The Politics of Remembrance: The Commemoration and Heritagisation of Colonial Occupation in Contemporary China

  • John Pendlebury (Organiser)
  • Wang, Y. (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising an event e.g. a conference, workshop, …


How China commemorates its colonial pasts, and conserves colonial relics, vividly demonstrates the use of heritage for present needs. On the one hand, the legacies left by the foreign imperial powers have become important cultural assets and nostalgia-evokers for China. Local government and heritage authorities capitalise on the fusion of indigenous and colonial cultures to brand their cities as cosmopolitan and boost tourism development. On the other hand, colonial remnants associated with past atrocities inflicted by other nations have been mobilised in nation-building campaigns. Places where the nation’s difficult memory lingers are turned into memorials and/or sites for ‘patriotic education’ to foster national identity.
The workshop gathers scholars from the UK and China to advance the understanding of such a polarity, addressing the politics of remembrance of the colonial past and legacies in contemporary China and further illuminating the contested nature of heritage. Multidisciplinary studies on a wide range of cases across postcolonial cities including Shanghai (1846-1945), Qingdao (1897-1945), Amoy/Xiamen (1852-1930), and Dalian (1898-1955) will be shared and discussed, revealing both the authoritative and informal voices in the commodification and commemoration of colonialism in contemporary China.
Period21 Jun 202322 Jun 2023
Event typeConference
LocationNewcastle, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational