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Author: Ru Zhan
Editor: Jinhua Chen
Drawing on Dunhuang manuscripts and the latest scholarship in Dunhuang and Buddhist Studies, this translation analyzes Buddhist monasticism via such topics as the organizational forms of Dunhuang Buddhist monasteries, the construction and operation of ordination platforms, ordination certificates and government ordination licenses, and meditation retreats, etc.
Assuming a pan-Asian perspective, the monograph also made trailblazing contributions to the study of Buddhist Sinicization and Sino-Indian cultural exchanges and is bound to exert long-lasting influences on the worldwide academic study of Buddhism.
How is it possible to write down the Japanese language exclusively in Chinese characters? And how are we then able to determine the language behind the veil of the Chinese script as Japanese? The history of writing in Japan presents us with a fascinating variety of writing styles ranging from phonography to morphography and all shades in between.
In Japanese Morphography: Deconstructing hentai kanbun, Gordian Schreiber shows that texts traditionally labelled as “hentai kanbun” or “variant Chinese” are, in fact, morphographically written Japanese texts instead and not just the result of an underdeveloped skill in Chinese. The study fosters our understanding of writing system typology beyond phonographic writing.

Abstract

This essay reviews the influential work of a group of Leftist ‘sex liberation’ scholars who pioneered queer sexuality studies in Taiwan in the 1990s. In doing so, it focuses on their post-2000 political rift with the mainstream Taiwanese lgbt (tongzhi) rights movement. What ostensibly began as a split over views of same-sex marriage has developed into a contentious politics of Chinese versus Taiwanese national identity and what I call ‘tongzhi sovereignty’. In bringing together both national identity and sexual politics in Taiwan as increasingly intertwined sites of contestation, I argue that the two must be theorised in tandem. As a fertile site for unpacking this contentious divergence, I examine and problematise the way that cultural theorist Jasbir Puar’s popular concept of homonationalism has circulated in scholarship of cultural/sexuality studies about Taiwan as a slanted and largely unchecked analytic to criticise lgbt sociolegal progress and, for some scholars, obscures a pro-unification agenda.

Open Access
In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Free access
In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Author: Spencer C. Chen

Abstract

This paper takes a historical anthropological approach to charting the intricate relationships between the industry of peiyin (dubbing, voice-over), the state institutions, and the public in shaping Taiwan’s sociolinguistic soundscape since 1945. Grounded in multi-year ethnographic research with the peiyin industry and archival sources, this paper discerns three stages—industrialisation, popularisation, and diversification—through which the industry not only facilitated the state in establishing the Mandarin monopoly, but also contributed to the disestablishment of that very monopoly by introducing Sinitic polypoly to the public over time. In so doing, this article contributes to the anthropological and sociolinguistic literature on Mandarin in Taiwan with a dynamic account of peiyin both as a sociolinguistic practice and a social force.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies
Authors: Po-Han Lee and Ying-Chao Kao

Abstract

While racism has spread rapidly as the covid-19 pandemic disrupted global health systems, this study focuses on the case of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African Director-General of the who, and his allegations of racism against Taiwan, which has been excluded from the who for decades. This study theorises ‘health apartheid’ as a conceptual framework to critically analyse three forces—global racial politics, imperial logics of global health, and state-centrism of international institutions—that relate to Taiwan’s exclusion in various ways. We argue that Tedros’s allegation was instrumentalised to overshadow the systemic, structural, and institutional racism reproduced by the who during the competition between Chinese and American hegemonies. This study shows that the pandemic exacerbates health apartheid against unrecognised nations, like Taiwan, when global solidarity is desperately needed. We call for a systematic transformation of the who to resist racist state-centrism and pursue a people-centred approach to global health governance.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies

Abstract

This topical section brings together five essays that cover different aspects in the intersection of language and society in contemporary Taiwan. Briefly outlining the contents of each essay, this introduction focuses on the question how the essays complement each other in terms of level of analysis, empirical basis, and interdisciplinary approach. It shows how research on language planning on the national level and its underlying ideology ties in with analyses of the language choice behaviour of individual speakers at the receiving end of language planning. Claims derived from individual case studies in turn require quantitative data to allow for generalisability. Finally, interdisciplinary research in the intersection of language and media studies helps us to understand how language standards and dominant language ideologies are disseminated, reproduced, and challenged.

Free access
In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies

Abstract

This report details the origination, organisation, and reflections of the 26th North American Taiwan Studies Association (natsa) 2020/2021 (2020 + 1) conference. The theme—‘Keywording Taiwan’—aims to identify core issues, historical turning points, critical populations, and fundamental theoretical arguments on Taiwan among transregional and interdisciplinary scholarship. We challenged scholars to synthesise decades of literature and, from there, offer cutting-edge and timely research to answer fundamental questions as well as effectively respond to the various injustices during this uncertain time. In this report, we discuss how a ‘keyword’ is not a fixed concept but a restless confrontation from within, as practices of deconstruction and recontextualisation that frame the recurring issues for Taiwan studies. We also discuss how we intentionally structured our conference to be more accessible, inclusive, and interactive. Lastly, we walk through our major reflections, concluding with unfinished conversations that foreshadow the theme of the next natsa conference—‘Taiwan Studies in Application’.

In: International Journal of Taiwan Studies