EditorialAbout Us

Vibrant Taiwan Studies

Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley

2016 has so far been a great year for EATS and for Taiwan Studies.

The 13th EATS Annual Conference in Prague, which took place between 30 March and 1 April 2016, was a major success (see the report by Táňa Dluhošová in this issue). One of the most significant developments is that the General Meeting approved attaching EATS to the forthcoming International Journal of Taiwan Studies (IJTS) which will launch in 2018. The IJTS, jointly supported by Academia Sinica and EATS, will be the first internationally collaborative, multidisciplinary, and peer-reviewed academic research journal in English for scholars, teachers, and students from around the world who have an active and passionate interest in all aspects of Taiwan and Taiwan-related subjects. The journal will be published and printed twice a year. As a rapidly growing field with an increasingly critical influence, IJTS aims to be a central vehicle for the dissemination of cutting-edge research on Taiwan reaching academics and policymakers of different cultural backgrounds, disciplinary perspectives, and methodological approaches.

Our faith in the IJTS project is based on accumulated experience of EATS and the many achievements of our members and friends inside and outside Europe. For example, EATS has established the Young Scholar Award (YSA) since 2011. The quality of the competition has always been impressive, and 2016 was no exception as we can see from the articles written by the three YSA winners this year: Magdaléna Masláková (Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic), Hsiao-Chiao Chiu (London School of Economics, UK) and Weu-Chu Shih (Lumiere University Lyon 2, France).

Following the success of YSA, we launched the EATS Library Research Grant (LRG) in 2014 providing an opportunity for young scholars to travel for research to a library within Europe. It is our pleasure to be able to share some of the experiences of LRG winners here, including Gabor Ambrus Szentesi (University of Pannonia, Hungary), Martin Boyle (Kent University, UK) and Denisa Hilbertova (Charles University & Masaryk University, Czech Republic).

Quality academic publications are vital for the further development of Taiwan Studies as a field. Hence, the EATS Board has always paid particular attention to edited volumes and/or special issues of journals after each EATS Annual Conference. With the approval of the General Meeting in 2014, we hired Benjamin Hlavaty as a Research Assistant to document publications by members of papers they presented at EATS Annual Conferences between 2004 and 2016. The bibliography compiled demonstrates the positive impact of our meetings.

At the 2016 EATS General Meeting, we were sad to lose from the Board Saša Istenič, as her membership reached the maximum of three terms. Saša was responsible for the YSA and LRG for several years. Her devotion to EATS is deeply appreciated, and on behalf of all members we say a sincere thank you for her valuable contribution as a Board member. Meanwhile we are delighted to welcome two new colleagues, Simona A. Grano and Adina Zemanek, to join the new EATS Board. Their input will bring fresh perspectives to EATS and help the Association maintain energy and creativity.

One of the reasons why Taiwan Studies in Europe continue to be so vibrant and exciting is that it constitutes an inclusive community. Ondřej Klimeš‘s article profiles the Oriental Institute (OI) of the Czech Academy of Sciences, which encourages a flexible and open-ended approach to research initiatives in regionally defined topics. This environment is ideal for nurturing interdisciplinary research. Although OI does not work on Taiwan exclusively, their long-term collaboration with EATS and Taiwanese academe has helped broaden and enrich the field.

But it is not all about serious research and scholarship, as Jewel Lo reports here on the 2016 Overseas Taiwanese Sports Day in London. Many of us know that the Centre of Taiwan Studies (CTS), School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London has run a flagship Taiwan Studies programme. The CTS has always been an active and often fierce competitor in the annual sports event with outstanding results!

Finally, as always the Notice Board reports the news, the movements and recent publications of EATS members and colleagues in Taiwan Studies. If you have anything that you wish to announce, please write to the editor of EATS News at mytrawnsley@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley is Research Associate, SOAS, University of London and Associate Fellow, China Policy Institute, University of Nottingham. She is also Secretary-General of EATS and the editor of EATS News.