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NATSA Undergraduate Paper Competition (2023)


The North American Taiwan Studies Association (NATSA) invites submissions for its 2023 Undergraduate Research Paper Competition. The winner will receive a $250 cash award and be invited to present at NATSA’s 28th annual conference in June 2023 in Irvine, California (with a reimbursement cap for travel expenses).


The competition is open to students in both humanities and social sciences. The paper should be based on substantial and original research about Taiwan. We welcome submissions that situate Taiwan in global contexts, in comparative perspectives, and in cross-disciplinary frameworks. Review criteria will include the paper’s originality, the clarity of writing, and its contributions to our understanding of Taiwan.

2023 Awardees:


Alison Chen (Harvard University)

“Let Taiwanese Speak”: Diasporic Taiwanese Activism for Democratization (1960-90s)

Alison Chen.jpg

Acceptance speech:
“My name is Alison, and I'm a senior studying philosophy and history at Harvard. I am honored and excited to have my paper selected in the NATSA contest this year! Growing up as a Taiwanese American, I visited Taiwan every year, but did not know anyone else that identified as Taiwanese American. I became curious about Taiwan - its history, its people's many identities - and wondered how I fit into it all.

Pursuing this independent project has been personally and intellectually meaningful, and I am continually inspired by past diasporic Taiwanese activists. I've been lucky to be able to conduct archival research at Harvard and at NCCU, and to visit museums throughout Taiwan. I want to thank my supervisor, Professor Michael Szonyi, for advice and support, as well as the Harvard Asia Center and Harvard College Research Program for funding my research. And finally, an enormous thanks to NATSA!”

Honorable Mention:

Evan Chan (University of San Francisco)

Expanding on the Framework of Taiwan’s International Space: Exploring Higher Education Internationalization Efforts in Taiwan

Evan Chan.jpeg

Acceptance speech:

“Hello, I am Evan Matthew Chan, a BA/MA 4+1 student in the BA International Studies and MA Asia Pacific Studies program at the University of San Francisco (USF). Thank you to NATSA and the Undergraduate Paper Competition review committee for awarding my paper as an Honorable Mention. My paper would not have been made possible without the support and guidance of my faculty advisors in International Studies, Asian Studies, Chinese Studies, and Asia Pacific Studies at USF. This honor marks a meaningful and humbling milestone as a graduating undergraduate student.”

Honorable Mention:

Natalie Chiu (University of Washington)

The Chip Currency: Exploring Taiwan’s Quest for Diplomacy and National Security

Acceptance speech:

"Thank you so much for the honorable mention! Throughout my research, I have been fascinated by the various formats that Taiwan's national identity has taken over the years, and I have gained a deeper understanding of the historical, cultural, and political factors that continue to shape Taiwan. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my advisor, Professor James Lin, whose guidance and expertise were instrumental in shaping this research. I would also like to extend my appreciation to all the interviewees who generously shared their insights and perspective with me -- their contributions in the Taiwan studies field are truly inspirational. Moving forward, I am inspired to contribute as much as I can to shed light on the complexities of what a vibrant and dynamic society Taiwan is to the international stage."

Congratulations to all the awardees!

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