Alternative Postcolonialisms: Taiwan

4 Sep

“This volume represents a first attempt to discuss colonialism and modernity in East Asia from the perspective of subjects very different from those that continue to occupy the attention of postcolonial scholars – with the probably exceptions of Gayatri Spivak and of Prasenjit Duara, who have recently begun to map territories that did not attract European imperial forces. For many reasons Taiwan should regularly be featured in comparative colonial and postcolonial studies, but, regrettably, it has managed only to catch the eye of social scientists who have considered Taiwan alternately as a window on China, a cold war bastion of freedom and modernization against communism, a minidragon of an economic miracle, a ‘state without nationhood,’ the first Asian country to hold a general election, and a cosmopolitan albeit marginal Chinese polity whose ‘renegade province’ status has been renegotiated in terms of ‘one state, two systems’ since the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.”

Liao Ping-Hui, “Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945: History, Culture, Memory,” in Liao Ping-Gui and David Der-Wei Wang (eds.), Taiwan Under Japanese Colonial Rule, 1895-1945: History, Culture, Memory, Columbia University Press,2006, pp. 1-15 (quote on 1).

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