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

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-162
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Journal of East Asian Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Urban reconstruction
  • nostalgia
  • modernity
  • Berlin
  • Shanghai
  • globalization
  • national-local tension

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