JSIS 484 / ANTH 469: Taiwan Indigenous Cultures


Jiun-Yu Liu

Course Description

Taiwan society is composed of two major ethnic groups, Han Chinese and Austronesian Indigenous peoples. Although the population of Taiwanese Indigenous people is less than ten percent of the total, Indigenous people have thrived on the island for thousands of years. Taiwan Indigenous cultures have faced challenges from external colonial powers since the seventeenth century. However, over the last two decades, cultural revitalization movements have shown positive results. The bottom-up and top-down works of the tribes, academia, and government are bearing fruit, and Taiwan is now a center for the preservation and study of Austronesian culture. In this course, we will explore various themes including the peopling of Taiwan, formation of cultures, interaction between peoples, and contemporary issues and social movements of Indigenous Taiwanese.

Who are Taiwanese, becoming Taiwanese, and the formation of Taiwan Identity are hot academic topics in Taiwan studies, and we will approach these topics from the Taiwan Austronesian perspective. While anthropological and archeological studies and observations will be the primary reading material for this course, no prerequisites are required. This course is designed so that all attendees can co-develop and learn from each other. After this course, you should have a better understanding of Austronesian Indigenous Taiwanese, an essential component of Taiwan society, and you should be able to discuss issues related to Taiwan and Taiwanese Indigenous from emic and etic perspectives.

TTh 3:30-5:20
5 Credits

Faculty Contact: Jiun-Yu Liu (