China and Inner Asia
Session Abstract: After the Sino-Japanese war, Taiwan began its journey struggling with the colonization and modernization under Japanese rule. To establish a distinct sense of belonging, Taiwanese writers were motivated to imagine a native homeland. This imagination of the native landscape was inspired by the “Provincial Art Movement” in Japan, which was intended to increase Japan’s national patriotism. However, it also awakened a consciousness in Taiwan to ponder on the ambivalence between coloniality and subjectivity. The imaginations of a native landscape in Taiwanese literature in the 1930s and 1940s critically adopted the thoughts and movements circulating from the imperial metropolis to colonial peripheries.
This panel examines how the “native landscape” of Taiwan was represented and constructed through the perspectives of leftist poetry, new drama, and photographic vision. Cheng-chieh Chang demonstrates how Taiwanese students editing the magazine Formosa in early-1930s Tokyo during the Red Scare bridged left-wing Chinese writers and Japanese new drama writers/performers, leading to the birth of a hybrid Taiwanese literature. Shih-chin Chang discusses how left-wing poems in Taiwan after the mid-1930s constructed an image of Taiwan, which is different from the ideal island portrayed in official textbooks. Peichen Wu examines how the plays at this time form a dialectical image of ‘homeland’ located between ‘pre-modernity’ and ‘modernity’ by adopting the symbolics of Taiwan’s local color, superstitions, and folk beliefs. Wendy Wang rethinks the role of photography in imperial history writing, in which the relationship between technology and the native landscape presents a model of environmental co-creation rather than subject-object confrontation.
Virtual Paper Presenter: Cheng-chieh Chang – Soochow University (Taiwan)
Virtual Paper Presenter: Shih-chin Chang – National Chengchi University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Peichen Wu – National Chengchi University
Virtual Paper Presenter: Wendy Wang – University of California, Berkeley