The Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies was formally established in January 2009 with a talk by Prof. Dr. Li-chung Peng of National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taiwan, on the importance of Taiwan studies in academic research. Professor Peng gave an overview of the contents and the potential of Taiwan studies in specific areas of interest. He stressed the value that Taiwan plays in its geographic location as well as the importance of the use of traditional Chinese characters that are still used. He then related Taiwan studies to the Greater China framework of Sinology (漢學).
Professor Peng was also the first to teach on Taiwan's society and politics; offering a Master seminar in Chinese: “Taiwan's Development and Transformation: A Historical Perspective”. Following this, Professors Chu Chia Ning (竺家寧) taught, “The current situation and development of languages in Taiwan”; then Kao Yuang-Kuang （高永光）: “Taiwan's Democratization and Democratic Politics“, followed by Yeh-Yun Carol Lin: “Small and medium sized enterprises and economic development in Taiwan”, and finally Yen Liang-Kung: “Taiwanese Government and Public Policy in a Global Context”; all coming from different departments in NCCU.
The Department of East Asian Studies/Sinology signed the first partnership agreement with the Taiwan Studies Center of National Chengchi University (http://www.tsc.nccu.edu.tw/) in 2008. This was upgraded to faculty level in 2009, and finally, a university-level agreement was signed in 2013.
The Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies has organized and co-organized several Austrian-Taiwanese conferences, these include:
- September 2009: “Democratic Transition, Political Culture and Social Change in Taiwan”, University of Vienna.
- September 2010: “Justice and Injustice Problems in Transitional Societies: Taiwan and China”, NCCU.
- October 2011: “Immigration Societies. A comparative perspective on Austria and Taiwan”, University of Vienna.
- November 2012: “Social movements, rights discourses and citizenship: Social and political developments in Taiwan in a regional perspective”, NCCU.
In 2012, the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies inaugurated the Vienna Taiwan Lecture Series taught in English. The Lecture Series regularly invites Taiwan experts from other European universities. In the coming winter term 2014/15, there will also be a series of Saturday workshops that are, as the lectures, open to the public.
The Lectures are included in master-level Taiwan teaching. Topics in the past have included:
- Transforming Taiwan: Social, political and cultural aspects (summer term 2013)
- Teaching Taiwan: Gender and ethnicity (winter term 2013/14)
- Taiwan’s civil movements: History, Culture and Legacy (2014 – 2015).
Students come together from various departments at the University of Vienna. What is more, the Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies began a cross-continental international co-teaching programme with the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Studies, Chang Jung Christian University in Tainan in 2013. Lectures are provided to the latter via video.
Astrid Lipinsky email@example.com
The Department of East Asian Studies/Sinology, University of Vienna, is going to host Professor Hans Hanpu Tung from the Department of Political Science, National Taiwan University. Professor Tung is going to teach a seminar on “Political Authority of Authoritarian Institutions: China and Beyond“ at the Department in January and February 2015. The in-coming of Professor Tung is part of the non-EU teaching mobility program recently established at the University of Vienna. The seminar is taught in English.