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Publisher | Wei Shu-chen

  • Date:2024-02-06
Wei Shu-chen

Chinese Name: 魏淑貞

Place of Birth: Tainan (southern Taiwan)

Did You Know That…?

Wei Shu-chen is not only a publisher but also a prominent advocate for women’s issues in Taiwan. She has published works that shed light on the diverse experiences of women from different ethnic backgrounds in the country. Additionally, she is one of the co-founders of the important Chinese-language feminist space known as Fembooks. Wei Shu-chen’s contributions to reshaping and redefining the identity of Taiwan, with an emphasis on inclusivity and diversity, are of great significance.

Early in her career, Wei Shu-chen worked at the Independence Evening Post (自立晚報), where she broke societal taboos by publishing works like “Taiwan’s Elite Figures Who Disappeared during the February 28 Incident in 1947 (二二八消失的台灣菁英)” while serving in the newspaper’s cultural publishing department. Her notable works in the field of knowledge about Taiwan include books such as “Profiles of Modern Taiwanese Figures (臺灣近代名人誌),” “Taiwan’s History Series (臺灣歷史大系),” “Petitions for the Establishment of Taiwan’s Parliament during the Japanese Colonial Era (日據時代的台灣議會設置請願),” “History of Taiwan’s Ethnic Movements (台灣民族運動史),” “Brief Notes on Taiwanese Figures (台灣名人小札),” “Official Confidential Documents of the February 28 Incident (二二八官方機密史料),” and “Taiwan’s Historical Timeline (台灣歷史年表).” 


After working in the newspaper industry for over a decade, Wei made the decision to leave the media sector and the cultural industry in 1994. She seriously considered opening a small oyster noodle restaurant, engaging in a simple small business. Unexpectedly, the head of another department at the newspaper company approached her and broached the possibility of establishing a publishing company together. This decision changed the career path she had originally planned, and as a result, Taiwan Interminds Publishing Inc. (TIPI, 玉山社) was officially founded in April 1995.

When TIPI was established, its main focus was on Taiwan’s human culture, history, and natural ecology. Wei Shu-chen was well aware that this was not the mainstream focus of the Taiwanese publishing market, nor was it a profitable publishing route. However, she and several friends who were involved in founding the company believed that this was something TIPI should do for Taiwanese society—to help Taiwanese people understand the history and culture of the land they grew up on, and, based on this foundation, to foster a sense of identity and the confidence they should have.

Wei Shu-chen has dedicated over three decades to the publishing industry, and despite the challenging environment, she remains resilient and continues to maintain a stable and excellent publishing capacity. She does not succumb to market-driven ideals but instead closely integrates the publishing business with Taiwanese culture. Simultaneously, she strives to construct Taiwan’s knowledge system, allowing Taiwan to showcase its historical depth, social breadth, and cultural richness, thereby connecting Taiwan with the world and ensuring that Taiwan is seen. Her contributions to the publishing industry were recognized with the Special Contribution Award at the 2022 Golden Tripod Awards, the highest honor in the publishing field.