Three Papers on Taiwan and Global History: Successful Collaboration Between The Middle Ground Journal and the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA)
The three papers in this collection stem from a collaboration between the North American Taiwan Studies Association and The Middle Ground Journal. For background information on this continued collaboration, please see HERE. An important task of The Middle Ground Journal: World History and Global Studies is to serve as a platform for scholarly exchanges around the world. This is an important, though time consuming and labor intensive project, one involving authors, reviewers, and editors based across North America and Asia. These papers also represent the continued efforts by the journal to publish cutting edge research from lesser known areas of study, by advanced graduate students and junior faculty around the world. I would like to express my profound gratitude to these authors, to the leaders of the NATSA, and to our reviewers and editors. Let me also take this opportunity to extend our continued invitation to scholars and learned societies around the globe to collaborate with The Middle Ground Journal.
Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal
Assistant Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica
Links to the three papers:
INTRODUCTION TO NATSA 2011
Chih-Ming Liang, NATSA President 2011.
For the purpose of promoting the quality and quantity of overseas academic research on Taiwan, the 17th Annual Conference of the North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA 2011) was held at the University of Pittsburgh on June 17-18, 2011. In order to hold the conference, the preparatory committee of NATSA 2011 started to execute a year-long project from August, 2010. The nature of the conference was not just a simple annual meeting of only the members of NATSA. Instead, being co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh’s Asian Studies Center, it was a large academic conference that focused on topics concerning Taiwan and provided a space for numerous scholars and graduate students to engage in scholarly discussions concerning multi-disciplinary research and methodologies.
The main topic for the 17th Annual Conference of NATSA was “The Trajectory of Taiwan in a Global Context.” This topic was inspired by the historic debate on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) on April 25th, 2010 between President Ma Ying-jeou and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ying-wen. Regardless of the immediate political impact, the debate was groundbreaking in that both leaders highlighted the global dimension of the cross-strait relationship, a dimension that has long been overlooked in Taiwan's political discourse. Instead of referring to convenient political language that portrays China as either an evil regime or an imminent superpower, both sides framed the debate as the pursuit of the best strategy to a new international order. The pursuit of the best strategy has not ended, even after the signing of ECFA on July 7, 2010 in Chongqing, China. Rather, increased economic integration will likely trigger more discussion on how to think globally in order to secure a better future for the Taiwanese people. The discussion will definitely involve more than economic development, but extend to other aspects of Taiwanese life as well.
This year, NATSA invited participants to think one step further on the responses Taiwan could provide in the new global context. How can Taiwan maximize gains while minimizing risks during the next phase of globalization? How should the Taiwanese people balance the local, Chinese, regional, and the global dimensions of their future development? We hope to discover valuable insights on not only how Taiwan could secure its own national interest, but also on how Taiwan as a global citizen could make a positive contribution to the international community as well.
Based on the conference theme, 5 sub-themes were designed, which include:
I) Responding to Crises and Challenges: Rethinking the Concept of State and Government
II) The Global Footprint of the Taiwanese People and the Boundaries of Taiwanese Society: Description and Critique
III) National Political Agenda for the 21st Century: Assuring Social Fairness, Environmental Integrity, Food Safety, and Healthcare Quality
IV) Culture and Political Economy: Symbol, Capital, and Power
V) Cross-strait Relations in the Making: Adding New Dimensions to an Old Debate
In the end, about 50 scholars from around the globe participated in the whole conference process, including the Keynote Speech, 7 Presentation Panels, and 2 Special Workshops, a Roundtable Forum, Film Screening, and Publication Exhibition. This conference provided opportunities for different generations of scholars to discuss approaches to issues, and exchange methods of research. The 17th Annual Conference of NATSA was not limited to merely inheriting previous scholarly knowledge and work, but also created new horizons for Taiwan Studies in the English language academic world.
For Full Report, see HERE
(c) 2013 The Middle Ground Journal, Number 7, Fall, 2013. See Submission Guidelines page for the journal's not-for-profit educational open-access policy.