Based on a transnational study of decommissioned, postcolonial prisons in Taiwan (Taipei and Chiayi), South Korea (Seoul), and China (Lushun), this book offers a critical reading of prisons as a particular colonial product, the current restoration of which as national heritage is closely related to the evolving conceptualization of punishment. Focusing on the colonial prisons built by the Japanese Empire in the first half of the twentieth century, it illuminates how punishment has been considered a subject of modernization, while the contemporary use of prisons as heritage tends to reduce the process of colonial modernity to oppression and atrocity – thus constituting a heritage of shame and death, which postcolonial societies blame upon the former colonizers. A study of how the remembering of punishment and imprisonment reflects the attempts of postcolonial cities to re-articulate an understanding of the present by correcting the past, Heritage, Memory, and Punishment examines how prisons were designed, built, partially demolished, preserved, and redeveloped across political regimes, demonstrating the ways in which the selective use of prisons as heritage, reframed through nationalism, leaves marks on urban contexts that remain long after the prisons themselves are decommissioned. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology, geography, the built environment, and heritage with interests in memory studies and dark tourism.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Articulating the Heritage of Punishment 1. Modernizing Punishment in East Asia 2. Grades of Remembering Colonial Prisons 3. Flows In and Out of Prisons Throughout the Empire 4. Lushun Russo-Japan Prison: Accidental Heritage at the Crossroads of Colonialities 5. Landscaping the State of Independence out of the Colonial Prison: the Seodaemun Prison in Seoul 6. Memories Displaced at the Colonial Margin: The Cases in Taiwan 7. Re-articulation of Places of Pain and Shame into a World Heritage? 8. Disarticulation and Eradication of Dissonant Place in Replicating a Roppongi Hills in Taipei Replicating Roppongi Hills in Taipei? Conclusion: Rebirth of Prisons as Heritage in Postcolonial East Asia
Shu-Mei Huang is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, National Taiwan University, Taiwan.
Hyun Kyung Lee is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on the Academy of Korean Studies–funded research project “Beyond the Cold War, towards a community of Asia” at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, University of Cambridge, UK, and the International Center for Korean Studies, Kyujanggak Institute, Seoul National University, Seoul.