The contributors to this special issue examine the role successive colonialisms played in forging a distinct Taiwanese identity and the theoretical implications the Taiwanese experience of colonialism raises regarding the making of modern national identities. In addition to its indigenous culture, a long succession of colonial rulers-variously the Netherlands, Spain, the kingdom of Tungning, the Ming and Qing dynasties, Japan, and Kuomintang China-have forged a distinctive Taiwanese national identity. The Taiwan case suggests that it is misleading to approach colonialism as an obstacle to national identity without also accounting for the ways in which colonialism has historically factored into the constitution of national identities. The contributors address the ways in which the colonizer's culture transformed the colonized, setting them in new historical directions, even if those directions were not what the colonizers expected. Contributors: Shu-jung Chen, Leo T. S. Ching, Ya-Chung Chuang, Arif Dirlik, P. Kerim Friedman, Ping-hui Liao, Nikky Lin, Jing Tsu, Yin Wang, Fang-chih Irene Yang
Arif Dirlik (1940-2017) was Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University and author and editor of several books, including Postmodernism and China, also published by Duke University Press. Ya-Chung Chuang is Professor in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan, and author of Democracy on Trial: Social Movements and Cultural Politics in Post-authoritarian Taiwan. Ping-hui Liao is Professor of Literary and Critical Studies at the University of California, San Diego, and author of Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule.