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Historiography of the other: global history and the indigenous pasts of Taiwan

Jenco, Leigh and Tremml-Werner, Birgit (2021) Historiography of the other: global history and the indigenous pasts of Taiwan. International Journal of Taiwan Studies, 4 (2). 218 - 247. ISSN 2468-8797

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Identification Number: 10.1163/24688800-20201143


This article argues that Taiwan’s distinctive historical position—at the centre of multiple overlapping colonial jurisdictions and historiographical traditions—furnishes an important opportunity to consider how indigenous pasts and experiences themselves played a role in disrupting or redirecting historical narratives of global connection. It examines texts by Ming travellers Chen Di (Dongfan ji, 1603) and Zhang Xie (Dong Xi yang kao, 1603); Dominican writers, including Jacinto Esquivel (1632); and later histories of early modern Japanese expansion and the dissemination of the Sinkan Manuscripts (Murakami, 1897, 1933). What all these foreign observers of Taiwan had in common was their struggle to integrate Taiwanese indigenous pasts into their existing grids of historical knowledge. By focusing on this ‘historiography of the other’, the article challenges commonplace assumptions regarding pre-modern foreign relations and indigenous forms of social organisation, showing how Taiwan can play a role in challenging operating foci of global history.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden
Divisions: Government
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2022 15:30
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2022 12:21

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