Scott Sommers’ Taiwan Blog

Becoming Taiwan: From Colonialism to Democracy by Ann Heylen and Scott Sommers

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott Sommers on October 11, 2010

I haven’t posted anything for a while – primarily because I’ve been overwhelmed with my doctoral program. However I want to announce the publication of my book. This is an edited volume released through the Harrassowitz Publishing Company.

Harrassowitz is a German company without a strong profile in the English-speaking book market, and I am frequently asked why we chose to go with a company like this. In fact, academic publications on Taiwan have a limited venue. Only a few major publishers are willing to release books about Taiwan. Most of these are university press, which may take years to finally get on the shelf. Seriously, it may take as long as long as 5 years from conception to release for a university press to publish your book.

Harrassowitz is much faster. From proposal to publication took us about 2 years. One of the reasons Harrassowitz is able to do this is the way in which they work through series editors. Our book is released through the series Studia Formosiana edited by Dr. Henning Klöter. Harrassowitz series editors operate like managers and are able to make many of the operational decisions that would be made by business managers in larger English-langauge publishers, like Routledge. Henning was fantastic to work with. I have assisted on projects that were published through Routledge and they were a much rougher experience.

the publisher has informed me that my book can be ordered through this page,

order book here

The bookblurb describing the contents states,

One of the most important aspects of democracy has been the transition from colonialism. In Taiwan this discussion is typically framed in political discourse that focuses on theoretical issues. Becoming Taiwan departs from this well-traveled route to describe the cultural, historical and social origins of Taiwan’s thriving democracy. Contributors were specifically chosen to represent both Taiwanese and non-Taiwanese researchers, as well as a diverse range of academic fields, from Literature and Linguistics to History, Archeology, Sinology and Sociology. The result represents a mixture of well-known scholars and young researchers from outside the English-speaking world. The volume addresses three main issues in Taiwan Studies and attempts answers based in the historical record: How Chinese is Taiwan? Organizing a Taiwanese Society, and Speaking about Taiwan. Individual chapters are grouped around these three themes illustrating the internal dynamics that transformed Taiwan into its current manifestation as a thriving multiethnic democracy. Our approach addresses these themes pointing out how Taiwan Studies provides a multidisciplinary answer to problems of the transformation from colonialism to democracy.


4 Responses

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  1. Steven Crook said, on October 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    Congratulations Scott!

    I know what it’s like to wait for publication. My second book took 20 months from the end of writing to hitting the bookstores. No 3 (the Bradt Travel Guide to Taiwan) was much quicker, as guidebooks have to be.

    Best wishes,

    Steven Crook

  2. Hall Houston said, on October 14, 2010 at 8:20 am

    That’s great news, Scott! Congratulations on the publication of your new book! I look forward to reading it.

  3. richard said, on October 21, 2010 at 9:54 am

    congratulations, sounds very very interesting

  4. Hilton said, on November 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Hello Scott

    I’m working on an article for a local magazine that looks into Taiwan
    English-taught university education.
    Given your deep involvement and expertise in local education, I was wondering if I can talk to you about this.
    Excuse me for posting here as I couldn’t find your contact.

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