Auspiciousness as Banality: the (re)naming of railway, metro stations and urban streets in post-Cold War Taipei

Room D
Monday, 31 August 2015
15.15 – 17.00

The paper explores the naming and renaming practices of railway stations and urban streets in Taipei metropolitan area after the lifting of martial law. Taipei has been the political and economic center of Taiwan since the Japanese colonial period and later served as provisional state capital of the Chinese Nationalists after the World War Two. Taiwan has entered the stage of democratization since the 1990s after the lifting of martial law in the post-Cold War era, and the naming and renaming of public space are freed from the ideological and political dominance of Chinese Nationalist. Since then the toponymic naming is the post-Cold War era is de-political and de-commemorative in nature. Nevertheless, the naming practices in the state capital are affected by the mixing of nationalistic legacy and emerging global neo-liberal ideas, which are manifested by the auspicious symbolism without any direct meaning to the local significance. The paper would argue that the symbolic landscape of auspiciousness in Taipei is as a matter of fact of neo-liberal banality at the expense of local history and culture.

Peter Kang
Dept. of Taiwan and Rigional Studies, National Donghwa Univ.
kang [at]

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