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Intercultural Memories

Contesting Places, Spaces, and Stories


Edited By Ahmet Atay, Yea-Wen Chen and Alberto González

Collective remembering is an important way that communities name and make sense of the past. Places and stories about the past influence how communities remember the past, how they try to preserve it, or in some cases how they try to erase it. The research in this book offers key insights into how places and memories intersect with intercultural conflicts, oppressions, and struggles by which communities make sense of, deal with, and reconcile the past. The authors in this book examine fascinating stories from important sites—such as international commemorations of Korean “Comfort Women,” a film representation of the Stonewall Riots, and remembrances of the post-communist state in Albania. By utilizing various critical and cultural studies and ethnographic and narrative-based methods, each chapter examines cultural memory in intercultural encounters, everyday experiences, and identity performances that evoke collective memories of colonial pasts, immigration processes, and memories of places and spaces that are shaped by power structures and clashing ideologies. This book is essential reading for understanding the links between space/place and cultural memory, memories of nationally, and places constituted by markers of ethnicity, race, and sexuality. These readings are especially useful in courses in intercultural communication, cultural studies, international studies, and peace and conflict studies.
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3. When “Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Square” Became “Liberty Square”: A Case of Contested Public Memories in Taiwan



San Diego State University


Wuhan University

On September 7, 2017, the National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taiwan announced its intent to remove one of their two Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) bronze statues. As the founder of NCCU, the removal of the Chiang Kaishek statue signals the further “de-Chiang[-] ification” (去蔣化) in contemporary Taiwan (Matten, 2011, p. 83). As a political and military leader, Chiang Kai-shek (1887–1975) is a historically significant yet controversial figure in Taiwan. He is remembered simultaneously as a hero who led the Kuomintang Party (KMT) to liberate Taiwan from Japanese colonization during World War II, and also as a dictator who orchestrated the February 28th massacre (also referred to as 228 Incident) in 1947 and enforced martial law for almost four decades on the island. Nonetheless, many people, especially KMT party members and supporters, still refer to Chiang as the father and the guardian of Taiwan, which has resulted in a personality cult of Chiang. A year after his death in 1975, a 25 hectares memorial park, including the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (CKSMH), a surrounding square, and a traditional Chinese style garden, was built to commemorate his legacy. Because of its feudal-temple-like design and Chiang’s dictatorship, the CKSMH has been likened to “Marquis Chiang’s Temple” (Hatfield, 2008). In this essay, we focus on competing public memories about Chiang Kai-shek and controversies over his legacy by analyzing public discourses of the CKSMH as a...

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