Tim Oakes



I am a cultural geographer of China, working on issues related to regional cultural development, culture industries, tourism, heritage, regional and place-based identities.

My work focuses on the ways culture is used as a resource for development and governance objectives, identity politics, and tourism. Recent and continuing projects include the following:

         Tunpu heritage tourism in Guizhou – a collaborative project, with Professor Wu Xiaoping of Guizhou Nationalities University, on the development of heritage tourism among Tunpu villagers in central Guizhou. This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the University of Colorado College of Arts & Sciences.

Publications to date:

         Oakes, T. Enterprising Culture: The Production of Heritage in Rural China (in preparation).

         Oakes, T. 2010. The alchemy of the ancestors: rituals of geneaology in the service of the nation in rural China. In T. Oakes and D. Sutton (eds.), Faiths on Display: Tourism and Religion in China (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield), 51-77. Translated as 先祖の錬金術:中国農村における国民奉仕のための族譜の儀式 and reprinted in 空間社会地理思想 [Space, Society, and Geographic Thought] 12(2008), 87-104.

         Wu, X. and T. Oakes. 2010. 再谈屯堡重塑:与宋茨林先生商酌. [Reconsidering the reinvention of tunpu: a dialogue with Mr. Song Cilin]. 安顺学院学报[Journal of Anshun Teachers College] 12(1), 1-4, 36.

         Oakes, T. 2009. “Resourcing culture: Is a prosaic ‘third space’ possible in rural China?” Environment and Planning D; Society and Space 27(6): 1074-1090.

         Oakes, T. 2009. “祖先的炼金术” – 屯堡村庄中搬演国家的溯源仪式 [Alchemy of the ancestors: ritual performance of national ancestry in tunpu villages]. 西南民族大学学报 [Journal of Southwest Nationalities University] 9: 16-23.

         Oakes, T. and X. Wu. 2009. 屯堡文化的价值与宋茨林先生商酌[The value of tunpu culture. A response to Song Cilin]. 安顺师转学报[Journal of Anshun Teachers College] 1 (January).

         Oakes, T. and X. Wu. 2007. 屯堡重塑:贵州的文化旅游与社会变迁 [Reinventing Tunpu: Cultural Tourism and Social Change in Guizhou] (Guiyang: Guizhou Minzu Chubanshe).

         Oakes, T. 2007. 谁的屯堡文化?屯堡文化的旅游经济学 [Who owns Tunpu culture? The cultural economy of tunpu tourism]. In T. Oakes and X. Wu (eds.), 屯堡重塑:贵州的文化旅游与社会变迁 [Reinventing Tunpu: Cultural Tourism and Social Change in Guizhou] (Guiyang: Guizhou Minzu Chubanshe), pp. 23-46.

         Oakes, T. 2006. Cultural strategies of development: implications for village governance in China. Pacific Review 19(1): 13-37 Reprinted in L.C. Li (ed.), State in the Making (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), pp. 14-35. Translated as 经济发展的文化战略及其对农村治理的影响 and reprinted in L. Guang et al. (eds.), 乡村中国:改革中的农村, 农民和农业 [The State of Rural China: Peasants, Agriculture, and Rural Society in the Reform Era] (Hong Kong: Time Tide Publishing, 2006), pp. 285-308. Translation reprinted in吴毅 [Wu Yi] (ed.), 乡村中国评论 [Rural China Review] 2 (Jinan: Shandong Renmin Chubanshe, 2007), pp. 224-239.

         Oakes, T. 2005. The story of secretary Wang – hero, savior, liar, scoundrel. The University of California International and Area Studies (UCIAS) Global Field Notes, No. 5, http://repositories.cdlib.org/ucias/gfn/5. Reprinted in Narratives of the Chinese Economic Reform: Individual Pathways from Plan to Market, ed. D. Solinger (Lewiston, NY: Mellen, 2005), 49-68.

         Oakes, T. 2005. Land of living fossils: excavating cultural prestige in China’s periphery. In Locating China: Space, Place, and Popular Culture, ed. J. Wang (London and New York: Routledge), 31-51.

         The frontier and the reproduction of peripheral space in China – looking at the myth of the frontier as a cultural resource for regional development, tourism, and state-building in China

Publications to date:

         Cartier, C. and T. Oakes (eds.). Vast Land of Borders: Rethinking State Space in China (in preparation).

         Oakes, T. 2009. Faking Heaven: it’s all done with mirrors – Patty Chang’s Shangri-la and the Utopian Will to Order in China. In China in 2008: A Year of Great Significance, eds. K. Merkel-Hess, K. Pomeranz, and J. Wasserstrom (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield), 251-259.

         Oakes, T. 2008. Faking Heaven: The Utopian Will to Order in China. In The China Beat (http://thechinabeat.blogspot.com/2008/09/faking-heaven-utopian-will-to-order-in.html)

         Oakes, T. 2007. Welcome to paradise! A Sino-American joint venture project,” in T. Weston and L. Jenson (eds.), China's Transformations: The Stories Beyond the Headlines (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield), 240-264.


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