Crossroads of Cuisine provides a history of foods, and foodways in terms of exchanges taking place in Central Asia and in surrounding areas such as China, Korea or Iran during the last 5000 years, stressing the manner in which East and West, West and East grew together through food. It provides a discussion of geographical foundations, and an interlocking historical and cultural overview going down to the present day, with a comparative country by country survey of foods and recipes. An ethnographic photo essay embracing all parts of the book binds it all together, and helps make topics discussed vivid and approachable. The book is important for explaining key relationships that have not always been made clear in past scholarship.
Wang Fanxi, a leader of the Chinese Trotskyists, wrote this book on Mao more than fifty years ago. He did so while in exile in the then Portuguese colony of Macau, across the water from Hong Kong, where he had been sent in 1949 to represent his comrades in China, soon to disappear for decades into Mao’s jails. The book is an analytical study whose strength lies less in describing Mao’s life than in explaining Maoism and setting out a radical view on it as a political movement and a current of thought within the Marxist tradition to which both Wang and Mao belonged. With its clear and provoking thesis, it has, since its writing, stood the test of time far better than the hundreds of descriptive studies that have in the meantime come and gone.
Xi Jinping’s People’s Republic of China is keen to express its grand strategic ambitions—the delivery of centennial goals by 2021 and 2049. This marks the end in which China seeks to keep a low profile. With notions like the ‘China Dream’, the Belt and Road Initiative, and a raft of other expressions and moves, Xi and his fellow leaders have shown that they want a more proactive foreign policy. In this ambitious, historically driven and more nationalistic strategic approach, the issue of Taiwan remains central. There has been more attempt to make some kind of framework for reunification on the part of Beijing accepted both internationally, and in Taipei. Taiwan’s space has been restricted, and a number of moves have placed pressure on the Tsai presidency, from trying to gain diplomatic allies currently linked to Taiwan, to refusing Taiwan space on the World Health Assembly and other bodies.
The 25th natsa post-conference report documents the initiation, organisation, and proceedings of the event, followed by some general reflections on what we can further investigate in the future. This year, we invited scholars worldwide to come together and rethink and offer critiques on the possibilities and challenges facing Taiwan studies by unpacking the idea of ‘empire’ and ‘marginality’. Given that agenda, we opened up discussions on some key topics around researching Taiwan and East Asia, such as political economy, democratisation, transitional justice, reconciliation, lgbtq, and culture studies. Attempting to reposition Taiwan studies in the broader intellectual terrain, a series of insightful dialogues thus emerged, pointing out alternatives of Taiwan studies in the face of empire(s) and marginality. In all, the natsa has formed one of the most widely known and vivid platforms for intellectual exchanges on Taiwan studies and further conversation shall continue alongside the growth of the scholarly community.
State-centred diplomacy is primed by foreign policy objectives. Yet when traditional diplomacy suffers from weaknesses—as in the case of Taiwan—their institutions are advised to revise approaches and to consider engaging non-state actors in their strategies. This article critically explores how Indigenous peoples can be considered non-state diplomatic actors in Taiwan’s public/cultural diplomacy. Considering various definitions of diplomacy and different understandings of the role of non-state actors, the article examines the legitimacy of Taiwanese Indigenous peoples to represent Taiwan internationally and their capacity to shape the perceptions of foreign publics about the country. Further, a contextualised analysis of Dispossessions: Performative Encounter(s) of Taiwanese Indigenous Contemporary Art—an exhibition and series of events that took place in May 2018 at Goldsmiths, University of London—is used to demonstrate how the engagement between Taiwanese Indigenous peoples and foreign publics can happen in practice by examining the event through a public/cultural diplomacy lens.
This is an introduction by the guest editor to the topical section on ‘Taiwan, Public Diplomacy, and the World Health Assembly’ of this issue of the International Journal of Taiwan Studies. The selected four papers, after a double-blind peer review process, were initially presented at a workshop entitled ‘Public Diplomacy and Taiwan's Campaign to Join the wha’, organised by the Global Communications Research Centre, Department of International Politics, Aberystwyth University, 28 March 2018.
We report the findings from the North American Taiwan Studies Association’s Taiwan Syllabus Project. This project aims first to take stock of the Taiwan-related curriculum in the United States and Canada, and then build a database for instructors to access and share Taiwan-related syllabi and teaching resources. Overall, we found 121 courses about Taiwan taught by 106 faculty members. In this report, we present the basic features, instructors’ backgrounds, and key contents of these courses. We also offer some discussions on the results and new directions for future endeavours.