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City of the non-descript: post-colonial architecture and urban space in Kuala Lumpur

Loo, Y.M.; (2009) City of the non-descript: post-colonial architecture and urban space in Kuala Lumpur. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

This PhD challenges existing understandings of post-colonial architecture and urban space by including the contestations of ethnic minority in the nation-building process. It takes Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, as its primary site of investigation. The thesis challenges conceptions of the colonial/post-colonial city which focus on giving voice to the once-colonized nation through binary construction of colonizer/colonized, and yet keeping the ethnic minority groups in the shadow of the nation. In particular, by including the voice of the Malaysian Chinese in the nation-building, this study contests the conception of national identity and decolonisation in Malaysia and seeks to be a political project of resistance to hegemonic construction of race, culture, identity and space. The thesis has two major lines of inquiry. First, it examines how racialisation has taken shape in colonial and post-colonial state architectural projects in the city of Kuala Lumpur and new capital city of Putrajaya, which represents national identity and signifies cultural dominance of the Malays, while marginalising the Chinese. Second, it traces the spatial negotiation and contestation of the Chinese community. The PhD examines how the Chinese used their marginal urban spaces – such as the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Cemetery and Chinatown – in order to negotiate their cultural identity and to contest the contemporary nationalism and multiculturalism.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:City of the non-descript: post-colonial architecture and urban space in Kuala Lumpur
Language:English
Additional information:Authorisation for digitisation not received
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Architecture

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