Brown University Strait Talk hosted the 2011 Strait Talk Symposium from Saturday, November 12th, through Friday, November 18th.
The symposium featured the following public events:
Mediated Perceptions: Cross-Strait Relations through the Lens
Saturday, November 12, 6:00-7:30pm
In a world of instantaneous news updates and widespread use of both new and older forms of media, it has become critically important to understand the interplay between the media and international affairs. This relationship is especially important and relevant to the Taiwan Strait conflict, as China and Taiwan have what are ranked, respectively, among the most censored and the freest media in the world. In this panel, we will explore such questions as: How is the cross-Strait conflict portrayed differently in Chinese, Taiwanese and American media and journalism? How has that representation changed over time? What are the underlying assumptions and motivations, as well as the economic, political and social repercussions, of media discourse on the Taiwan Strait issue? Read more about the panel here.
Innovating Forward: Entrepreneurial Activity in Mainland China and Taiwan
Monday, November 14, 4:00-5:30pm
Entrepreneurs encounter numerous challenges and obstacles when crossing the politically charged and legally ambiguous boundary between China and Taiwan. Nevertheless, many opportunities exist for entrepreneurs working in both regions. In this panel, we will explore the opportunities for collaboration between mainland China and Taiwan that exist in the Internet, biomedical, energy and electronics industries. This panel will also look at the importance of direct investment and trade as a means of improving cross-Strait relations, in addition to the role entrepreneurial activity can play in bridging the cross-Strait divide and recent developments that provide more prospects for a strengthening of cross-Strait relations. Read more about it here.
Museums and Official Historical Narratives: Broadening or Bridging the Gulf in Cross-Strait Understanding?
Monday, November 14, 7:00 – 8:30pm
The past twenty years have witnessed expansion and growing sophistication in the museums sector on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. This presentation will consider how these changes have affected the portrayal of the societies on either side of the Taiwan Strait, and of the historical relationship between them. It will also discuss possible implications of the shifts in the official narrative on either side for the future of cross-Straitrelations. These issues will be explored through an examination of what has and has not changed in official narratives, with particular attention to the following themes: defining “the nation”, how “foreign” societies are represented, museum narratives of the national past, and tourism’s role in the cross-Strait issue. Read about it here.
The Theory Behind the Conflict: Nationalism Across the Strait
Tuesday, November 15, 6:00-7:30pm
Political theory offers approaches to investigate and understand foreign politics and international relations. In this panel, we seek to understand the concept of “nationalism” and how it applies to the Taiwan Strait conflict. What does “nationalism” mean in mainland China and Taiwan? How different are the two sides’ interpretations of this terminology and are these differences inherent or irreconcilable? We will break down the concept of nationalism and explore the historical forces driving the concept of nationalism and the impact that has had on cross-Strait relations, in addition to how the use of the term has changed over time and what the repercussions are for its use today. Read more about it here.
Wednesday, November 16, 8:00-9:00pm
Strait Talk was founded on the principle that young people really do have the power and ability needed to create change on a global scale. After a week of intensive interactive conflict resolution dialogue, panels by experts on how media, entrepreneurship, museums, and political theory relate to and influence Mainland China-Taiwan-US relations — and significant interpersonal bonding and networking — all of our delegates will present the Consensus Document that they have created. The Consensus Document outlines actionable steps towards a tangible solution to the cross-Straitissue and is a document whose every single word all 15 delegates from Mainland China, Taiwan and the US agree upon. Come join our delegates as they present their recommendations for the future of the Taiwan Strait to the Brown Community, the day before they present it to policymakers in Washington, D.C. Read more about it here.
Check out the Watson Institute Global Conversations blog posts about the 2011 Symposium as well!