Musha 1930: History, Memory, Culture (An International Conference)
From October 9-11, 2017, The University of California, Los Angeles hosted the international conference “Musha 1930: History, Memory, Culture.” An unprecedented gathering, this marked the first conference on the subject of the Musha Incident to ever be held outside of East Asia. The event was interdisciplinary in nature, bringing together literary scholars, filmmakers, historians, oral history specialists, translation studies scholars and cultural studies scholars to discuss the historical impact of the Musha Incident from a variety of perspectives.
The 1930 Musha Incident was a violent conflict between the indigenous Seediq and the Japanese colonial powers in Taiwan. The incident has historically been marginalized in ROC history, but has recently been brought to the public’s attention thanks to popular culture interpretations, such as the graphic novel of Qiu Ruolong, the concept album by Chthonic, and the feature film by Wei Te-sheng. Through a series of lectures, panels, and discussions, “Musha 1930: History, Memory, Culture” explored the lingering impact of this conflict and how it has been constructed in contemporary Taiwanese cultural memory. Topics discussed included: How the memory of the Musha Incident has transformed over time; the conflation of politics and historical memory regarding Musha; and how cultural texts have appropriated the history of the Musha Incident. The conference featured keynote panels featuring the award-winning filmmaker Wan Jen, the historian Deng Shian-yang, and indigenous scholars Dakis Pawan and Bakan Pawan. The event was attended by more than 100 people and in addition to leading scholars such as Leo Ching, Ping-hui Liao, Paul Barclay, Kuei-fen Chiu, and Darryl Sterk, the conference also highlighted several young scholars. Several UCLA faculty, including Michael Berry, Robert Chi, Katsuya Hirano, and Shu-mei Shih also participated. Currently plans are moving forward to turn the conference proceedings into an edited volume.