Taiwan Lecture Series - Winter/Summer Term 2020/21

Taiwan Lecture Series 2020/21: Rethinking the Sinophone: A Transcultural Perspective

Convener: Prof. Dr. Barbara Mittler

This year’s Taiwan Lecture Series will offer a dialogue with some of the major thinkers in the field of sinophone studies, Shih Shu-mei and David Wang. It will prepare for a spring school conducted with scholars from Taiwan University. During the winter semester, students will be engaged in the process of translating the discussion papers by scholars from Taiwan University to be presented in this spring workshop so as to allow participation of students who are not capable of speaking Chinese. During the workshop course participants will be moderating (and translating) the contributions.

Course Schedule

Please refer to the Moodle course page for the full schedule and the course files [Please get in touch with Prof. Mittler if you need access].

Course Events

TAIPEILOVE* Screening & Talk with director Lucie Liu (Taiwan Lecture Series)

14.07.2021, 18-20

TAIPEILOVE* As part of the Taiwan Lecture Series, we will be talking with filmmaker Lucie Liu about her documentary TAIPEILOVE* and the current situation of LGBTQ+ people in Taiwan. The documentary will be available one week prior to the talk for individual screening.
The Screening & Talk event is open to everyone, who registers before July 6th. To register please send an e-mail to frederike.schneider-vielsaecker@zo.uni-heidelberg.de.
Registered participants will receive a link to screen the film one week prior to the talk, as well as the link to join the talk and discussion with Lucie Liu.

TAIPEILOVE* depicts the perception of homosexuality in the Taiwanese society and its fight for same-sex marriage. The film deals with the questions: How free, safe and happy can gays and lesbians live in Taiwan? How do their families and friends react to their coming-out? What role do religion, societal and cultural expectations play? The protagonists Sarah, Kevin and David provide intimate perspectives and answer these questions in a heartwarming way. In May 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, TAIPEILOVE* was released one month later. It premiered in Berlin with the Taiwanese ambassador and Volker Beck present. As it is the first film worldwide to cover the topic in-depth, it received quite some recognition. It has been invited to festivals and screenings in Taiwan, London, Berlin, San Diego, Tel Aviv, Geneva, Yangon, Vienna, and Seoul (where it has won the award for best documentary).

Munich-born filmmaker Lucie Liu (b. 1993) directed and produced the award-winning documentary TAIPEILOVE*. She studied Political Science in Freiburg and Madrid and will soon receive her M.A. in Communication in Social and Economic Contexts from Berlin University of the Arts. Lucie Liu currently lives in Berlin and works as a freelancer for ZEIT ONLINE. Her second film is in the making.


CATS Virtual Spring School: Rethinking the Sinophone—A Transcultural Perspective

CATS Virtual Spring School

As the People’s Republic of China rises as a superpower, the question of how to live and define Chineseness beyond its borders becomes ever more prevalent. “Sinophone literature” (huayu wenxue 華語文學) as opposed to “Chinese literature” (Zhongguo wenxue 中國文學, i.e. written inside the People’s Republic of China)” may be used to refer to, according to David Wang, a heterogeneous body of texts related, if not necessarily subjected, to the dominant discourse of the People’s Republic of China in the name of nation, territory, politics and ethnicity. Sinophone studies is thus conceived by Shih Shu-mei as “the study of Sinitic-language cultures on the margins of geopolitical nation-states and their hegemonic productions.” In her words, thinking the Sinophone can serve to “ to disrupt the chain of equivalence established, since the rise of nation-states, among language, culture, ethnicity and nationality.” As such, the Sinophone is an interesting case to test transcultural approaches.
Spring School Our Spring School, conducted digitally, between April 7-10, 2021, will offer a chance to discuss with some of the most prominent protagonists in the field of Sinophone Studies (considering not just literature, but also music, film and poetry) how, when and where Chineseness can be thought with and alternatively to the superpower politics of the People’s Republic of China. In introducing sinophone literature, poetry and music through the lense of Taiwan’s heterogeneous cultural production—including works by aborigine authors and artists, as well as Chinese immigrants from Malaya and from the Chinese mainland, before and after 1945, i.e. waishengren 外省人and benshengren 本省人—students will be able to immerse themselves deeply into the intricacies of the Sinophone from a transcultural perspective. The seminar is open to students in all fields, it will be conducted mostly in Chinese but English translations can be provided if needed!

Readings and Translations for the Papers to be presented at the Spring School in Chinese are available here.


To view as PDF please Adobe click here.

Speaker Profiles

  • CoverDavid Derwei WANG is Edward C. Henderson Professor in Chinese Literature and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He is Director of CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies, Changjiang Scholar, and Academician of Academia Sinica and American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Wang’s specialties are Modern and Contemporary Chinese Literature, Late Qing fiction and drama, and Comparative Literary Theory. Wang received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and has taught at National Taiwan University and Columbia University. Wang’s recent English publications include The Monster That Is History: History, Violence, and Fictional Writing in 20th Century China (2004), Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule (co-ed. with Ping-hui Liao, 2007), Globalizing Chinese Literature (co-ed. with Jin Tsu, 2010), The Lyrical in Epic Time: Modern Chinese Intellectuals and Artists through the 1949 Crisis (2014), Harvard New Literary History of Modern China (ed., 2017). Why Fiction Matters in Contemporary China (2020).

  • CoverProfessor MEI Chia-ling holds a PhD from the Institute of Chinese Studies, National Taiwan University. She is currently Distinguished Professor in the Department of Chinese at National Taiwan University and the President of the Chinese Language Society of Taiwan. At National Taiwan University, she has served as Director of the Institute of Taiwanese Literature, as Chair of the Chinese Department, and as Director of the Center for Taiwanese Studies at the College of Liberal Arts. She has been a visiting fellow of the Fulbright Foundation, and at the Harvard-Yenching Institute and has served as visiting lecturer at Charles University in the Czech Republic, Tsinghua University in China, Heidelberg University in Germany and Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Her research interests include modern Chinese literature, Taiwanese literature and the literature of the Han Dynasty and the Six Dynasties. She is the author of 《從少年中國到少年臺灣──二十世紀中文小說的青春想像與國族論述》From Young China to Young Taiwan: A Discourse on Youthful Imagination and Nationhood in Twentieth Century Chinese Fiction;《性別,還是家國?──五〇與八、九〇年代臺灣小說論》Gender, or Country? A Theory of Taiwanese Fiction in the 1950s and 1980s and 1990s; 《世說新語的語言與敘事》Language and Narrative in the Shishui xinyu; 《漢魏六朝文學新論--擬代與贈答篇》New Essays on the Literature of the Han, the Wei and the Six Dynasties.

  • CoverDr. LIU Cheng-chung is professor at National Taiwan University, where he is also the Director of the Center for Taiwan Studies and the Associate Head of the Department of Chinese Literature. His recent  work focuses specifically on the history of the development of modern poetry in East Asia. He also writes under the pen name Tang-Juan and has won various major literary awards, including   the Poet of the Year award in 1998. His publications include seven volumes of poetry and two collections of essays.

  • Cover Professor HORNG Shu-ling holds a Ph.D. in Chinese Literature from National Taiwan University. She is currently Professor at the Department of Chinese Literature of National Taiwan University. Between 2011-2014, she was Professor & Chair at the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature. She came to UCSB as a visiting professor in 2009 and was the first CATS Fellow in Heidelberg in 2019. In her research, she specializes in modern Chinese and Taiwanese poetry and folk literature. She has published on Modern Chinese Poetry; Self-inscription and Spatiotemporal Writing among Eight Contemporary Taiwanese Female Poets; on notions of ‘Solitude & Aesthetics in a study on Nine Contemporary Taiwanese Poets; and the motif of The Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden. She has discussed Images of Guan Gong; Women in Folk Literature and questions of Locality and Novelty in Taiwanese Folklore.

  • Cover個人簡介
    Dr. KO Chia Cian is Associate Professor at the Department of Chinese Literature at National Taiwan University. He holds a PhD from Chengchi University, Taiwan. His primary research field is classical poetry in China and the diaspora in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. His research also focuses on Sinophone Malaysian and Taiwan Literature. His books include 《馬華文學批評大系:高嘉謙》Sinophone Malaysian Literary Criticism Series: Ko Chia Cian, 2019, 《遺民、疆界與現代性──漢詩的南方離散與抒情(1895~1945)》Loyalists, Boundaries and Modernity: The Southern Diaspora and Lyricism in Classical-Style Poetry, 1895-1945, 2016 and 《國族與歷史的隱喻──近現代武俠傳奇的精神史考察 (1895~1949)》(Metaphors of Nation and History: A Study on Chinese Chivalric Romances from 1895-1949 2014. He is the co-editor of Tropical Literature in Taiwan 台灣熱帶文學 (2010-2011, with Yingche Huang et al.), Lyricism and the Reformist Era 抒情傳統與維新時代:辛亥前後的文人、文學、文化 (2012, with Shengqing Wu), From Mara to Nobel: Literature, Canons and Modern Consciousness 從摩羅到諾貝爾─文學‧經典‧現代意識 (2015, with Yuyu Zheng), and Sanwen-Prose Writings 散文類 (2015, with Kimchew Ng).

  • CoverProfessor SHEN Tung holds a PhD in Chinese Literature from National Taiwan University and was doctoral candidate at the Institute of Ethnomusicology at the University of Maryland. She is currently the Executive Director of the Language Training and Testing Center and Professor at the Institute of Musicology, National Taiwan University. From 2005 to 2011, she served as Vice President for International Affairs at National Taiwan University where she also served as Director at the Institute of Musicology, and Professor of Chinese. She also held the Qian Renkang Chair Professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Professor SHEN is an accomplished musician on guzheng, pipa and guqin. Her research is focused on the history of Chinese music. She has published books such as 《唐代樂舞新論》A New Theory of Music and Dance in the Tang Dynasty, 《隋唐西域樂部與樂律考》A Study of Tuning in the Sui and Tang Dynasties, 《南管音樂體制及其歷史初探》A Study of Nanguan; and《不能遺忘的杜鵑花——黃友棣》The Azalea that Cannot be Forgotten - Huang Youdi and many more. In recent years, the focus of her research has shifted and she has worked on Mandarin pop songs of the 1950s and 1960s, the works of Zhou Lanping, Yao Min and, most recently Lee Hsing. She also serves as an exhibition curator, concert organizer and documentary producer.


Please click on any Button to see a days schedule in detail:

Wednesday April 7th

  • 9.30 (Heidelberg)/15.30 (Taipei) Opening Session


  • 10.15-11.45 (HD)/16.15-17.45 (TP)


    王德威 David Wang
    Toward a Poetics of Wind, Sound, and Changeability
    A Critique of the Postcolonial Approach to Sinophone Studies

  • 12.00-13.00/18.00-19.00 Discussion of Readings:
    • Li Yung-P’ing “A La-tzu Woman.” Tr. James Fu. In Chi Pang-yuan, et al., eds., An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Literature. 2 vols. Taipei: National Institute for Compilation and Translation (distributed by University of Washington Press), 1975: 2: 457-70.
    • Wang Derwei (David) “Sinophone Geopoetics: From Postcolonialism to Postloyalism” unpublished paper 2020

Thursday April 8th

  • 9.15-11.00/15.15-17.00 Session 1: 梅家玲 MEI Chia-ling

    台灣文學與華語語系文學: 文字、聲音與中國想像的多重混融與創生
    Taiwanese Literature in a Sinophone Context : Multiple Creative Mixtures of Words, Sounds and Imagination

  • 10.15-11.00/16.15-17.00 Discussion of Readings:
    • 王禎和〉 Wang Chen-ho (Wang Zhenhe), Rose, Rose I love you (tr. Howard Goldblatt), New York: Columbia University Press,1998, chapter 16:149-170.
    • 夏曼.藍波安的〈⿊潮の親⼦⾈ Syman Rapongan “A Father and Son’s Boat for the Black Current” (tr. Terence C. Russell) in: The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature (Joseph Lau and Howard Goldblatt eds.,), New York: Columbia University Press, 2007: 69-83.
    • 張貴興的⾧篇⼩說《群象》第⼀章 Zhang Guixing “Elephant Herd, Chapter 1” (tr. Carlos Rojas, unpublished translation)
    • 董恕明 Tung, Shu-ming〈浪漫的返鄉⼈──夏曼.藍波安〉”The Romantic Homecoming of Syman Rapongan” (tr. Yingtsih Hwang) Taiwan Literature: English Language Series 17 (July 2005): 135-64.
    • 梅家玲 Mei, Chia-ling〈說「⽂」解「字」:張貴興⼩說與「華語語系⽂學」的⽂化想像及再現策略〉” Mei, Chia-ling “Explaining “Graphs” and Analyzing “Characters”: Zhang Guixing’s Novels and Sinophone Literature’s Cultural Imaginings and Representational Strategies” (tr. Carlos Rojas) in Reading China Against the Grain: Imagining Communities (Carlos Rojas and Mei-hwa Sung, eds). New York, USA: Routledge, 2020: 128-158.


  • 11.15-13.00/ 17.15-19.00 Session 2: 劉正忠 LIU Cheng-chung

    Reading ”Taiwanese/Sinophone” Poetry—Taking Surrealism as an Example

  • 12.15-13.00/18.15-19.00 Discussion of Readings:
    • Poetry selections from: Frontier Taiwan: an Anthology of modern Chinese poetry (Michelle Mi-Hsi Yeh. & Nils Göran David Malmqvist, eds.) New York : Columbia University Press, 2001.
    • Leroux, Alain, et al. “Poetry Movements in Taiwan from the 1950s to the Late 1970s: Breaks and Continuities.”China Perspectives, no. 68, 2006, 56–65.
    • Chiu, Kuei-fen. “‘Worlding’ World Literature from the Literary Periphery: Four Taiwanese Models.” Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 30, no. 1, 2018, 13–41.
    • Yeh, Michelle “Modern Poetry of Taiwan” in: The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature (Joshua S. Mostow, Kirk A. Denton, Bruce Fulton and Sharalyn Orbaugh, eds.), New York; Columbia University Press, 2003, 561-569.

Friday April 9th

  • 9.15-11.00/15.15-17.00 Session 3: 洪淑苓 HORNG Shu-ling
    女詩人與華語語系文學、跨文化之關聯—以台灣當代女詩人鍾玲、零雨及其詩作為例 Women Poets, Sinophone Literature, Transcultural Connections—Chung Ling 鍾玲, Ling Yu 零雨 and their Poetic Imagination
  • 10.15-11.00/16.15-17.00 Discussion of Readings:
    • Poetry Selections from: Women Poets of China (Kenneth Rexroth & Ling Chung, ed. & tr.), New York: New Directions, 1982 & Frontier Taiwan: an anthology of modern Chinese poetry Michelle Mi-Hsi Yeh. & Nils Göran David Malmqvist (eds.) New York : Columbia University Press, 2001
    • Tu, Kuo-ch’ing Introduction (I) Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series Number 11: Women’s Literature in Taiwan 2002, XIII-XVIII.
    • Tu, Kuo-ch’ing Introduction (II) Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series Number 12: Women’s Literature in Taiwan 2003, XI-XIV.
    • Yeh, Michelle “Frontier Taiwan: An Introduction” in: Frontier Taiwan: an anthology of modern Chinese poetry Michelle Mi-Hsi Yeh. & Nils Göran David Malmqvist (eds.) New York : Columbia University Press, 2001: 1-54
    • 洪淑苓 Horng Shu-ling 台灣現代⼥詩⼈與女性詩學綜述 Summary of Modern Female Poets and Female Poetics in Taiwan"Introduction to Taiwan Literature (ed. Horng Shuling), Taipei: Wunan Press, manuscript, forthcoming in 2021
    • Chung Ling “Sense and sensibility in the works of women poets in Taiwan” in: Worlds apart: recent Chinese writing and its audiences, Howard Goldblatt, ed. Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, 1990: 78-107.


  • 11.15-13.00/ 17.15-19.00 Session 4: 高嘉謙 KO Chia Cian 馬華文學與族群政治: 李永平和黃錦樹小說的暴力批判
    Sinophone Malaysian Literature and Ethnic Politics: A Critique of Violence in Novels by Li Yungping and Ng Kimchew
  • 12.15-13.00/18.15-19.00 Discussion of Readings:
    • Li Yung-P’ing “A La-tzu Woman.” Tr. James Fu. In Chi Pang-yuan, et al., eds., An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Literature. 2 vols. Taipei: National Institute for Compilation and Translation (distributed by University of Washington Press), 1975: 2: 457-70.
    • Ng, Kimchew (2016). Allah’s Will. In C. Rojas (Ed.), Slow boat to China and other stories. New York: Columbia University Press, 121-147.
    • Ng, Kimchew (2016). Slow boat to China. In C. Rojas (Ed.), Slow boat to China and other stories. New York: Columbia University Press, 183-208.
    • Rojas, C. (2016). Introduction: Ng Kimchew and the writing of diaspora. Slow boat to China and other stories. New York: Columbia University Press, vii-xxi.
    • Tee, K. T. (2013). Sinophone Malaysian Literature: An overview. In S.-M. Shih, C.-H. Tsai, & B. Bernards (Eds.), Sinophone studies: A critical reader. New York: Columbia University Press, 304-314.

Saturday April 10th

  • 9.15-11.00/15.15-17.00 Session 5: 沈冬 SHEN Tung
    Sinophone Songs on Screen—Another Exploration of Director Lee Hsing’s Film Songs
  • 10.15-11.00/16.15-17.00 Discussion of Readings:
    • Songs and films can be retrieved here: https://www.space.ntu.edu.tw/navigate/s/DF47340BD99 144CE80E098B456BF45B9QQY
    • 葉⽉瑜:〈影像外的敘事策略:校園民歌與健康寫實 政宣電影〉“Narrative Strategies Beyond the Image: School Folk Songs and Healthy Realistic Political Propaganda Films“,,收⼊《歌聲魅影:歌曲敘事與中 ⽂電影》,臺北:遠流。2000 年。⾴ 67-100。
    • 李果:〈李⾏電影⾳樂的⾵格特⾊與承繼意義〉Style and Meaning in Lee Hsing’s Film Music,收⼊《華語電 影的跋涉者──李⾏導演電影作品研討論⽂集》,北 京:中國電影出版社,2008 年。⾴ 118-124。
    • 周俊男:〈聲⾳政治:試由聲⾳的⾓度剖析《蚵⼥》 與《養鴨⼈家》中的「健康寫實」(Sound Politics: A study of three films by Lee Hsing〉,《⽂⼭評論:⽂學 與⽂化》,6,1(2012.12): 27-47。


  • 11.15-12.30/ 17.15-18.30 Roundtable Discussion “How far does the Sinophone go? A transcultural perspective”
    CHAIR: David Wang With 沈冬 SHEN Tung, 洪淑苓 HORNG Shu-ling, 劉正忠 LIU Cheng-chung, ⾼嘉謙 KO Chia Cian, 梅家玲 MEI Chia-ling & Barbara Mittler 梅嘉樂

EINGESPERRT – Stimmen aus dem Kopfgefängnis

KlangForum Heidelberg, in Zusammenarbeit mit dem CATS
Lutherkirche/Hosanna Gemeinde Heidelberg, Vangerowstraße 5, 69115 Heidelberg

Mit drei Uraufführungen lädt das KlangForum zum Nachdenken ein und zwar zu einem Thema, das, auch wenn es lange vor Corona konzipiert wurde, heute wieder ganz besonders aktuell ist: „Eingesperrt—Stimmen aus dem Kopfgefängnis“ reflektiert, transkulturell, Fragen gesellschaftlicher Kontrolle, des Ausgrenzens und Eingrenzens: Da ist zunächst das Beispiel eines deutschen Schlossers, der in der Isolier-Zelle einer Nervenklinik zum Maler seiner Innenwelten wird, in Die Zelle von Clemens Gadenstätter. In Saving Face von Chang Yu-Hui 張玉慧, wird die künstliche Gesichtserkennung thematisiert, die weltweit, im autokratisch regierten China, ebenso wie im demokratischen Taiwan, immer selbstverständlicher praktiziert wird und die potentiell jeden in seiner individuellen Freiheit beschränken kann (und will). Und schließlich, in Babel (aus 空间/距离Raum—Distanz) von Shen Ye 沈葉, wird am Beispiel des Turmbaus zu Babel, der die Sprachengrenzen begründet und die Völker über den Welt-Raum zerstreut, der Beginn von Unverständnis, Abgrenzung, Distanz und damit einhergehend, seine Folgen, Eingrenzung in spezifische voneinander abgetrennte unabhängige Taxonomien und Setzungen, nachgezeichnet.

Das Konzert eröffnet drei Perspektiven auf das Eingesperrtsein, aus drei sehr unterschiedlichen Kulturkreisen, mit drei grundverschiedenen politischen Systemen, in drei unterschiedlichen Sprachen, in drei Kompositionen, die alle auf ihre Weise darüber reflektieren, wie der Wille zur Ordnung und zur Macht Un-Freiheit produziert—aber auch Widerstand (und die Hoffnung sich aus dieser Un-Freiheit eben dennoch zu befreien). Sie lassen das Publikum die Macht der Ordnungen „am eigenen Leib“ spüren und zeigen Räume und Wege der Widerständigkeit auf, offerieren also visionäre Neugestaltungen unserer (Menschen-)Welt.

Zum Konzert

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Letzte Änderung: 16.09.2021
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