Be mindful of each bowl of rice: democracy, development and Taiwan’s reconciliation with its history

Nearly thirty years after transition to democracy, Taiwan is still coming to terms with its history under authoritarianism from 1945 to 1987. This presentation will explore the quest for historical justice by the Taiwanese in their political and cultural lives. It argues that reconciling with the past for Taiwanese individuals and families is a renegotiation of the boundaries between private and public, and for Taiwanese society is a fundamental reassessment of Taiwan’s modern history of economic and social development. In this way, Taiwan is challenging 20th and 21st century notions of modernisation that continue to inform analysis and policy in many settings around the world.

Dr Mark Harrison is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Tasmania. He is also an adjunct director of the Australian Centre on China in the World at the Australian National University. Mark Harrison has a BA (Hons.) in Chinese from the University of Adelaide and completed his PhD at Monash University looking at Taiwan and its problems of identity. His work examines knowledge and representation in Chinese contexts, exploring contemporary cultural and social life in Taiwan and mainland China. In 2014 he held a Taiwan Fellowship at the Institute of Sociology at Academia Sinica in Taipei.

This public lecture is supported by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia, and the Taiwan Resource Centre for Chinese Studies.

Light refreshments will be served prior to the lecture at 5pm.