Making Concessions in Tianjin: Heterotopia and Italian Colonialism in Mainland China (1860-1945)

Cambridge University Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Urban History, 2009, 36 (3), pp. 399 - 425
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Between 1860 and 1945, the Chlnese port city of Tianjin became the site of up to nine foreign-controlled concessions, functioning side by side. Ruth Rogaski has argued that Tianjin's distinctiveness deserves the appellation 'hypercolony', a term which reflects Tianjin's socio-political intricacies and the multiple colonial discourses of power and space. This article focuses on the representations of the ex-Italian concession in Tianjin, a site which is currently renegotiating its identity between reinvention of the past (1901-45) and property-led regeneration. The article employs the concept of heterotopia to explore 'semi-colonial', 'hypercolonial' and' globalizing' representations of Tianjin's built form.
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