Course code:


I - Introductory

Class size limit:


Lab fee:


Typically offered:

Upon occasion

Taiwan is what one historian calls a “forbidden nation.” Recognized as an independent state by a small fraction of the world’s countries, it has developed into a fervently multilingual and multiethnic democracy in spite of centuries of colonization by the Dutch, Chinese, and Japanese, and nearly a half century under martial law following the second World War. On an island that one geologist speculates may represent the most interesting geology in the world bisected by the Tropic of Cancer and formed by the Philippine sea plate subducting under and over the Eurasian continental plate, its ecology is rich in bio- and cultural diversity. This 2-credit course is part of a three-credit expeditionary program to Taiwan, and aims for students to gain theoretical lenses and ethnographic tools with which to better understand the historical forces that shape Taiwan’s human ecology. Students will also gain critical media literacy skills and an understanding of the ways in which history, geography, language, religion, and international relations impact sociopolitical realities in this case study that provides both window and mirror into colonial legacies and their influence on current demographic, social, cultural, economic, and political relationships. Students will also consider what a feminist lens contributes to understanding these past and current relationships. Learning experiences include field trips to farms, markets, a women’s cooperative, museums, schools, universities, and a hike up a sacred mountain, as well as invited guests who can speak to local agroecology and cultural anthropology. Students will be evaluated on their understanding and skills demonstrated in a street mapping and participant-observation exercise, critical media compare and contrast, a self-designed final project and lexicon, and weekly individual meetings or written reflections.


Co-enrollment in HS6016 Mandarin Chinese - Traditional Characters and permission of instructors.

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.