Frontiers of Memory in the Asia-Pacific
Difficult Heritage and the Transnational Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism
ISBN : 978-988-8754-14-4
260 pages, 6″ x 9″, 18 b&w illus.
Frontiers of Memory in the Asia-Pacific explores the making and consumption of conflict-related heritage throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Contributing to a growing literature on ‘difficult heritage’, this collection advances our understanding of how places of pain, shame, oppression, and trauma have been appropriated and refashioned as ‘heritage’ in a number of societies in contemporary East and Southeast Asia and Oceania. The authors analyse how the repackaging of difficult pasts as heritage can serve either to reinforce borders, transcend them, or even achieve both simultaneously, depending on the political agendas that inform the heritage-making process. They also examine the ways in which these processes respond to colonialism, decolonization, and nationalism. The volume shows how efforts to preserve various sites of ‘difficult heritage’ can involve the construction of new borders in the mind between what is commemorated and what is often deliberately obscured or forgotten.
Taken together, the studies presented here suggest new directions for comparative research into difficult heritage across Asia and beyond, applying an interdisciplinary and critical perspective that spans history, heritage studies, memory studies, urban studies, architecture, and international relations.
‘Bringing together an excellent range of cases from diverse locations across the Asia Pacific, this book is an important contribution not only to this part of the world but to understandings of heritage struggles, especially in relation to colonial histories, more widely.’
—Sharon Macdonald, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
‘This collection is an important contribution to our understanding of the place of Asia within global memory culture. Going beyond the “tunnel vision” of national memories, it provides us with a sophisticated examination of the ways the “difficult heritage” of colonialism, revolution, and war intersects with contemporary politics to produce an Asia-Pacific memory sphere.’
—Ran Zwigenberg, Pennsylvania State University