June 14-30, 2008
Following up preliminary fieldwork in Taiwan, this summer I delved deeper into the indie music scenes of Taipei City and Taizhong, Taiwan. I couldn’t help but notice the significant number of Waigoren (English speaking foreigners) on the scene. Digging a bit deeper I found that Waigoren, first American GIs of the Cold War, then American students, have been active in promoting and supporting rock clubs and “live houses.” Extending my interests in how music is used to construct a sense of place (and an economy of tourism and consumption), I became even more curious about Taizhong, the city in the middle of the island, that is engaged in culture-led urban regeneration. The exotic music and food of Waigoren are a key draw in their redevelopment strategy. I wrote up some of my early observations in Amalgam, a student run journal at the University of Virginia. You can find the article online here.