TDSR 24.2 Spring 2013

Editor’s Note

IASTE 2012 Conference Report: Tradition as Prescription, Polemic, Possibility and Provocation
Mrinalini Rajagopalan
Architecture and the Myth of Authenticity during the German Colonial Period
Itohan Osayimwese
Unsettled Meaning: Memorializing Lost Mobility through a Monument in Ordos, Inner Mongolia
Rick Miller
The Specter of Modernity: Open Ports and the Making of Chinatown in Japan and South Korea
Sujin Eom
The State Army, the Guerrillas, and the Civilian Militias: Politics and the Myth of the Tulou, 1927–1949
Jing Zheng
Field Report: Is the Migrant House in Australia an Australian Vernacular Architecture?
Mirjana Lozanovska, Iris Levin, and Maria Victoria Gantala

Book Reviews


Editor’s Note

Architecture and the Myth of Authenticity during the German Colonial Period
Itohan Osayimwese
It has been argued that at the beginning of the twentieth century German colonial officials
and travelers created a myth about the Bamum Kingdom of Cameroon. Fed by innumerable
invocations of the grandeur of Bamum architecture, this myth celebrated the kingdom
as the long-sought paradisiacal “Africa” of the Western imagination. In this article I argue
that the Bamum narrative did not exist in opposition to any identifiable reality or essential
truth. Instead, I suggest that the Bamum narrative, like the similarly mythologized narrative
of Mousgoum architecture, should be understood in relation to the ideological conditions
of its production, including emerging tropes, theories, and methods of argumentation
in German ethnology that were themselves complicit in colonialism.

Unsettled Meaning: Memorializing Lost Mobility through a Monument in Ordos, Inner Mongolia
Rick Miller
By narrating different meanings for a memorial to Chinggis Khaan, differing communities
in the Ordos region of Inner Mongolia continue to construct their own identities
as integral to the past and present of the landscape they and the monument occupy. To
inform discussion of the present monument and the memorial processes that surround
it, this article reviews textual references such as recorded Mongolian stories, nineteenth century travelers’ journals, and a contemporary Chinese conservation plan for the site. It
also documents conversations with ethnic Mongols and Han from Inner Mongolia and
Mongols from Mongolia, and it employs visual analysis of changes in local architecture
and landscape over the past two decades. Distilling the myths and politics of the Ordos
monument provides an intriguing picture not only of local interethnic relations but also
of the entwinement of people, the architecture they construct and interpret, and the landscape they inhabit and claim.

The Specter of Modernity: Open Ports and the Making of Chinatown in Japan and South Korea
Sujin Eom
This article examines multifaceted dimensions of modernity by looking at how disparate
meanings of “Chineseness” have emerged in relation to Chinese settlements in Yokohama
and Incheon, and how these changed meanings have aligned with the formation of modernities in Japan and Korea in the course of the twentieth century. It further delves into how modernities in the two nation-states came to be recognized and manifested in the built
environment of these two Chinatowns. Although the formation and development of the
Chinatowns of Yokohama and Incheon were inseparable from the broader, global context
of colonialism and modernism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the fact that they
were not necessarily direct outcomes of “Western” colonialism provides a new point of reference within the discussion of modernity. Arguing that the equation of modernity with
the West has served as a normative model for contemporary urbanisms in East Asia, this
article seeks an alternative way of understanding modernities.

The State Army, the Guerrillas, and the Civilian Militias: Politics and the Myth of the Tulou, 1927–1949
Jing Zheng
This article questions the myth of the tulou as a “defensive” architectural tradition, with a
focus on the period of the Chinese Civil War. By examining the evolution of the building
form, changing political circumstances, and the social struggles of local communities, it
argues that although the tulou construction tradition was constantly transmitted, the building
form was adapted to different uses through history, and therefore constituted very different
architectural traditions over time. This is why so-called “tulou fortresses” were no
longer favored as defensive positions in twentieth-century warfare.

Field Report: Is the Migrant House in Australia an Australian Vernacular Architecture?
Mirjana Lozanovska, Iris Levin, and Maria Victoria Gantala
This report seeks to understand the meaning of the migrant house in Melbourne, Australia.
Following a discussion of the Australian vernacular house, it asks what it is that makes
the migrant house a unique category, different from other, nonmigrant houses in Australia.
Reporting on research on seventeen migrant houses in the suburbs of Melbourne, it
then shows how three architectural elements — the facade, the terrace, and the back yard
— differentiate these houses from other examples of the Australian vernacular. Finally, it
argues that, through their different “migrant aesthetics,” the three architectural elements
illustrate how socio-spatial features have facilitated and eased the adaptation of migrants to
life in Australia.

Book Reviews
Third World Modernism: Architecture, Development and Identity, edited by Duanfang Lu
Reviewed by Joseph Godlewski

The Dynamics of Heritage: History, Memory and the Highland Clearances,
by Laurence Gourievidis
Reviewed by Daniel Maudlin

This Ecstatic Nation: The American Landscape and the Aesthetics of Patriotism,
by Terre Ryan
Reviewed by Louise Mozingo

City and Soul in Divided Societies, by Scott A. Bollens
Reviewed by Jonathan Rokem

Living Over the Store: Architecture and Local Urban Life, by Howard Davis
Reviewed by Alison Kim Hoagland

Architecture of Thought, by Andrzej Piotrowski
Reviewed by Therese F. Tierney

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