Dr. Niki J.P. Alsford

Reader in Asia Pacific Studies/Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU)

School of Language and Global Studies

Adelphi Building, AB144

+44 (0) 1772 89 4137

Subject Areas: Languages and International Studies

Dr Niki Alsford is Reader in Asia Pacific Studies and Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) and specialises in transnational social history of the Asia Pacific region with a particular focus on nineteenth and twentieth century Taiwan

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Dr Niki Alsford is Reader in Asia Pacific Studies at the School of Language & Global Studies at UCLan and is Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies.

Dr Alsford is a historical anthropologist/ethnohistorian by training and welcomes proposals for doctoral research on Asian Pacific history and society in particular he is interested in supervising a project on the role of the BBC on the Korean Peninsula and research on Pacific nations studies.

Prior to joining UCLan, Dr Alsford was Research Fellow at the Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences as part of a research project titled: Power and Strategies of Social and Political Order of which his contribution was primarily the continuation of his work on comparative Taiwan social history. A core part of this project explored the formation and development of urban spaces in the Asia Pacific region.

Dr Alsford is an appointed Research Associate at the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS, the University of London and a Research Fellow at Ewha Institute of Unification Studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. He was formally an elected executive board member of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS). He is currently a strand convenor for the Social History Society and is  Co-Editor of the BRILL Series in Taiwan Studies. He has worked on a number of collaborative projects that include the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, the Council of Indigenous Peoples, and the National Museum of Taiwan History.

He is a Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society and Country of Origin Expert (Taiwan) for the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI)

  • Ph.D. Modern East Asian History, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), the University of London, 2015
  • MA, Asia Pacific Studies, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan, 2011
  • Bsc (Hons) Applied Social Science (Anthropology & Criminology), the University of Southampton, 2006

Research Activities


External Affiliations and Roles

  • Executive Board Member, European Association of Taiwan Studies (2012) – currently in third elected term
  • Country of Origin Expert (Taiwan), International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) – since 2015
  • Strand Convener, Social Historical Society, Since 2016


Dr Alsford had an article published on The Conversation in December 2016 about the then President-elect Donald Trump’s phone call to the Taiwanese president.

He had a further article published on The Conversation in June 2018 about North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and the US’s Donald Trump, and the peace process between the two Koreas.

Alsford, Niki J.P. Transitions to Modernity in Taiwan: The spirit of 1895 and the cession of Formosa to Japan . London: Routledge, 2017.

Alsford, Niki J.P. ed. Chronicling Formosa: Setting the Foundations for the Presbyterian Mission 1865-1876. Taipei: Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, 2015.

Alsford, Niki J.P. The Tea of Taiwan: Contemporary Adaptation. In Taiwan Since Martial Law: Society, Culture, Economy, Politics, edited by David Blundell, 263-297. Taipei/Berkeley: University of California and National Taiwan University Press, 2012.

Alsford, Niki J.P. Torn Between Two Worlds: Rev. Shoki Coe, Domesticity, and the Taiwanese Self-Determination Movement. In The Shaping of Christianity in China, edited by Paul Woods, 233-250 Oxford: Regnum Publishing Company, 2017.

Alsford, Niki J.P. A Barbarian’s House by the River Tamsui: One House and the History of Its Many Occupants, Journal of Family History 40:2 (April 2015): 153-171. 

For full list of publications, see:


Membership of professional and learned bodies

  • Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society



Ongoing Research Projects:

  • The 1935 Hsinchu-Taichung Earthquake: Natural Disasters as Public History
  • Necrogeographical Mapping of Treaty Port Cemeteries in Taiwan – part of the Electric Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI) project at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Local Aesthetics with Foreign Perceptions: The Formosan Collection Housed at the British Museum『他者視角下的地方美感』─ 大英博物館臺灣藏 品圖錄出版與倫敦展示計畫草案
  • A Radical Elite?: Existentialism, Invisibility, and Transnational Representations among Taiwanese Intellectuals, 1864-1945
  • Negotiating Legacies: Interrupting Taiwan in Literature and History
  • Power, Legitimacy, and Conspiracy: Non-European Freemasonry


TEACHING activities and responsibilities

  • AI2001 Cultural Transformation and Cross Cultural Encounters in the Asia Pacific
  • EB4201 Challenges in Global Development
  • ML2998 SIM
  • MLC002 Introduction to Area Studies
  • ML3990 Dissertation Supervision

PhD supervision

  • Yin Peng. “China’s Policy towards South Korea: from Park Chung-hee to Park Geun-hye 1963-2017”.

MRes supervision

  • Olivia Radford. “The persistence of conservative gendered social norms in the DPRK”.