and Pacific Studies. Finally, Jess will outline the trajectories of Pacific Studies as posited by major theorists and examine how Pacific Studies informs and challenges discussions of Taiwan Studies and Theory as proposed in Knowledge/Taiwan: The Possibility of Taiwan Theory (知識臺灣：臺灣理論的可能性). In her analysis, she suggests (1) that the mutual invisibility of Taiwan and Pacific Studies can be attributed to the differing Western nations and disciplines with which the fields have been entangled, and (2) that Pacific Studies’ emphasis on indigeneity can be adapted within Taiwan Studies to develop an ethical methodology that allows for contemplation of both “multicultural” Taiwan and Taiwan’s indigenous peoples.
For more information contact: Melissa Fiu 04 463 5830
Jess Marinaccio graduated with her BA in Chinese language and history from Williams College in the United States and her MA in Chinese Literature from National Taiwan University, where she studied under Professor Chia-ling Mei, Director of the NTU Center for Taiwan Studies. After graduation, she worked at the Embassy of Tuvalu, R.O.C. (Taiwan), where she developed an interest in the relationship between Taiwan and its Pacific allies and decided to pursue PhD research on cultural diplomacy between Tuvalu and Taiwan at Victoria University of Wellington’s Pacific Studies programme in Aotearoa/New Zealand. Her current research examines not only cultural diplomacy between Tuvalu and Taiwan but also the possibilities for collaboration between Taiwan and Pacific Studies.