Published: April 10, 2024 By
Taiwan under magnifying glass

One of my favorite undergraduate courses to teach is Memory and the Politics of Heritage in Asia.

This class uses examinations of material objects (not only museums, monuments, and memorials, but also archives, school curriculum, and oral histories) to explore how history does not exist as a passive, fixed account, but is instead an active and ongoing struggle to shape narratives, preserve memory, and influence collective consciousness. In this class, we explore history as a living, contested terrain. However, it can be difficult for undergraduate students sitting within the four walls of my classroom, place-bound on my campus, to truly feel how competing narratives of history are actively being contested and fought over in real time as we study them. For this reason, when I had the opportunity in the summer of 2023 to take a group of undergraduate students to Taiwan on a faculty-led program to explore memory politics there in real-time, I immediately agreed. In my experience, there is nothing more powerful to understanding memory politics than taking students to the physical spaces where history has taken place and is actively being remembered, suppressed, and shifted.

Read Lauren's full Article here.