International Conference: Spotlight on the Indigenous Cultural Studies in Taiwan


On October 26 and 27, The Department of East Asian Studies and the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library presented a two-day conference on the topic of indigenous cultural writings in Taiwan. Our lovely banner is designed by Mengying Fan, a first-year student of the MA program for East Asian Studies to signify the art of Atayal facial tattoo in light of our discussions on Atayal culture.

On Thursday, October 26, the Department welcomed Yuma Taru and Baunay Watan, two Atayal artists in to speak about Atayal culture. Yuma presented a video with footage from her village. They shared with us stories of their experiences and inspirations that drew them to the study of Atayal culture. Yuma provided insight into the art of Atayal clothing and, using the tools she brought from Taiwan, demonstrated how Atayal clothing is woven. Baunay discussed the beauty of Atayal facial tattoo, and shared stunning photos he had taken, in both black-and-white and colour, depicting Atayal Culture.


Day two of the conference commenced with two talks by Professor Chih-Ching Yang and Professor Yi-Shin Wu from the National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan. Professor Yang spoke about the imagery of Taiwan’s landscape and indigenous people during the early Japanese governance through three case studies: Taiyō, Huuzoku Gaho, and Hinodejima-Volume Niitaka. Professor Wu presented her research on the politics of translation in Banzin Dowa Densetsu Senshū.

Following, the Professor and Director of the Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Literature and Creative Innovation from the National Chung Cheng University of Taiwan, Professor Pao-Chai Chiang, presented “The Ways for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples to Return Home”. Then, drawing a connection between indigenous peoples’ experiences in Taiwan and Canada, Professor Terry Russell, Professor and Acting Director of the Asian Studies Centre at the University of Manitoba, discussed the differences and similarities of Taiwan and Canadian indigenous autobiography.

Concluding the event, Professor Darryl Sterk from the Department of Translation at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, presented a talk entitled “Translators Bale: The Seediq Translation of Seediq Tale”.


We warmly thank the guest speakers who shared their enriching experiences, our panelists and moderators for their input, the sponsors for making the event possible, and guests who attended the event.

If you wish to learn more about the indigenous cultures of Taiwan we invite you to visit the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library (8th floor of Robarts Library), which has mounted a special book display, “Publications of Indigenous Cultural Studies in Taiwan”, on display from October 25 to November 25, 2017.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.