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The Question of Identity in Recent Scholarship on the History of Taiwan

Evan N. Dawley
The China Quarterly
No. 198 (Jun., 2009), pp. 442-452
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27756461
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Question of Identity in Recent Scholarship on the History of Taiwan
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Abstract

This essay provides a survey of emblematic works of recent scholarship on Taiwanese identity written in English and Chinese by scholars from around the world. The objective is to determine what a post-2000 "second wave" of scholarship says about the definition and origins of island-wide Taiwanese identities. This second wave is distinguished by a greater attention to pre-1945 and martial law era Taiwanese history, more attention to a range of identities, both national and non-national, and by the use of sources that had not been readily available to scholars writing in the 1980s and 1990s. I argue that recent works have advanced the field considerably, but that they are too heavily influenced by contemporary debates over Taiwanese independence and too reliant on literary sources to fully answer the question of "who are the Taiwanese?" I conclude by suggesting directions for future scholarship on the subject.

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