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Title: Reshaping Taiwanese identity : Taiwan cinema and the city
Author: Chiang, Ling-ching
ISNI:       0000 0004 2744 6918
Awarding Body: University of Leicester
Current Institution: University of Leicester
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis explores the relationship between Taiwan cinema and the city, tracing the transformation of the cinematic representations of the city from the Japanese colonial period to the present. Placing the emphasis on the city within the wider context ofnational identity, this thesis argues that despite its cosmopolitan character, ‘the city’, as a backdrop, setting, motif and indeed a character in its own right, has helped directors to probe the collective memory and experience of Taiwanese people. The thesis begins with the historical background of the intertwined relationship between film history, urbanization and Taiwanese identity, especially how this relationship was transformed after the Nationalist government’s relocation to Taiwan in 1949. The thesis continues with a series of in-depth case studies, focused on the most renowned directors from Taiwan (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Edward Yang and Tsai Mingliang) to illustrate how they reveal the complexities of Taiwan’s nation- and identity building processes hidden beneath the cosmopolitan appearance of urban life. It concentrates in particular depth on how these directors explored the shift from the Kuomintang (KMT) ideology of Taiwan as part of a Greater China to the emergence of a more distinct Taiwanese consciousness that seeks nonetheless to acknowledge the different ethnicities and languages that make up the nation. The existing scholarship on Taiwan cinema has regarded urban themes in Taiwan cinema primarily as purely global and incapable of constructing a meaningful dialogue with Taiwanese identity, and at the same time it has interpreted them from within distinctively Western theoretical paradigms. This thesis aims to provide a countervailing viewpoint. The thesis will reveal how the city in Taiwan cinema has gradually transformed into a means to explore the most local aspects of contemporary Taiwanese identity and experience, which are simultaneously multicultural, global, hybrid and yet unique to Taiwan’s position in the Sinophone communities.
Supervisor: Richards, Simon; Chapman, James Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available