City of Displacements

Joseph R. Allen

  • Published: 2012
  • Subject Listing: Asian Studies, Urban Studies, Cultural Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 288 pp., 35 illus., notes, glossary, bibliog., index, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World
  • Series: A McLellan Book
  • Contents

This cultural study of public space examines the cityscape of Taipei, Taiwan, in rich descriptive prose. Contemplating a series of seemingly banal subjects - maps, public art, parks - Joseph Allen peels back layers of obscured history to reveal forces that caused cultural objects to be celebrated, despised, destroyed, or transformed as Taipei experienced successive regime changes and waves of displacement. In this thoughtful stroll through the city, we learn to look beyond surface ephemera, moving from the general to the particular, to see sociocultural phenomena in their historical and contemporary contexts.

Joseph R. Allen is professor of Chinese literature and cultural studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

“Through the prism of Taipei’s development, Allen masterfully covers many aspects of visual culture in Taiwan during the past century. The book details cultural debates with insight and draws on many visual forms. Taipei is bound to become a prime source on Taiwan culture.” - Yomi Braester, author of Painting the City Red: Chinese Cinema and the Urban Contract

Watch the trailer:
Note to Readers

1. Mapping the City

2. Picturing the City

3. Traffic in the City

4. A Park in the City

5. Display in the City

6. Statues in the City

7. A Horse in a Park in a City on an Island in the Sea

Postface: Theoretical Considerations
Chinese and Japanese Glossary
Works Cited

"I highly recommend this book to readers interested in the cultural history of Asian cities." -Anru Lee, The China Journal, No. 69

"Insightful and inviting . . . this text not only will elucidate Taipei for newcomers and old-timers but will also raise interesting urban questions for comparative readings across many modern cities that demand equal system, skill, and affection. Highly recommended." -G.W. McDonogh, Choice, June 2012