UCLA-NTNU Taiwan Studies Initiative Conference (MAY 11-12): Indigenous Knowledge, Taiwan

Poster:Eric Chun-Chuan ChangPost date:2018-05-07
UCLA-NTNU Taiwan Studies Initiative Conference
Indigenous Knowledge, Taiwan:
Comparative and Relational Perspectives

Friday–Saturday, May 11–12
Royce Hall 314
This conference aims to engender transnational conversations about indigenous knowledge, with Taiwan as its comparative pivot and relational node. Setting discussions on indigenous knowledge and settler colonialism in Taiwan in dialogue with those in the United States, Okinawa, and the Philippines, this conference explores some initial and necessarily broad questions: What is indigenous knowledge and how is it defined in different places? How is indigenous knowledge relevant to such taxonomies as philosophy, epistemology, ontology, or cosmology? How has it been suppressed and/or erased, and how has it transformed and grown over time? What is being preserved, lost, and strengthened, and what might be the politics and poetics of preservation, loss, transformation, and growth? How have settler colonizers perceived, represented, and usurped indigenous knowledge? What imaginary of the future does indigenous knowledge present? How is indigenous knowledge a resource for all?

In Taiwan, the indigenous Austronesian peoples have been subjected to settler colonialism by waves of Han people from China for over three centuries, during which other colonial regimes came and went, including the Dutch Formosa in southern Taiwan (1642-1662), the Spanish Formosa in northern Taiwan (1646-1662), and Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945). For Austronesians, as is the case for all indigenous peoples living under settler colonialism, colonialism is a “structure” (Wolfe) almost impossible to overcome. Seen in this light, postcolonial theory as an academic discourse in settler colonies, such as Taiwan and the United States, is a disavowal of indigeneity and settler colonialism, and can be understood as another settler’s “move to innocence” (Tuck and Yang) or “strategy of transfer” (Veracini). For indigenous scholars and activists everywhere, what has been indispensable to their resistance against settler colonialism is the centering of indigenous knowledge as an act of decolonization and a way to envision a better world (Goeman; LaDuke; Moreton-Robinson), resulting in a wide-spread indigenous knowledge movement of which Taiwan’s indigenous discourse, though little known, is a constitutive part. For this and other reasons, this conference hopes to bring comparative and relational insights to indigenous knowledge formation in different parts of the world to see how situating Taiwan’s indigenous studies in a global context recalibrates indigenous studies in general and Taiwan studies in particular.

Download the flyer for this event
Friday, May 11
9:30 am Welcome Remarks
  • Cindy Fan (Vice Provost for International Studies and Global Engagement and Professor of Geography, UCLA)
  • David Schaberg (Dean of Humanities and Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, UCLA)
  • Min Zhou (Director of Asia Pacific Center, Walter and Shirley Wang Chair Professor of US-China Relations, and Professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies, UCLA)
  • Shu-mei Shih (Director of Taiwan Studies Program at the Asia Pacific Center, Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures, Comparative Literature, and Asian American Studies, UCLA, and Honorary Chair Professor, Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, National Taiwan Normal University)
10:00-12:20 Panel 1: Indigenous versus Settler Knowledges
  • Tunkan Tansikian, National Dong Hwa University
    Indigenous Knowledge in Taiwan
  • Mishuana Goeman, Gender Studies & American Indian Studies, UCLA
    Beyond the Grammar of Settler Apologies
  • Tibusungu ’e Vayayana/Ming-huey Wang, Geography, NTNU
    kuba-hosa-hupa: Taiwan Indigenous Cou’s Cosmology and Pedagogy
  • Skaya Siku, Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica
    The Making of Indigenous Knowledge in Contemporary Taiwan: A Case Study of Three Indigenous Documentary Filmmakers
  • Moderator: Katsuya Hirano, UCLA
12:20-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:50 Panel 2: With and Against Narratives of Settler Colonialism
  • Annmaria Shimabuku, East Asian Studies, NYU
    Indigeneity in Intellectual History: Ifa Fuyū and “Okinawan Uniqueness”
  • Fang-mei Lin, Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, NTNU
    Two Historical Discourse Paradigms: Han People’s Resistance against Japan and Indigenous People’s Collaboration with Japan
  • Katsuya Hirano and Toulouse Roy, History, UCLA
    Uncovering Taiwan’s Settler-Colonial Unconsciousness
  • Nikky Lin, Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, NTNU
    Constructing Indigenous Literature: Re-examining the Writings of the Literary History of Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples
  • Moderator: Min Zhou, UCLA
3:50-4:20 Coffee Break

4:20-5:30 Writer’s Forum
  • Ibau Dadelavan, author of Eagles, Goodbye: A Paiwan Woman’s Journey to Western Tibet(Miperepereper i kalevelevan aza aris; Laoying zaijian: yiwei paiwan nuzi de zangxi zhi lu)
  • Moderated by Shu-mei Shih, UCLA
Saturday, May 12
10:00-12:20 Panel 3: Land, Ecology, and Race
  • Daya Da-wei Kuan, Ethnology, National Cheng Chi University
    Indigenous Knowledge of Landscape Management: An Ethno-physiographical Study in Tayal Communities, Taiwan
  • Shannon Speed, American Indian Studies, UCLA
    Traces of Mexican History: Land, Labor, and Race in the Neoliberal Settler State
  • Stephen Acabado, Anthropology, UCLA
    Indigenous Agrofestry and Agroecological Systems: Risk Minimization between the Ifugao (Philippines) and Tayal (Taiwan)
  • Su-Bing Chang, Graduate Institute of Taiwan History, NTNU
    The River and the Indigenes: Discussion on the Rukai in the Jhuokou River Watershed
  • Moderator: Shu-mei Shih, UCLA
12:20-1:30 Lunch

1:30-3:30 Panel 4: Ethics of Research 
  • Jolan Hsieh, Ethnic Relations and Cultures, National Dong Hwa University
    From Collective Consent to Consultation Platform: Indigenous Research Ethics in Taiwan
  • K. Wayne Wang, Ethnic Studies, UCSD
    Land Rematriation in Settler Societies: Questions, Strategies, and Possibilities
  • Kyle Whyte, Philosophy, Michigan State University
    The Significance of Inter-Indigenous Knowledge Exchange: Experiences, Ethics and Aspirations
  • Moderator: Breny Mendoza, California State University, Northridge
3:30-4:00 Coffee Break

4:00-5:00 Conclusions and Reflections (All participants)
  • Moderated by Shu-mei Shih
Part of the UCLA-National Taiwan Normal University Taiwan Studies Initiative. Cosponsored by American Indian Studies Center, Center for Chinese Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, and the UCLA Taiwan Studies Lectureship.
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