Cinematic Remapping of the Taiwanese Sense of Self: On the Transitions in Treatments of History and Memory from "The Taiwanese Experience" to "The Taipei Experience"


This thesis, with the particular focus on Taiwanese films set in Taipei, investigates how the Taiwanese cinema, through its diverse treatments of history and memory, enacts its role as a cinematic interpretation of the envisioning of Taiwanese national identity within the transnational context.

With the concentration on the context of postcolonialism and the awareness of what Taiwan is and has been, this thesis discovers that the cinematic layerings of different phases of Taiwan’s past and present can illustrate the emergence of “The Taipei Experience” through the erasure of “The Taiwanese Experience.” This thesis therefore reevaluates “The Taipei Experience” as an alternative embodiment of “The Taiwanese Experience,” which in consequence paves a way for an innovative perspective to (re)imagine and (re)negotiate the Taiwanese sense of self.

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Ellen received her bachelor degree in National Central University (Taiwan), where she worked as a research assistant for the Film Studies Center. During her undergraduate years, she worked closely with Cimage Taiwan Film Production Company and Arthouse 107 Cinema as an advertising specialist. As a senior, she held the very first Contemporary Chinese Cinema Festival as an assistant curator at Arthouse 107 Cinema.

Prior to her arrival at Ohio University, she worked as a freelance photographer, graphic designer and translator. During that time, she also ran her own design studio, ChocolatCouple, and completed several photographic and graphic design project.

She has been working as an assistant editor for Fun Screen Weekly, in which she has several article published, from her second year of undergrad till recently.

Her research interests in film studies include the Taiwanese New Cinema, and the oeuvre of other Asian filmmakers who focuses their works on the “post” theory, JIA Zangke (Chinese) and WONG Kar-Wai (Hong Kong) for instance.

She is now teaching a class on HOU Hsiao-Hsien and Taiwanese New Cinema.
Her current project focuses on Edward Yang’s films and Taiwanese ideology in the post-colonial context.