Reflections on a Half-Century of Experience with Taiwan

November 17, 2017

Taiwan in the 1960s and 1970s was a very different place, almost unrecognizable to today’s young people or to people who visit for the first time in the 21st century. Through the eyes of an ethnographer, this talk describes the very different worlds of urban Taipei and rural north Taiwan in the late 1960s and 1970s, contrasting them with today’s Taiwan in terms of their their material culture, intellectual culture, and social organization.


Stevan Harrell, Emeritus Professor, University of Washington, studied Chinese in Taiwan in 1968-69, did his first ethnographic research in the Sanxia (San-hsia, Sam-kiap) area in 1970, and conducted his dissertation research outside Sanxia in 1972-73, and has returned to Taiwan frequently since then. From 1974 to 2017, he taught anthropology, East Asian Studies, and environmental studies at the University of Washington, supervising several Taiwanese Ph.D. students. He is now retired and living in Bellingham.

Friday, November 17, 2017


SFU Burnaby
Academic Quadrangle
AQ 6229
8888 University Drive

Please register here.


  • David See-chai Lam Centre
  • Taiwan Studies Group
  • Department of History