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Nostalgia as Resistance: Memory, Space and the Competing Modernities in Berlin and Shanghai

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image of European Journal of East Asian Studies

This paper compares the nostalgia culture of urban space in contemporary Berlin and Shanghai. In Berlin, the nostalgia for both pre-WWII Berlin space and East Berlin street culture prove attractive. In Shanghai, spaces that associate with the 1930s’ Shanghai bourgeois life win high popularity among the local. Rather than understanding nostalgia in local-global tension, this article argues that the spatial nostalgia in both cities is related to the local resistance to the predominant national narrative in exhibiting competing understandings of modernity.

Affiliations: 1: Harvard-Yenching Institute The University of Hong Kong Community College


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