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Anderson, "Austronesian voyaging from Taiwan: Cultivating Amis folk songs on the international stage," 2002

USC thesis in Music.
August 24, 2009

Christian Alan Anderson, M.A.

Abstract (Summary)
This case study of Taiwan's Amis Folklore Great Singers group represents their practices of cultivating, appropriating, contesting, subverting, and re-asserting an Amis identity at home and abroad. It provides insights into the situation of Austronesian cultures on Taiwan, and indigenous cultures in general, in this historical moment. The explication of the contemporary issues facing Austronesian cultures in Taiwan is based on analysis of the links between the construction of ethnic identities (e.g.; "Amis," "Austronesian") and discourses on (auto)exoticism, indigenousness, language, race, colonialism, and performativity in daily life. It is at the intersection of these "discourses" that the prospect of contestation and symbolic subversion arises. Through investigating the links between a transnational political economy and a local politics of ethnic identity, this essay aims to contribute to a dialogue on contemporary issues within an Austronesian community in Taiwan, specifically the Amis cultures of the eastern coast.

Advisor: Cooper, Eugene