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The SOAS Taiwan Studies Summer School 2021

2021 Taiwan Studies Summer School, SOAS

Dr. Dafydd Fell, director of the SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies at the University of London, and the deputy director, Dr. Bi-Yu Chang, welcomed participants to its 14th Taiwan Studies Summer School Programme on June 28. The SOAS Taiwan Studies Summer School is designed to be of interest to both academics and researchers and the more general public. It’s free to register for and attend and it’s become a prominent event in the European Taiwan Studies calendar.

Like last year, it was held virtually, due to the ongoing pandemic. This has the advantage of making the program accessible to people around the world and the approximately 600 registered participants were from the following 35 countries/regions: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil,  Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the USA, Ukraine. The organizers estimated that between 100 and 150 more people took part in some of the events without registering.

The programme addresses different themes each year and there are presentations, panel discussions and Q&A sessions with film directors, writers, Taiwanese activists, leading scholars and postgraduate students on related topics, and often book launches.

The key themes this year were: Environmental Issues in Taiwan, and Taiwan Post New Wave Cinema. Environmental issues were examined from social, political and artistic perspectives, and cinematic developments in the twenty-first century were explored. 

Academic speakers and other figures are invited to give lectures and participate in dialogues. This year’s invitees included Taiwan Digital Minister Audrey Tang who participated in an “In Conversation” session. The full programme can be seen here:

If you missed this year’s Summer School, the Centre of Taiwan Studies is planning to add videos of a number of the event to its YouTube channel after some light editing. A discussion of the anti-death penalty movement can already be viewed here:

You can also read a Taipei Times article about the history of Taiwan Studies at SOAS here (, and another article about the Summer School programme, and the programme itself (

The Education Division of the Taipei Representative Office in the UK enjoys a long-standing relationship with the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS and promotes the Summer School to Huayu Enrichment Scholarship and Taiwan Scholarship recipients and alumni. It looks forward to once again organizing a Study in Taiwan stall on campus when the Summer School can once again take place in face-to-face mode, as well as online.