EditorialAbout Us

Cultivating New Relationships and Younger Generations

Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley

EATS had a busy but rewarding year of activities in 2014. We are proud to be able to launch several new initiatives to engage new generations of researchers. For example, we awarded a number of Library Research Grants to Europe-based postgraduate students in order to enable them to visit European libraries where they can find resources for their dissertation research on Taiwan-related topics. We also began redesigning the EATS website to make it more user-friendly and to increase our facebook presence. The purpose of these initiatives is not only to better serve existing EATS members, but also to reach out to new friends of Taiwan Studies so that we can help further develop the field.

This issue of EATS News represents some of our efforts in cultivating new relationships and young talent in Taiwan Studies. The Institutional Profile by Michael Danielsen draws attention to the Taiwan Corner in Denmark. Taiwan Corner is not an academic institution, but it works closely with scholars, politicians, policymakers, NGOs and social groups in Taiwan and Europe to support Taiwan’s democratic development. If we take into account the characteristics of research trends in the UK and Europe in recent years – international, interdisciplinary and impact-oriented – the role organisations such as the Taiwan Corner plays should not be neglected.

Felix Brender is a new member of EATS. He holds an MA in Social Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London and a PGDip in Conference Interpreting from the University of Leeds. Felix hopes to continue his research on Vietnamese boat refugees and Vietnamese Taiwanese in a PhD. It is our pleasure to be able to publish his thought on this topic and to welcome him to the Taiwan Studies community in Europe.

Another interesting essay featured here is by I-Wen Chang, PhD candidate at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I-Wen studies and practices dance/performance. Her visiting fellowship at the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan (ERCCT) in Germany introduces her to the European Taiwan Studies. While her time at the ERCCT enriches her experiences as a young scholar, her work also broadens the boundaries of the discipline. We believe that the field flourishes from such intellectual cross-fertilization and cross-cultural interaction.

One of the major features of this newsletter is of course the articles written by three of the 2014 EATS Library Research Grant holders: Kai Yue Theodore Charm, Dario Kuntić and Magdaléna Masláková. They travelled to the SOAS and ERCCT libraries in 2014 to examine research materials on the island’s party politics, security studies and the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan. Their work reflects the interest and commitment of the younger generation of Taiwan Studies researchers. Their reports also give the EATS Board valuable feedback on how to manage the Library Research Grant more effectively in the future. In this way, we continue to learn a great deal from our grant holders.

Finally, as usual we announce the recent publications and activities of EATS members and associates in the ‘Notice Board’. It is truly amazing how many research projects, funding opportunities, seminar series, call for papers, film screenings, etc. have occurred in 2014 and will continue in 2015. It reminds us how Taiwan Studies is a vibrant, active and exciting community. Please do not forget to drop an email to the editor of the newsletter when you have news to share with EATS News (mytrawnsley@gmail.com). We look forward to hearing from you!

Dr Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley is Editor of EATS News. She is also Research Associate, Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS, University of London and Associate Fellow, China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham.