Mission & History

The Center for Taiwan Studies (CTS) organizes events on Taiwanese literature, culture and the arts, public lectures, conferences, and workshops. CTS also funds visiting scholars, provides graduate student fellowships, supports undergraduate and graduate student research, and awards high-achieving students, among other activities. Established in 2003 and affiliated with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultural Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara, CTS promotes interdisciplinary research and cultural events designed to enhance knowledge of Taiwanese culture in its regional and global contexts. CTS brings together UCSB faculty, students, and the wider public with leading scholars and other creative individuals from a range of institutions in Taiwan, the United States, and worldwide in an effort to invest in education and public understanding of Taiwanese culture and the global dynamics within which it is an increasingly dynamic player. 

CTS was established in 2003 by Professor Kuo-Ch’ing Tu, a renowned expert of Chinese poetry and poetics, Taiwan literature, and world literatures in Chinese, as well as an accomplished poet. Tu is also the editor of a series of publications that promote English translations of Taiwan literature and Taiwan studies in English. In 2023, the new holder of the Lai Ho and Wu Cho-liu Endowed Chair in Taiwan Studies, Professor Howard Chiang, a historian and interdisciplinary scholar of gender, sexuality, and medical science in East Asia, assumed the directorship of the Center.