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The Power of the Past: Heritage Politics in China

13:00-15:00, November 9th, 2018
Main Conference Room, third floor at IASA, Hongo Campus, University of Tokyo
The Power of the Past: Heritage Politics in China
Professor Yujie Zhu
Australian National University

Since the turn of the last century, cultural heritage, particularly in many Western countries, has had an increasingly powerful appeal across official and public domains. Heritage transforms the social, economic and cultural life of localities, reshapes the domestic and global image of nation states, and facilitates international relations on different scales. However, whereas Western states have experienced a steady evolution and continuity across the past centuries, others, particularly semi-colonial, colonial as well as communist states have witnessed radical ruptures in their nation-building process.
What role does heritage play in countries like China? In what ways does the state use its past? And how does society respond to these practices? Embedded with these questions, this talk analyses the ways in which cultural heritage facilitates China’s nation-building, economic strategy and local governance. By approaching heritage as a space of cooperation, negotiation and contestation, this research contributes to an understanding of the contested and plural nature of heritage in the rapidly shifting landscape of contemporary China.

Shot Bio of Dr. Yujie Zhu
He is a Lecturer at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Australian National University. He is the author of Heritage and Romantic Consumption in China (Amsterdam University Press, 2018) and the co-editor of Politics of Scale (Berghahn Books 2018) and Sustainable Tourism Management at World Heritage Sites (UNWTO 2009). He has also published more than thirty articles that appeared in leading anthropology, tourism, and heritage journals, including American Anthropologist, Annals of Tourism Research, and International Journal of Heritage Studies. In addition, Yujie is the vice president of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies and the vice chair of the IUAES Commission on the Anthropology of Tourism.

Organizer: Takahiro Nakajima

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