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Watching Overseas Border: The Discourse Strategies of Imperial Senior Government Inspectors to Taiwan
While leaving homeland for the alien world, travelers usually experience ”unusual” transient living conditions and are consequently inspired to explore their state of mind again. Writings of spatial movements reveal the authors' understandings of the new territories. The system of dispatching Imperial Senior Government Inspectors to Taiwan provided these officials opportunities to travel in Taiwan, the bordering area of the empire; therefore, these traveling officials left many writings concerning Taiwan and imperial dialogues of their time, which were later compiled in documents passed down from the Qing Government. The dissertation will apply the documents mentioned above. The applied will come from MonthlyMemorials, Palace Memorials, and Imperial Edicts collected in National Palace Museum, also from The Grand Secretariat Archives collected by Academia Sinica. Further resources from the official executive documents collected by Zhongguo di 1 lishi dang'anguan and many other digital archives. At the same time, more research materials about time background and collect-folk poetry and prose will also be collected from Taiwan Literature Series and The Periodical of Taiwan Literature.The project aims to resolve the following questions: How did Imperial Senior Government Inspectors, writings represent customs and cultures in Taiwan? What kinds of messages were conveyed to the imperial government through their imperial phraseology in the documents and memorials? What kinds of alien imaginations did these travel writings construct, and thus become the medium and references of the central authorities' remote-controlled operations on Taiwan? There are two primary research directions based on the writings: the inspection experiences of these Imperial Senior Government Inspectors and officials' perspectives about the aborigines in Taiwan. By exploring the writings of Senior Government Inspectors, the research expects to present the Imperial Senior Government Inspectors' perspectives on Taiwan and the connection between spatial movements and culture contexts.
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