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Taiwan Women’s World: The Voices of Taiwanese Women in Literature, Film, and Politics


Admission requirements



In this course we will study Taiwan’s position not just in East Asia but with the United States and other parts of the world through the voices of Taiwanese women. Most histories of Taiwan focus on the male perspective, but what about the women? How does the history and culture of Taiwan differ if we study it through the lens of those who tend not to control the writing of a nation’s narrative? Through literature, diaries, travel memoirs, film, and political speeches created by famous and not so famous Taiwanese women, we will consider what it means to be “Taiwanese” not just vis-à-vis the People’s Republic of China or the legacy of being a colony of Japan, but vis-à-vis the world and through a point of view that often gets overlooked – that of the woman.

Course objectives

  • To learn about gender politics and gender identity in Taiwanese culture.

  • To learn how to make thoughtful cross-cultural comparisons about the way in which women are perceived and defined in different societies over time.

  • To learn how to read primary and secondary sources and be able to articulate difficult theoretical concepts in your own words.

  • To learn how to conduct research and write a detailed research paper.

  • To learn how to present research in an articulate way.

  • To learn how to present your understanding of Taiwanese women in a digital humanities project (i.e. SCALAR)

  • To learn how to do datamining (i.e. VOYANT).


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Final Exam:
Written examination with short open questions and one essay question.

Final Paper:
Will be the result of smaller assignments: literary analysis, secondary source assignment, annotated bibliography, and first draft of paper.

Attendance and Participation 10%
Weekly Discussion Posts 15%
Literary Analysis Assignment 10%
Secondary Source Assignment 10%
Annotated Bibliography 5%
Final Paper 20%
Digital Class Project 10%
Final Exam 20%

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

All works must be read before class lecture:

  • Ang Li, The Butcher’s Wife

  • Mei-ling Soong (Madame Chiang Kai-shek), We Chinese Women: Speeches and Writings During the First United Nations Year.

  • San Mao, Stories of the Sahara

  • Shawn Yang Ryan, Green Island

  • Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang editor and translator, Bamboo Shoots After the Rain: Contemporary Stories by Women Writers of Taiwan


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs

Not applicable.


  • For substantive questions, contact the (lecturer) listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: OA De Vrieshof


You cannot write your thesis in this course