Organization profile

organization profile

The International Institute for Cultural Studies, University System of Taiwan (IICS-UST) is The International Center for Cultural Studies (ICCS), based in National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Hsinchu, was established in 2012. ICCS is a cross-university academic institution and research center, bridging four major universities participating in the University System of Taiwan (UST), including National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing Hua University, National Central University and National Yang Ming University. ICCS integrates scholars in the humanities and social sciences from these four distinguished universities, hosts the International MA Program in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (IACS_UST), promotes interdisciplinary, cross-university, and trans-national research collaborations, and cultivates an international education environment.

Our missions at ICCS are: (1) To establish international alliances and scholarly exchange with research institutes; (2) To promote local and international academic publishing; (3) To invite international scholars for long-term and short-term visits or lectures; (4) To organize annual lectures, international workshops, and conferences on specific topics; (5) To compete for off-campus funding to promote joint research projects; and (6) To foster an international education environment on campus.

Started from 2018, ICCS has been awarded financial support in The Featured Areas Research Center Program within the framework of the Higher Education SPROUT Project sponsored by the Ministry of Education. We have thereby launched the “Conflict, Justice, and Decolonization: Critical Studies in Inter-Asian Societies” research project. This project involves 30 scholars across universities and disciplines to work on five subprojects and 28 topics. Coming from National Chiao Tung University, National Tsing Hua University, and National Central University, our scholars specialize in sociology, anthropology, economic history, political philosophy, the history of thought, material history, gender studies, discourse analysis, and artistic practice.

The main concern of research at ICCS is “Inter-Asian Critical Studies.” The “inter” prefix highlights how inter-Asian societies historically migrate to, interact, influence, conflict with, and benefit from one another. In the post-Cold War era of rampant neoliberalism in the 21st century, we have witnessed global capital flows, the rapid rise of Asia, the reconfiguration of regional politics and economy, and the overwhelming number of international migrant workers in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. Societies have been suffering from economic and regional inequality, as well as diverse forms of internal conflict due to developmentalism. With Taiwan’s Southbound Policy underway, the academic mission to understand and critique Inter-Asia history, cultures, and societies is ever more urgent as a vital part of our knowledge production in the international academic circles.

In this moment of tumultuous change, diverse types of conflicts are affecting Inter-Asian societies. In order to negotiate critical strategies and solutions for trans-regional collaborations and a future society of co-existence and equality, research teams across disciplines, universities, and national borders must work together on historical re-evaluation, analyses of contemporary issues, knowledge decolonization, and the dilemmas of community formation.

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