Message from the Director
The International Institute for Cultural Studies in The University System of Taiwan was formally established in 2012, and the International Master’s Program for Inter-Asia Cultural Studies started enrolling students in 2013. However, the collaboration between cultural studies scholars among the four UST universities goes all the way back to 2003 and has flourished ever since.
For more than 12 years, IICS-UST has served the purpose of cross-university cooperation by providing a platform that allows National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing Hua University, National Central University and National Yang Ming University to integrate their research and teaching resources. As we promote the formation of interdisciplinary, inter-university and international research groups for the development of the IACS program, we aim to support the faculties of humanities and social sciences across the UST universities in order to participate productively and substantially in the global scholarly community.
As the first research and educational establishments that break with existing modalities of higher education and venture into cross-university alliances, IICS & IACS are at the leading-edge of academic innovation. Our work and achievements have been considered unique not merely within the Asia Pacific region but also around the globe.
Four focal research clusters are at present operating under the umbrella of IICS. These include the cluster of Critical Theory and Asian Modernity (convened by: Prof. Kuan-Hsing Chen), the cluster of Contemporary Thought-trends and Social Movements (convened by Prof. Ding-Tzan Li), the cluster of Gender/Sexuality Studies (convened by Prof. Josephine Chuen-Juei Ho), and the cluster of Visual Culture Studies (convened by Prof. Pin-chia Feng). Each cluster is supported by 15 to 25 outstanding scholars and specialists in humanities and social sciences, while IICS-UST connects 19 member departments, 7 academic centers and more than 70 scholars. We relish the continuous and active participation of promising junior scholars and are proud to have fostered collaborative projects among the UST faculties.
Dedicated to promoting academic collaboration across national borders, IICS has run regular programs as follows:
A. The International Chair Professors Program, which invites international scholars to perform research and instruct at affiliated departments and research centers.
B. The Short-term Visiting Scholars Program, which enables speech series and courses designed on a short-term basis.
C. The International Graduate Student Exchange Program, which gives the IACS graduate students access to networking with the wider international academic community.
D. The International Workshops and Conferences Program, which fosters and publicizes progress by the focal research clusters.
E. The Global Publication Program, which coordinates both locally and globally-oriented publication projects.
To facilitate the above listed programs, integrated projects have been developed and executed for further enrichment of international academic exchange. These include:
- The Taiwan-Hong Kong Top University Academic Alliance
- The Transnational Network for Critical Inter-Asia Cultural Studies
- The Taiwan Experience Education Program (TEEP)
Alongside these projects, transnational academic networks have also been built up via annual events, such as the Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series, and via cooperation agreements signed with partner universities from around the globe.
In the long run, IICS aims to become one of the leading research centers across the globe. We hope to demonstrate the value of Asia-based cultural studies, so as to attract interested scholars and students from across disciplines to join us from around the world. We believe this will pave the way not only for daring, novel research, but also for groundbreaking research within the fields of humanities and social sciences.
The goals we are working towards are no doubt consequential and exciting. With consistent hard work, the achievements of the UST faculties should soon show significant results.
Joyce C.H. Liu
September 4, 2015