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UCLA-NTNU Symposium Examines Taiwan's Role in the Cold War
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The Rethinking Cold War Culture and History in Taiwan conference, the seventh installment of the UCLA-NTNU Taiwan Studies Initiative, was held at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) from April 19 to 20. This event aimed to foster research synergies and promote cutting-edge studies in Taiwan's history and culture. The conference was organized by Professor Shu-mei Shih and Faye Lu of UCLA, with significant support from Professor Nikky Lin of the NTNU International Taiwan Studies Center, who serves as Associate Vice President for International Affairs at NTNU.

The two-day conference attracted scholars from esteemed institutions such as Princeton University, University of Washington, University of Missouri-Columbia, University of Toronto, Stockholm University, and National Cheng Kung University. They presented 17 papers across six themed sessions, covering topics from Taiwan’s global position during the Cold War to issues of ethnicity, imperialism, colonialism, immigration, and gender.

The opening session featured speeches from Associate Vice Provost David Kim of the International Institute at UCLA, Professor Zhou Min, Director of the UCLA Asia Pacific Center, and Professor Shu-mei Shih. Doctoral student Faye Ku also shared her perspectives on the academic significance of the conference series, underscoring the importance of ongoing Taiwan Studies.

The conference explored Taiwan's distinctive Cold War role through various historical, political, and literary lenses, assessing its global impact and potential to challenge the conventional Cold War frameworks. The closing session, led by Professor Shih, emphasized key insights and discussed the possibility of compiling the papers into a book to solidify the collaborative findings. The conference was acclaimed as a success, setting the stage for future comprehensive studies on Taiwan during the Cold War.

Professor Shu-mei Shih, a pivotal figure in the seminar's success, earned her bachelor’s degree from the Department of English at NTNU, her master’s from the University of California, San Diego, and her doctorate from UCLA. She is currently a professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA, holding joint appointments in the Departments of Asian Languages and Cultures, and Asian American Studies. Additionally, she is a chair professor in the Department of Taiwanese Language and Literature at NTNU, she received recognition from the Ministry of Education as a Yushan Scholar for her impactful research on Taiwan.

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