Discover what’s on at the Taiwan Summer School

Musician Ado Kaliting Pacidal will perform at the Taiwan Studies Summer School.

This year’s SOAS Taiwan Studies Summer School runs from 3-7 July 2017 and promises to be a packed programme of concerts, films, and lectures.


Music is very much to the fore during the week, but the range of musical traditions explored is incredibly diverse with lectures on Taiwan indigenous music; Hoklo (Taiyu) songs; the rap scene in Taiwan; and the music of Jay Chou and Mayday.

Taiwan rap.
Taiwan rap.

Another focus of this year’s summer school is ‘indigenous people’.  Lectures touch upon their cultures, their social status, and their political rights.

Additionally, there will be lectures on Taiwan media; on Taiwan politics and society; and a panel discussion looking at the state of the nation during the 30 years since the lifting of martial law.

A full schedule of events is online.


Ado Kaliting Pacidal will be performing a concert of songs in her native Amis (Pangcah) language.  This promises to be a fun and exciting concert in which Ado will be accompanied by a cello, guitar and piano, and where audience participation is encouraged!

Ado is a singer-songwriter, the host of a music programme on Taiwan Indigenous Television, and has also starred in the feature film Panay (Wawa no Cidal), which is one of the few Taiwanese movies that is filmed from an indigenous perspective.

Golden Melody Award winner Hsieh Ming-yu will be singing some of his famous Hoklo songs during a second concert.  After working for many years in commercial music production, Hsieh Ming-yu returned to his Tainan roots to pursue the lifestyle of an ‘urban vagabond’ and he now composes songs inspired by his encounters in his home city.

Hsieh Ming-yu performs at the Taiwan Studies Summer School.
Hsieh Ming-yu performs at the Taiwan Studies Summer School.


There are two documentary screenings and accompanying Q&A sessions with the films’ directors.  The first documentary examines the place of indigenous peoples in Taiwan; the other pays tribute to Taiwan’s New Cinema in the 1980s.

Taiwan documentary about the Love Boat.
Taiwan documentary about the Love Boat.


During the course of the week, lectures will include: Chi Ta-wei on ‘Film and Homosexuality under Martial Law’; Meredith Schweig on ‘Polyphonic Adventures in the History of Taiwan Rap’ and ‘Scholars, Generals and other Outsiders’; Lin Chen-yu on ‘Straight Outta Taipei: Jay Chou and Mayday’; Chang Tieh-chih on ‘The Changing Media in Taiwan’; Tobie Openshaw on ‘The Power of Saying Sorry’ and ‘Sunflowers in the Streets’; and Valerie Soe on ‘Global Politics on an Intimate Scale’.

Tobie Openshaw documents the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan.
Tobie Openshaw documents the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan.

Want to learn more?

SOAS offers a postgraduate degree in MA Taiwan Studies administered by the Centre of Taiwan Studies.

It is the first and only degree focussing on contemporary Taiwan, and provides an unrivalled interdisciplinary course on Taiwan’s politics, society, culture, film, human rights, law and language.

Additionally, SOAS offers a number of modules on both postgraduate and undergraduate degree courses, which relate to Taiwan.  These include: Taiwan’s Politics and Cross-Strait Relations; Culture and Society of Taiwan; Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora; Law, Rights and Society in Taiwan; Northeast Asian Politics: Japan, Korea and Taiwan; Taiwan’s Politics and International Relations; and Elementary Spoken Hokkien.

Find out more





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