Current Postgraduate Students
Mr Jiajie Zhang
J.J. Zhang is a research postgraduate (PhD) in the field of cultural geography. Before coming to Durham, he completed his M.Soc.Sci in Geography (2009) at the National University of Singapore. He also holds a B.Soc.Sci. (First Class Honours) in Geography (2007) from the same university. His research interests lie in the intersection of cultural geography, landscape governance, tourism and geopolitics. Issues pertaining to the cultural-geo-political dimensions of a tourism landscape as they unfold at the ‘lived’ and ‘everyday’ levels are what stimulate his inquisitive mind
Born and raised in Singapore, he is the third generation of Kinmenese immigrants on the island state. His grandparents settled in Singapore, from the island of Kinmen (Quemoy), Taiwan. J.J’s ancestry has drawn him back to Kinmen several times. Since being introduced to Kinmen’s battlefield heritage, he has been inspired by its rich legacy, and has since based his research on the island’s battlefield tourism landscape. Interest in this former Cold War frontier and its people has contributed significantly to his continual inquiry into the implications of cross-border tourism for China-Taiwan relations in the wider geopolitical context.
While his Honours and Masters Theses focus specifically on Kinmen’s battlefield tourism landscape in the geopolitical context of contemporary China-Taiwan relations, he intends to expand his studies to cover a broader analytical platform of China and Taiwan for his PhD research. He is inclined to discover the selective and differential portrayal of common historical events or cultural heritage, and how they are represented on the material and imagined tourism landscapes on either side of the Taiwan Strait. This will be discussed in the context of post-war/conflict China-Taiwan reconciliation. More specifically he wishes to draw upon the recent opening of Taiwan to tourists from China and discuss the transformations of the Taiwanese tourism landscape to cater to the Chinese tourists. Conversely, a comparative analysis to see how the tourism spaces in China are also (re)produced by the geopolitical relationship with Taiwan will also be pursued. Tourism provides a useful stage for discussion as it encapsulates the cultural, economic and political conditions of a society. Moreover, it quintessentially represents the mutual benefit agenda under the discourse for peaceful reconciliation of the two republics. Therefore, using tourism as a platform, he will attempt to come up with a study that looks at how "stories of the past" are being (re)narrated through the tourism landscapes across time and space.
J.J. is supervised by Professor Mike Crang and Dr Angharad Closs-Stephens.
Is supervised by
Edited works: conference proceedings
- Zhang, J.J. & Chiang, B.W. (2009). ‘Normandy’ or ‘Las Vegas’? Positioning ‘Kinmen’ in the post-war (re)construction era. International Symposium for Urban Planning, Quemoy (Kinmen), Kinmen, Taiwan, Kinmen County Government.
Journal papers: academic
- Zhang, J.J. (2013). Book Review: ‘The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies’, by D. Wastl-Walter (ed.). Eurasia Border Review 4(1): 107-110.
- Zhang, J.J. (2013). Borders on the move cross-strait tourists’ material moments on ‘the other side’ in the midst of rapprochement between China and Taiwan. Geoforum 48: 94-101.
- Zhang, J.J. (2010). Brand(ing) Kinmen: a tourism perspective. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business 9(4): 407 - 433.
- Zhang, J.J. (2010). Of Kaoliang, Bullets and Knives: Local Entrepreneurs and the Battlefield Tourism Enterprise in Kinmen (Quemoy), Taiwan. Tourism Geographies 12(3): 395 - 411.