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Review of 8th Flying University of Transnational Humanities
ICCS of NCTU and IICS of UST have held the 8th FUTH Summer University “Toward Decolonizing Cold War Knowledge: Facing Contemporary Border Politics” at NCTU HA Building 2, between July 9 to 13, 2018.
With the support of Ministry of Education’s Taiwan Experience Education Program (TEEP), this summer school was a result of continuous collaboration with the Flying University of Transnational Humanities (FUTH), after the 2016 and 2017 “Transnational Network for the Critical Inter-Asia Cultural Studies” winter camps. Course contents of the summer school were planned and developed by core researchers from ICCS & IICS’s SPROUT project “Conflict, Justice, and Decolonization: Critical Studies in Inter-Asian Societies”, while the lecturers involved scholars from East Asia and Southeast Asia.
Renowned scholars such as Jie-Hyun LIM, Frank Hadler, John Hutnyk, Alfred Gerstl, Friedrich Edelmayer, Ute Wallenboeck, Agnes Schick-Chen, Rusaslina Idrus, Davorn Sisavath, Viren Murthy and TSUBOI Hideto had lectured in the summer school, covering a variety of topics including (post) Cold War studies, memory, history and civil rights etc. During the program, a total number of 33 participants (including 7 postdoc fellows) from South Korea, Japan, Turkey, Poland, Romania, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries formed four study groups, in which they shared individual research projects related to the topics among themselves.
The entire program was conducted in English to facilitate international exchanges and for the participants to share their research problematics. The Taiwan-based “International Institute for Cultural Studies” strives to locate Taiwan as a hub to connect Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia and South Asia through historical links and contemporary common problems in these regions. The Institute continues to put “critical studies in Inter-Asia societies” as the subject of research, as to observe different forms of associations between Asian societies in terms of migration, history, conflicts, mutual influences and benefits etc. In doing so, we hope to build up a forward-looking and sustainable international academic platform.
International Center for Cultural Studies, National Chiao Tung University (ICCS_NCTU), together with International Institute for Cultural Studies, University System of Taiwan (IICS_UST), the International Master’s Program in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (IACS_UST) and Institute of Social Research and Cultural Studies (SRSC_NCTU) hosted the 8th Flying University of Transnational Humanities (FUTH) at NCTU from 9th to 13th July, 2018.
FUTH is a consortium of Sogang University (South Korea), University of Pittsburgh (USA), Cornell University (USA), University of Tampere (Finland), University of Leipzig (Germany), and National Chiao Tung University (Taiwan), which has gathered graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in the humanities and social sciences across the globe for a summer school centering on presentations by leading and early career scholars, as well as graduate students, since its establishment in 2010. We took the 8th FUTH summer school’s opportunity to initiate our collaboration with East Asian Economy and Society (EcoS), University of Vienna (Australia).
The main theme of 8th FUTH is Toward Decolonizing Cold War Knowledge: Facing Contemporary Border Politics. The 5-day summer school brought together international faculties from Sogang University (South Korea), Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (Germany), Tôn Đức Thắng University (Vietnam), University of Vienna (Austria), University of Malaya (Malaysia), California State University (USA), International Research Center for Japanese Studies (Japan) and University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) and local faculties various across Taiwan, as well as around 30 participants across Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macau, The Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Turkey, and Romania. Through daily keynote lectures, roundtable, and group discussions, the summer school discussed various topics surrounding decolonizing knowledge amongst and between different sites in the region (inter-Asia) and beyond (inter-oceanic and inter-continental).
Topics covered in the keynote lectures and roundtable include “How to address the Global Cold War and its Aftermath”, “Insular Anarchy and the Tension in the South China Sea and Culture of Remembrance”, “Learning from the Subaltern People”, “Transpacific Cold War Liberalism and the Remains of Empire”, “Migration during WWII and the Cold War”, and “Problematizing the Project of Decolonization”. These plenary sessions and the heated discussions and debates during the question-and-answer sessions provided chances to discuss the topics from different intellectual trajectories and geopolitical backgrounds. Together with the seminar sessions, they also created an opportunity for inter-Asia and East(ern Europe)-East (Asia) dialogues and knowledge exchange.
To provide faculties and participants more thorough understanding of Taiwan in relation to colonialism, Cold War, and the border politics, we also arranged a thematic field-trip to Losheng Sanatorium. The once segregated leprosy hospital built in the Japanese colonial era became a site of heated debates and protests when the government planned to demolish it for building a metro depot. Guided by the activists, the FUTH participants also met the residents in Losheng. We are confident that the thematic fieldtrip has deepened the participants’ understanding of Taiwan and its colonial and Cold War history and knowledge.
We have received constructive feedback from both the participants and faculties. We hope that the intellectual network established in 8th FUTH will further develop. Debates and discussions will continue after the summer school.
Writer: Postdoctoral Fellow Desmond Hok-Man SHAM(The International Center for Cultural Studies)
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