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Brown University Holds 2017 Nexus Taiwan Conference on “Expats, Migrants, and Immigrants: Taiwan/ese in Flux”

Date: 04/20/2017

 Brown University Holds 2017 Nexus Taiwan Conference on “Expats, Migrants, and Immigrants: Taiwan/ese in Flux”

Brown University held its first Nexus Taiwan conference for 2017 on April 20–21. Nexus Taiwan is a joint program of the Ministry of Education, Republic of China (Taiwan) and Brown University to promote research on Taiwan related topics. Brown invited several international scholars, film directors, and authors engaged in Taiwan Studies to share and discuss research findings at the 2-day “Expats, Migrants, and Immigrants: Taiwan/ese in Flux” conference.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Hsiung Ping-Chen from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The title of her talk was “Belonging as an Existential Struggle: Further Thoughts on “If Taiwan, Then what?”. Another invited speaker was Ed Lin, a Taiwanese-American writer and novelist, and a three-time winner of the Asian-American Literary Award. He talked about his writing experience, and the Asian-American present dilemma.
There were three panel discussions, and students from Brown University presented their Taiwan-related research. Ms. Michelle Ng, for example, spoke on Taiwan-Japan identity issues and told the story of her grandmother, who was raised in Taiwan under Japanese colonial rule.
Two documentaries were screened at the conference and the directors were invited to share their ideas. “Returning Souls” was directed by Dr. Hu Tai-Li, a research fellow and Director of the Institute of Ethnology at Academia Sinica in Taipei. Dr. Hu is one of the pioneers making films in the ethnology field in Taiwan. The documentary is about young Amis, an indigenous people in Taiwan, seeking to bring Amis ancestral carved pillars back to their community from the Institute of Ethnology Museum. It records Amis beliefs about the return of ancestral souls, and addresses a range of current issues: Amis traditions, Western religions, land policy, local politics, and modern society.
The other documentary, “Money and Honey”, was directed by Prof. Lee Ching-Hui, an associate professor at Da Yeh University and a longtime documentary filmmaker. The film is about foreign female workers in Taiwan, and their hard work, and struggles in an unfamiliar country.