History Archive

  • Fictionalizing Taiwan’s White Terror (review of ‘Transitions in Taiwan’ for Taipei Times)

    Fictionalizing Taiwan’s White Terror (review of ‘Transitions in Taiwan’ for Taipei Times)

    The following book review appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Violence and oppression, we are told in the introduction to this collection of tales, are foundational to modern Taiwan, providing “a legacy that continues to influence its contemporary society.” It is interesting, then, that an anthology subtitled “Stories about the White Terror,” offers few instances of […]

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  • Taiwan entwined in WHO’s history (Review of Harry Yi-Jui Wu’s ‘Mad By the Millions’ for Global Asia)

    Taiwan entwined in WHO’s history (Review of Harry Yi-Jui Wu’s ‘Mad By the Millions’ for Global Asia)

    The following book review appeared in the September issue of Global Asia: Taiwan’s relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) has been problematic at best since the country was expelled from the UN agency in 1972.1 From 2009 to 2016, as then-President Ma Ying-jeou fostered a cosy relationship with Beijing, Taiwan was granted observer status […]

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  • The complexities of two worlds colliding (review of Ken Chih-Yan Sun’s ‘Time and Migration’ for Global Asia)

    The complexities of two worlds colliding (review of Ken Chih-Yan Sun’s ‘Time and Migration’ for Global Asia)

    The following review appeared in the June issue of Global Asia.  Time has become such a preoccupation of migration studies in recent years that the “temporal turn” the field has taken has itself become a research topic. What makes Ken Chih-Yan Sun’s approach in Time and Migration conspicuously different is not so much the longitudinal […]

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  • The master of small things

    The master of small things

    The following feature appeared in today’s Taipei Times: But for a banana, I wouldn’t have met Chuang Hsin-li (莊新利). En route to the mountains of Yunlin County, I stop for sustenance at a fruit truck in Gukeng Township (古坑). It’s the second day of Lunar New Year; the vehicle is sparsely stocked: sprigs of lycees […]

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  • In Trump we trust

    In Trump we trust

    The following feature appeared in today’s Taipei Times: Taipei rally sees eclectic gathering united in support of outgoing US president Things get off to strange start as the gathering on Ketagalan Boulevard takes shape from 1:30pm on Saturday. A gathering of pro-Taiwan independence groups and activists marching in support of outgoing US President Donald Trump […]

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  • End of an era: Cartier-Bresson and the cross-strait diaspora

    End of an era: Cartier-Bresson and the cross-strait diaspora

    The following essay appeared in the December issue of University of California Press’ Afterimage magazine. The pdf is embedded here as the piece is behind a paywall online. (Use the scroll bar on the right-hand side to flick through the pages). 

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  • Seeing past Taiwan’s identity politics: a review of ‘The Great Exodus’ for Global Asia

    Seeing past Taiwan’s identity politics: a review of ‘The Great Exodus’ for Global Asia

    The following article appeared in the December issue of Global Asia magazine: Many China watchers see it as only a matter of time before Xi Jinping makes his move against Taiwan. The Hong Kong crackdown, the coming Biden presidency and the distraction of the Covid-19 pandemic, not to mention Xi’s own statements on the matter: […]

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  • Finding compassion for refugees: a review of ‘The Global Exodus’ for Taipei Times

    Finding compassion for refugees: a review of ‘The Global Exodus’ for Taipei Times

    The following review appeared in today’s Taipei Times: With calls to grant political asylum to Hong Kong dissidents, Taiwan’s refugee law has been in the spotlight recently. Exhibitions, workshops and presentations on the issue have been organized by NGOs and activists. However, absent from the discussion has been an examination of the role of refugeeism […]

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  • Flight of the Aztec Eagles: When Mexico bombed Taiwan

    Flight of the Aztec Eagles: When Mexico bombed Taiwan

    An abridged version of the following article appeared in yesterday’s Taipei Times:  “Stand up anyone who didn’t learn anything just now,” says Michael Hurst. Nobody moves from the seats they’ve been glued to for the past 90 minutes. “I certainly learned a whole lot,” says Hurst, director of the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society. “But […]

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  • The glorious contradictions of Lee Teng-hui

    The glorious contradictions of Lee Teng-hui

    The following article was published in The Diplomat on August 18: “It was one of the few days in my life when I wore a suit,” remembers Hans Breuer. Back in 1996, Breuer, then a freelance translator, was contacted to work as an interpreter for German TV network ZDF, which was in Taiwan to cover […]

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