Category Archives: Imaginative Geographies

Living fossils of the frontier: Zhelaizhai’s “Roman Culture”

Two of my favorite topics when teaching about China’s geography, as many of my students know, are the cultural mixing that has occurred historically throughout China’s frontiers, and the ways localities in China have contrived all sorts of fantastic cultural … Continue reading

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Music and Asian stereotypes

This morning, NPR ran a story by Kat Chow that focused on the connections between music and ethnic stereotypes.  The story focuses on the 9-note riff that has for decades symbolized ‘China’ in the US.  It appeared in The Aristocats, and … Continue reading

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Mimesis Part V – in praise of forgeries

Recently, The New York Times published an extensive report on China’s rising ‘culture of bidding’ and, specifically, its burgeoning art market beset with problems of forgery, fraud, and soaring payment defaults.  The article has a lot of interesting things to … Continue reading

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Mimesis Part IV – the Shanzhai Taj

I recently discovered that a shanzhai Taj Mahal has been built in the city of Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.  As reported in the Daily Chinese Herald (澳洲日报), “The wonders of the mainland never cease!”  It turns out the shanzhai Taj is … Continue reading

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Just another roadside attraction

When the film Braveheart came out, tourists flocked to Scotland to see the land and heritage of William Wallace (even though it was filmed in Ireland).  After Downton Abbey  became popular, tourists went looking for the ‘real’ Downton Abbey in … Continue reading

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Mimesis Part III: Rebuilding the Crystal Palace

We recently learned of ZhongRong Group Chairman Ni Zhaoxing’s plans to invest 500 million pounds (US$ 811 million) to rebuild the 1851 Crystal Palace in Sydenham, England.  China’s mimetic and shanzhai landscapes has been an ongoing theme of this blog, … Continue reading

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Shanzhai tourism

At the beginning of Caspar Stracke’s video of Tianducheng – Zhejiang’s mimetic Paris – we see the Eiffel Tower rising into a deep blue sky above clean white Parisian apartment buildings.  As the camera pans back, we realize that we’re … Continue reading

Posted in Environment, Imaginative Geographies, Tourism | 2 Comments