The China Quarterly



Book Reviews

Transformation! Innovation? Perspectives on Taiwan Culture. Edited by CHRISTINA NEDER and INES SUSANNE SCHILLING. [Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2003. 235 pp. €58,00. ISBN 3-447-04791-7.]


Bi-Yu  Chang 

Taiwan studies in Europe are still underdeveloped and have largely concentrated on political issues rather than culture. Transformation! – Innovation? Taiwan in her Cultural Dimensions addresses this critical absence. It is a collection of 14 papers, compiled after an international workshop held at Ruhr University in 2001. This volume not only analyses literary and artistic expression, but also explores the drastic cultural change that has taken place since the lifting of martial law in 1987. The democratization of Taiwanese society in the 1990s led the old China-centric ideology and cultural hegemony that had dominated Taiwan under Kuomintang (KMT) rule to be overturned within a few years. Rather than focusing on political reform, this book concentrates on cultural issues, such as the rise of indigenous literature, the changing status of traditional arts, and the impact of cultural policy during this period.