A BRIEF HISTORY
In August 1969, Dr. Shih-Chieh Wang, the late President of Academia Sinica, realizing the importance of American Cultural Studies, proposed the establishment of an institute for American Studies in the Republic of China with the help of the Sino-American Cooperation Committee on Humanities and Social Sciences. As a result, the Center for American Studies was founded on March 12, 1972. In July 1974, the Center was officially incorporated as the Institute of American Culture, Academia Sinica. In response to the increasing importance of European Studies in recent years, the name of the Institute was changed to the Institute of European and American Studies (IEAS) on August 3, 1991. Reflecting its newly expanded mandate, the Institute strived to further European Studies and to recruit competent scholars in the fields of European Studies. The current director is Dr. Chyong-Fang Ko.
At present, the Institute has 28 full-time research members, which includes 2 Distinguished Research Fellows, 10 Research Fellows, 8 Associate Research Fellows, and 8 Assistant Research Fellows. In addition, the IEAS has 2 Joint Appointment Research Fellow, 6 Adjunct Research Fellows, and 4 Corresponding Research Fellows. Area of interest span the entire range of European and American Studies from history, philosophy, literature, sociology, law, political science, etc.
The IEAS is a multidisciplinary and cross-area research unit with a common concern about Western culture, thought, and social systems. Over the years, the Institute consistently conduct studies on multidisciplinary and cross-area research topics.
The IEAS Library collects related materials in the fields of literature, history, philosophy, education, political science, law, sociology, economics, etc. in Europe and the United States. These materials appear in the form of books, journals, newspapers, microfilms, discs, databases, and audio-video materials. Additionally, our Information Technology Office is equipped with a substantial number of advanced hardware and software instruments that are frequently upgraded in order to accommodate the needs of the researchers, administrators, and staff of the Institute.
In addition to basic research, this Institute also engages in policy analyses that have practical applications.
Basic Research: Basic research on history, philosophy, literature, culture, sociology, law and political science is conducted by research members in accordance with their own specialties.
Policy Analysis: Policy analysis is undertaken by research members to address practical problems operative in Europe, the United States, international organizations, and international relations.
THEMATIC RESEARCH PROJECTS
In addition to individual research projects, the research members of the IEAS have also collectively contributed to five cross-area and interdisciplinary thematic research projects. They are as follows:
1) Cultural Studies
2) Language, Cognition, and Society: Trends in Contemporary Western Philosophy
3) European Union
4) US-Taiwan-China Relations
5) Social Development and Policy in the US and Europe
MAJOR RESEARCH AREAS
As research members of the Institute are drawn from various disciplines, a multiplicity of interests have been explored. These include the following:
1) Writers and literatures of minority groups in Europe and the United States
2) History of art and cultural sociology
3) Social and cultural theories in Europe and the United States
4) Analytical philosophy and philosophy of mind
5) International law in Europe and the United States
6) Law and politics in the European Union
7) Diplomacy and international relations of the United States
8) Historical developments and ethic relations in Europe and the United States
9) Demography and social changes in Europe and the United States
10) Political systems and public policies in Europe and the United States
IMPORTANT RESEARCH ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ACADEMIC CONTRIBUTIONS
In terms of research accomplishments, aside from consistently presenting close to a hundred of important publications in Taiwan and abroad every year, the IEAS receives grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology and other funding agencies to conduct numerous academic research projects on specific topics on a regular basis. Furthermore, through short-term research abroad, participation in international conferences, and extending invitations to visiting scholars, the research members of the IEAS are able to further collaboration with foreign academic communities, and in turn, help the Institute to achieve a higher level of internationalization.
In terms of academic contributions, research members of the IEAS receive prominent academic awards at a very high proportion over the years. The most indicative accolade, the National Science Council/Ministry of Science and Technology Outstanding Research Award, 8 of our research members (a total of 13 wins) have received the honor. Among the awardees, the distribution of disciplines are as the following: 2 in philosophy; 2 in literature; 2 in law; 1 in sociology; 1 in art. In addition, there are a number of our research members who have received the Academia Sinica Research Award for Junior Research Investigators, along with other major domestic and international awards from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the American Studies Association (USA), the Center for Art and Media (Germany), etc., or had served as disciplinary coordinator at the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Moreover, with the Institute devoting many years on refining the EurAmerica journal, it has been receiving high praise in the academic field, and has been recognized a publication of excellent academic quality. EurAmerica, formerly American Studies, was first published in 1971, and has been published continuously for decades. Due to strict review process, so far (up till the end of 2015) the scholarly papers included in EurAmerica are of the most superior standard. The journal has been indexed in Ministry of Science and Technology’s TSSCI for 15 consecutive years, and in THCI Core every year since its establishment. EurAmerica is also the winner of the Ministry of Science and Technology Award for Outstanding Academic Journal in Taiwan in 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2004. Aside from Taiwan’s TSSCI and THCI Core, the journal is also indexed in 11 international databases.
To exert IEAS’s academic influence to the fullest, “The European and American Public Policy Forum” was formally established on January 1, 2014. Focusing on the current issues in Taiwan and the special interests of IEAS research members, this forum probes the development of theories and policies in Europe and the United States, and analyzes the associated problems and solutions. The European and American Public Policy Forum has three main features. The first is academic: the information on the forum is from the premise that conforming to the exact research method. Secondly, practical: the information on the forum is oriented to solve the problems of practical policy. Third, integration: the information on the forum is based on the integration of multiple perspectives. Currently, the forum hosts a collection of articles.
1) Developing New Research Topics
Academic research is characterized by continuity, accumulation, and systematization. Therefore, future major tasks of the Institute include not only encouraging its research members to expand and strengthen their own respective research projects, but also actively promoting the abovementioned five thematic research projects. It is hoped that, on the basis of previous achievements, new topics and methods will be introduced that will expand and strengthen these projects. The IEAS also plans to collaborate with other outstanding research institutions to pursue topics of common interest.
2) Strengthening International Exchanges and Collaborations
Due to the unique characteristics of its research, the IEAS is particularly active in encouraging interactions with academic communities abroad, visiting and attending conferences to further academic exchange and collaboration. In addition to promoting such exchange programs with academic communities in Europe and the United States, the Institute endeavors to deepen its understanding of research trends on European and American Studies among research communities in neighboring countries and regions. The Institute aspires to play a central role in this regard in the near future.
3) Enhancing the International Status of EurAmerica
The Institute has published its journal, EurAmerica, continuously for several decades since its inauguration. The periodical has strictly adhered to the principle that scholarship should be a public asset. The journal welcomes submissions from scholars in Taiwan and abroad. Its standards have been steadily enhanced in accordance with the development of the academic environment. In recent years, more than half of the members of the editorial board have been scholars unaffiliated with the Institute, and distinguished scholars from Europe and the United States have been invited to join the advisory board of the journal. The journal has been indexed and listed in a number of representative databases in Taiwan and abroad. In addition, it has received four outstanding periodical prizes from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Executive Yuan, and has been recognized as one of the best periodicals devoted to European and American Studies in Taiwan. In the future, additional efforts will be made to encourage leading scholars to contribute their papers to EurAmerica. It is hoped that the periodical will become one of the most important scholarly journals in the Asia-Pacific regions or even in other parts of the world.
4) Enlarging Research Manpower
The Institute recruits its research members in accordance to the principle of sustainable development and is extremely selective, putting quality before quantity. The estimated ideal research manpower of the IEAS should be around 40 research members. The Institute has made great efforts to encourage new scholars with potential to join its ranks. It is hoped that these endeavors can facilitate the European and American Studies in Taiwan to develop sustainably, so that the academic quality can be consistently enhanced and the tradition of humanities and social sciences in Taiwan can also be enriched.