Popular Culture

Taiwan Popular Culture (Click for selected articles)

  The purpose of this page is to visualize the study and data access to research popular culture in Taiwan and abroad.Taiwan popular culture should be read within the contemporary social context of Taiwan, which has inherited 400 years of hybrid colonial history and seen the rapid development of both consumer society and democracy during the past 30 years. The hybridity of Taiwaneseness not only shaped the sense of Taiwaneseness through everyday practices of consumption and democracy, but also highlights a fundamental feature of Taiwan popular culture. It also shows how Taiwan has negotiated other cultures’ influences upon it. Influenced in the past by both China and Japan, and today by the global forces of modern Japan and the US, Taiwan popular culture can be said to be somewhere in between. Rather than passively accepting these cultures, Taiwan instead appropriates them and domesticates them by incorporating local features, and so transforms them into popular culture in and from Taiwan. The new concept of ‘Taiwan’ is thus a product of the negotiation between globality and locality, and is a hybrid of Chinese, Japanese and American cultures.Scholar numbers in the field of Taiwan popular culture studies are numerous and still growing. Popular culture studies in Taiwan can be divided into two significant academic trends; different disciplinary frameworks are applied to examine either locally oriented popular culture or transnational/East Asian popular culture. The ITSC aims to bring together scholars in this promising research area, to work together with relevant institutes and associations, and to carry out more projects, courses and studies in the near future.

  The first East Asian Popular Culture Association Conference (EAPCA) was held in Taipei from September 1 to September 4, 2011. This conference was organized by East Asian Popular Culture Association (EAPCA), the ITSC, and the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, NTNU. At that meeting, scholars from eighteen nations delivered almost one hundred papers. The cooperation between three organizations brings in very lively and thoughtful discussion of the issues that participants developed. Following the inaugural conference of the East Asian Popular Culture Association, the timely topic of popular culture has been added as one of the center’s three research clusters.

  Courses about popular culture are also developing. For examples, Dr. Yin C. Chuang’s courses, ‘Taiwan Popular Culture’ (http://twpopculture.blogspot.com) and ‘Taiwan Popular Music’ (http://popsong991.blogspot.com)’ are to lead students to read relevant materials of and discuss the issue of identity experienced in Taiwan popular culture. Both courses look into this issue through historical perspectives as well as the ways in which Taiwaneseness has been re-resented through different cultural forms, including popular music, cinema, popular Literature, betel-nuts beauties, electronic-fancy-float girls, shopping and queuing, wedding and portrait photography, adult films, comics and trendy Dramas, night markets, food culture and political consumerism in Taiwan.

  In order to promote the study of Taiwan popular culture, the ITSC actively supports international conferences that represent the academic research on popular culture, provides links to publications & research articles and builds on an integrative database.

  The Center welcomes donations to fund new research projects and to advance its research agenda. We encourage research institutions, nonprofit organizations and individuals to become involved in the Center’s future. Donors would contribute to our vital activities:

• Fellowships open to international scholars
• Fellowships open to graduate student research and learning
• Support for visiting scholars
• New program development
• Interdisciplinary research projects

  We are currently gathering research articles and databases that highlight themes in Taiwan popular culture. One of our designated areas of research is the history of postcards in Taiwan.

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