Scenes from Dutch Formosa

Staging Taiwan's Colonial Past

Edited by Llyn Scott


2014, 346 pages • illustrated

ISBN 978-1-937385-28-6 Paper $35.00
ISBN 978-1-937385-29-3 Cloth $75.00

With an international cast of contributors, and beautifully illustrated, Scenes from Dutch Formosa brings together a variety of genres and historical essays to contextualize the Dutch Formosan colonial era between 1625 and 1663 for an audience of postcolonial studies, culture studies, and performance studies readers. The collection examines diverse Dutch, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese dramatic-dialogic interpretations of the Dutch East India Company's (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie) presence in Taiwan. Introductory and concluding essays set the global stage with a scholarly sweep on the role of Dutch Formosa in an ongoing international drama of diplomacy.

Llyn Scott is Associate Professor, Department of English, Aletheia University, Taiwan, where she teaches speech, Western drama, and performing arts and directs English-language theater productions. Currently, she is researching popular performance works based on early Taiwanese history and culture.



“This volume is a brilliantly inspired history of drama featuring dramas about history.  Prehistoric animist drama sits side by side with dramas by and about seventeenth century Christian missionaries and modern adaptations of traditional dramas in a buffet of primary texts alongside critical commentary and insightful histories, all eminently readable and joyfully devoured by the reader. From commedia dell’arte to contemporary anime, from the Netherlands to Italy to the mainland to Japan, this volume is comprehensive in its exploration of representations onstage of “Dutch Formosa” throughout the world for the past four centuries. Even experts will find something new, something exciting and something to cause one to rethink how Taiwan has been represented onstage, by itself


and by others.  A valuable reminder of Taiwan’s intercultural past as staged then and now, how Dutch colonizers viewed the inhabitants of Taiwan and how they viewed themselves, and how Taiwan’s past has been represented and misrepresented.  International, interdisciplinary and intercultural there is something here for every scholar, student and artist interested in how the stage is used to depict society, history and the Other and the Self.  This volume is a model for modern cultural studies, both in structure and content.”

—Kevin J. Wetmore, Jr., Professor and Chair of Theatre Arts,
Loyola Marymount University