This roundtable advances the study of Taiwan and Hong Kong through a critical discussion and development of primary sources in translation. The teaching and study of Taiwan and Hong Kong remain marginalized within higher education in much of the world. This condition is partly the result of intellectual and political frameworks that situate Taiwan and Hong Kong within other national or imperial entities and examine them only as parts of nationalist or colonialist historiographies. A more pressing issue constraining the teaching of Taiwan and Hong Kong is the lack of primary sources that can be productively used for instructional purposes. The major print and digital sourcebooks for East Asian Studies contain few materials that are specific to Taiwan and Hong Kong. Except for collections of relevant treaties, communiqués, and some literature in translation, there is little else that exists in English, making it difficult to expand our classroom-based inquiries into these places.
Five presenters—Ian Chong (National University of Singapore), Evan Dawley (Goucher College), Huei-ying Kuo (Johns Hopkins University), Wayne Soon (Vassar College), and Fei-hsien Wang (Indiana University Bloomington)—will discuss primary sources from Taiwan or Hong Kong that they have translated into English, and will explain how the sources can be used in classroom settings. James Lin (University of Washington) will chair and facilitate discussion. To enhance the cohesion and contemporary relevance of the panel, all of the documents will address public health and epidemic control. Presenters from history, political science, and sociology disciplines will bring materials that illuminate the successes in Taiwan and Hong Kong at controlling pandemics, including COVID-19. Examples include documents from Taiwan’s Legislative Yuan in 1994 regarding the National Health Insurance Bill and explanations of disease outbreaks in Hong Kong’s Chinese language press from 1918. This panel wll hopefully launch a longer-term endeavor to produce a large and diverse range of primary sources, in English translation, to complement the major sourcebooks for other countries in East Asia. We hope to generate more interest and contributors out of this roundtable.