Dr. Shih Fang-Long 施芳瓏

Posted on Apr, 27 2011

Shih Fang-Long 施芳瓏

Name: Dr. Shih Fang-Long 施芳瓏

Home institution: LSE, The London School of Economics and Political Science, U.K.

Duration of Stay: May 2nd to 6th, 2011

Biography:

Dr. Shih Fang-Long is a specialist in the study of religion, gender, society, and politics within the context of Taiwan, and she is Co-Director of the Taiwan Research Programme at the London School of Economics. She regards religion as being always embodied in social, economic, and political processes, and her work has considered religion in relation to issues such as family, kin, gender, ethnicity, the state, social movements, modernity, and globalisation. Dr. Shih is also interested in theoretical and methodological problems in the study of religion, and she argues that we write religion from within situated positions and within academic traditions and lineages. In particular, her work considers questions of translation, context, and location in the writing and re-writing of religion in Taiwan. Her current research interest is on religious practice in relation to environmental discourse.

In the early 1990s Dr. Shih conducted a survey and analysis of local religion in I-Lan County, Taiwan, and since the mid-1990s she has worked on the double issue of women and religion, focusing on "maiden death”. She has published several articles on the anthropology of religion in Taiwan; recent publications include a chapter on 'Feminisms and Religions', which was published in the New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion (2010); ‘Addressing Injustice through State, Local Culture and Global Civil Society: The White Terror Incidents in Taiwan’; published in Global Civil Society 2011; and 'Memory, Partial Truth and Reconciliation without Justice: The White Terror Luku Incident in Taiwan', published in the special issue on justice of the eJournal Taiwan in Comparative Perspective (2011).

Dr. Shih is also interested in how places should be understood in relation to their connections. She emphasizes that the study of Taiwan must take account of the way Taiwan is constituted as a place through its relationships and connections, and that it is through these that particular human experiences are mobilized for engaging with specific issues. As such, the LSE Taiwan Research Programme under her directorship contextualizes processes of modernization and globalization through cross-disciplinary studies of significant issues that use Taiwan as a point of comparison. In 2010, she organised a research theme on Justice in Comparative Perspective, and she is currently co-ordinating a research theme on Taiwan Studies and Irish Studies in comparative perspective. Dr. Shih also convenes and teaches an MSc course on Taiwan in Comparative Perspective at the LSE.

Dr. Shih has been consulted on Taiwanese matters by BBC Radio 4, and she was asked to provide reference material (as well as a paper) for the 2011 Global Civil Society Yearbook, which was a special issue on Justice. In 2010 she was a Visiting Lecturer at Masaryk University in Brno in the Czech Republic. Recently, Dr. Shih’s research was identified as having a potential for impact on undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, and she has been invited to give a presentation on Teaching Gender and Religion/Theology in a conference organised by the Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies of the Higher Education Academy, to be held at the University of Leeds.

Current Positions:

Co-Director, Taiwan Research Programme, London School of Economics.

Research Fellow (full time from 2006), Asia Research Centre, LSE.

Lecturer and Course Convener, LSE MSc course ‘Taiwan in Comparative Perspective’.

Co-Editor, eJournal Taiwan in Comparative Perspective.

Specialisms:

Anthropology of Religion and Society: Death Rituals and Cultural Transformation; Family, Gender, and Modernity; Religion, Identity, and the State; Women, Religion, and Feminism; Religion, Social Memory, and Justice; Religion, Heritage, and Place-Making; Religion, the Environment, and Global Citizenship.

Field-sites: Chinese Diasporas; Taiwan; Northeast China.

Chinese Religions: Buddhism; Confucianism; Daoism; Local Religious Practices.

List of recent publications:

Books

(2009) with Thompson, Stuart and Tremlett, Paul-François, (eds.) Re-writing culture in Taiwan. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415466660

(2003) Shih, Fang-Long and Yu, Chien (2003) Local religion in I-Lan County, Taiwan (in Chinese). I-Lan County Government, Taiwan, I-Lan City, Taiwan

Journal articles

(2011) 'Addressing Injustice through State, Local Culture and Global Civil Society: The White Terror Incidents in Taiwan', in Martin Albrow and Hakan Seckinelgin (eds) Global Civil Society 2011, Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, pp. 30-37

(2011) 'Memory, Partial Truth and Reconciliation without Justice: The White Terror Luku Incident in Taiwan', in Taiwan in Comparative Perspective (3), pp. 140-151.

(2010) 'Chinese 'Bad Death' Practices in Taiwan: Maidens and Modernity', Mortality, 15 (2): 122-137

(2007) The 'red' tide anti-corruption protest: what does it mean for democracy in Taiwan. Taiwan in comparative perspective, 1 pp. 87-98. ISSN 1752-7732

(2007) Shih, Fang-Long Generation of a new space: A maiden temple in the Chinese religious culture of Taiwan. Culture and religion, 8 (1). pp. 89-104. ISSN 1475-5610

(2006) Shih, Fang-Long and Feuchtwang, Stephan and Tremlett, Paul-François (2006) The formation and function of the category “religion” in anthropological studies of Taiwan. Method and theory in the study of religion, 18 (1). pp. 37-66. ISSN 0943-3058

(1997) Contempt and fear - The problem of maiden death and its cultural implications and solutions in Taiwan (in Chinese). Liangxing pingdeng jiaoyu jikan (Journal of equal gender education), 18 pp. 51-58.

(1997) Ten different goddesses, one homogeneous face: an analysis of goddess worship in I-Lan County (in Chinese). I-Lan wenxian (Journal of I-Lan history), 26 pp. 3-37.

(1993) The legends of temples and deities in I-Lan County (in Chinese). I-Lan wenxian (Journal of I-Lan history), 5 pp. 5-30.

Chapters

(2010) 'Feminisms and Religions', in Bryan S Turner (ed.) New Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Religion, Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester, pp. 221-243.

(2008) Re-writing religion: questions of translation, context, and location in the writing of religion in Taiwan. In: Shih, Fang-Long and Thompson, Stuart and Tremlett, Paul-François, (eds.) Re-writing culture in Taiwan. Routledge, London, UK, pp. 15-33. ISBN 9780415466660

(2006) Shih, Fang-Long From regulation and rationalisation, to production: government policy on religion in Taiwan. In: Fell, Daffyd and Klöter, Henning and Bi-Yu, Chang, (eds.) What has changed? Taiwan before and after the change in ruling parties. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, Germany, pp. 265-283. ISBN 9783447053792

(2002) Disdain and dread: The problem of maiden-death and its cultural implications and corrective practices in Taiwan (in Chinese). In: Bi, Heng-Da, (ed.) Xingbie jiema quanjilu (Decoding gender). Ministry of Education, Republic of China (Taiwan), Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan), pp. 236-253.

SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

(2011) Presenter on Teaching Gender and Religion/Theology at a conference organised by the Subject Centre for Philosophical and Religious Studies of the Higher Education Academy, held at the University of Leeds.

(2010) Discussant for ‘NGOs and civil society as instrument for dynamism of society’ by Michael Hsiao, at the Conference on the Vitality of Taiwan, St Antony’s College, Oxford University, UK.

(2009) ‘Memory, Partial Truth and Reconciliation without Justice: The White Terror Luku Incident in Taiwan’, presented at the Global Civil Society and Justice Workshop, Korea University, Seoul.

(2008) ‘Using Holo Terms to Investigate Local Religious Concepts in Taiwan, with Special Reference to Communication Between Humans and Gods’ (in Chinese) presented at the Seventh International Conference on Language and Teaching in Taiwan, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei.

(2007) ‘The Red Phenomenon and the Crisis of Democracy in Taiwan’, presented at the Fourth Conference of the European Association of Taiwan Studies, Stockholm.

(2006) ‘Rewriting Religion: Questions of Translation, Context and Location in the Study of Religion in Taiwan’, presented at the International Conference on Rewriting Culture: Perspectives via Taiwan, Academia Sinica, Taipei.

(2005) ‘Disposal of Dead Maidens in Taiwan: Reflections and Negotiations with Modernity’, presented at the Seventh International Conference on the Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal, University of Bath, UK.

(2004) ‘Maiden Spirits at Peace? Initiating Communication with Dead Maidens in Contemporary Taiwan’, presented at the British Association for Chinese Studies Annual Conference 2004, on Goutong: ‘Communicating’, Durham University, UK.

(2003) ‘Maiden Death and Corrective Practices: Spirit-adoption in the Sam-giap Maiden Temple’, presented at the Workshop on Gender in Chinese Studies: Approaches and Directions, Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Network, Oxford University, UK.

(2003) ‘From Homelessness to the Pure Land: Buddhist Corrective Practices to Maiden Death in Taiwan’, presented at the Annual Conference on Religions in Transition, British Association for the Study of Religions, Chester, UK.