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Contemporary Thought Trends and Social Movements


This cluster is led by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Tsing Hua University. It consists of 25 members (18 from National Tsing Hua University, 6 from National Chiao Tung University, and 1 person from National Central University). Contemporary Thought Trends and Social Movements courses focus on Inter-Asia’s cultural resources, historical experiences, and the social reality of contemporary thought-trends, including multiculturalism, democracy, local autonomy, globalization, and green-life contexts. Through the concrete practices of social movements, we try to explicate and advance multi-layered dialectical relationships between the “ideal” and “reality.” By this practical-experimental process, we hope Inter-Asian cultures can experience transformative progress so that contemporary thought-trends can be enriched and extended to strive for 21st century human civilization.

Research Orientation

To date, the Contemporary Thought Trends and Social Movements research team courses are divided into three major themes: “East-Asian Civil Society,” “East-Asian Ecology,” and “Memories, Experiences and Visions of the Second World War.” The structure for these themes are as follows:
1.     East-Asian Civil Society: Democratization and civil society are issues that nearly all East-Asian countries face, and are a core issue for the integration of East-Asian regions. Therefore, this course concentration attempts to discuss the connections of civil society from the angle of cross-national social movements, and through such connections, we try to solve the dilemmas East-Asian countries are faced with, build nation-to-nation trust and cooperation, and facilitate the integration of East-Asian public spheres and domains. The courses include “Community Empowerment,” “Civil Agriculture,” “The Public Sphere,” and “Social Movements.” All of these courses are based on each nation’s experience in order to boost sharing, connection, learning, and integration.

2.     East-Asian Ecology: This course concentration attempts to understand ecological transformation processes and mechanisms through the depiction, reporting, and analysis of East-Asian ecology. The methodological approach is derived from the angles of history, literature, philosophy, sociology, politics, and anthropology. The course section deals with the environment, material and non-material resources, spatial identification, the worsening and rehabilitation of ecology, and all the online and governmental debates that are involved in ecological preservation. Basic courses center on textual analysis (including literature, history, geography and documentaries). Advanced courses center on real issues—the practices and theories of environmental ecology movements. This cluster will invite scholars, home and abroad, here to give speeches and offer courses in order to enrich and enlarge the University System of Taiwan’s academic community resources.

3.     Memories, Experiences and Visions of the Second World War: This course concentration will explore the effect and impact that World War II has had on East-Asian regions. From the perspectives of history, literature, philosophy, sociology, politics, and anthropology, we will deal with all kinds of cultural phenomena and debates (for example, “enemy-held territory” and people’s resistance and cooperation with occupants; alternative narratives about wars in history and literature; responsibility tracing and forgiveness problems after the war; geo-politics and academic institutionalization) that took place before, during, and after the war, up until the present. Basic courses center on textual analyses (including texts and visual elements). Advanced courses center on discussions of key issues and theories. The cluster will also invite scholars, home and abroad, to give speeches and offer courses at National Tsing Hua University, in order to build enriching conversations and a resourceful academic space.