Alexandria Digital Research Library

Writing Modernity : Constructing a History of Chinese Architecture, 1920 - 1949

Author:
Yan, Wencheng
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Art History
Degree Supervisor:
Swati Chattopadhyay
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2016
Issued Date:
2016
Topics:
Asian studies, Art history, and Architecture
Keywords:
Chinese architecture
Modern China
Modernity in China
Popular discourse
Historiography
Architectural history
Genres:
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Dissertation:
Ph.D.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2016
Description:

This dissertation joins the contemporary debate on rewriting the history of Chinese architecture by critically (re-)examining the initial stage of discourse formation during the Republican period. Focusing on the ordinary house in the city, I excavate the popular voice on Chinese architecture from the newspapers and magazines, examine the municipal government's effort in modernizing the city and life, as well as the professional community's attempt to establish the authoritative figure of the modern architect to replace that of the traditional craftsman. I show that these different constituencies of Chinese architecture articulated and presented a more vibrant and complex scene of discourse and practice than we have recognized until now. Although each held different forms of power, and focused on different issues, these early interpreters of Chinese architecture nevertheless converged on their understanding of reforming the Chinese house and Chinese architecture. The municipal government's modernizing projects in the city served to bolster the professional community's claim to expertise that culminated in writing a new history of Chinese architecture. This history subsequently became the standard historiography, suppressing and subsuming the popular voice and relegating it to history's dustbin for decades. By retrieving the popular discourse of Chinese architecture from this period, we not only gain a fuller understanding of the formative stage of Chinese architectural historiography, but are also provided with helpful indications pointing to a possible route to rewrite the history of Chinese architecture.

Key words: architectural history, Chinese architecture, historiography, popular discourse, modernity in China, modern China.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (352 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f37w6c16
ISBN:
9781339671802
Catalog System Number:
990046534790203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Wencheng Yan
File Description
Access: Public access
Yan_ucsb_0035D_12938.pdf pdf (Portable Document Format)