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Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA)
  • Announcement

"Indigo and Shared Heritage" Elective Course

6 November 2023

In collaboration with Taiwan National University of the Arts (TNUA), HAB announces the "Indigo and Shared Heritage" course, taught by HAB partner Dr. Min-Chin Chiang to students of the International MA Program in Studies of Arts and Creative Industries (IMCCI). As part of the course, students will receive seminars using indigo as an entry point into understanding local communities in Africa & Asia, culminating in a field school conducted with fellow partner institution the University of Ghana. 

Course Introduction:

The term ‘shared heritage’ was gradually adopted by international heritage circles since the 2000s as a negotiated base toward the former colonial heritage. Within this contested arena, discussions concerning cross-border repatriation, nationalist discourse, indigenous rights, postcolonial economic-political relations et al have inspired further academic and practical inquiries across borders. ‘Indigo’ has been the most local, the tangible and intangible imprint of locality, yet at the same time, it was also acquainted with colonial global migration for instance the expansion map of colonial cotton industry after the industrial revolution. Although the global indigo industry dramatically shrank when synthetic dye materials came into market in the late 19th century, since the 1990s the phenomenon of indigo revitalization became global, widely shared by communities in numerous regions of the world. The indigo trend not only shows the strong bond between people and land generated by their past involvement in indigo production as sites of memories, but also interweaves with the new eco-market demand and global discourse of ‘culture for development’ in the contemporary. Indigo as embodied knowledge, has great potential to nurture the holistic pedagogy. This master course uses indigo as the base for triggering multiple postcolonial heritage inquiries, in relation to the eco-political, community, global and local issues in the contemporary societies. Other than international online lectures, the course adopts in-class seminars and ‘learning-in-situ’ field school. The indigo field school is an important method of this course leading to the ‘contextualized humanistic knowledge.’

Course Targets:

  1. To use Indigo as the pedagogical approach for the humanistic knowledge.
  2. To exchange with international practitioners, researchers and educators through indigo.
  3. To prepare for the Indigo Field School in Ghana in February 2024.