The National Cheng Kung University Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences (NCKU CHASS) held two seminars respectively on May 25th and 27th, putting together the Research Center’s “CHASS Talk” and the Taiwanese studies “Humanities Salon” through the topic “From Silence to Sound”. Both the seminars were held in person and broadcast live online, and there were about 70 participants in total.
The CHASS Talk on May 25th, “Silence - shared by alumnus Fred Him-san Chin” was prompted by the Head of Dept. of History, Chen Wen-Sung and co-organized by the Exploring Tainan Office. Cultural worker 龔昭勲 was also invited, and along with Mr. Fred Him-san Chin (陳欽生) talked of stories in Taiwan and specifically Tainan, approximately half a century ago, in the era of “Silence”.
Taiwan entered the martial law era in May 1949; for 43 years the Taiwanese society lived under the fear of the “White Terror”. During this time, Fred Him-san Chin entered NCKU to study chemical engineering as a Malaysian international student. In his 3rd year, he was mistakenly arrested near his accommodation on Sheng-li Road, and became a political prisoner. Years after his imprisonment, he returned to his alma mater to talk about his story and experiences, and how he still chose to remain in Taiwan after his incident.
On the other hand, cultural worker 龔昭勳 is dedicated to discovering stories within the “White Terror” era. Through collecting related documents, photos, and items, he is able to recover past memories. In the modern 21st century, the silenced, forgotten “White Terror” incidents are now able to be remembered by history. After the seminar, the speakers and participants even went to the original location of the incident, to witness the history that happened there.
In the “Humanities Salon” seminar on May 27th, CHASS invited Pei-feng Chen, research fellow of the Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica to share his latest research on Taiwanese songs; His talk “The war between folk songs - divergent of Mandarin and Taiwanese songs” also kicked off the 2022 “Taiwanese studies” activities.
From the changes in lyrics, melody, and music within Taiwanese folklore, to the evolution of Taiwanese pop music amidst changes in era and politics, Mr Chen delivered an excellent speech circulating this topic. He presented the subject using abundant media files, and analyzed how the Taiwanese identity changed along with the 70’s politics, society, and culture.
Since Taiwan entered the martial law era in May 1949, organizing these events in May 2022 demonstrates the significance of the time passed. From the “Silence” Era to the “Sound” Era in present day, this history is an irreplaceable part of the Taiwanese society.
Since 2019, the “Taiwanese Studies” team from NCKU CHASS has focused on contemporary issues in Taiwan, expanding the research framework of Taiwanese Studies at NCKU. Focusing on “The change of sounds” this year, they will look into the culture and society through the lens of history, literature, language, arts… etc.
There was also a new episode on NCKU CHASS’s Podcast “NCKU Voice” (成大人聲), which invited Pei-feng Chen to talk about Taiwanese songs.Please follow NCKU CHASS for more information.
In the Humanities Salon on May 27th, NCKU Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS) invited Pei-feng Chen, research fellow of the Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica to share his latest research on Taiwanese folklore
“From silence to sound”: NCKU CHASS organized two seminars to explore the culture of 70’s Taiwan
NCKU CHE alumnus Fred Him-san Chin (陳欽生) talks about his experiences within the “Silence”era
Cultural worker 龔昭勲 is dedicated to discovering stories surrounding the White Terror era, reviving old documents and photos