We advance intercultural critical research with a global perspective, addressing urgent issues presented by the current socio-cultural context. We delve into political, economic, and historical factors with a geopolitical analysis, conducting historical and theoretical academic research to drive new forms of knowledge production.
We encourage researchers to develop innovative topics, forming interdisciplinary, intercollegiate, and international research teams. We emphasize the establishment of international partnerships, transcending regional boundaries, and enhancing academic exchange. We value mentoring new researchers and graduate students to cultivate academic leadership. We strengthen academic publishing, online publications, database management, and diverse knowledge production, actively promoting academic and societal dialogues. We align with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Quality Education; Reduction of Inequality at National and International Levels; Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions; Creation of a Peaceful and Inclusive Society; Sustainable Survival of Biodiversity; and Promotion of Global Partnerships for Goal Achievement.
This year, the center commences the second phase of the five-year project (2023-2027) under the Ministry of Education's Global Taiwan initiative: "Conflict, Justice, Decolonization: Asia in Transition in the 21st Century." Our research team, comprising faculty and students from four colleges and seven institutes within the university, spans the humanities and social sciences, including history, literature, political philosophy, arts, anthropology, sociology, law, and technology management. Six research teams, totaling 71 researchers, will explore the following themes:
- Geopolitics and Cultural Economy between Social Regions in the Greater China System (Leader: Chen Yilin)
- Media Geopolitics: Digital Governance and Future Archives (Leaders: Dai Yuhui, Yang Ziqiao)
- Migration, Inequality, Critical Legal Studies (Leaders: Liu Jihue, Qiu Yufan)
- 21st Century Environmental Crisis and Multispecies Justice: Towards Decolonization Beyond the Human (Leader: Cai Yanlin)
- Contemporary China: Mental Health, Emotional Education, and Historical Narratives (Leader: Wang Zhiming)
- Art Intervention and Social Action (Leaders: Lai Wenshu, Liu Jihue)
Each research team will organize workshops, lecture series, courses, exhibitions, film festivals, etc., to deepen internal collaboration. The center plans international academic activities in collaboration with sub-projects, supports graduate-led online journal publishing, and facilitates cross-campus research project groups for publishing small journals. The center will continue to plan publication series, online e-books, podcast series, and audio-visual databases.
I am also very pleased that ICCS has accepted applications for postdoctoral fellows in the Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Science and Technology since last year. Dr. Hui-yu Tang, Dr. Poonam Sharma, Dr. Hsiu-ju Stacy Lo and Dr. Jeffrey Nicolaisen have successively joined our research team.
Building on the foundation of the Global Humanities Institute supported by the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes over the past three years, we initiate the Transit Asia Research Network (TARN) this year. The center will host the 2023 Holiday School ACS Institute, commissioned by the Association for Cultural Studies, focusing on the theme "Decolonization Projects in the 21st Century." The international conference invites scholars worldwide to respond to issues in four dimensions: (1) Global Capital Flows and Regional Political Economic Changes and Digital Media Governance, (2) Marginalized Groups and Inequality Citizenship under High Population Migration, (3) Environmental Crisis and Ecological Injustice under Developmentalism, (4) Art Intervention and Intellectual Response under Interconnected Trans-Asian Societies. These themes will be the continued research focus of the center, combining international links through TARN.
I have asked myself: What should the face of humanities research or the operation of a humanities research center look like in Taiwan? Currently, my response remains:
A humanities center, distinct from laboratories in engineering departments conducting industry-academia collaboration or emphasizing quantitative indicators of academic output, should not confine itself to overly utilitarian categories. Instead, it should encourage researchers to identify important yet unresolved issues in their respective research contexts. It should facilitate the breaking of disciplinary boundaries, fostering innovative knowledge production.
As the director of a systemic institution, my role is to continually encourage and solicit researchers to initiate collaborative teams across departments, colleges, and international boundaries. This collaboration will enable researchers and graduate students to challenge each other, stimulate themselves, and develop cutting-edge research results. Over the years, the National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University Cultural Studies International Center has served as an academic platform connecting East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, as well as Europe, America, and Africa. In numerous academic events, there have been highly tense collisions, exchanges, and challenges, resulting in tangible academic achievements. Scholars and graduate students who have experienced these academic impacts, carrying these sparks back to their respective societies, will inevitably become seeds, initiating different academic thought movements.
October 31, 2023, at Shanhu Village
Professor Emeritus, Specially Appointed Professor International Program in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
Director, International Center for Cultural Studies, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
Director, International Program in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, University System of Taiwan