UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies 
UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish StudiesUCD Crest


Conference on "Ireland and Taiwan in Comparative Perspective", University College Dublin 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)




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: 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.

The conference will

  • constitute a site of creative and collaborative exchange between scholars studying Ireland and Taiwan.
  • promote interdisciplinary dialogue and understanding of issues relevant to both locations.
  • be of practical interest to government officials from Ireland and Taiwan, who are likely to attend as observers: (1) from both Ministries of Foreign Affairs; (2) from the Taiwan Ministry of Education and Ireland’s Higher Education Authority; (3) from Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency and Taiwan’s Economic Department; and (4) from Taiwan’s Council for Cultural Affairs and the Culture Ireland.
  • facilitate cultural exchange with visits to sites related to Ireland’s political and democratic development. These sites will include Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Castle, Trinity College, Government Buildings, sites associated with the 1916 Rising, Newgrange, the site of the Battle of the Boyne, Glendalough, and Belfast.
  • have an evening schedule of activities, including viewings of films from Taiwan and Ireland (City of Sadness and The Wind that Shakes the Barley) and a visit to a theatre.

For further information please email f.shih AT lse DOT ac DOT uk, or j.scott AT lse DOT ac DOT uk. or visit http://www.irelandtaiwanproject.net/