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Workshop on the Commemoration of Taiwanese Writers

Dec 10, 2015

"Forging Literary Memory in Taiwan: The Commemoration of Writers in Museum Space" was the title of a workshop held from December 11 to 12 at the Karl Jaspers Centre and the Institute of Chinese Studies. It was organised by graduate student Emily Mae Graf. The programme featured representatives from the Lai He Museum and the National Museum of Taiwan Literature.

This international workshop sheds light onto the social practice of commemorating Taiwanese writers in museum space. The central questions this workshop posed included: Why and how are particular writers remembered in society? Under which circumstances are they rediscovered if once forgotten? – rediscovered by whom and during what kind of a political, cultural or world-historical background? And which forces come into play in their institutionalization in form of a memorial museum?

The workshop allowed a glance behind the scenes of the memorial museum dedicated to Lai He (1894-1943), the “Father of New Taiwan Literature”. Reaching across disciplines, the presentations introduce the voices and perspectives of the different players involved in the process of Lai He’s institutionalization, including the scholarly, curatorial and personal perspectives. The individuals behind the institution illustrate which factors can play into the structural realities behind the question of who is remembered and who is forgotten in the process of forging a collective memory of Taiwan Literature.

The workshop began with two keynote speeches by Prof. Dr. Marc André Matten (Erlangen-Nürnberg) and Jun.Prof. Dr. Zhiyi Yang (Frankfurt), introducing the concept of collective memory first with a historical and then literary approach, and closed on an artistic note with performances of Taiwanese literary works by German actress Katharina Schütz and Taiwanese musician Wu Yi-Jui.

The workshop was organised by Emily Mae Graf, who is pursuing her doctoral thesis within the Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies (GPTS) and at the Institute of Chinese Studies.

Visit the conference website for the detailed programme


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