Professor Taylor holds a PhD in history from the Australian National University. He works on the modern cultural, social and political history of East and Southeast Asia, and his research, on topics ranging from Diasporic film history to modern personality cults, has been supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the European Research Council and other organisations. He is the author of Rethinking Transnational Chinese Cinemas: The Amoy-dialect Film Industry in Cold War Asia (Routledge 2011) and Iconographies of Occupation: Visual Cultures in Wang Jingwei's China, 1939-1945 (Hawaii University Press, 2021). He is the editor of a three-book series on 'Histories of Occupation' published by Bloomsbury in 2021-22: Visual Histories of Occupation, Sonic Histories of Occupation and Spatial Histories of Occupation. He is also the editor (with Lanjun Xu) of Chineseness and the Cold War (Routledge 2021). In addition, his work has been published in almost 30 different journals, including Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Contemporary History, Gender & History, Comparative Studies in Society & History and Modern Asian Studies.
Professor Taylor works on a number of fields, including the cultural history of wartime 'collaboration' in East and Southeast Asia; Chinese-language media and popular culture in Cold War East and Southeast Asia (especially Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines); the historiography and memorialisation of Chiang Kai-shek; propaganda and personality cults in Republican China; maritime and port heritage in the Chinese-speaking world; and memory and historiography of Japanese colonial rule in Taiwan.
Professor Taylor has supervised PhD dissertations on a range of topics, including comic books in Mao's China; pan-Asianism in the Japanese-occupied Philippines; Chinese immigration to colonial-era… read more
Professor Taylor is currently leading a 3-year research project entitled: 'Documenting Wartime Collaboration: Scholarly Geopolitics and Transnational Re-assessments of the Wang Jingwei Regime'. The… read more
Professor Taylor has supervised PhD dissertations on a range of topics, including comic books in Mao's China; pan-Asianism in the Japanese-occupied Philippines; Chinese immigration to colonial-era Singapore; and Sino-German relations during WWII. He is currently supervising PhD theses on memorials in the Philippines, music in Japanese-occupied Beijing, and spaces of consumption in Hong Kong housing estates from the 1950s through to the 1980s. He is happy to supervise PhD projects in the broad field of modern Asian cultural history.
Professor Taylor is currently leading a 3-year research project entitled: 'Documenting Wartime Collaboration: Scholarly Geopolitics and Transnational Re-assessments of the Wang Jingwei Regime'. The project examines the ways in which contemporary geo-politics is shaping scholarly re-assessments of the 'collaborationist' Chinese regime of Wang Jingwei (which ruled large sections of east and south China under Japanese occupation during World War II) across the world today. Institutional partners on the project include Stanford University's East Asia Library and Academia Historica in Taipei. The project is funded by the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation to the value of 66,600 euros.
Professor Taylor has also been conducting research in recent years on the cultural history of the Malayan Emergency, publishing articles on colonial fears about Chinese propaganda in Malaya (in the Journal of Asian Studies), and on the photography of Emergency-era resettlement (in History of Photography).
Professor Taylor was the PI on the European Research Council-funded project 'Cultures of Occupation in Twentieth Century Asia' (COTCA), from 2016 to 2022, to the value of over 1.8 million euros. This project examined how foreign occupation has shaped cultural expression in modern Asia, from visual, sonic and spatial perspectives. He is currently working on a number of themes which came out of that project, including the visuality of the Malayan Emergency, the historiography of Japanese-occupied China, the history of Chinese-language broadcasting in Cold War Asia, and comparative studies of foreign occupation in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
In addition, from 2016 to 2018, Professor Taylor led a British Academy International Mobility and Partnership project entitled 'Cultures of the Chinese Cold War in British Southeast Asia, 1949-1963'. This project examined the cultural dimension of Chinese-language popular culture in Southeast Asia during the Cold War years. This project resulted in the publication of Chineseness and the Cold War: Contested Cultures and Diaspora in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.
Professor Taylor was also PI on an AHRC/GCRF-funded Research Network entitled 'China Ports: History, Heritage and Development'. This network explored how maritime heritage is managed, conserved and interpreted in Chinese port cities, and in the context of a burgeoning marine economy in China. The network was recently highlighted in the Heritage for Global Challenges Report published by the Praxis Project.
From 2012 to 2013, Professor Taylor ran the AHRC-funded project Enemy of the People: Visual Depictions of Chiang Kai-shek. The project involved an exploration of the continuities in the ways in which Chiang Kai-shek has been visually denigrated by various groups across the twentieth century, and into the 2000s. Professor Taylor continues to work on the historiography around Chiang Kai-shek today.
He is also the author of Rethinking Transnational Chinese Cinemas: The Amoy-dialect Film Industry in Cold War Asia, as well as numerous articles (in journals such as Inter Asia Cultural Studies) on cultural production in the southern Fujianese (Hokkien) dialect.
In earlier years, Professor Taylor worked on the heritage and memory of Japanese colonialism and Republican China in Taiwan. His work on these topics has been published in journals such as Urban History, China Heritage Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary History and East Asian History.