‘We’ll save ourselves’: student activism in contemporary Taiwan

Taiwanese Student Protests

Since 2008 a community of students have coordinated and led several high-profile social movements in Taiwan. These movements have touched on a range of social and political themes and received widespread support. In addition, many students have developed their friendships and careers around their activism, while participation has become a fashionable pastime amongst young people. This suggests that the concept of ‘student activism’ surpasses individual campaigns, and that the community is likely to influence the political arena in the future. Yet recent splits within student movements have also revealed that there is diversity and tension within the community.

This PhD project will explore the current generation of student activists in Taiwan. It will investigate why and how these young people have mobilised, heterogeneity and power dynamics within the group, and the significance of their categorisation as ‘students’. It will examine how they understand, produce and are shaped by the collective spaces that underpin their community, along with how they interpret and articulate the issues that become the focus of their campaigns. In doing so, this research will contribute to our understanding of contemporary Taiwanese society and politics.

About the Speaker

Rowena Ebsworth is a PhD candidate at the Australian Centre on China in the World, Australian National University. She received her Bachelor of Arts with Honours (First Class) from the University of Tasmania. Her current research interests include social movements, urban development politics, new media and Taiwanese identity.


Rowena Ebsworth

Dates & times

Friday, 27 February 2015

2.00pm - 3.00pm


China in the World Building (188), Fellows Lane, ANU

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