Women's shifting positions in common public space have contributed significantly to the historical ebb and flow of Taiwan's cosmopolitanism. The importance of Austronesian and Bendi 本地 contributions to Taiwan's history are widely accepted, but women's roles in these contributions are still largely overlooked. Austronesian women facilitated the sociality across diversity that made Taiwan cosmopolitan under seventeenthcentury Dutch colonialism. But cosmopolitanism is a fragile social niche, and it waned under Qing settler colonialism. Taiwan's post-1860 forced reentry into global trade—with a woman-processed product, tea, as its top export—again expanded cosmopolitanism under late Qing and early Japanese rule, also expanding Bendi women's quotidian public engagements. Recovery from a long, war-related, mid-twentieth-century nadir occurred via economic development that was driven by global trade and relied particularly on Bendi women's labor. Historical intersectionality has repeatedly enabled social linkages for burgeoning cosmopolitanism in Taiwan.


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pp. 107-145
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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Archived 2020
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