Pacific History Association 21st Biennial Conference 2014

Dec 3rd,  National Taiwan University Campus – Taipei

Dec 4th-6th, Taitung University – Taitung

 Conference Website:


The 21st biennial conference of the Pacific History Association (PHA) will take place in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan, and Taitung, in the Austronesian-speaking indigenous area of southeast Taiwan. We will convene at Taipei for the first part of the conference, and then travel to Taitung to be more engaged with indigenous communities for the second part of the conference. Taitung is famous for its rich Austronesian cultures and the beautiful scenery between coastal mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Tours to Austronesian villages, archaeological sites and the Prehistoric Museum will be arranged.

Conference Theme:

Lalan, Chalan, Tala, Ara (Path)–Reconnecting Pacific-Asia Histories

In Proto-Austronesian, zalan refers to path, way or means to do something. Words of the same cognate are widely found throughout the Pacific: lalan/dalan (Taiwan, Southeast Asia), chalan (Chamorro), tala (Solomon Islands) and ara/ala (Polynesia) are some examples that exhibit the strong connections of people and places since ancestral times. The path originates from the past, and points to the future; it links tradition to the present; and it denotes both history and future prospects as an inter-linked whole.

The next PHA conference will be held in Taiwan, the island on the pathway of Austronesian migrations to the Pacific. Since the 17th century, Taiwan has reconnected to the Pacific through trading activities; and has also experienced multiple colonial regimes, and participated in World War Two as a Japanese colony. Recently, growing ties between Pacific Island communities and Asia make this a good time to reflect on the journeys our ancestors have traveled, and to further reconnect Pacific-Asian histories. We need to know our path(s) in the past in order to find our way(s) to the future.

A call for papers and details on conference themes can be found at

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