Session Abstract: In the age of genomics, it seems that the problem of race can finally be answered by science. However, as Reardon (2004) puts it, the question of diversity that was held in abeyance points to more fundamental issues about how knowledge and the politics – in her case study, democracy – that support it shape the possibilities for being human. She suggests that in the post-genomics era, in addition to science, we need the support of democratic institutions to comprehensively discuss human identity, including issues of race and ethnicity. According to this logic, Taiwan, as a post-colonial democratic society, would celebrate pluralism and talk openly about issues of race and ethnicity. However, race and ethnicity in Taiwan have never been simple stories and discourse on these issues remains limited, and at times vague. In this panel, scholars from different disciplines, including critical theories, anthropology, sociology and history, present cases in which notions of race and ethnicity have been constructed through different transnational experiences in/outside of Taiwan. They interrogate the position of race and ethnicity in media representations, everyday life among immigrants, community building, scientific practices and global health discourses. Each panelist will briefly present her/his own work, followed by a comment and an in-depth cross-disciplinary discussion led by the historian Dominic Yang. The panel aims to examine structural violence and injustices that have long been buried under the “open and democratic” surface of Taiwan’s society.
Paper Presenter: Harry Yi-Jui Wu – The University of Hong Kong
Co-author: Yi-Cheng Wu – Mackay Memorial Hospital/ Durham University
Paper Presenter: Wen Liu – Academia Sinica
Paper Presenter: Yao-Tai Li – Hong Kong Baptist University
Paper Presenter: Jung-Chia Chang – National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University