Taiwan Lecture Series - Winter Term 2022/23

Taiwan Lecture Series

Ever since Professor Lung Ying-tai first came to teach courses on Taiwan literature at the Institute of Chinese Studies in Heidelberg in the late 1980s, we have been engaged in and supported the study of Taiwan, the alternative Republic of China. Since 2006, we have initiated and documented a series of regular activities related to Taiwan in terms of Language, History, Society and Culture (see https://www.zo.uni-heidelberg.de/sinologie/research/taiwan_activities_de.html). To us, the study of Taiwan is not just the study of a small island, although even that would be important enough. It is much more. Not only in terms of its economy, but in terms of its politics, and in terms of its culture, Taiwan occupies a critical position in the Asia-Pacific Region. To study Taiwan is to understand one of the most vital forces of contemporary economic, political, cultural and social developments. The model of Taiwan provides valuable insights into the causes of successful economic, political, social and cultural transformations in the age of globalization. Taiwan’s past and present helps us understand China’s possible futures.

Our Taiwan Lecture Series cover a broad range of topics and issues concerning Taiwanese history, politics, society and culture. We have and will continue to receive scholars from many different fields (history, literature, sociology, politics, economics) in Taiwan Studies and institutions (Academia Sinica, National Taiwan University, Chengchi University, National Central University, Venice University, SOAS) as well as artists (writers, film makers, calligraphers, artists, musicians), in order to provide insights into as many aspects of contemporary as well as historical Taiwan as possible.

For more information, please contact Barbara Mittler.


Discovering Chen Da: Folk Music and Media Format in Taiwan

Professor Andrew F. Jones (Berkeley) | 14.12.2022, 6pm

In his recent book, Circuit Listening: Chinese Popular Music in the Global 1960s. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press 2020, Andrew F. Jones provides a very stimulating conceptual framework—that of (transcultural) circuit sounds— allowing us to rethinkTaiwanese music in relation to global music dynamics of the 1960s. In this lecture, he will consider the “discovery” of Taiwanese Hokkien (hereafter taiyu 台語) folk songs, and especially, folk singer Chen Da 陳達 (1906-1981). Leading a contingent of ethnographers and enthusiasts, Taiwan composer Hsu Tsang-Houei 許常惠 had, together with others, around 1967 begun to comb the rural soundscapes for traces of a heritage that he believed had been submerged, not only in Taipei but across the island, in a deluge of commercial pop music, among others… Hsu would complain that : “Upon waking in the morning (…) I hear the sound of Japanese popular songs, coming from a record player in someone’s apartment (…). Passing a school, I hear the sound of students singing the national anthem (…) and the sound of radios and record players blaring from the neighboring ice seller, noodle stall, and electrical appliance store, plus the sound of bicycles, carts, trucks, and public buses hurrying past” (Jones 2020: 265-6). While the city’s soundscape thus drives Hsu to despair, as Taiwanese folk music is nowhere to be heard, finding Chen Da is a great moment for him—soon, a record of Chen Da is produced in Taipei to introduce an urban audience to this rediscovered Taiwanese folk tradition…...

Andrew F. Jones

… is one of the most versatile writers on the history of popular music in China—from rock to jazz and the gramophone to folk traditions in Taiwan (among many other things)! The Louis B. Agassiz Professor in Chinese, Andrew F. Jones received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1997 where he now teaches modern Chinese literature and media culture. He is the author of a trio of books on modern Chinese music: Like a Knife: Ideology and Genre in Contemporary Chinese Popular Music (Cornell East Asia Series, 1992), Yellow Music: Media Culture and Colonial Modernity in the Chinese Jazz Age (Duke University Press, 2001), and Circuit Listening: Chinese Popular Music in the Global 1960s (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). He has co-edited a number of important publications such as the special issue of positions: east asia cultures critique entitled The Afro-Asian Century. Last but not least, he is also engaged as a translator of literary fiction by Yu Hua and Eileen Chang. (For more, see https://vcresearch.berkeley.edu/faculty/andrew-f-jones)

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Letzte Änderung: 16.12.2022
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