As the site of crossings of colonizers, settlers, merchants, and goods, island nations such as Taiwan have seen a rich confluence of cultures, where peoples and languages were either forced to mix or did so voluntarily, due largely to colonial conquest and their crucial role in world economy. Through an examination of socio-cultural phenomena, Comparatizing Taiwan situates Taiwan globally, comparatively, and relationally to bring out the nation’s innate richness.
This book examines Taiwan in relation to other islands, cultures, or nations in terms of culture, geography, history, politics, and economy. Comparisons include China, Korea, Canada, Hong Kong, Macau, Ireland, Malaysia, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, the United States and the Caribbean, and these comparisons present a number of different issues, alongside a range of sometimes divergent implications. By exploring Taiwan’s many relationalities, material as well as symbolic, over a significant historical and geographical span, the contributors move to expand the horizons of Taiwan studies and reveal the valuable insights that can be obtained by viewing nations, societies and cultures in comparison. Through this process, the book offers crucial reflections on how to compare and how to study small nations.
This truly interdisciplinary book will be welcomed by students and scholars interested in Taiwan studies, Sinophone studies, comparative cultural studies, postcolonial studies, and literary studies.
"The wonderful collection of essays presented in this volume serves an important interest and future direction for Taiwan studies and perhaps methodologically for those engaged in comparative cultural studies elsewhere. The most commendable aspect of this volume is the experimental quality that it brings to the discussion. Routledge, the book’s publisher, should be commended for acknowledging not only the nuances and peculiarity Taiwan offers to scholarship, but also allowing space for the eccentric and unconventionality that researchers on Taiwan tend to possess."
Niki Alsford, Thinking Taiwan. See more at: http://thinking-taiwan.com/book-review-comparatizing-taiwan/#sthash.0WpgTffM.dpuf
Introduction: Why Taiwan? Why Comparatize?, Shu-mei Shih and Ping-hui Liao Part I: Taiwan in Comparison 1. Comparativism and Taiwan Studies: Analyzing Taiwan in/out of Context, or Taiwan as an East Asian New World Society, Frank Muyard 2. Tiger’s Leap into the Past: Comparative Temporalities and the Politics of Redemption, Chien-heng Wu 3. Comparison for Com-passion: Exploring the Structures of Feeling in East Asia, Hong-luen Wang 4. Archipelagoes of Taiwan Literature: Comparative Methods and Island Writings in Taiwan, Yuting Huang 5. Paradoxes of Conservation and Comparison: Taiwan, Environmental Crises, and World Literatures, Karen Thornber 6. Weak Links, Literary Spaces, and Comparative Taiwan, Jing Tsu 7. Far-fetched Lands: The Caribbean, Taiwan, and Submarine Relations, Li-chun Hsiao Part II: Imperial Conjunctures and Contingencies 8. Is Feminism Translatable? Spivak, Taiwan, A-Wu, Shu-mei Shih 9. Voices of Empire in Dubliners and Taibenren, Margaret Hillenbrand 10. Body (Language) across the Sea: Gender, Ethnicity, and the Embodiment of Post/colonial Modernity, Faye Yuan Kleeman 11. Interlingual Discovery: Sato Haruo’s Travels in the Colony, Ping-hui Liao 12. Taiwan’s Postcolonial and Queer Discourse in the 1990s, Liang-ya Liou 13. Taiwan after the Colonial Century: Bringing China into the Foreground, Jieh-min Wu