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Spring 2024 Course Offerings: History of Modern Taiwan, Environmental Issues in East Asia, Technology and Politics in Taiwan, and Making Modern Taiwan

January 24, 2024

UW-TSP will offer four courses for Spring Quarter 2024! Please consider these classes in your upcoming course selection.

History of Modern Taiwan


Instructor: James Lin

JSIS A 235 / HSTAS 235

Date and Time: M/W 1:30-3:20pm

Credits: 5

Using a variety of methods and topics, this course contextualizes Taiwanese history within larger historical trends as well as grapple with key issues of politics, society, and culture pertinent to Taiwan.  How has Taiwan been shaped by its colonial legacy, geography, and peoples?  How have these forces resulted in key issues today such as identity, democracy, and cross-Strait relations?  How has Taiwan imagined the world and its own place within it?

The course covers Taiwanese history from approximately 1600 to the present.  Lecture, in-class discussion, and readings will address key issues such as migration, colonialism, ethnic identity, urban spaces, the Cold War, development, capitalism, science, religion, labor, and gender. Readings will include both historical primary sources and secondary, scholarly analysis and writing.

Environmental Issues in East Asia


Instructor: Yen-Chu Weng

ENVIR 430 / JSIS 484B

Date and Time: T 4:30-6:20pm

Credits: 5

This course surveys contemporary environmental issues in East Asia: China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Focusing on the topics of pollution, waste, energy, environmental movements, and environmental policies, we will delve into case studies to analyze how each country responds to the environmental challenges differently and with what consequences. International scholars with expertise in East Asia will be invited to share their latest research on course topics. This course culminates with a virtual collaboration project with partners from Taiwan to examine the accessibility of outdoor environmental education in Taiwan and Seattle.

New this year: students will have the opportunity to participate in a Virtual Learning Project with Taiwanese students.

Learning objectives:

  • Recognize and understand the causes and effects of contemporary environmental issues in East Asia through a comparative lens
  • Examine the cultural, social, political, and economic implications of environmental challenges in the East Asia region
  • Practice critical thinking and effective communication skills through class assignments and writing instructions
  • Practice cross-cultural communication and gain proficiency in virtual collaboration technologies

Technology and Politics in Taiwan


Instructor: Yuan Hsiao

JSIS A 410 and 511 / COM 479

Date and Time: M/W 1:30-3:20pm

Credits: 5

Introduces various topics on how technology, especially digital technology, is applied in politics, specifically using Taiwan as the focal case. The political arena in Taiwan has witnessed the influence of multiple technological advancements, including advancements in communication technologies. Includes topics such as how politicians use digital technologies for campaigns in Taiwan, information attacks that try to influence Taiwanese politics, and how social media mobilizes Taiwanese citizens in social movements. It also includes the political landscape in Taiwan, the relationship between digital technologies and politics in general, how political actors in Taiwan utilize technologies for their political goals, and the implications of communication technologies for democracy.

Making Modern Taiwan


Instructor: James Lin

JSISA 588 / HSTAS 590

Date and Time: F 12:30-3:20pm

Credits: 5

“Making Modern Taiwan” introduces graduate students to key themes that have defined Taiwanese history, politics, society, and culture. How has Taiwan been shaped by empire, capital, ideas, and movements of people? How have these forces resulted in contested issues today such as identity, democratization, and development? How has Taiwan imagined the world and its own place within it?

Each week explores a different topic through assigned academic books, encompassing migration, colonialism, ethnicity/race, urban spaces, the Cold War, political economy, indigenous peoples, memory, labor, and gender. Readings and discussions will emphasize understanding Taiwan both as a case study for broader social science and humanities theories, as well as a site of unique social and political phenomena.