This cluster is consists of 17 members from the four universities (9 from National Central University, 5 from National Tsing Hua University, 1 from National Yang Ming University, and 2 from National Chiao Tung University), led and organized by the renowned Center for the Study of Sexualities at National Central University. Since the establishment of the Center in 1995, the members have worked and collaborated closely with each other for nearly two decades, and the Center has been regarded as the leading research team in the field of gender/sexuality studies in Taiwan. The academic experience of the Center is most comprehensive, and the cooperation among its members is consistent and long-lasting. With prolific accumulation of academic achievements, the Center has found a place in networks of gender/sexuality studies communities internationally. The Gender/Sexuality studies team has been making diligent efforts in the gender studies field for over 15 years, hosting several training workshops for instructors, undertaking the editing of gender education materials for elementary and junior high schools, and making large contributions to Taiwan’s gender education. Since 1996, the Center has hosted numerous large-scale academic conferences relating to gender and sexuality issues and continues to carry out integrated, long-term research projects on gender/sexuality studies approved by the National Science Council. The Center has also published 25 academic volumes of gender/sexuality studies, the total content of which exceeds 8 million words, or 5 thousand pages. The cluster is considered to be one of the most dynamic and prolific research teams in Taiwan.
In addition to gathering the local founding scholars of gender/sexuality studies, the Center has been expanding the territory of local gender/sexuality studies, including reflections on feminist theories, social constructions on the subject of sexuality, observations and theorizations of local gender and sex movements, academic research on sex work, the formation of transgender culture, the politics of body/affects, and so forth. So far, the Taiwanese government has passed several laws that convey the significance of gender, such as the “Domestic Violence Prevention Act,” the “Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act,” the “Act of Gender Equality in Employment,” the “Gender Equity Education Act,” the “Child and Youth Sexual Transaction Prevention Act,” the “The Protection of Children and Youths Welfare and Rights Act,” the “Sexual Harassment Prevention Act,” and so on. Thus, gender mainstreaming has become an important part of national policies and global trends. However, the organization of these acts and policies focuses, more often than not, on its functionality and structure, thus resulting in many complicated problems that beget criticisms. Furthermore, the significance of such gender mainstreaming embedded in global governance needs to be analyzed more deeply from historical trajectories and social structures.
The research team will develop its major research orientation over the next 5 years through three concentric structures:
1. Gender/Sexuality Governance: Since 2005, the research team has paid close attention to the transformation of local power structures and maneuvers, focusing on the governing role played by mainstream NGOs in particular. The research team proposes critical analyses of gender-mainstreaming-based gender politics, as well as sexual governance in the field of law-making and HIV/AIDS-related issues. The research team will continue this endeavor in alignment with Cold-War feminism and neo-liberalism as its analytical approach.
2. Civilization/Multiple Modernity: Due to the strong ties between civilization and gender/sexuality governance, the research team has already accumulated its research on the subject as well as its critical analysis. The research team will develop its critical interpretation of civilization/multiple modernity, analyzing the power maneuvers of gender/sexuality governance.
3. Post-colonial Critique: Reflections on modernity should disentangle themselves from historical assumptions and knowledge frameworks. The research team has been working on non-Eurocentric historiography, and will continue this academic work through non-Western, post-colonial discourses from the Third World. This endeavor aims to re-contextualize modernity from the perspective of world history.