Rearticulated Sovereignty: Indigenous Claim-Making in Urban Taiwan


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




As more and more indigenous subjects settle in urban areas, how do their political claims change? Based on ethnographic research in urban Taiwan since 2014, this dissertation suggests that new forms of indigenous politics and indigenous-state relations are emerging in the wake of the massive urbanization of indigenous Austronesian people in Taiwan. The project examines why and how urbanized indigenous Pangcah/Amis people from eastern Taiwan continue to make claims for indigenous sovereignty in urban settings with which they have no indigenous ties; how their claims take shape through interactions with urban spaces, nature, and infrastructure; and how such claims are negotiated between indigenous subjects and the Han Chinese-dominated settler state. It argues that urban indigenous claim-making has implications for how indigenous belonging, rights, and entitlements can be conceived today and in the future, creatively rearticulating indigenous sovereignty in the settler colonial city.