Frontiers of Memory in the Asia-Pacific

Difficult Heritage and the Transnational Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism


Edited by Shu-Mei Huang, Hyun Kyung Lee, and Edward Vickers

ISBN : 978-988-8754-14-4


September 2022

272 pages, 6″ x 9″, 18 b&w illus.

  • HK$650.00

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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.

Shu-Mei Huang is an associate professor at the Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University.

Hyun Kyung Lee is a research professor in the Research Institute of Cultural Heritage, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea.

Edward Vickers is professor of comparative education and holds the UNESCO Chair on Education for Peace, Social Justice, and Global Citizenship at Kyushu University, Japan.