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Reading Taiwan: Contemporary Literature and Film in a Global Context

Friday 22 - Saturday 23 October, 2021
Leeds and online

This year's symposium is generously supported by Spotlight Taiwan and the Taiwan Ministry of Culture, and in collaboration with the National Museum of Taiwan Literature and the Association for Taiwan Literature. This year, we're delighted to be welcoming speakers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, the US, and the UK, for two days of talks and roundtables which will examine the ways in which contemporary literature and film from Taiwan are part of global cultural flows, through translation, adaptation, and education.

With writers, translators, publishers, academics, and others involved in various aspects of the field, we'll be exploring the different ways in which Taiwan is being ‘read’ in global contexts, highlighting questions, challenges, and connections. How are contemporary writers and film-makers positioning themselves on a global stage? What is the journey from story to translation? How are Taiwan’s multiple cultural identities represented, translated, and read, in both literary and cinematic terms?

The symposium will make the most of the opportunities offered by a hybrid online and in-person format, with delegates in both Leeds and also participating virtually.

As ever with our annual symposia, we're aiming to provide a collegiate atmosphere and opportunity for real dialogue, so places for the two day event itself have been limited, but the online keynote lecture and author events are open to the public. Please find the Eventbrite links below. (Please note that if you're a symposium participant, you don't need to register on Eventbrite). Videos and keynotes will be available on our website afterwards.


Friday 22nd October

(for Leeds-based participants, Canna & Rum Room, 1F, Doubletree Hilton)

09:15 – 09:30 (UK Time); 16:15 – 16:30 (Taiwan Time)

Welcome and Introduction by Frances WEIGHTMAN

09:30 – 10:15 (UK);     16:30 – 17:15 (Taiwan)

Keynote Presentation (online ~ open event)

Professor CHIU Kuei-fen, “Sinophone literature and world literature: Two transnational frameworks for the study of Taiwanese literature in the early 21st century”. (Register on Eventbrite).


10:30 – 12:00 (UK);     17:30 – 19:00 (Taiwan)                         

Roundtable 1(hybrid):   Showcasing Taiwan Literature (Chair: Brian SKERRATT)

Professor SU Shuobin,  Professor Nikky LIN, Canaan MORSE, Angus STEWART


12:00 – 13:15                Lunch (for Leeds-based participants, The Lock Kitchen & Bar, GF, Doubletree Hilton)

13:15-13:45 (UK);        20:15-20:45 (Taiwan)             

Author Feature 1 (online ~ open event): (Chair: Sarah DODD)

CHI Ta-wei (Register on Eventbrite)


13:50-15:00 (UK)         20:50-22:00 (Taiwan)                            

Roundtable 2 (hybrid):            Taiwan literature in the curriculum (Chair: Frances WEIGHTMAN)

Evelyn HSIEH, Pei-yin LIN, Yvonne CHANG


15:15-16:30 (Leeds: onsite – will be recorded and uploaded later)             

Roundtable 3  Translating Taiwan 1 (poetry, comics and children’s literature) (Chair: Coraline JORTAY)

Colin BRAMWELL, Wen-chi LI, Helen WANG, Nick STEMBER


17:00-19:30 Film Screening (Leeds) 

(Leeds-based only – Screen 5 ½, Everyman Cinema, Trinity Centre)

Reception, followed by Screening of Detention 返校, directed by John Hsu, introduced by Ming-yeh RAWNSLEY


Saturday 23rd October 

(for Leeds-based participants: LG15, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds)

 9:45-10:20 (UK)            16:45-17:20 (Taiwan)

Author Feature 2 (online ~ open event):        (Chair: Evelyn HSIEH)

YANG Shuangzi, with translation competition winner Francesca JORDAN (Register on Eventbrite)


10:30-11:40 (UK)         17:30-18:40 (Taiwan)

Roundtable 4                Translating Taiwan lit 2 (fiction and prose)      (Chair: Sarah DODD)

Francesca JORDAN, Darryl STERK, Henning KLOTER, Kyle SHERNUK, Coraline JORTAY


11:45-12:15 (UK)                   18:45-19:15 (Taiwan)

Author Feature 3 (online ~ open event):    (Chair: Evelyn HSIEH)

Salizan TAKISVILAINAN (Register on Eventbrite)


12:15-13:00     Lunch

13:00-14:10 (UK)                    20:00-21:10 (Taiwan)

Roundtable 5                Approaches to researching contemporary Taiwan lit        (Chair: Yvonne Sung-sheng CHANG)

Ti-han CHANG, CHI Ta-wei, Kyle SHERNUK


 14:20-15:30 (UK)                    21:20-22:30 (Taiwan)

Roundtable 6:                New directions in Taiwan literature research (PGR/ECR roundtable)     (Chair: Ti-han CHANG)

Roger Chien-wei PAN, Mei-yi KUO, Aoife CANTRILL, Po-hsi CHEN


15:40-16:50 (UK)                   22:40-23:50 (Taiwan)

Roundtable 7                Publishing Taiwan literature in translation         (Chair: Frances WEIGHTMAN)

Columbia Uni Press (Christine DUNBAR); Cambria Press (Jackie RICHARDSON); Balestier Press (ROH Suan-tong); Honford Star (Taylor BRADLEY)


16:50:17:00 (UK)     Closing remarks and launch of special issue


Kuei-fen CHIU (Keynote)

Professor Kuei-fen Chiu holds a PhD degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington, Seattle and is Chair Professor of Taiwan Literature and Transnational Cultural Studies at National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan. She has written extensively on postcolonial literary historiography, contemporary Taiwan documentaries, and Taiwan literature.

SU Shuo-bin 蘇碩斌

Shuo-bin Su has been the Director of the National Museum of Taiwan Literature from Oct. 2018 to now. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from NTU and now is also a Professor of Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature, NTU. The areas of his research specialization include sociology of literature, cultural studies, and book history. He is the author of The Invisible and Visible Taipei (2010), which explored the birth of modern Taipei City. In these years, he endeavored to conduct Creative Nonfiction writings and organized some awarded books to re-write the young people’s stories of Taiwan’s history.

Hsin-Chin Evelyn HSIEH

Hsin-Chin Evelyn Hsieh is Associate Professor of Graduate Institute of Taiwanese Culture at National Taipei University of Education. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in East Asian Languages and Literatures from University of Oregon, U.S.A. Her research interests include contemporary Taiwan literature, film and documentary, migration studies, Sinophone studies, and women studies, particularly looking at the relation between contemporary cultural production and the inbound and outbound migration of Taiwan. She is the recipient of the 2019 Young Scholar Fellowship (Einstein Program) from Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, and currently conducting multiple research projects on Taiwanese American literature and the cinematic representations of migrants’ lived experiences and transnationality in contemporary Taiwan cinema. She has published articles on Journal of Women’s and Gender Studies, Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives, and Chinese America: History and Perspectives, etc. Prior to joining NTUE, she taught at Wesleyan University, U.S.A.

Nikky LIN

Nikky Lin is a Professor at the National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature. She obtained her PhD in Taiwan Literature from the National Cheng Kung University and has previously worked as a research fellow at the International Institute for Asian Studies in the Netherlands. She was the Chair at the Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature, and currently serves as the Associate Vice President of International Affairs and as Director at the International Taiwan Studies Center. Professor Lin’s research and teaching primarily focuses on Taiwan Literature and Culture and she is also the managing editor/ one of the main editors of Springer’s Sinophone and Taiwan Studies and Cambria Press’s Taiwan Literature Series.

Pei-yin LIN

Pei-yin Lin is Associate Professor at the School of Chinese, University of Hong Kong, where she teaches modern Chinese literature and culture. She was Chair of Taiwan Studies at Leiden (Fall, 2020), and a Harvard Yenching Visiting Scholar (2015/2016). She is the author of Gender and Ethnicity in Taiwanese Literature: Japanese Colonial Era to Present Day) (National Taiwan University Press, 2021) and Colonial Taiwan: Negotiating Identities and Modernity through Literature (Brill, 2017), and has co-edited Positioning Taiwan in a Global Context: Being and Becoming (Routledge, 2019) and East Asian Transwar Popular Culture: Literature and Film from Taiwan and Korea (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). A new co-edited volume Taiwanese Literature as World Literature is forthcoming from Bloomsbury in 2022.

CHI Ta-wei 紀大偉

Chi Ta-wei is a renowned writer and scholar from Taiwan. Chi’s scholarly work focuses on LGBT studies, disability studies, and Sinophone literary history, while his award-winning creative writing ranges from science fiction to queer short stories. He is an associate professor of Taiwanese literature at the National Chengchi University.

Christine DUNBAR

Christine Dunbar is the editor for Asian Humanities and Literary Translation at Columbia University Press, where she is also the founding editor of the Russian Library series. Christine’s books have been reviewed in a wide range of general interest publications, including the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Economist. When not reading, editing, or, let’s face it, answering email, she can be found in her community garden plot.

Michelle DEETER

Michelle Deeter is a freelance translator based in Manchester. She has been translating and interpreting since 2007. She holds a BA in International Relations from Carleton College and an MA in Translation and Interpreting from Newcastle University. Recent projects include a translation of a report published by Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden and simultaneous interpretation for the Queering the Boundaries of the Arts in the Sinosphere conference at the University of Zurich. Her translation of Zijin Chen’s 《坏孩子》(Bad Kids) is forthcoming.


Aoife Cantrill is a PhD candidate at the University of Oxford. Her research looks at the translation and retranslation of Japanese-language literature authored by Taiwanese women during the period of Japanese rule. Her other research interests include the use of paratext in contemporary Chinese fiction and literary exchange in the Japanese empire.

YANG Shuangzi 楊双子

Yang Shuangzi (1984-) is a novelist and researcher of popular literature and culture. Her real name is Yang Ruoci; Yang Shuangzi is the pseudonym shared by her and her twin sister, Yang Ruohui. Since 2003, she has been writing and publishing romance novels and serious literary novels. And since 2016, she has been using the pen name "Yang Shuangzi" to write and publish her novels The Man Who Caught the Moon, The Season When Flowers Bloom, Blossoming Maidens of Huali Island, Taiwan Wanderings, and she also co-authored the novel Anecdotes of Huali Island: The Key. She also co-authored the manga named Monogatari of Elegant Flowers. In 2020, she published her first collection of proses named I Live Next Door to Zhang Rixing. She has always focused on the theme of female love in her writing and is concerned with issues such as gender equality, folklore and food culture in Taiwan. She is currently working on a historical novel about the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.

Yang Shuangzi has received grants from the National Culture and Arts Foundation and awards from the Ministry of Culture; She was shortlisted for the 2018 Taipei International Book Exhibition Prize and the 2020 Taiwan Literary Golden Award; she was a writer-in-residence at the Ministry of Culture's International Art Village in Can Serrat, Spain; a writer-in-residence of the Museum of Taiwan Literature; and a writer-in-residence at Chung Hsing University's Chuan-Liu Taiwan Literary School; she was selected as one of the "20 Most Anticipated Young Writers" by Unitas magazine and a representative writer of the "21st Century Rising Constellation" fiction category by Wenhsun magazine.

Canaan MORSE

Canaan Morse is a literary translator, poet, and graduate student. His translations of Chinese prose and poetry have appeared in Kenyon Review, The Baffler, The Southern Review, and many other journals, while his translations of Ge Fei’s novels The Invisibility Cloak (2017) and Peach Blossom Paradise (2020) were both published via the New York Review of Books Classics Series. As Editor-in-Chief of Books From Taiwan, he facilitates the presentation of Taiwanese books in English. A Ph.D. candidate at Harvard University, Canaan is currently finishing a dissertation on early Chinese vernacular literature and oral storytelling.


Salizan Takisvilainan, born in 1981, is a Bunun author. He grew up in the Nakahila tribe in Zhuoxi Township, Hualien. He studied Chinese at Yuan Ze University and further studied indigenous affairs and ethno-development at National Dong Hwa University. He is now running an independent publishing studio named Tastubuqul Tu Maduq for works written in Bunun. His literary works have received Taiwan Aboriginal Literary Awards in 2000, 2001, 2011, 2013 and 2015, Hualien County Literary Awards in 2008 and 2011, and the Literary Awards for Works Written in Aboriginal Languages from the Ministry of Education in 2011 and 2013 in Taiwan. He is the author of The Words of Dina, The Light of the Tribe, and Ancestral Land, Tribe, People.

Darryl STERK

Darryl Sterk translates Mandarin-language fiction from Taiwan into English. Writers he has worked with include Wu Ming-Yi (The Man With the Compound Eyes, Harvill Secker; The Stolen Bicycle, Text), Sakinu (Hunter School, Honford Star), Horace Ho (The Tree Fort on Carnation Lane, Balestier), and Lay Chih-Ying (Home Sickness, Linda Leith). He's hoping to branch out into natural science and natural history translation. As a scholar, he's written a monograph, Indigenous Cultural Translation: A Thick Description of Seediq Bale, and is now working on Indigenous autoethnobotany and translation.

Ti-han CHANG

Ti-han Chang is a lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Central Lancashire. Her research focusses on the contemporary eco-literature in Taiwan and its implication in the Asia Pacific region. Ti-han is particularly interested in postcolonial ecocriticism, which draws her attention to topics such as nonhuman agency, borders and nations, climate change and migration. Since 2019, she is engaged with multiple research projects which investigate the Pacific climate migrants and the narratives of the displaced. Apart from her journal publications on Taiwanese eco-literature, she also writes online articles on more general environmental and literature topics for The Conversation and Taiwan Insights.


Kyle is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Chinese Studies at Queen Mary University of London. He is a scholar of modern and contemporary Chinese and Sinophone literatures, with a particular interest in disempowered and minoritized populations. His current research and book project focus on the issue of ethnicity in Chinese-language literature from China and Taiwan. It asks how different ethnic identities are constructed and relate to ideas about what it means “to be Chinese” at the turn of the twenty-first century. Related publications appear or are forthcoming in Prism: Theory and Modern Chinese LiteratureInternational Journal of Taiwan Studies and edited volumes, such as Keywords in Queer Sinophone Studies (Routledge, 2020) and A New Literary History of Modern China (Harvard University Press, 2017). Published translations include short stories by Dadelavan Ibau, Long Yingzong, Chu T’ien-hsin (Zhu Tianxin), and Li Juan.

Wen-chi Li

Wen-chi Li is a PhD candidate at the University of Zurich, after receiving his MSc by Research in Chinese Studies and MSc degree in General and Comparative Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Li publishes three poetry collections and co-edits the Chinese anthology Under the Same Roof: A Poetry Anthology for LGBT and the scholarly volume Taiwanese Literature as World Literature (forthcoming). Li and Colin Bramwell’s translation has been published in Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems Yang Mu (Columbia University Press). They also won first prize in the 2018 John Dryden Translation Competition.


Dr. Ming-yeh T. Rawnsley is Research Associate, Centre of Taiwan Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is also the founding Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Taiwan Studies (2018-present). Her research areas are Chinese-language cinema (in particular, Taiwan cinema) and media and cultural democratisation in Taiwan.

Henning KLöTER

Henning Klöter is Professor of Modern Chinese Languages and Literatures at the Humboldt University of Berlin and currently director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies at the same university. He has previously held positions at the universities of Göttingen, Mainz, Bochum and Taiwan Normal University. His major publications are Written Taiwanese (Harrassowitz 2005) and The Language of the Sangleys: A Chinese vernacular in missionary documents of the seventeenth century (Brill 2011). His current research is concerned with language planning, multilingualism and language variation in the sinophone world.

Mei-yi KUO

Kuo Mei-yi is a first-year PhD student at the University of Leeds. Her research interests are in children’s literature, education, language in colonial Taiwan and the influences from both Japan and China (1895-1945). Her research project aims to analyse Japanese and Minnan children’s literature in Taiwan under Japanese rule and how children’s literature constructed the hybridity in self-consciousness and formed modernity. She has previously completed an MA in Japanese Studies focusing on Japan’s foreign policy at the University of Leeds. She is also a certified English and Mandarin educator for young learners.

Roger Chien-wei PAN

Chien-wei Pan is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for University Social Responsibility, Ministry of Education. He received his PhD from the University of Edinburgh in 2020. His publications can be seen (or will be seen) in Routledge Companion to Literature and Food, Food and Gender in Contemporary East Asia, and Archiv orientální.


Francesca Jordan, winner of the 2021 Bai Meigui Translation Competition, was born in London and grew up in South Wales where she is now based. After studying Chinese at SOAS she spent many years earning her translator’s stripes amid Beijing’s energetic contemporary art scene, and has also worked internationally as an exhibition curator, art consultant and event coordinator.

Coraline JORTAY

Dr Coraline Jortay is a Laming Junior Research Fellow at The Queen’s College, University of Oxford. Her research investigates the debates surrounding gender equality that rocked the Chinese intellectual and literary scenes after gendered pronouns were introduced into modern vernacular Chinese through literary translation in the late 1910s, mapping their afterlives in pronominal re-appropriations in twentieth and twenty-first century Sinophone literature. A co-founder of the China Academic Network on Gender (CHANGE), she is also a published translator of contemporary Sinophone literature into French, with a taste for poetry and short fiction.


Angus Stewart is host of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, and an editor for The Medicine Maker magazine. He's from Dundee, has a BA in English Lit, an MSc in Publishing, and in the years between those two was a teacher in Zhejiang and Shanghai. He's eager to get thoughts from anyone - anyone! - on Zero by Huang Fan. 


Jackie Richardson is an assistant editor at Cambria Press. She previously worked at The Los Angeles Review of Books as an editorial and social media intern. In May she graduated from Smith College, where she was the Editor in Chief of the student-run newspaper The Sophian for two years.

Roh-Suan TUNG

Roh-Suan Tung was born in Taipei in 1967. He founded Balestier Press in 2015, an independent publisher with a focus on contemporary Asian literature in translation.


Taylor Bradley is the co-founder of Honford Star, a publisher specializing in East Asian fiction. Honford Star started by publishing classic literature overlooked in the English speaking world.  Originally from the US, Taylor now lives in South Korea with his wife and kid.


Colin Bramwell is a poet, translator and performer from the Black Isle, in the north of Scotland. His co-translations of Yang Mu won the 2018 John Dryden Translation Competition; his translations of Taiwanese poets have appeared in Renditions, Chinese Literature Today, Comparative Critical Studies and Hawk of the Mind: Collected Poems of Yang Mu (University of Columbia Press). Colin has delivered lectures about/readings of his translations of Taiwanese poets in Taiwan, Ireland and across the UK. He is currently working on a doctorate about Scots and present-day poetry translation at the University of St Andrews.


Nick Stember is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Cambridge, currently completing a dissertation on lianhuanhua (comic books) and other forms of illustrated fiction in the PRC during the “science fiction fever” of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Between 2015 and 2018, he was responsible for translating and lettering three volumes of the Books from Taiwan / Ministry of Culture (ROC) sample translations for book fairs, featuring selections from contemporary Taiwanese comics.

Helen WANG

Helen Wang has translated short stories, essays and non-fiction for adults, working with the China Fiction Book Club, Paper Republic and the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing. She has translated many works by Chinese authors and more recently, she has focussed on children’s and YA books, translating novels such as Cao Wenxuan’s Bronze and Sunflower and Dragonfly Eyes (曹文轩:青铜葵花 / 蜻蜓眼), Shen Shixi’s Jackal and Wolf (沈石溪:红豺), Lin Man-Chiu’s The Ventriloquist’s Daughter (林满秋:腹语师的女儿), and Qin Wenjun’s Lessons in Happiness (秦文君:幸福课), and many picture books, including samples for Books from Taiwan. She holds the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation. She co-runs the website Chinese Books for Young Readers, is a member of the World Kid lit team, and recently co-authored a long chapter “Chinese Children’s Literature in English” with Minjie Chen. 

Sung-sheng Yvonne CHANG

Dr. Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang is a professor in the Department of Asian Studies and the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Literary Culture in Taiwan: Martial Law to Market Law (Columbia University Press, 2004) and Modernism and the Nativist Resistance: Contemporary Chinese Fiction from Taiwan (Duke University Press, 1993), and a co-editor of The Columbia Sourcebook of Literary Taiwan (Columbia University Press, 2014) and Bamboo Shoots After the Rain: Contemporary Stories by Women Writers of Taiwan (Feminist Press, 1990). Her books published in the Chinese language include現代主義 ‧ 當代台灣 (Modernism/Contemporary Taiwan,2015),当代台湾文学场域 (Literary Field in Contemporary Taiwan,2015), and 文學場域的變遷:當代台灣小說論 (Transformations of A Literary Field: On Contemporary Taiwan Fiction, 2001). Dr. Chang’s articles have appeared in journals, edited volumes, and anthologies in English and Chinese. Dr. Chang was the President of the Association of Chinese and Comparative Literature (ACCL) in 1999-2000 and is currently the Director of the Center for Taiwan Studies at UT-Austin.


Brian Skerratt is a scholar and translator of modern Chinese and Taiwanese poetry. He is an assistant professor at the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Literature and International Cultural Studies at National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan. His publications have appeared in International Journal of Taiwan Studies, Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews, and elsewhere, and his translations have appeared in Taiwan Literature: English Translation Series and The Taipei Chinese Pen.

Po-hsi CHEN

Po-hsi Chen is Post-Doctoral Fellow in Taiwan Studies at the University of Cambridge. Prior to joining Cambridge, he obtained his Ph.D degree in East Asian Languages and Literatures from Yale University and was Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences in Taipei. His research situates the politics of emotions in Cold War Taiwanese literature within transnational radical movements. His articles on the history of reportage, modern Chinese literature in the cultural Cold War, Sinified Marxism and postcolonial studies, and Taiwanese cinema are available (or forthcoming) in Modern Chinese Literature and CultureChinese Literature TodayEast Asian Journal of Popular Culture, and Inter-Asia Cultural Studies.

Symposium Organizing Team and Affiliated Researchers



Frances is Associate Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds. She is Director of the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, and teaches and researches Chinese fiction of all periods. She is author of The Quest for the Childlike in Seventeenth-Century Chinese Fiction: Fantasy, Naivety and Folly, and is co-founder of the Association for Speakers of Chinese as a Second Language.

Sarah DODD

Sarah is Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Leeds, where she teaches courses on Chinese literature and culture and is Deputy Director of the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing. She researches classical and contemporary Chinese fiction, especially science fiction and fantasy, and is one of the organisers of the Transcultural Fantastic project, and co-editor of Samovar Magazine.

Ya-chun LIU

 Ya-chun is Lecturer in Chinese at the University of Leeds. A native speaker of Mandarin and Taiwanese Hokkien, she joined East Asian Studies at Leeds in 2019 after a PhD in Translation Studies at the University of Nottingham, and following a one-year research stay in the European Research Center on Contemporary Taiwan at the University of Tübingen. Her research interests span: cultural and historical approaches to translation; trauma and literature; Taiwanese literature and culture; and contemporary Sino-Christianity.

Jianan (Doris) ZHANG

Jianan Zhang is a Leeds Graduate, translator and interpreter of War Horse China production. She is a freelance consecutive/simultaneous interpreter.

Miqi LIU

Miqi is a PhD candidate at the University of Leeds, researching Chinese Internet Literature.

JING Huanjun

Huanjun is a PhD candidate at the University of Leeds, researching transnational practices of Chinese overseas bookstores.