Ireland – Taiwan Special Project and Conference

SMALL ISLANDS, GREAT ISSUES

Ireland and Taiwan are two small islands at either side of the Eurasian landmass. Each of them is, in ways too many to count, half a world away from the other.

Both manifest a cultural reach far greater than their population warrants. Ireland’s is largely expressed in a literary influence that extends throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. Taiwan’s cultural output dominates the popular culture of the Chinese-speaking world and forms an indispensable part of an emerging East Asian cultural space.

In scholarly terms both Ireland and Taiwan invite the application of discursive categories such as hybridity, globalisation, nationalism, postcolonialism and identity, as well as explorations of the goals, problems and limits of independent statehood in the context of sub-ethnic divisions and complex relations with a nearby metropolitan “other”. At the same time both contexts resist the straightforward appropriation of such discourses and demand their sophisticated reworking.

The Taiwan Culture Research programme at the London School of Economics has initiated a special programme of comparative research and scholarly collaboration, in partnership with the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies at University College Dublin.

John is delighted have been involved  in initiating this collaboration, and continues to to be associated with this project as guest editor of the related journal special issue, as an occasional chair of the seminar series and as one of the organisers of a conference to be held in Dublin in September 2011.

For further details of the LSE Project click here

A website for the September Conference is under development, click here