The Brill encyclopedia on Taiwan will be an international first

  • By Yang Yuan-ting and Jake Chung/staff reporter, with a staff writer

A digital version from Brill Academic Publishers Taiwan Encyclopedia is due to go live in November, which would be the first time an international publishing house has published a nation-focused encyclopedia.

The Dutch-based publishing house said it decided to publish the Taiwan Encyclopedia due to the growing demand from scholars and other members of the international community to understand Taiwan, adding that he is interested in research related to Taiwan.

Brill asked Michael Hsiao (蕭新煌), assistant researcher at Academia Sinica’s Institute of Sociology, to be the encyclopedia‘s editor.

Photo published with the kind authorization of the Vox Nativa association

He started working on the release in September 2020.

The encyclopedia explores Taiwan through 14 subject areas, including international relations, sociology, archaeology, linguistics, women’s studies, indigenous studies, music, film, literature and history, Hsiao said.

It is different from Ministry of Culture sponsored Taiwan Encyclopediaavailable online until June 2014, when the platform no longer accepted changes made by the public, he said.

Every article in the Brill Encyclopedia must be written by academics, Hsiao said, adding that it has more than 600 articles so far.

Brill publishing a university-level encyclopedia on Taiwan shows the nation has “earned enough credit” to have a say in matters important to the academic community around the world, he said.

No Chinese authors are on the editorial staff because China lacks scholars who seriously study Taiwan, Hsiao said.

“Beijing has never treated research on Taiwan as a scientific activity, but as a way to control Taiwan,” he added.

As early as 1990, Taiwanese embarked on Taiwanese studies that were not influenced by Chinese interpretations, and after 30 years of hard work, Taiwanese studies is a unique academic field, separate from that of sinology or Chinese studies. , did he declare.

There are more than 20 university departments conducting research on Taiwan, as well as specialized international journals, Hsiao said, adding that there are more than 20 Taiwan study centers around the world.

“We may not be able to make political statements on the international stage, but in academia, Taiwan is making a name for itself,” Hsiao said.

The Brill Encyclopedia is the final piece needed to establish Taiwan Studies as its own academic field, he added.

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