Industrial heritage production in Taiwan: a creative economy approach

Li, Chao-Shiang (2017). Industrial heritage production in Taiwan: a creative economy approach. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis deals with Taiwan as a post-colonial nation, with an identity that remains somewhat ambiguous, from both internal and external perspectives. Specifically, in this thesis, the complexities of its Taiwan’s multicultural legacies are explored through the presentation in industrial heritage sites. Industrial heritage in Taiwan is mainly the product of the Japanese colonial period between 1895 and 1945, which spans the first half of the twentieth century. This fifty-year colonial industrialisation is arguably Taiwan’s most influential industrial heritage because it began a rapid process of modernisation that is continuing today.

The key to this process is the industrialisation that led to the development of main parts of the island, catalysed new communities and social patterns and structured daily life. These industrial locations have now become heritage sites for tourism and creative development, Moreover, the interpretation of these sites highlights the re-contextualisation of the Taiwanese legacy from both political and economic perspectives. However, these sites also reveal some highly problematic place-related aspects of the colonial narrative. This thesis examines how this heritage is produced in a society that remains connected to Japanese culture, a society in which industrial heritage is influenced by the increasing convergence between cultural tourism, museumification and commercialisation Furthermore, new relationships are identified, which reflect the patterns and trends of wider economic, social and cultural changes. The thesis concludes by offering a deeper understanding of the valorisation of industrial heritage in Taiwan and its influence on broader Taiwanese narratives of geopolitics and global heritage agenda.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage (IIICH)
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions


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