The online magazine Taiwan Insight was launched in mid-September 2017. Taiwan Insight is affiliated to the Taiwan Studies program, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Nottingham. We chose the name ‘Taiwan Insight’ because we welcome not only outsiders’ views about Taiwan, but also an insiders’ understanding on various topics. As one can see in the existing contributions, we invited students/scholars from all over the world to share their views on Taiwan in this forum.
The original purpose in launching this blog was to create an interdisciplinary online forum where we hope to invite scholars/students and practitioners who are interested in Taiwan to contribute and disseminate their thoughts in an online forum. However the ‘real’ initiative to launch this was inspired by our students. Since 2014, the Taiwan Studies program at the University of Nottingham promotes the Huayu Enrichment Scholarship (MOE Scholarship) annually for students to go to Taiwan for Mandarin learning, or even the possibility to study a Master degree there. Some of them wanted to share their observations about Taiwan in the blog pieces, and it is from this that we decided to establish this on-line forum.
So far Taiwan Insight has attracted contributors from various disciplines for instance culture, diplomacy, politics, religion, security, cross-Strait relations, and environment issues. The readership at the moment of this writing reached to 6,736 views. Most viewers are from Taiwan, the second biggest readership is from the United Kingdom, the third biggest readership is from the United States. Interestingly, readership from mainland China is 8th in the ranking. We hope that this becomes a platform for readers from all over the world, and an opportunity for them to understand more about Taiwan. Therefore, we try to keep the posts on this online forum free from any potential bias; and we also appreciate the content of writings to be supported by the objective evidences or observations.
Be it as a ‘Golden Age of Taiwan Studies’ or ‘Golden Generation of Taiwan Studies’ as both Dr Fell and Prof. Schubert mentioned in Taiwan Sentinel, keep the discussion about Taiwan virtually is a way to keep Taiwan Studies fresh. It is for sure a lighter approach than offering teaching degrees about Taiwan or creating faculty position for scholars to research on Taiwan. However in a globalised world; online short pieces is a way to pave first steps for the general public to understand Taiwan more. With this understanding in mind, then it is possible to create further studies about Taiwan.
In a foreseeable future, we hope to see this forum develop into a dynamic virtual dialogue for Taiwan Studies. Your contribution to Taiwan Insight will certainly nourish the growth of this virtual space. As a result, please allow me to take this opportunity to invite your contributions. We welcome MA students’, PhD researchers’, and certainly scholars (at all levels)’ contributions. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org We, along with many other readers are, interested about your views or impressions about Taiwan, in any given subject and/or interdisciplinary approaches.
Dr Chun-Yi Lee is a Lecturer at the School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR) at the University of Nottingham.