Caramoan 2022 Introduction

Indigenous Landscapes of Taiwan and Southeast Asia: The Last 700 Years

July 21-26, 2022

Taiwan and Southeast Asia are inextricably linked by historical, cultural, and geographic processes that stretch over centuries into the present. However, collaboration among scholars who work in the region are few and far between. More importantly, Indigenous perspectives throughout Taiwan and Southeast Asia have been marginalized since the Early Modern Period. We aim to address these deficiencies by bringing together the voices of Indigenous peoples and scholars who work with Indigenous groups through a workshop that crosses contemporary political and academic boundaries to elicit and examine a more nuanced view of Taiwan and Southeast Asia, particularly emphasizing Indigenous perspectives of land and landscapes. Indigenous peoples in Taiwan and Southeast Asia have innovatively responded to often-dramatic political, social, and environmental changes for centuries. We view these responses in terms of general ecological adaptations and frame our explanations of these transitions through a comparative perspective that emphasizes the unique advantages of a diverse academic network.

This workshop examines methodological and theoretical issues relevant to Southeast Asia and Taiwan from: uses of ethnographic analogy and historical records as data sources; applications of anthropological notions of ethnicity, culture change, historical ecology, and political economy to environmental changes; to collaborations with Indigenous and local populations. In this workshop, we bring together 20 colleagues from Southeast Asia and Taiwan whose disciplines span environmental history, geography, Indigenous studies, and archaeology to discuss ways to bring disciplinary boundaries to address pressing climate change and disaster issues. 

This workshop promises to bridge the Southeast Asian and Taiwan maritime world by linking history, archaeology, humanistic disciplines, and climate and ecological studies in a period where most of our present-day environmental and social transformations started. As a research program, it has the potential to push Southeast Asian and Taiwan studies forward. It will also fill the environmental history gap in the Early Modern Period (EMP) of the region. We highlight local transformations and responses to better understand macro-level ecological change.

Host: Partido State University (Goa, Camarines Sur, Philippines).


Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous Knowledge, Local Knowledge, and Sustainable Studies (CTPILS), National Chengchi University

Department of Anthropology, National Taiwan University

UCLA Asia Pacific Center

UCLA Center for Southeast Asian Studies

UCLA Program for Early Modern Southeast Asia

A grant from the Henry Luce Foundation facilitated the establishment of the UCLA Program for Early Modern Southeast Asia.