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Yi-Ting Chang

by Betsy VanNoy Sep 18, 2020
Yi-Ting Chang

PhD Candidate in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Fall Center and Institute Fellow


Yi-Ting Chang is a Ph.D. candidate in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research focus includes transpacific inter-Asia studies, Asian American studies, and decolonial feminist theory. Broadly speaking, her research is driven by two major questions: “What does it mean to do decolonial work?” and “How can critics conceptualize a transpacific genealogy and expression of the decolonial beyond deconstructing U.S.-Japan inter-imperialism?” Chang’s academic research is formed by and formative of her interests in pedagogy and public writing in Chinese. During her free time, she writes for Chinese/Taiwanese media outlets on the issues of gender, sexuality, pedagogy, and politics of identity.


Independence’s Others: Decolonial Taiwan in the Transpacific

“Independence’s Others” critiques independent state-building as the normative ideal of decolonization and theorizes a decolonial understanding of Taiwan by engaging an archive of Taiwanese and Taiwanese American literature. I use the term “others” to index 1) the marginalized bodies disavowed by independent state-building and its developmentalist projects, and 2) alternative decolonial sensibilities inconceivable to the self-naturalizing neoliberal present. The selected archive of Taiwanese and Taiwanese American literature allows me to investigate “independence’s others” by tackling the issues of Han Taiwanese settler colonialism, Austronesian Indigeneity, techno-nationalism, archipelagic ecologies, and queer and trans desires. At the same time, the literary archive situates Taiwan in a transpacific network of relations, conceiving a transpacific genealogy of the decolonial emerging from the politically ambiguous archipelago. “Independence’s Others” refuses to speak to one single field or subject/subjectivity but enacts multiple crossings--those of the categorical, geographical, and disciplinary. Only through these crossings can I begin to understand why/how liberal ideologies and multiple colonial pasts dissect a transpacific Taiwan, and how independent state-building wounds many bodies. And only by doing so can I begin to challenge the neoliberal compartmentalization of knowledge that forestalls interdependence.