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Session R1
Making Taiwan Studies Teaching Programmes Sustainable: The SOAS Experience
Dafydd Fell
Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS, University of London, UK

Although there are now a larger than ever number of Taiwan Studies programmes and centres in overseas universities, the majority of these have concentrated on running academic events and publishing. Where programmes have introduced teaching components, these courses have often been short lived. One of the exceptions has been the SOAS Taiwan Studies teaching programme, which now offers a degree in Taiwan Studies and the widest range of Taiwan Studies courses of any university in Europe or North America. In this presentation I will discuss how the programme developed from a single course in 2000 to today’s comprehensive teaching programme. The main part of the presentation will then focus on how we were able to make such a niche teaching project successful in an academic environment that is quite hostile to non mainstream programmes. I will conclude by addressing the prospects and challenges for Taiwan studies teaching. This paper is part of a lively ongoing debate within the Taiwan Studies community on how to make our field sustainable in the long-term.