About The Center for Taiwan Studies
The Center for Taiwan Studies (CTS) at UT Austin, housed in the Department of Asian Studies, aims to promote interdisciplinary engagement with Taiwan’s history, culture, and politics. It was founded in March 2021 with the support of a grant by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the leadership of Asian Studies and Comparative Literature Professor Yvonne Chang. With the establishment of the new center, CTS Director Chang builds on the success of UT’s Taiwan Studies program that she launched in 2009 as one of the first in the country. UT Austin has long been recognized as an important hub for studies of Taiwan literature and culture. 13 Ph.D. students specializing in this field have been enrolled at UT since the early 2000s. By the end of 2022, UT Austin will have offered 47 Taiwan-focused courses on 26 different topics in various departments. The young center complements and expands upon this program through a range of activities, such as by bringing Taiwanese visitors to campus, supporting student and faculty research on Taiwan, promoting student exchanges to Taiwan, and hosting academic events. Moreover, the CTS publishes Taiwan Lit, an e-journal focused on Taiwanese literature that was founded in July 2020. The journal aims to reinvigorate the intellectual climate of the field by building a transnational critical forum, disseminating substantive research ideas, and facilitating innovative modes of scholarly exchange.
The Taiwan Studies program at UT Austin has traditionally focused on the humanities. However, the founding of the CTS enabled an expansion of Taiwan-related activities with a social science focus. This development is spearheaded by Tse-min Lin, Associate Professor of Government and CTS Associate Director. In addition to hosting public events with a focus on Taiwan’s society and politics, the CTS supports Taiwan-focused social science research by UT faculty in different departments. Moreover, the center is preparing the fall 2022 launch of Taiwan Politics, a peer-reviewed online journal focused on the study of Taiwan and East Asian politics.
Overall, the establishment of the CTS has further strengthened UT Austin’s position as a major hub for the study of Taiwan. In the less than two years since its founding, the center has already made relevant contributions to scholarly as well as public conversations on Taiwan at UT Austin and beyond.