Finding the Threads in Taiwan History and Historiography

Alsford, Niki Joseph paul orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-1939-4313 (2020) Finding the Threads in Taiwan History and Historiography. European Journal of East Asian Studies, 19 . pp. 13-47. ISSN 1568-0584

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The quest to situate Taiwan, and its history, as a field of study continues to accompany a flow of dirges. Taiwan Studies has been argued to occupy ‘a marginal position’ within the field of Chinese Studies, while at the same time it is acknowledged that those who are interested in China cannot ignore Taiwan entirely. Some argue that the study of Taiwan is ‘an impossible task’ since ‘Taiwan is already written out of mainstream Western discourse due its insignificance’. This survey (though by no means exhaustive) is an effort to chart the evolution of Taiwan history and historiography and argue that those engaging with the study of Taiwan have always sought ways to adapt and thrive. Attention to this is important as scholars of Taiwan seek to define the field as thing unto itself.

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