Friday, July 22, 2011

CONFERENCE: Small Islands, Big Issues: Ireland and Taiwan in Comparative Perspective

Just as long as they don't compare the beers.....


Title: Small Islands, Big Issues: Ireland and Taiwan in Comparative Perspective
Location: University College Dublin
Dates: 1-4 September 2011

Principal organizers: Dr Brian Jackson (UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies), Rev John Scott (LSE Taiwan Research Programme) and Dr Fang-Long Shih (LSE Taiwan Research Programme)

Full details, including speakers and abstracts, can be found on the conference website. Booking details for attendees will be available from next week:

This is the first ever conference on Ireland and Taiwan, and it will break new ground in mutual understanding between the two locations. Both are small islands adjacent to powerful neighbours with which they have had complex histories. In both locations we can see histories, politics, and cultures marked by contested subjectivities and identities, as well as struggles over democracy and human rights. A focus on the human situation in both places invites the application of discursive categories such as colonialism and post-colonialism; globalization and localization; and nationalism and hybridity. It also invites explorations of the goals, problems, and limits of sovereignty and independence in the context of sub-ethnic and religious divisions, as well as of the complex relations with a nearby metropolitan "other" and of diaspora experiences in the era of post-national globalization. At the same time both contexts resist the straightforward appropriation of such categories and demand their sophisticated reworking. This is the rationale for the conference.

There are 11 panels planned, and around 32 scholars are planning to participate (currently 9 from the UK mainland, 10 from Taiwan, 8 from Ireland, 2 from the USA, 1 from China, 1 from Hong Kong, and 1 from Northern Ireland). A number of particularly distinguished scholars will be involved.

We hope to see you there.

Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums! Delenda est, baby.


D said...

Is "UK mainland" a sort of calque borrowed from the standard term "mainland China"? Or is that a longstanding way of talking in Ireland/Northern Ireland?

Yes, I'm that bored... The papers (on their website) do look interesting. It seems like it would be a good challenge to navigate the mix of similarities and vast differences between the two situations.

yermanintaiwan said...

As an Irishman from the North of Ireland, I can tell you that the term mainland U.K is predominantly used by loyalists in N.I, those who seek to remain part of the U.K and who do not want to see a united Ireland. Nationalists/republicans do not use this term. It certainly does have similarities with the Taiwan situation as Chinese nationalists here will say mainland China but greens/ independence advocates will scoff at the term. I was interested to read that article in the TT about the new pro independence party styling themselves on Sinn Fein. They decided against having a military wing though, which I thought would have made things more interesting.
Forget the F 16's and maybe ship a few armalites over. Just for "the craic".

John McNeil Scott said...

I am one of the organisers of this conference. Don't read too much into the "UK mainland" description of where some of the participants will come from. It was added by a Taiwanese colleague without any conscious intention. I wouldn't have chosen the description, would have been utterly uncontentious to write "Great Britain".

We are hoping that the conference will go well and are anticipating a return conference in Taipei in 2012.

ascruffy said...

Hey, this is an interview with conference organizer Shih Fang Long, and two of the contributors, Stuart Thompson and Noah Buchan: