The UCLA-NTNU Taiwan Studies Initiative was established in 2017 with support from National Taiwan Normal University to create academic synergies and promote cutting-edge research in Taiwan studies. Directed by Shu-mei Shih, Edward W. Said Professor of Comparative Literature, and Professor of Asian Languages and Cultures and Asian American Studies at UCLA, the initiative includes faculty and student exchanges, graduate fellowship support, and an annual conference. The initial three-year agreement was extended in 2020 for an additional three years, sustaining the program through 2023.
National Taiwan Normal University is a large public university that houses one of the most prestigious and comprehensive programs in Taiwan studies in the world. The Department of Taiwan Culture, Languages and Literature is the only department In Taiwan that offers a BA degree as well as MA and PhD degrees in the discipline. Most of its stellar faculty received their PhD degrees from Japanese, European, and American institutions in such disciplines as literature, theater, anthropology, sociology, and political science. UCLA collaborates with this department and other departments (such as Linguistics) and institutes across the College of Liberal Arts at NTNU.
Since its inception, the UCLA-NTNU Taiwan Studies Initiative has sponsored three international conferences at UCLA Indigenous Knowledge, Taiwan: Comparative and Relational Perspectives; Sinophone Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Critical Reflections; and Peripheral Modernism in the Global Context: Art and Society in Taiwan. UCLA faculty Shu-mei Shih and Hongyin Tao (Asian Languages and Cultures) hold honorary chair professor appointments at NTNU. In 2018, Prof. Shih was awarded the NTNU distinguished alumna award in recognition of her lifetime scholarly achievement.
UCLA faculty and students may apply to conduct research in affiliation with NTNU through the APC Taiwan Studies fellowship and programs.
NTNU graduate students and faculty should apply for the UCLA-NTNU visiting scholar program through their home institution.