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Expo 2010: A Historical Perspective


A remodeled city awaits Shanghai's visitors this summer. As always, tourists will crowd the famous Bund and enjoy the classic architecture erected by the International Settlement's foreign powers during an earlier day of cosmopolitanism and imperialism. Recently, Shanghai's city planners have undertaken a major project in remodeling the urban landscape that surrounds the Bund, with its old Hong Kong and Shanghai banks, Custom House, and grand hotels built during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In doing so, planners have effectively transformed this waterfront symbol of China's former semicolonial status into a breezy park, sightseeing plaza, and high-end shopping district, all rolled into one. The classic architecture of the treaty port era has become the backdrop for a new day's consumerism, perfectly suited to the Chinese state's own celebration of the successes of a reform economy.

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Susan R. Fernsebner 2006. “Objects, Spectacle, and a Nation on Display at the Nanyang Exposition of 1910.” Late Imperial China 27 (2): 99124.

Rebecca E. Karl 2002. Staging the World: Chinese Nationalism at the Turn of the Twentieth Century. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.

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The Journal of Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9118
  • EISSN: 1752-0401
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-asian-studies
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