The Institute of Taiwan History aims to build a world-class institution that can serve as a leading force in Taiwan studies, while also striving to foster indigenous research on Taiwan. The specialties of ITH faculty include history, anthropology, political science, geography, sociology, and legal studies. The Institute has set up five research groups: socio-economy history, colonial studies, ethno-history, cultural history, and environmental history. The research groups’ thematic projects and major activities are as follows:
◆Social and Economic History Group
This group has two major research fields: the study of agro-migration society and the business tradition. The former aims to explore the characteristics of Taiwanese agricultural society by studying land-opening and ownership. The later includes the study of import-export business and commercial features of Taiwan. Both fields can contribute to advanced study of economic development and social transformation in Taiwan.
◆Colonial History Group
By studying the administration, legal system, and bureaucracy in Japan-ruled Taiwan, this research group aims to explore Taiwanese society under Japanese colonial infrastructure, as well as comparison to other colonies and to Taiwan’s post-war experience. A worthwhile study is the Taiwanese overseas experience, which is linked to the Japanese “southward” policy and the formation of self-identity of the Taiwanese.
Taiwan is one of the origins of Austronesian populations before migration from Chinese mainland. This research group focuses on issues of relations among ethnic groups, plains aborigines, historical ethnography, Han-Hakka sub-ethnic relations, and discourses on local societies.
◆Cultural History Group
This group is one of the most significant at ITH, with members from the fields of history, anthropology, political science, and literature. Research is concentrated on the Japanese colonial period, in two important areas: modern Taiwanese socio- cultural history and the comparative study of East Asian colonies.
◆Environmental History Group
Environmental history and the history of medicine are two current topics for this group. Major analyses span the period from the Ch’ing (Qing) Dynasty to the post-war period, exploring the relationship between infection and environmental change in Taiwan, as well as in regions of South China. Group members have inter-disciplinary interests and ongoing collaborations with researchers outside of Academia Sinica.